Surface pro 4 VS Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 detailed Comparison, which device is much better for drawing digitally.

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As ns promised you males in my surface ar Pro 4 review, ns am walk to make a detailed comparison in between the two devices, and how each of lock perform as soon as it concerns drawing, what are the advantages & cons for having actually each that them and also all.

Basically speaking, you could get a turbulent comparison by reading a review for every of the two, and also by looking in ~ the detailed specifications of each of them. However by combining that to just how they perform as soon as it concerns drawing, we can gain a pretty an excellent picture of i m sorry of them is finest for girlfriend :>

While this comparison right here will focus on the illustration capabilities of every device, ns will likewise talk about the other things you may need together an artist, prefer USB ports, load & battery life.

One thing I really need to point out the each of the two tools has its own perks & cons, so while the Cintiq Companion 2 might be the best maker for some areas, the surface ar Pro 4 is much much better for some others. While i will shot my ideal to come up through the verdict that suits many people, friend will need to take into consideration your own requirements when you choose the device most perfect for your digital creativity.

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Drawing The stand

Advantages the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2

Has a much better Initial Activation pressure (IAF).Has much more Hotkeys, as well as rocker ring. In extr to 2 buttons ~ above the pen the are completely customizable.The display has a lower resolution, which renders the symbols & tools in you art program easier to pick (depending top top your arts program).Has 3 USB ports.

Advantages Of surface Pro 4

Has much more affordable options, and much better specifications for the money.There room not lot fans blowing loudly difficulty like in case of the Cintiq Companion 2.The cursor in ~ the edge of the screen is much an ext accurate.

Digitizer Technology

The surface Pro 4 uses N-Trig digitizer, when the Cintiq Companion 2 supplies Wacom’s very own digitizer. Which is Wacom’s proprietary the is an ext expensive. I beg your pardon is in my guess among the factors that Companion 2 is the more expensive device.


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Let’s take a look at different elements related come drawing, one by one, and to see exactly how the two devices perform in each of this tasks.

Initial Activation force (IAF)

Initial Activation Force, or IAF, is the the very least amount of press you need to use on the display screen with the stylus in order for a punch to be registered. Usually, the much less IAF in the device, the much better it is.

Surface pro 3, the one prior to the present generation, suffered from a poor IAF, yet fortunately, this has actually been enhanced on in the surface ar Pro 4, which has actually a reduced IAF, making it much more suitable for drawing.

Since the Cintiq Companion 2 was made especially for arts creation, it has a great IAF from the an extremely beginning, and it is much far better of the surface Pro 4 in the regard.

Cursor Accuracy Near display screen Edges

For those not familiar with this problem, Wacom digitizers tend to be less accurate close to the leaf of the screen, this is unlikely going to influence how friend draw, yet when you pick from your art regime menus, or any type of palettes that may reside close to the edge of the screen, this could be a vast pain.

Keeping menus away from the edges mitigate or mitigate the problem, I as soon as read that having actually the pen right while near the edges deserve to pretty much assist as well. These space not perfect solutions, but they will hopefully help.

On the various other hand, the surface Pro 4 doesn’t seem to suffer from this problem. Because it uses N-Trig digitizer here, i m sorry doesn’t has that problem.


Parallax is how different the cursor appears to be family member to your pen when you view it native a various angle. Because that example, if friend are drawing with a pen display that has actually parallax, nothing deserve to seem wrong at first, but when you transition the edge you watch from, then all of sudden, the cursor won’t it seems to be ~ aligned come pen indigenous the brand-new angle you room looking from. This is what is called parallax. The diluent the display screen is, the less Parallax you will notification here. Calibrating your display while city hall the scree indigenous the angle you plan to work type pretty much solve this problem, until you begin looking at the screen from a different angle

Since the surface ar Pro 4 has thinner display, the doesn’t have much parallax problems. While the Cintiq Companion 2 has that problem. Normally speaking, every the Cintiq models has that problem in a means or another.

Pressure & Tilt Sensitivity

Now let’s talk around a very common drawing features in graphics tablets & pen display screens in general. I beg your pardon are push & tilt sensitivity. Due to the fact that I to be trying to keep this blog straightforward even for those brand-new to digital art, ns will define what every of these 2 feature method so friend won’t need to google them to recognize what lock mean.

Since both these 2 sensitivity attributes are trying come mimic the means traditional drawing tools do. When you attract with a pencil, a line can get thin or thick based on how much pressure you put on her pencil. Illustration tools prefer pen display screens emulate the with pressure sensitivity. So by having a pen display screen that supports this feature, it median you can draw the exact same way, obtaining thin currently by applying a small pressure ~ above the screen, and also thicker lines by applying more pressure.

Pressure sensitivity is an extremely common in graphics tablet & pen displays alike, that is the lot of pressure supported is what may be different between different models.

As because that Tilt Sensitivity, friend know just how different kind of strokes girlfriend can develop by tilting a brush when you attract in a various way. That’s quite much exactly how Tilt Sensitivity works here.

Tilt Sensitivity is less typical feature in pen displays, and it is usually sustained in the higher-end products.

For both press & Tilt Sensitivity come work, your art program requirements to assistance them, also, the specific brush or drawing tool within the program require to have these attributes turned on.

One exciting thing ns would like to say is that both press & tilt sensitivity have the right to be used to not simply vary the thickness or your strokes, yet to control other things favor the opacity of her strokes & more.

Now I have introduced the two ideas for you, let’s to compare our 2 devices. The Cintiq Companion 2 has a press sensitivity the 2048 level, i m sorry is the typical you have the right to see in the higher-end Wacom devices. It also has a tilt Sensitivity is ±60º.

For the surface Pro 4, the press sensitivity is 1024 level, and also there is no tilt sensitivity support in it.

While it is noticeable that the Cintiq Companion 2 is the winner here, permit me tell girlfriend a very important thing. That greater sensitivity or tilt is not always important, i mean, no all artist really need or can benefit from the 2048 level of press sensitivity the Cintiq Companion 2 provides, and also that’s for numerous reasons. For many of us, the 1024 level listed by the surface pro is an ext than enough, and also that the additional pressure is not factor to get particular device. The same can be said around Tilt sensitivity, i beg your pardon is a more desirable attribute than high push sensitivity in mine opinion.

The Screens

The resolution the the Cintiq Companion 2 is 2560 x 1440, when the resolution for the surface ar Pro 4 is 2736 x 1824. Both tools come very close right here when it pertains to this aspect of the comparison. Lower display resolution can be great for art creation, as it way the icons & menus deserve to be larger & easier to select using the pen or also your fingers. So the slightly reduced resolution of the Cintiq Companion 2 renders it the winner here, however not by much really. Some artists might prefer to have actually the greater resolution that the surface ar Pro 4 too.


This is pretty much straightforward element of the comparison, due to the fact that both the the two gadgets we space comparing below are portable, this typical that having actually a lighter an equipment is a plus.

The surface Pro 4 weights around around 2.5 pounds, if the Cintiq Companion 2 weights about 3.7 pounds, which provides the surface Pro 4 the noticeable winner here,

Express Keys

This is another aspect the the compare that’s nice easy, the surface Pro 4 doesn’t have any type of customizable secrets on its surface (pun intended), and it has only one button on the pen, which functions as a right-click button, as much as i know, that switch can’t be customized, and even if it can be, the is only one button. If the Cintiq Companion 2 has 4 hotkeys on it, plus one rocker ring because that incremental attributes like enhancing brush size. It additionally has two button in the pro pen that comes v it, and also these two buttons are totally customizable. No to forget the all this buttons are application-specific, which typical you have the right to have different functionality collection for each regime you use.

The Cintiq Companion 2 plainly wins this part of the comparison.

The Stands


The Cintiq Companion 2 functions a similar stand come the one the comes with the Cintiq 13HD (Reviewed here). Which permits you to lay her Cintiq top top 3 different positions. And laying that close to flat. One points that’s not an excellent about the Companion 2 stand is the it is not attached come it, miscellaneous not an excellent for a portable device in mine opinion.


The surface Pro 4 has actually the kickstand in ~ the earlier of it, i m sorry is adjustable in any angle you want, i m sorry is quite nice. Besides that, that is attached come the surface ar itself, which median it won’t come turn off in situation you made decision to move your an equipment a little bit, i beg your pardon is a plus. Make the surface win this component of the comparison.

Battery Life

The Cintiq Companion 2 features a battery life approximately 5 hours, or 4.5 hrs according to my review around it. If the official battery life of the surface Pro 4 is about 9 hours. While both numbers are normally good, the 9 hours of battery life for the surface ar Pro 4 means that you can use it because that a entirety workday without having actually to recharge it in ~ all. Which renders it the winner of this round.

Note:- The actual battery life friend will gain from your machine depends on how much just how you use it, and also which programs you operation on it, and also many other factors.

Ports & Peripherals

Cintiq Companion 2 Side-View

The Cinitq Companion 2 has actually 3 USB ports, when the surface ar Pro 4 has actually only 1, which average that in situation you setup to plug more than one USB device, you room going to require some kind of hub because that it.

Surface agree 4 Mini Side-View

Both gadgets has a Micro SD card the supports up to 2 TB cards. Which provides a great way come get extr storage, and also support larger cards in the future.

For outside display, both the surface Pro 4 & Cintiq Companion 2 have a Mini DisplayPort, which average you will require an adapter to have the ability to connect any type of of castle to most screens.

So, as well as the distinction in the number of USB ports, the two tools are 2 similar, however the higher number of USB port it has actually makes the Cintiq Companion 2 wins this comparison.

Value for The Money

I don’t know precisely why, however the Cintiq Companion 2 is generally an ext expensive than the surface Pro 4, my guess is both Wacom’s brand and also the price of their digitizer. In situation you space cost-conscious, climate the surface Pro 4 is a much far better choice, regardless of the few cons i mentioned about drawing with it.

Software Customization

And by this I median if the manufacturer, Microsoft or Wacom, has detailed software to customize how your an equipment work. For one, together I stated in the hot keys comparison, the Cintiq Companion 2 software allows you to modify every the hotkeys, the rocker ring, and also the two buttons in the pen, when the surface ar Pro 4 doesn’t perform that. Since I already declared the Cintiq Companion 2 the winner the the Hotkey comparison, ns won’t use that in this section.

Another thing that is amazing to to compare is how much each device allows friend to change the push curve of the stylus to fit your demands & illustration style. Both devices enables you to perform it. But the Cintiq Companion 2 permits you to modify the push curve much more freely, while the surface Pro 4 to be pretty much restrictive as soon as it involves that. So the Cintiq Companion 2 wins this match.

Other Issues

The Cintiq Companion 2 is well-known for exactly how the fans tend to blow nearly constantly, a trouble I hope Wacom will resolve in a way in one more in any kind of upcoming relax of its illustration device. The surface Pro 4 doesn’t experience from this problem. Actually, the very low-end variation of it, the one that provides Intel main point M3 processor, doesn’t have actually fans in it in ~ all. Making the the far better device because that those how want to draw in a quiet environment.

The last Verdict

Despite the price difference, the Cintiq Companion 2 appears to have actually scored generally far better than the surface Pro 4. Which provides it the in its entirety winner the this Comparison, i am not saying the the surface is a bad an option for artists or anything, together the real selection depends on her actual needs and also the software you room using. The surface Pro 4 has actually the price advantage here.

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It probably should not be a surprised that the Cintiq Companion 2 winner this comparison, as it to be made particularly for art creation (despite all its flaws). And as I pointed out in my surface Pro 4 article, ns don’t really know if Microsoft has actually artists in mind when they were making the surface Pro 4, but they it seems to be ~ to it is in doing generally well in that. Which make me looking forward for any type of upcoming surface ar Pros later to see how well castle perform when it comes to drawing.

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