Home General Discussion

Is getting a used Cintiq 21ux now a bad idea?

interpolator
Offline / Send Message
Zack Maxwell interpolator
I've found what seems like a good deal; a used Cintiq 21UX DTK-2100 for $500.
If it arrives defective I can return it, but longer term the 21ux is not covered for repairs by Wacom. That said, the repairs would cost more than the $500 paid for it anyway, in most cases.
I'm using a regular Wacom right now. Is getting this a good idea, or is it too much of a gamble given the probable age of the device? I've heard the 21ux is pretty sturdy, with some people still using ones they got 10 years ago when it was initially released.

Replies

  • Zack Maxwell
    Offline / Send Message
    Zack Maxwell interpolator
    PolyHertz said:
    Well, the screen is only 1600 x 1200 , and the color accuracy probably isn't that great (both due to specs and age). If you want a screen for drawing on for $500 I'd recommend looking at alternative brands like Huion / XP-Pen / Artisul / etc. instead of buying a Cintique that may be on its last legs.
    I was leaning toward that as well. Huion has a new model out for the same size and cost brand new. Only caveat is it doesn't have express keys, and I've heard drivers for alternatives can be error prone.
  • PolyHertz
    Offline / Send Message
    PolyHertz quad damage
    Well, I bought a XP-Pen Artist 15.6 tablet screen recently (this one) which is only $360 new (if bought through Amazon), and it's worked out rather well so far. Never used Huion, though I'd say they're the most well known alternative brand.

    Gaomon is another brand that might be worth checking out, their latest tablet is getting good reviews.
  • pior
    Offline / Send Message
    pior godlike master sticky
    The DTK2100 is really, really good - I personally find it to be the best out of all the models I've tried so far (although admittedly I haven't tried the massive 27 incher). I recently spent two weeks using the recent 16inch and it was a pain by comparaison (annoying new design, issues caused by the high definition screen, and so on).  

    A few notes : 

    • You will most likely dislike it very much IF you attempt to use it as a full replacement for your regular tablet ; the best solution is definitely to have both hooked up at the same time. This is a can of worms in itself though, as you don't want too much of a generation gap between multiple devices. So depending on what you have, your mileage may vary. Still better than having to run multiple drivers from different brands though.

    • On accuracy : something that took me a while to realize is that not all styluses are created equal. I have two of them, initially for safety/backup purposes ... and after a while I realized that one caused jitters to happen, while the other always behaves smoothly.

    • On repairs : I personally got mine repaired about 2.5 years ago because the digitizer panel was acting up. Wacom Europe did the servicing - it was expensive, but worth it.

    • You want to have LazyNezumi running when using it. Not so much because of line smoothing, but rather because it comes with a special experimental fix that solves an old, never addressed issue in the Wacom drivers (loss of sub-pixel accuracy after a short while).

    Overall I would say that it is probably worth it, but you might want to try and bargain it down a little because of some of the above mentioned cavehats.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    Offline / Send Message
    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    Holding out for a used 24 or 22 might also be an option.  Especially if it's only cosmetically damaged.

    Managed to nab my cosmetically damaged 24 for udner $1000, base price, becasue a concept artist on the InXile team found it, thank God.

    Runs wonderfully still atm, despite it missing three pedals and chipped corners on the frame.
  • bounchfx
    I use the 2nd gen/black 21UX and love it. got it used 7 years ago and outside of some color stuff it still works great. Not sure how much longer it'll continue to hold up but I've had no real issues with the hardware itself, just the bullshit we put up with between Windows and Wacom drivers every now and then. I do wish it was widescreen though as it can make some programs and games a hassle. 1600x1200 is an odd resolution for many things these days.

    I've been tempted to find a used 22hd but I'm not sure how I feel about the grain on the screen... it's like theres rainbow glitter everywhere. I could probably get used to it but, I kind of wish they would just release a new model of 22 with better tech.
  • swann
    Offline / Send Message
    swann polycounter lvl 4
    I'm rocking Cintiq 20WSX (widescreen 1680x1050). Bought at the end of 2009 from Apple store (last one). Works good. At first I was scared that it will brake, since rumors back than were that this was one of the reasons why Wacom pulled the plug on this model so fast. But t works. But yeah, colors are better on my IPS main monitor.
  • Sk0LLiE
    Offline / Send Message
    Sk0LLiE polycounter
    Still using my old 21ux here.
    Its amazingly stable, I have only had to have it repaired once when I dinged it on moving house and the video card inside went on the fritz. The local Wacom supplier fixed it. Pricey, but the only issue I have had from eight years of consistent every day use.

    Yeah, they are pretty solid.

    Only considering getting a newer Cintiq now due to the resolution. Running newer programs like substance painter with tons of menus can eat up your screen so you live view is tiny on such a resolution.

    Honestly pressure levels and colour has never been an issue for me. I use a 27HD at work and they seem about the same to me but maybe im a dumbass.

    Its a solid bit of kit, depending on who owned it before and how it was treated is something to consider heavily though. As knocks and bad treatment can lead to pricey repairs.


  • ScoobyDoofus
    Offline / Send Message
    ScoobyDoofus polycounter lvl 17
    I got a used 21UX (for 300$) from a game studio that shut-down, and its been going strong for several years. I'd love to upgrade to a new one, but that is a pretty big expense. The color accuracy isnt great, and I notice it has a warm-up period before it achieves accurate brightness/contrast color temp.
  • Ashervisalis
    Offline / Send Message
    Ashervisalis godlike master sticky
    I'm actually about to sell mine. The screen is a bit darker than a regular monitor (not sure if this is usual to Cintiqs21UX), but it's caused issues for me in the texturing phase. I'll just be sticking to a Wacom Tablet and a regular monitor.
  • pior
    Offline / Send Message
    pior godlike master sticky
    On the topic of temperature, if I remember correctly the grey units (first two models, both called DTZ-2100) tend to heat up more than the final gen (black, DTK-2100). That said even the black ones can get a bit too hot for confort in the summer.

    Regardless of the model I personally would not recommend using it as a main monitor. There is no point having such an high-end, fragile device running all day ; and indeed the aspect ratio is not appropriate for tasks typical of a main monitor (image manipulation, modeling, gaming).

    However, as a dedicated painting surface and set as a secondary or tertiary display, it is fantastic imho. I keep mine tucked under my main monitor and I slide it forward when I need it (I do not use the default stand that I find way to cumbersome - I simply prop it at an angle with whatever works for that purpose).

    On the topic of color accuracy : the DTK is pretty damn good. A tiny bit more dull than a modern high-end display, but still better than most medium quality screens out there.
  • Zack Maxwell
    Offline / Send Message
    Zack Maxwell interpolator
    I ended up going with the Huion Kamvas GT-191. This new model looks incredibly sexy, with great reviews. Between it being a very old model that was used for a completely unknown length of time, and the various issues people brought up (like the old 4:3 aspect ratio), it just seemed like a much better idea to get a newer model.
    Even before accounting for the condition and absence of repairs, it sounds like the design itself is on its last legs.
  • poopipe
    Offline / Send Message
    poopipe high dynamic range
    I got a monoprice 22hd about 18months back after using the 21" cintiq at work for years and having a good go on the 22" version. 

    I picked it over the other knockoff options because the cables come out of the side and I'd seen it used on an ergotron arm. 
    It's effective enough, drivers can be niggly but I hardly ever have to reboot to fix the issues.  The biggest  problem is probably only having one button on the pen but most packages have a navigation scheme that gets around that. 
    Colour wise, it tends towards blue but it's crisp and bright so no major complaints. 


    I'd rather have a cintiq but it was £1000 less than a 22 so I'm not exactly kicking myself. 
  • Zack Maxwell
    Offline / Send Message
    Zack Maxwell interpolator
    -Edit-
    I originally praised the Huion tablet I'd gotten, but after having it a while I realized it was a piece of crap, and thought I should update this post in case someone comes here for advice on what tablet to get.
    First of all, Huions straight up just do not work with 3D software. I tried it with Maya, ZBrush and Substance Painter, and it had huge problems with all of them. Especially Painter.
    I contacted support, and their response was basically that their drivers do not officially support any 3D software.
    Maya had no pressure sensitivity, ZBrush kept getting lag while drawing, and Painter could not recognize any of the keys on the stylus (only pressing down the stylus worked as input).
    I also noticed over time that the colors were completely off, the screen had a scratchy surface that kept catching the stylus, it had an obscene amount of glare to the point that I couldn't use it at night with the overhead light on, and the cursor was bad at staying beneath the stylus if you tilted it at all.

    Eventually I was forced to replace it with a proper Cintiq, which has been a massive improvement.
  • dystopianghost
    Offline / Send Message
    dystopianghost polycounter lvl 7
    Purchased a 21 UX on ebay not to long ago it was defective, ended up refunding it was a huge pain in the ass. I ended up buying the 22hd and love it,Also just as a heads up I think Amazon will even let you do payments on one with no credit check. If you can't afford one straight away. 
  • Altea
    Offline / Send Message
    Altea polycounter lvl 6
    There are two models of the  21 UX. You should avoid the earlier one (grey), it has less sensitivity than any modern Cintiq and it is quite noticeable. Also it has the tendency to have LOTS of scratches. Avoid as hell

    The second model (black and different buttons) is quite good and not different than newer models apart of the size format. You could have problems of tremors in the line, but this has not disappeared in newer models. Also even it is difficult to be scratched it can happen and you should avoid the ones with many scratches.  A 21 inch Cintiq is better than no Cintiq. Also you can rotate it and use it in portrait mode at will. His size makes easier to have lateral monitors, that is more practical than a very large one.

    In any case keep in mind you are buying a device that is nearly 10 years old.

  • shamelesFNGRL
    This has been an interesting thread, sorry I'm about to necropost 😅 

    I just found one for €180 (offers starting at 150), complete with cables and accessories, no defects, listing says I'm allowed to test it beforehand...

    However it says manufactured in '09, so I'm aware it's 12 years old by now. But I'd still really like to have it... even if it's just to try out to see if investing in a newer drawingscreen would be worth it.
    So far I'm been drawing on my note10+ and it's killing my hands D'x

    So yeah, is it worth it? Has something happened in the past few years since the last comment to swing the average consensus to 'hell no'? Because at the moment it reads as 'if cheap, why not? Buyer beware', which I'm okay with~
  • thomasp
    Offline / Send Message
    thomasp quad damage
    '09 sounds just a tad ancient. :) Screens from that era tend to age in my experience. At least do your research on the Wacom site and check if this model is still fully supported driver-wise and will be for the forseeable time.


  • shamelesFNGRL
    Fair points all around, I checked the site, there's a Windows 10 driver from 2015, but considering 11 is going to get rolled out sometime in the semi-near future, I suppose I could wait? Then again, it's pretty cheap and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets picked up by someone more desperate.

    That said, the pictures look great, they're getting rid of it BC their PC died, gives me vibes that maybe they didn't use it all that much anyway x'D

    Ty for your reply~
  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero quad damage
    200 euro is not that much + you could try it and resell at at least the same price so your only lost will be delivery cost and time to arrange the whole thing  Its sound like a good deal to me ,How much is a brand new one 1k ? That's strictly number talking 
  • pior
    Offline / Send Message
    pior godlike master sticky
    "there's a Windows 10 driver from 2015, but considering 11 is going to get rolled out sometime in the semi-near future, I suppose I could wait?"

    That's not how it works. A piece of hardware that works with 10 will not stop working when 11 comes around. This is not Apple land :)

    However, If you are the kind to be excited about new OSes and installing new stuff all the time, then yeah you're in for some trouble when it comes to that sort of equipement. It's not that it will stop working - the issue is more about MS, Wacom and Adobe adding/changing pen features that end up conflicting with each other. If I am not mistaken there are now 3 different pen APIs conflicting with each other in modern setups, whereas before the touch era there was only one.

    In other words : when you have a work setup that works, you usually do *not* want to update anything besides the essentials. I've met people who after years of using their machines still couldn't get their tablets to function properly, and this was actually caused by their willingness to always install the latest Photoshop update, which often breaks pen stuff.

    Anyways. 21UXs are great when they work. There are 3 models : grey first gen, grey second gen, and black. You want the black one which is the latest.

    FWIW I currently have two (one as my main tool, and one as a backup). The main one went through one round of servicing as the digitizer panel failed, and I got it replaced a few years ago. This is not possible anymore though as Wacon doesn't support that model for repairs anymore. My second one (backup) was bought off ebay and failed after a few days. It seems like the problem is just the power switch, I need to investigate that.

    In short : if it's in great state, 180Eur is absolutely a great price and the device is just as good as the more modern ones. I basically still stand by my earlier posts from 3 years ago. If you don't want it I'll take it :D
  • thomasp
    Offline / Send Message
    thomasp quad damage
    Fair points all around, I checked the site, there's a Windows 10 driver from 2015, but considering 11 is going to get rolled out sometime in the semi-near future, I suppose I could wait?
    2015 sounds wrong to me - as if the product has been abandoned. Are you sure you looked in the right place https://www.wacom.com/en-us/support/product-support/drivers ? I can see regular driver releases for my tablets there as well as for any of the Cintiqs I select - several versions per year if I check 'Older Versions'.

  • BagelHero
    Offline / Send Message
    BagelHero greentooth
    thomasp said:
    Fair points all around, I checked the site, there's a Windows 10 driver from 2015, but considering 11 is going to get rolled out sometime in the semi-near future, I suppose I could wait?
    2015 sounds wrong to me - as if the product has been abandoned. Are you sure you looked in the right place https://www.wacom.com/en-us/support/product-support/drivers ? I can see regular driver releases for my tablets there as well as for any of the Cintiqs I select - several versions per year if I check 'Older Versions'.

    If you look at the first gen 21ux, the model they're looking at presumably, it definitely says 2015.

  • thomasp
    Offline / Send Message
    thomasp quad damage
    Sounds like that particular model is really abandonware then.

    Does made in '09 and first gen even check out? I do recall these from work - in '05.
Sign In or Register to comment.