Cintiq 13HD and Ergotron Arm, A Few Months In Review (+Easel-Mount-Guide, Anti-Scratch-Tip and Additional Stand Solution)

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In my first post about the Cintiq13HD in combination with the Ergotron LX arm, I stumbled about some very positive feedback and interest, as also some questions. In this post I´ll answer some questions, adress the actual guide to set up an easel to carry your Cintiq or any other tablet and give additional tips to make this post hopefully a good resource for artists researching before doing the investment.

First off, there are coming two new Wacom tablets in the size of the 13HD Cintiq, the companion and companion hybrid:


Both will be handy enough to be carried with you, nonetheless at least for the hybrid - which has the function to work on your PC like the regular 13HD as well - it makes sense to have the ergotron arm solution at home or your studio.

DIY-Easel-Ergotron Arm Solution

See the easel/arm/cradle-solution in action, that´s how I use this setup everyday:


 

Since I havn't explained how to set up the ergotron arm with an easel to hold your Cintiq or whatever tablet/pen display in the post mentioned above, here's more information about that part:

Click on image to view full size

What you need:
Small easel (see image above for type) - $8 -$20
6 Wood screws, small, not longer than 8mm. - $2
LANSA handle bar from Ikea or something similar - $7
2 rubber hose clips $2
Total - $19-$31 (Without color, add your favorite brand $7-$15 for the coat)

Important notes:
I noticed that there can be problems with some kind of easels, so if you can - get a Daler Rowney table easel, or a Reeves Rutland easel the VESA mount should fit exactly at the back of the easel at least to fit the first row of screws in.
Here´s a link to the easel that I have used
A commenter has recommended another one from Dickblick that should fit as well: http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-studio-mini-tabletop-easel/ at $8 pretty affordable.

Nonetheless, if you are unsure, make a VESA template from cardboard before you go in the shop for the exact measurements of your mount and see if it fits to any other easel as well. If they don´t have the Daler and Rowney make sure it looks at least sturdy, just don´t grab the cheapest easel around. If necessary go for the $15-$25 ones, there are parts that are glued and it doesn´t help you if the piece breaks in two parts when you dismantle the thing.

Tight-budget version:
A $9 version with only the easel mounted to the arm is possible as well, see Victor Ha´s blog about it.

*Update Nov. 2013*


Due to a request for the stand I use in the video for additional stability (it is an telescopic staff from an unused notebook stand) but since I don´t know where to get that notebook stand I developed a better solution.
The good news is, it is more versatile and stable, the bad news is, it is expensive - but there´s even a solution for that, read on:

The images below show the stand I used to mount on the back of the easel it is a "Twelve South iPad stand". The stand is absolutely unusable as a stand for the Ipad as it always turns over but it does a perfect job being added to this arm solution because the stand spreads and gives grip to any surface, first you need to get rid of the rubber cap and open the srew to remove the back stand.








My suggestion is that you find or have a friend who owns such a stand - ask them what they think of it - I promise, they will say it will always turn over and it sucks, then make an offer that you´ll find a use, let´s say as book stand or something else and offer $10-15 for it. The prices on Amazon and ebay are ridiculous for this piece of crap.


A Few Months in Review

Now on to some personal experience a review of 4 Month of using the Cintiq 13HD.

What can I say, I´m still very happy with the setup, I really like to work with the Cintiq and the Ergotron arm makes it even more versatile. I´m still waiting on my replacement cable to have it fixed on my desktop and be able to have the other cable to carry with me and the notebook.

But other than that it is a charm, the drawing makes a lot of fun, I had no issues so far as to be expected with the quality of Wacom products. The pen display doesn´t get hot on a warm day it might get a little hand-warm, but that is all. It is bright enough to work even on sunny days and so far I havn´t missed the touch strip that came with other tablets or Cintiqs.
And most importantly: no lags. I have worked in a variety of documents, software and sizes and I had not once experienced a lag.

What I found useful while working with the cintiq is the option to switch displays. I know this option comes with newer intuos tablets and drivers as well, but I havn´t used it, with the Cintiq however, this makes pretty much sense.

The only drawback was the scratch-sensitive display for which I had found a personal solution, maybe it helps others as well.

Another update on September 2014: The Cintiq and Ergotron arm are still a perfect team. My desktop changed quite a bit, but every arrangement works with the 13HD tablet as it fits nearly in everywhere.

DIY Cintiq Anti Scratch Solution

Got scratches?

The only real drawback that I´ve experienced with the Cintiq is its sensitive display surface.
For that I have found the following solution:


I used an A4 sized glass from an unused frame and mounted it with tar-tape and fixtape on the Cintiq. It feels even better, just like working on the iPad with a stylus and palm-rejection! The good thing when doing this is that it totally protects the surface from scratches, I just got one scratch and had to do something about it. Another great pluspoint is that I don´t need a glove as I hate using a glove while drawing. The reason scratches occur is not because of not wearing a glove, but because of the nibs. The only ddisadvantage of using glass is that the flex-nibs do squeak.


Don´t do this with Plexiglass as it scratches also, using real glass just causes the tablet to gain more weight which is no problem for the Ergotron LX arm, however if you have another arm, check if it is capable of handling the weight. Also, be sure that between the tablet and the glass is no dust!

Questions and Answers

Now going through some questions in regard to my other blog post and from mails related to this topic:
  • Q: Are there ready-made or off the shelf alternatives?A: Actually there are some (google tablet cradle Ergotron) but the main problem are they are built often for iPads and have limits in size and weight-limitations, or they are ridiculously overpriced.
    If you find a solution cheaper than $19 I´m really eager to post that here as an alternative.
  • Q:What can you say about the pressure sensitivity fail? (link A: Actually I had it in the beginning once a week, but after the recent driver update I experienced nothing like this anymore. The bug happened with my Intuos as well, but I felt it happened there more often than on the Cintiq but I guess with the most recent driver update this is totally fixed.
  • Q:Would you recommend the regular Cintiq13 or rahter to go with the Companion?
    A:
    I´d say this is totally depending on what you want to do, but having made the experience with the scratch-sensitive display I imagine haveing a portble version to be more easily damaged if you don´t wan´t the glass solution to carry with you and for that it is already too expensive.
  • Q: Have you noticed any slippage with it or is it really secure?
    A:
    It´s absolutely secure, I can pull on the tablet to move the arm but I´ve use the handle for that most of the time and the Cintiq it is abolutely stuck in its position.
  • Is the scratch fix with glass dangerous (as for cutting)?
    A:
    So farI havn´t experienced anything like this, if you are uber-careful, you can get a custom glass with rounded corners as well and while you are at it, I´d recommend getting some polarzed glass as well and if that doesn´t suite you, security glass can do the trick but don´t mind the cost and additional weight.
  • Q:Does the Cintiq has any disadvantage when painting through additional glass?
    A: There is no disadvantage, any material up to 5mm thickness will be supported, I guess there´s even more thickness possible, but I never tried that.

If any more questions occur, even on the other blog-post, I´ll add my answers here.
Hope you found this useful, feel free to share if you like the article.



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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook

35 comments:

  1. Hi, I've read this post over and over even took the diagram you posted to stores to get the right parts, and I finally got around to trying it with my cintiq 13hd. Apparently though my easel (which to be honest looks exactly like yours) doesnt quite match up nicely as yours does. If I may ask you to answer a few questions I would greatly, greatly appreciate your precious words:

    1. My tablet seems to wobble loose too easily even after tightening it inside the easel; my first guess is that there is too much space for it to play around at the top and at the bottom. This is leading me to believe your particular easel brand is probably a much better fit than mine. If you could (if you can remember that is) please name me the type of easel that you have so that I could possibly go and compare it with mine, that would be awesomesauce.

    2. When i screwed the ergotron lx mount into the back of the easel i seemed to have left way too much room at the bottom screwholes; I couldn't possibly find a way to secure the bottom side without possibly splitting part of the wood in the easel. I'm thinking about possibly screwing a square piece of plywood to the easel at the back (in order to allow all 4 holes to be mounted and a decent size one to the front in order to get a good fit, do you think this is a a plausible idea?

    I'm sorry for the speculating questions which probably go beyond your experience with this particular situation but I found there was nowhere else to ask /cry.

    Anything answers I will take with great thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Marcus, thanks for your comment and foremost, for trying this guide out. The first thing to mention is, that I tried this for myself with parts that I had lying around and found that to be a working solution, this is the reason I don´t have an exact to-buy-list as I doubt that this would work anyways.

    However, the easels look all the same from a far, but I could have thought of this problem that slight differences will make that it doesn´t fits.
    So the easel that I have used for this is a Daler Rowney, not the one with bolts and wingscrews, the simplest of the table-easels: http://www.artistmaterial.co.uk/products/Daler-Rowney-Wilton-Display-Easel.html it should have the exact size on the back, so that the metal mount sits on the bottom wooden bar and closes on the upper wooden bar.

    My suggestion, if you go into a shop, make a template from cardboard of the VESA-mount and take that with you, including marks for the holes, that should help you to save the hassle later. Actually jsut with the two screws on the top bar, the VESA mount should not wobble loosely, I suspect the easel of being poor quality then.

    If you would want to try to get the most out of your situation you can try to cut a fitting piece of plywood as you suggested, mount that on the VESA and from there to the easel. You can alos try to fix the eael itself first hand with glue if you find that the thing is even wobbling in your hands.

    I´m sorry that this happened, I´ll add these information to the post, as I see they are more important than I tought.

    I hope this will work for you. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11/16/2013

    I am expecting to purchase the Wacom Companion and want the mobility combined with desktop use (w/ desktop arm). Unfortunately, there is not an ideal commercial arm available for the Companion and your tutorial and experiment seems to be the best solution. I noticed that in your video you have something that extends down to the desktop from the bottom of the easel. This seems ideal as it can add support. Can you provide any details on what you did there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks for the nice comment, glad you think so! The extension I used, is a kind of telescopic staff from an old notebook stand (don´t know which one - got it from a friend) However, I got this one ->http://www.rakuten.com/pr/product.aspx?sku=233818516 from a friend too, an IPad stand but it is useless at that, but works even better as support for the easel because you can "spread" the stand-legs. Will do an update on this blog-post soon when I used it for a few days to share my experience with that one -opposed to the other stand.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11/16/2013

      Thanks for the reply. Just curious, but do you really need additional support? Does the arm not provide enough support on its own? Or, is it the easel that makes the arm less stable?

      Delete
  4. Anytime! It depends on the degree the arm is used and how strong the screws are fixated in the arm. I prefer to have them not too strong to make it easier to move it around constantly. This also means working on the edge of the tablet with pressure can make it wiggle a bit - that comes from the arm. The easel/cradle itself is very sturdy. I use the stand to have always the same position when working on it.

    P.S. Btw. I have updated the post with a better stand solution that is even usable on rotated positions!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for such a detailed and helpful series of blogs on this topic! I came up with an alternate option that I've used successfully on an intuos 4 and the older, smaller Cintiq 12. The upside is that it's very inexpensive. The downside is that it requires gluing an Ergotron Quick Release Bracket ($14.99 on Amazon) to the back of the tablet. The other side of the bracket attaches to any VESA compatible monitor arm (I use the same Ergotron arm you have because it's very easy to position in a way that's conducive to tablet use). I used a strong glue to ensure that the bracket wouldn't come loose or wiggle, and I have never tried to remove it -- I suspect I couldn't without damaging the tablet. If you anticipate (like I have) that you'll use your tablet almost exclusively while attached to the monitor are, this solution has worked really well for me. And, since it's a quick release bracket, the tablet also pops off and works just fine on my lap while kicked back on my office chair or couch. However, it does not work well laying flat on a desk -- simply because it rocks back and forth on the bracket receiver. This has never bothered me since I never liked the ergonomics of using the tablet while flat--but, if you do, I would think twice before going with a solution like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Clint, sorry for the late reply - your comment was somehow hidden from my notifications...anyways - thanks for the suggestion, sounds like a good solution for a fixed system! I had someone telling me something similar; they´ve put the screws through the stand that comes with the Cintiq and mounted that on the arm, such as this: http://imgur.com/DeVQi7q

      Delete
  6. Can you turn this set up vertical, so that the monitor is in portrait mode?

    Bummer that the new smaller Cintiqs don't have VESA mounts.

    Have you tried using a Ergotron Notebook stand? They have velcro on the back for attaching to the monitor...I might try it out. I called them up (Ergotron) and they said the wacom should fit and that the little nubbins holding the laptop were about .5 inches tall, right around the thickness of the hybrid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey sorry for the late reply, the comment was hidden from my notifications... however, yes it can be turned up vertically.

      Delete
  7. I made one and it's pretty cute.

    http://artchallengeawesome.blogspot.com/2014/01/makin-stuff.html

    Thanks for this post! Yay it works!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have an issue, the upper part of my arm keeps pushing upwards and won't stay down, how did you fix it ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marco, there should be a screw inside the arm, right below the topmost joint (the one that holds the cradle/easel). It´s a bit hard to find but it is there. lower that and you should be able to adjust as you need.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous2/12/2014

    What is the size of those rubber hose clips you used (if that even matters, hehe)? Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous3/19/2014

    Thanks so much for posting this Oliver. I completed my own mount, which differs only slightly, and it looks and works wonderfully. I was looking for a good non-destructive solution and had my own plans but that would have come at a much greater cost. For anyone in the states trying to find the correct easel you can order it here - http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-studio-mini-tabletop-easel/ . As of right now it's only $8.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Oliver,

    I followed you explanation and the stand works great -but- when I put it on my Ergotron arm it was too light to lower the arm. I think you need 7 lbs. to make the Ergotron arm work. At least the one I ordered. Can you post a link to the Ergotron arm you use.

    Thanks,

    Jeremy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeremy,
      thanks for your feedback and glad you got it to work for you.
      The Arm I use is the LX arm - http://www.ergotron.com/ProductsDetails/tabid/65/PRDID/352/language/en-US/Default.aspx I suspect the screws in your Ergotron arm are too tight, you have to loosen the top screw (in the arm on the end that holds the VESA port) with the Allen Wrench that came with your Ergotron package. It takes a few tries until you have the right adjustment, but then you never need to touch it again. Hope this helps,
      Best,
      Oliver

      Delete
  12. Thanks for the creative solution Oliver! I made my own setup and went a little cheaper than you did but I think it does the job. http://victorhaillustrations.blogspot.com/2014/09/my-cintiq-13hd-ergotron-lx-setup.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Victor, much appreciated - it looks really good!

      Delete
  13. I think the extra weight from the steel rod however would benefit me, because the arm sometimes wants to move up at the slightest touch - even if I torqued to the tightest setting. Thanks again for sharing your creativity!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous9/30/2014

    Are you still using the 13HD. Thought I saw somewhere you were selling it. I wasnt sure if you upgraded to a 22hd after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I still use it everyday. This was definitely not me ;)

      Delete
  15. First off, thanks for this! I've been wanting to mount my 13hd for a while and I'm very happy I found your diy mount. That said, what bracket did you use to keep the bottom portion of the ergotron mount from moving?
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mLtHcr-ncVw/UYkgrMyWBEI/AAAAAAAABq8/nfZskZwF140/s1600/07-mounted-back-and-cable.jpg

    I don't want to screw any screws into the bottom as your image guide shows as I feel the wood is too narrow. I'd feel much more comfortable using a bracket but I'm having no luck finding one that would work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome!
      The bracket was kind of finding, DIY, actually any small metal plate will work if you drill 2 holes in it. For the gap you can use anything from a broken pencil to rubber or an eraser. you can also search google or ebay for something like the following: Curved Square Metal Jack Plate Jackplate... cheers

      Delete
  16. Visual Diagram for those emailing me about how I constructed the mount. I added more needed weight to the 13HD Cintiq through lead strips found at any Golfsmith store. Thanks again to Oliver Wetter for the idea. http://victorhadesign.blogspot.com/2015/03/in-depth-diagram-and-process-for.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Oliver,
    Thanks for this great guide. I bought an Ergotron LX and the easel to try set this up for myself.
    In your video, your Ergotron arm seems to be easily adjustable. Did you do anything additional beside adjusting the screws?
    My one is really tight even at the loosest settings, the arm doesn't stay down and the VESA plate tilting is EXTREMELY tight, I have to grab it with both hands and really wrench at it to make it budge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Daniel, great work btw!
      No I did not do anything but adjusting the screws. However, they can´t go out. Did you adjust all screws? There are at least 4 that you can use to adjust the tightness to your liking... Maybe you got stuck on one but they can be loosened further until a point that it is easy to stay in place even without any tablet on the Vesa mount.

      Delete
  18. Thanks, Oliver,
    The arm height adjustment ended up working fine, it won't stay down by itself the easel + tablet seems to provide the perfect amount of weight to balance it.
    You are right about being stuck on the screw, I hadn't actually loosened the VESA plate screw all the way.

    Thanks again for the cool guide. I'll be sure to link you when I get around to blogging about my setup.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi

    Can you send me a link on what desk mount you used for this. I have all the parts just want to make sure I get the right mount.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Serhan, thats great - the Arm I used for this is this one: https://www.amazon.com/LX-Desk-Mount-LCD-Arm/dp/B00358RIRC
      All the best

      Delete
    2. Thanks for getting back to me. I was wondering what glass screen you used. I tried typing it on google only found frames.

      Delete
    3. You are welcome! The glass frame can be found in every art-supply store though they are called differently depending where you go, what you want is this here: http://www.wilko.com/clip-frames/wilko-clip-frame-a4/invt/0007779 If you look for clip frames I´d suggest looking for these in a local store, shipping does almost always result in frustration due to broken glass, a $1-$3 piece might not be worth the hassle. Btw. it does not matter if you have 2mm or 4mm, on the 27QHD I use a 4mm thick plate and it does not feel different.

      cheers

      Delete
  20. Hi

    Finally got the Desk mount. I am having trouble finding the wood screws and lansa bar handle can you send me a link on which one you have?

    regard

    serhan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, glad you want to try it yourself!
      The handle I used was different from the Lansa as it is shorter so don´t be confused by the length. Anything that looks similar like this handle will work. Here is a link to the handle: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60138759/ The screws are actually small wood screws that you find in every DIY-market, I didn´t find a link for that right now. But you know how thick your wood is, so you would not buy a screw larger than that. It is as easy as it sounds;) You can also most likely find something that looks like the Lansa handle as well in a DIY-market, so that can save you money and time. If you have doubts, take the easel with you and ask an employee in the Store what they would suggest. Maybe you even find something that looks even better.

      Delete
  21. Hey, thanks for the guide, very helpful! Could you possibly provide some more details on the bells and whistles such as the pen holding tray? I am very interested in that detail :)

    ReplyDelete

 

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