13.3" and 15" Envy X2 with... (drumroll) Synaptics!

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by Marty, Sep 7, 2014.

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  1. SchecterRocker

    SchecterRocker Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Quick update:

    Best Buy has unexpectedly cancelled my HP Stylus order, saying the stylus is "unavailable". Whatever that means. Frustrating. Guess I'm headed to the HP website to order one. Who knows, probably could be another week or two before I get one.
     
  2. eaglestar

    eaglestar Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Almost reminds me the story with old Envy X2 (11,6") and alleged active pen support. Hope this will have happy ending and HP will really sell it's own stylus so we don't have to rely on other's party pens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  3. SchecterRocker

    SchecterRocker Pen Pal - Newbie

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    In a weird twist, I checked my local Best Buy's stock, and they now have both the Envy x2 15" and the stylus in stock. So I picked one up today. I made a video review of my thoughts here, so hopefully this will help anybody else who had no idea what the stylus performance was like.




    EDIT 1: YouTube didn't load up the 1080p version....hopefully it gets encoded soon.

    EDIT 2: 1080p 60fps version is up!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nice review Schecter,

    To answer your question, ClipStudioPaint does have line smoothing algorithm (like most art apps). However, CSP is optimized for both Wacom and N-Trig (unlike most art apps), so it makes a good reference point for comparing digitizer performance. It's just too bad you couldn't do a side-by-side with a Wacom digitizer. Somebody give him an old Wacom tablet! :p

    I also noticed there seemed to be difficulty varying pressure in CSP with both pens. If you go File -> Pen Pressure Settings, could you try to tweak the curve so you can get a smooth variation from very light to dark (or small to large)? OneNote seemed to have tad better pressure response, but it doesn't have an adjustable pressure curve.
     
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  5. SchecterRocker

    SchecterRocker Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I tried playing around with the pressure curve settings a little bit, but CSP seems to only take two states from the stylus: writing, or not writing at all. I can't get any kind of pressure sensitivity out of it. Weird.

    Does anybody know if there are some kind of universal unofficial drivers or something to adjust the pressure sensitivity across all Windows programs (especially OneNote)? It works fine for my use, but it would be nicer if I had better control over pressure.
     
  6. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Make sure you aren't using the marker tool in CSP (one mode of the pen tool). Switch to pencil and you should be able to see thin to thick variation, or the brush tool which should show light to dark variation.

    Unfortunately, only Wacom and N-Trig have a universal pressure calibration tool right now. :(
     
  7. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thank-you for putting up the video! It is the very first on the internet by an actual owner, and it also focuses on art software. Usually it takes for freakin' ever before somebody pulls up Clip Studio Paint for a demo!

    Synaptics is definitely looking a lot better what I'd expected/seen from descriptions of previous incarnations, and is obviously really solid for note-taking. I don't see it, however, catching on with artists until the pressure sensitivity is better tuned. It appears that pressure response is tied to a large degree to the stylus model, so perhaps a more satisfying solution isn't far off. (Or maybe, as Marty suggested, CSP wasn't running in pencil mode?).

    Though.., I have to say, the time lag between physical stylus action and the cursor/stroke response is noticeably more pronounced than Wacom's Penabled system. -And to think that I used to harp on Wacom for the odd drifty quality of the cursor tracking on my TPC. -But when actually laying down lines in Photoshop or other art software, Wacom is remarkably intuitive and brisk; really solid and reliable for drawing and inking. The actual delay between action and ink is very close to nil. Amazingly, even after ten years, nobody has surpassed Wacom yet in this department, at least in the tablet market. (Huion and Yiynova seem to have made some decent desktop studio machines).

    Maybe some tweaks to the driver will make a difference, but at the moment, it looks like I'll be drawing on my Tecra for a while yet. Good thing most of my work can be handled by it. It's just these bigger projects which come along from time to time that I'd enjoy having a better workhorse for. (I'd sure appreciate a little more Clydesdale and a little less mule). I'll have to do my Big Stuff in the home studio. No huge loss, but I was rather looking forward to more muscle and less bulk to carry around in my backpack.
     
  8. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I noticed the stroke delay as well, but I think this is probably a driver issue. The reason is because the hover delay is minimal. Digitizers have two polling rates, one for hover and one for contact, with the contact one obviously set higher. For some reason this isn't happening with the Synaptics driver.

    Again this could also be an issue with the tip assembly and how the signal is being sent, but overall this looks promising...

    From reading artists reviews, I thought people are saying the UC Logic digitizers actually had very responsive stroke performance (with even better initial pressure response than Wacom). The only problem was occasional tracking "jumps" that was supposedly fixed with V2 of the UC Logic digitizer.
     
  9. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, UC Logic boards seem quite good. That's what Yiynova uses in their gear.

    I'd like to see UC Logic boards used in tablet PCs at some point, but it hasn't happened yet to my knowledge.

    This industry has been really quick to produce a veritable landslide of tablets, but really slow to pick up on what seems to be fairly obvious, at least to folks on this board.

    I'd like to think that there are complicated factors we just don't know about guiding the decisions of the design teams, but I kind of suspect it's simply that they don't care as much as those of us who actually have a vested interest in artist-worthy equipment. (A diplomatic way of saying, "We're smarter than they are.")
     
  10. SchecterRocker

    SchecterRocker Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I just tried a few of the different pencil tools while changing Pen Pressure Settings, and I am still not getting any variation in the pen input. Potentially I'm just completely ignorant of some obvious settings or something.
     
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