Wacom Companion – Review & Testing

Posted on 2013/11/10 at 11:16 by daarken 28 Comments

This is my review of the new Wacom Companion. The version I have is the 256 GB Companion. In short, this computer is awesome. I highly recommend it and I will be using it for all of my professional work.

Sorry for the dark video, I live in a cave.

Update – Wacom just released the new 6.3.7-5 drivers and they seem to have helped with the cursor drift around the edges of the screen.

For a full written review, please visit my blog.

• Display Size 13.3 inch
• Full HD 1920 X 1080
• 2048 levels pen pressure, natural feel and multi-touch
• ExpressKeys™, Rocker Ring, Home Button, on-screen controls
• Adjustable stand
• Windows 8
• Intel® Core™ i-7
• RAM 8 GB DDR3
• 256 or 512 GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
• Dimensions 375 x 248 x 17 mm / 14.8 x 9.8 x 0.7 in
• Weight 1.8 kg / 3.9 lbs
• Price $1999 (256 GB SSD) $2499 (512 GB SSD)

Wacom Companion Review from Daarken on Vimeo.

28 Comments on "Wacom Companion – Review & Testing"

  1. Durandal · 2013/11/10 at 20:57 · Reply

    Did you ever finish this painting in the demonstration? It looks badass.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2013/11/11 at 07:30 · Reply

      Thanks! Nope, I haven’t worked on it since that demo.

  2. bimbows · 2013/11/11 at 17:05 · Reply

    did you feel big differences passing from 12.5″ to 13.3″ ?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2013/11/11 at 18:16 · Reply

      Actually, both the Asus EP121 and Fujitsu ST5112 have a 12.1″ screen. The screen on the Companion is wider, but not as tall. It definitely gives me more room for things like the on-screen menus and reference, so I’m glad it is wider.

  3. Elvis · 2013/11/15 at 04:55 · Reply

    Nice Tablet, but a little to expensive :(

  4. Michel · 2013/11/20 at 12:13 · Reply

    Why this choice : compagnion and not 22 HD TOUCH ?
    thank you for your good job, i like Elysium i read it many times.
    sorry for my english im french.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2013/11/20 at 13:11 · Reply

      The 22HD is not mobile and it is not a standalone computer.

  5. Michel · 2013/11/21 at 13:24 · Reply

    but the surface is almost two times less, that is not it annoying to draw? Can you connect an HDMI cable? Thank you for answer.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2013/11/22 at 07:56 · Reply

      Yes the Surface Pro is cheaper, but I would rather have a machine I am happy with. For me, the Companion is the better choice. Others might like the Surface Pro, I don’t. It has 2 USB ports and a mini DisplayPort, there is no HDMI port.

  6. Chris · 2014/02/19 at 15:27 · Reply

    Hey I was wondering, how you set the rocker ring to undo? I’m having trouble setting mine.

  7. Chris · 2014/02/19 at 15:36 · Reply

    So I actually meant to ask how to set brush increase & decrease size to the rocker ring…

    • daarken
      daarken · 2014/02/22 at 15:48 · Reply

      Just go to the Wacom control panel, select the rocker ring tab, set the one you want to keystroke and then for the keystroke use [ and ] to increase/decrease brush size.

  8. Rob · 2014/04/09 at 06:11 · Reply

    You should totally show this to WACOM. They would be grateful…maybe.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2014/04/10 at 09:04 · Reply

      Well, they retweeted my video review so I assume they saw it.

  9. curous · 2014/06/09 at 21:50 · Reply

    Hi Thanx for this review. I’m really interested in this equipment.
    Do you usually work outdoors?if not,what makes it better than cintiq 22? I read that you prefer this because it has whole computer in it but if you work indoors why do you need that?
    And what do you do if you need some reference while painting?
    I use dual monitors. One for web searching and reference, one for photoshop. I really like to work outdoors but it makes hard to do that. Do you think it wouldn’t be a good choice for people lik me? I’m actually thinking about using it with an additional labtop:-(

    • daarken
      daarken · 2014/06/15 at 08:16 · Reply

      Yes I often work outside of my house, but I also like to use it inside because I don’t have to work at a desk. Not working at a desk really helps with my carpal tunnel. If I need reference, I just look it up on my Companion. I don’t need to have two monitors in order to use reference.

  10. franco · 2014/08/23 at 10:30 · Reply

    Sick design…..you mentioned it had a lag in the beginning…how did you fix that problem. Ive been looking for a tablet and this seems to be what I need. I had an asus ep121, like you suggested, but I never was able to fix the lag problem. Also, youre running photoshop cc…not cs anything? I have cs 4 and 5…which do you recommend?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2014/08/23 at 14:04 · Reply

      I fixed it by switching the power mode to high, I think I talked about it in the video. Yes, I’m running CC. I like CC more than CS4/5.

  11. franco · 2014/09/21 at 10:19 · Reply

    It’s probably a stupid question….but did you get the whole ps cc program or did you join their monthly plan? And what do you think about that deal?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2014/09/24 at 19:19 · Reply

      Yeah, I went with their monthly plan. Adobe didn’t really give anyone a choice. If you want to use any new programs, you are required to join the monthly plan. Sure older versions of Photoshop can still get the job done, but if you want access to the new features which can make your workflow faster and more efficient, you have to pay the monthly fee. The good thing is that you get access to all future updates.

      Photoshop used to cost around $699. If you are paying $19.99/month for Photoshop, it will take you 2.9 years before you end up paying the same as a physical copy. Sure in the long run it will be more expensive, but you have to consider the upgrades. After 2.9 years if you wanted to upgrade your physical copy, that would usually cost another $199, which would be another 9.9 months of the subscription.

      Personally I like having access to all future updates, especially since this is my career. Also, paying $19.99/month is a lot easier to swallow than dropping $699 all at one time.

      • franco · 2014/09/26 at 19:57 · Reply

        Thanx man…been going crazy looking for my cs5. But you do put things in perspective…I appreciate the time you took to answer my question. Big fan of your work. Can’t wait to see more. Thanx once again.

      • Andrew · 2015/03/08 at 14:57 · Reply

        actually you can get photoshop and lightroom for 9.99 a month using their photography plan. It seems worth it to me for that.

  12. Aaron · 2015/03/10 at 10:33 · Reply

    Have you been able to test out the companion 2 yet? I’ve been thinking about investing in that one instead (if it ever comes in stock again). I think the dpi is like double.

    • daarken
      daarken · 2015/03/11 at 08:30 · Reply

      Unfortunately I have not. I doubt I’ll be able to afford another large purchase like this for a long time.

  13. mezzgorg · 2015/03/22 at 17:36 · Reply

    Hi Daarken,

    i’d like to ask as i’m left handed, is there any way to flip the whole thing around or any other solution to use the buttons with the right hand?

    Really impressive works there, love your stuff.

    thanks for the answer in advance..

  14. Indunil · 2016/11/24 at 03:05 · Reply

    You are blessed man, because your thing works !

    I bought a Companion about an year ago, and it was a horrible nightmare since then. The pen pressure never worked even after I’ve sent it back to Wacom for a repair. It has completely stopped working after about 7 months and Wacome replaced the motherboard, but the pen pressure never worked. I can’t afford to sue Wacom .. so I decided to put away this completely crippled but damn expensive device.

    On a side note .. I never got any job completed on Companion .. so yeah .. it is the most horrible investment I’ve ever made !

    Just speaking out of frustration here man .. you have nothing to do with it .. I love your work .. Good luck and please keep up with the inspiring stuff !

    • daarken
      daarken · 2017/01/12 at 08:05 · Reply

      Aw man, I’m really sorry to hear that. Yeah, a bad experience can definitely sour one’s opinion of a company. I bought an Alienware computer many years ago and it was a horrible nightmare. I probably won’t ever buy another product from them.

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