Wacom MobileStudio Pro

innovation is by far the most important starting point for design concepts. the pen tablet workstation is enhancing mobility in the daily work of creative professionals and actually in the market in its 4th generation.

Role strategy, design, pen, stand, soft case, packaging
Team Volker Huebner (strategy, ID lead),
Mikko Thewes (ID, packaging),
Giles Mitchell (soft case)
Company Wacom, 2016–2018

“What if…” might be the starting point of many questions to seek for new innovative solutions aiming to solve issues or provide new opportunities for customers.
Wacom MobileStudio Pro is the innovative Creative Pen & Touch Tablet PC workstation for professional creatives enhancing their mobility and freedom to create where ever they want to with the best in class digital pen experience on the go.
In 2010 the journey started with “what if we combine a notebook with a Wacom Cintiq display” to create a powerful pen tablet PC which brings a never before seen mobility and flexibitity to creative professionals.
Meanwhile the further enhanced Wacom MobileStudio Pro pen computer is available in its 4th generation.

The workspace is designed to speed up the creative workflow with express keys and the versatile touch-click wheel to make adjustments on the digital tools as quick as possible. the fine etched glass surface provide a pen on paper feeling as natural as possible with nearly no distracting environment reflections. A super slim but sturdy detachable multiple angle stand, a customized protection sleeve and the ProPen tube case provides everything the user needs to carry around their creative studio where ever they are.

Red Dot Award 2017, iF award 2017

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Mike Jelinek,
artist, designer and researcher

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“There is a particular temptation to use MobileStudio Pro only for its superior pen input. However, MobileStudio Pro’s true beauty lies in its near-to desktop performance wrapped in tablet form factor. It allows me to fulfill most of my creative needs while sitting on the sofa in my living room: from gestural sketching up to concept 3d modeling with MOI3d or zBrush, Keyshot rendering, and final overpainting and compositing with Affinity Photo.”

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out of box experience

When opening the package the first you see is directly your new precious device and the pen. We designed the top paper cushion to be glued to the box top case, so you do not need to take away anything which might cover the hero. After taking out the device you get layer by layer to the accesories shipped with the product. All arranged in a paper tray to make the gift box packaging as sustainable as possible. Additionally we added a separate cardboard box for the AC cables to make it easy to customize the cables for each region in the world easily and avoid that customers need to trash not needed cables.
Just the wrapping of each part in OVP foil is still to be improved to become a plastic free packaging.

materials and processes

Wacom MobileStudio Pro has a CNC-milled aluminum unibody with a bead blasted and black anodized surface giving the tablet its premium finish as an outstanding product. But there are more reasons to use an aluminum unibody. The most obvious one is to achive a slim and light weight design which is rigid and sturdy for the everyday use on the go. But there are more good reasons: the unibody design reduces assembly as well as tolerances and the high accuracy contributes to the premium impression.

The aluminum body design has developed from the first generation, the Cintiq Companion in 2013 starting with a stamped and sharp deep drawn, silvergrey anodized aluminum compound with a sturdy magnesium frame inside followed by a very fine and only 0.8mm thin aluminum die-cast housing of the Cintiq Companion 2 to the final CNC-milled aluminum unibody of the 3rd and 4th generation, the MobileStudio Pro.

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soft case design

For the Wacom MobileStudio Pro a case has been designed tailored to fit each size 13" and 16" perfectly. Beside protecting the device it has an extra compartment designed to always store the pen case as well as the power adapter and cable but also some other stuff the artists might need when carrying around their mobile creative studio to where ever they want. A nice grey fabric, durable and water-resistant, plus a big zipper to protect the device as best as possible.

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Role Innovation, UX & Design
Team Volker Huebner
Company Wacom, 2010–2011

the m°pad concept

“What if we combine a notebook with a Wacom Cintiq display?” has been the starting point in 2010 to concept a powerful pen tablet PC which brings never before seen mobility and flexibitity to creative professionals optimizing their daily work. Digital development tools are an integral part of design processes, but up to then artists had been bound to their desks working on their heavy Cintiq pen displays connected by multiple cables with the computer. This innovative concept of a creative Pen & Touch Tablet PC called "m°pad" contained a lot of ideas and detail solutions which later found their way to the product called Wacom Cintiq Companion.

It combines the advantages of intuitive multi-touch operation with the precision of a pressure-sensitive pen on a large 15.6″ OLED display. The workspace is designed to speed up the creative workflow with a lot of express keys and a very versatile click wheel for adjustments on the digital tools and as 3D controller. Foldable feet and an integrated turntable to quickly bring the tablet in the best position for every stroke. The pen is stored in an integrated file drawer. So the user always has everything on hand with this powerful tool on the go.

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The side panel arranges important and frequently used keyboard commands next to the 15.6 “OLED display: nine fixed buttons, such as escape, alt, control, shift, etc., and lined up above and below the fixed buttons are two programmable button rockers with small e-ink displays that shift form and function based on context, so 24 shortcuts can be used for each software application and features can be assigned individually to them. A multi-functional scroll wheel in the center finally completes the intuitive control in fast 2D navigation, tool adjustments and optional converts to a 3D space mouse by unlocking the knob by a push-push mechanism. It’s designed so that one hand manipulates the stylus and touchscreen while one works with the panel on the side.

For improved ergonomics the design also included kickstands on both sides so it’s equally ergonomic for lefties by simply rotating the board 180 degrees. Beside inclining the device at 15 degrees the integrated ball-bearing hub enables quick and always optimal alignment of the board for drawing and character work. Coming with a wide range of USB, Ethernet, firewire connections it provided an extraordinary all-in-one computing experience. It measured just 430x280mm with 25mm in thickness. Pretty flat 10 years ago...

Image credits: Wacom, Volker Huebner