As to the pen and holder, it's the same as with the Wacom Cintiq 21UX and Intuos 4, meaning you get 2,048 pressure levels, angle and tilt sensitivity, a rocker switch and pressure-sensitive eraser, as well as a selection of nibs stored in the holder. For more details, you should check out our Intuos 4 review.
Suffice to say, drawing on the 24HD is as close as you can get to drawing on paper while actually drawing on a digital display. The added ergonomics make the experience even more comfortable and flexible than on the 21UX (though you can no longer rotate the screen). The only possible downside is that the glass feels slightly smoother, giving less friction than its smaller sibling.
When it comes to the actual screen, improvements are significant. We're dealing with a 24in, 1,920 x 1,200 (16:10) IPS panel here, and though we would have loved to have seen a 27in 2,560 x 1,440 version, it's more than usable as a primary display. Not only did colour vividness and contrast appear to have improved over the 21UX (as far as we were able to assess in our brief hands-on time), but the 24HD caters to those who want an extended colour space too, offering 92 percent of Adobe RGB (the 21UX only offered 72 percent, making it an SRGB-only screen).
Connectivity is also significantly improved. The 21UX had a big, unwieldy cable that was fixed to the back, and terminated in power, USB data and DVI video plugs. If your cable became damaged, your tablet was basically unusable. The 24HD has removable cables that are threaded through the hollow arms and channels in the base to come neatly out of its rear. Both DVI and DisplayPort are offered simultaneously so you can connect two machines out of the box, and you can just use standard cables like with any ordinary monitor.
The best news of all is that, compared to the 21UX, pricing on the bigger and better model is eminently reasonable, and Wacom has improved the warranty to boot. The 24HD can be yours for a 'mere' £1999, which is only around £200 more than its lesser sibling, and includes a three-year onsite warranty.
While we're reserving judgement till the full review, our first impressions are that Wacom has ironed out all our concerns and niggles about the previous top-end Cintiq to make for a compelling all-round professional product that simply has no rivals. The Cintiq 24HD will start shipping towards the end of the September.