Rec. Award: approx. SEK 35,000
Award: SEK 29,990 at CDON.
The first version of the Mobile Studio Pro tablet computer came in 2016, and recently Wacom has released an update of the concept. First came an upgrade of the large Mobile Studio Pro 16 last fall, and now a new version of the smaller and more handy Mobile Studio Pro 13, with more modern hardware and some new features.
So what is Mobile Studio Pro? In short, a Windows tablet with an extra good screen for pen control and other features that make it just right for sketching, drawing and retouching images. It cares less about light weight and compact design than about good ergonomics, high performance so it can run all important creative programs, and the best possible touch screen for pen control.
With a 13-inch screen, it’s already not exactly flat-like, and it also has wide screen margins all around, and a side panel on one short side with a Windows button, which is also a fingerprint reader, and a total of ten function keys for various alt and function keys, hotkeys, and more. You can set these up to a large extent yourself.
Stylish but dim screen
The screen has 1440p resolution, which makes it sharp and nice to look at. It has good color characteristics with 80 percent of the AdobeRGB standard, but it actually seems to be a slight downgrade from its predecessor which, as far as we can see, was a notch higher in percentage.
We don’t have the ability to measure color accuracy, but the test photos we show on the screen give us nicely neutral tones that look right to the naked eye. The brightness of around 250 cd/m2 is not that high, so working outdoors can be a problem. On the other hand, the light distribution in the screen is excellently even.
Good picture is unfortunately not accompanied by good sound. The plate has built-in stereo speakers that we can call more functional than enjoyable. Both bass and treble are lost, while the midrange is clean and clear. It feels adapted for voice reproduction, but for things like calls we would have liked a higher maximum volume.
The pen is the point
You get two things with the plate. Firstly, a stand that you can mount on the back and angle the plate up in three different working positions if you have it on a table, up to approximately 45 degrees. First, a solid and excellently comfortable stylus, the Wacom Pro Pen 2. Together with special layers in front of the screen, it provides excellent pen control with high precision, 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, detailed tilt control and minimal lag between your hand movements and the pointer on the screen.
We put the plate in the hands of a real illustrator who gave us the judgment that it is as close to drawing on paper as he has come with digital means. Among other things, thanks to the screen’s matte glass surface, which provides the right friction in the substrate for the pen.
The pen has two buttons that act as right and left mouse buttons, making it easy to use as a mouse replacement for more everyday use. This is also basically a regular Windows PC, with the power of a really good ultrabook, so you will probably want to use it to also surf, e-mail and run Office on.
Strong ultrabook performance
It has an 8th generation Intel Core i7 with Intel Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The storage is possibly what we wanted more of. Given the price of the plate of around SEK 30,000, we think that a terabyte SSD would have been welcome, and preferably one with gigabyte speed. Now storage is only half-fast.
A novelty with the new model is that Wacom has made it easier to get into the computer to upgrade ram memory and ssd, so the ambitious can get a sharper m.2 ssd and plug in. If you just want more space, there is an sd card reader on the side of the plate as an easier option.
Mobile Studio Pro 13 weighs like a normal laptop, almost one and a half kilograms. And then it doesn’t have a keyboard or mouse pad. That’s possibly what we feel we’re missing here, a dock to make a complete laptop out of. On the other hand, it would have been a bit impractical given the large format. What you can of course do is get a mouse and keyboard on usb or bluetooth and plug in. The device has three USB-C ports, through which it also charges the battery.
Questionable battery life
You may need to have the charger close at hand because the battery life really isn’t any better. It can handle just over an hour of intensive and processor-heavy work, and not much more if we drive carefully and dim the brightness of the screen. It’s also quite loud, with fans running and whining even when the hardware isn’t under excessive stress.
Software-wise, you get a simple Windows 10 Pro installation without unnecessary bloatware. Wacom’s own software for setting up the screen, pen and other special functions and a simple sketch program are pre-installed. If you get an account with Wacom and register your newly purchased tablet, you also get six months with the drawing program Adobe Fresco.
A tablet like this isn’t for everyone, but Wacom delivers quality for its target audience of ambitious creative professionals, and hobbyists with extra cash to burn. Since this is actually a solid PC, it can also replace an existing computer at home or in the office, and then the investment will not be as high if it were still time to replace it. Unfortunately, it is not possible to connect an external display directly to it, but there are dock solutions for such purposes. You can also run it as a touch and pen display for another computer if you would like.
However, its mobile capabilities are disappointing, with a screen only suitable for controlled indoor light and a battery life that won’t even last you an extended session with the tablet on your lap on the living room sofa.
Product name: Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13 (DTHW1321HK0B)
Tested: April 2020
Product type: Tablet PC with pen
Processor: Intel Core i7 8559U, 2.72 GHz quad core
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
Memory: 16 GB ddr4
Storage: 512 GB ssd, slot for sd card
Screen: 13 inch matte ips, 2560×1440 pixels, touch screen
Cameras: 1080p rear and front.
Connections: 3 usb 3.1 type c, headset
Wireless: Wi-Fi 5, bluetooth 5.0
Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
Miscellaneous: Pro Pen 2, 10 quick buttons, mountable stand, pen holder, TPM 2.0
Battery life: 1h 20min (high load), 3h 35min (low load)
Sound level: 0-42 dBa
Size: 43 x 33 x 0.85 cm
Weight: 1.44 kg
Rec. Award: approx. SEK 35,000
Award: SEK 29,990 at CDON.
Cinebench R20, cpu: 1,474 points
Geekbench 5, cpu: 3,898 points
Geekbench 5, gpu (OpenCL): 8,477 points
Disk, reading: 620 MB/s
Disk, search: 0.1 ms