Some products seem to have a part of two that’s pretty much guaranteed to end up dying on you. In the case of the 2015-vintage Wacom Cintiq Companion 2, this turns out to be the so-called Athena chip, which switches the display input between the HDMI port and internal display controller. This allows for use in both standalone mode (tablet), as well as companion mode, where it acts as a drawing tablet for a connected PC. When confronted with such a faulty device, [neutrino] found and applied a simple fix: bypassing the Athena chip altogether.
This fix is recommended by the Repair Preservation Group’s wiki page on the topic, noting that this will permanently disable its use as an external display without additional repairs to recreate the functionality of the removed chip. This STDP9320 (PDF) part by ST Microelectronics is described as a ‘Premium high resolution multimedia monitor controller with 3D video’ and contains a wide range of video scalers, a HDMI receiver, DisplayPort (including embedded DP) support. With this fix, the Cintiq Companion 2’s Intel CPU’s graphics core is directly connected to the display’s eDP input, along with a range of voltages and enable pins.
What the exact reason is for the STDP9320 dying after a few years with what appears to be some kind of internal power failure or short, but this bypass fix at least restores standalone functionality. Sourcing a replacement for this obsolete IC seems possible, but a big gamble. Sadly, it would seem that this Wacom device will no longer be a companion for much longer.
Wacom, purveyors of fine pen tablets for digital artists, basically have two product lines of pen tablets. The first, Intuos, is a great pen tablet that give an artist the ability to turn a computer into a virtual dead tree notebook. The second product line, the Cintiq, takes the same technology and adds an LCD to the mix, effectively turning a drawing tablet into a second display. [Bumhee] wanted a Cintiq, but didn’t want to pay the Cintiq price, leading him to install a display in his old Intuos tablet. It’s an amazingly simple build, making us think we’ll be seeing a few derivatives of his work in the future.
The display [Bumhee] used for this modification is a Retina display from an iPad. With the right adapter, you can easily connect one of these displays to a computer, giving you a very thin 2048×1536 9.7″ display. The initial tests to see if this mod would work on his tablet – removing the metal shield on the display, placing it on the tablet, and drawing – were a success, giving [Bumhee] the confidence to irreparably modify his tablet.
From there, the modification was a simple matter of cutting up the enclosure of the tablet, installing the display with a few screws, and installing a piece of glass over the display. Very easy, and it’s just about the only way you’re going to get a pen tablet with a small, high-resolution display for less than a thousand dollars.
Thanks [David] for sending this one in.
[Lesa Wright] just started selling enclosure kits used to convert a Wacom tabet into a Cintiq clone. You need to start with your own Wacom tablet, there are kits for four different models. You’ll also need to track down some other parts: a compatible laptop LCD screen, controller kit, and some cable extenders. From there, the kit takes over, with several pieces of laser-cut acrylic needing to be glued together properly, then a surprising number of spacers need to be cut from foam board in order to mount everything..
The kits come in at around $225. That might seem a bit steep since you need to bring your own electronics to the party, but have you checked out the price of the original Cintiq? You can expect to drop about twelve-hundred bones on a ready-to-use model. Before you take the dive, you should watch their collection of assembly videos, it’s quite a process.
Our fascination with multitouch is fairly well known, but it expands even further to cover all sorts of man machine interaction. Embedded above is a tech demo of g-speak, a spatial operating environment. The user combines gestures and spatial location to interact with on screen objects. If it seems familiar, it’s because one of the company’s founders advised on Minority Report. We doubt all this hand waving is going to catch on very quickly though. Our bet is on someone developing a multitouch Cintiq style device for people to use as a secondary monitor. It would bridge the gap between between our standard 2D interactions and gestures without making a full leap to 3D metaphors.
[via Create Digital Motion]
Macintosh makes a lot of wonderful pieces of technology, but they do not make a tablet. Pictured above is the Modbook, the closest you can currently get to a Mac tablet. Though not officially built by Apple, they are an Apple Premier Developer and that isn’t too shabby.
Several people have taken it upon themselves to fashion Mac tablets of their own, varying from extremely professional looking finishes down to duct tape and wire. Lets take a look at some of the more popular ones out there.
Continue reading “Mac Tablets Made By Fans”