iPad Pro needs "video in" (ie. cintiq)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by subjonas, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    (First, let me say, Astropad and Duet Display aren't what I'm looking for. See further down for explanation.)

    iPad Pro can almost be a portable Cintiq. Just needs a "video in" connection, probably USB-C. What do you think the chances are of an upcoming iteration of iPP receiving this?

    My full spiel...

    For those that don't know, Cintiqs are pen-input monitors made by Wacom. They are the design and animation industry standard and, in general, great devices.

    The problem is they have no competition, so their devices are quite bulky, not the best resolution, and extremely expensive. Not to mention, they don't run iOS/OSX in their tablets and PCs.

    iPad Pro DOES run iOS and hits those other areas, so it could be a wonderful portable Cintiq replacement (and Apple would undoubtedly take a large share away from Wacom), but in order to do so, Apple needs to build "video in" functionality into the iPad Pro, of course with Pencil support. If they did, it would be an Apple version of a Wacom device called the Cintiq Companion Hybrid. The CCH is an Android tablet with pen input (like a digital sketchbook), and when you plug it into a laptop on the go, using USB and HDMI, it becomes an external pen-input monitor for real work (and battery-powered as a bonus). It's a dream device in theory, except that it runs Android, it's thick, and weighs almost 4 lbs!! Needless to say, it didn't do so well with sales because of those reasons, plus it was a tad expensive. But an iPad Pro with the same functionality really would be the dream.

    Before people suggest Astropad or Duet Display, let me tell you why those apps won't work, at least in my case. First off, DD doesn't have pen input, so that's a non-starter. Astropad only mirrors; it doesn't do extended desktop, which is most times crucial for my workflow. Both apps have have at least partial lag, which is a no-go for professional work. Also in the times I do use only one monitor, Astropad still wouldn't usually be of help to me, because the only times I work with one monitor is when I literally don't have the space for two monitors (like on an airplane for example)--so if I were to use Astropad, I would need to close my MBP monitor (to enter clamshell mode) and use the iPad Pro on top of the MBP. But if I close the MBP, the iPad Pro wouldn't be recognized as an actual monitor and the MBP would go to sleep. (I suppose I could get something like Insomniax, but that's just another piece of software I have to run that I don't really want.) So all in all those apps don't help much with my needs.

    So I believe for the iPad Pro to truly be a Cintiq replacement, it needs a hardware change. It needs a "video in" connection... I'm thinking if Apple ever does this, USB-C would be the likely choice since it's small and multi-functional. Do you guys see a good chance of this happening in an upcoming iteration of iPP? Just interested in others' thoughts.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    That's the main point - you believe it to be a true replacement. I'm pretty sure Apple wasn't thinking that specifically or vertically. I doubt they'll add a port to compete against a single product or solution.

    Maybe Apple or someone else will create a component that interfaces with the Lightening port and give you what you want.
  3. upritbass macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2015
    You use a Cintiq on an airplane to do professional artwork? Dang, I'm impressed!
  4. subjonas, Mar 2, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016

    subjonas thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    I have had to work on a Cintiq companion 2 on an airplane a couple times. It sucked. Believe me, I'd rather be relaxing. :(

    Maybe I should reword. I don't believe it IS... I believe it WOULD be rad for professional digital artists. Right now the iPad pro and Pencil is a great digital sketchbook for pros and hobbyists alike. This additional functionality would also make it a great work tool for professionals who for the time being need to work in OS X. Whether it goes along with Apple strategy/ethos/vision for the iPP I don't know, but it seems like technically it's just within reach. So I think they should do it! But that's just one man's opinion.
    Sure, that would be great. An adapter of some sort would work for me, as long as it performs well. I just worry that the Lightning port, even with USB 3.0 support, doesn't allow enough bandwidth for all that video plus data, without lag issues. And as far as I know the smart connector has even less bandwidth than the Lightning port.

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