Drawing Tablets Head-to-Head: iPad Pro/Pencil vs. Surface Pro vs. Wacom Cintiq Companion

With the recent releases of the Apple Pencil and Microsoft Surface Pro 4, drawing tablets have gone mainstream, and many artists have purchased or will soon purchase their first tablet.

But with a variety of choices, including Wacom’s Cintiq Companion, what is the best one for animation artists? While we’ve yet to see a head-to-head comparison from a professional animator (let us know if you make one), artists from other disciplines have started testing out the various devices and comparing their strengths and weaknesses as drawing tools. The best review I’ve seen so far is by industrial designer Spencer Nugent who gives a smart and objective appraisal of the three major devices: iPad Pro, Surface Pro, and Cintiq Companion.

Nugent personally prefers the iPad Pro and Pencil combo, though he says that the Cintiq Companion “wins hands down” in terms of how the stylus interfaces with the screen and how much it feels like paper. He cautions that ultimately it’s up to each artist to find the device that suits their personal needs.

Another comparison, though only between the iPad Pro and the Cintiq Companion, was posted by graffiti artist APSE. He chooses the iPad Pro over the Cintiq for its portability and value: