15" convertible for 3D design

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Martinn, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Martinn

    Martinn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    $2k. No hard limit though.
    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    No
    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Windows 10 convertible
    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    • 5 to7-inches
    • 7.1 to 10-inches
    • 10 to 13-inches
    • Above 13-inches
    I'd prefer 15". Bigger would be interesting, but seems too heavy.

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    Switzerland

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    No

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    Not important. Will be close to power outlet mostly.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    1. 3D sculpting in ZBrush: Using pen only in tablet mode, design some cool creatures while sitting on the balcony.
    2. 3D mechanical design with Alibre Design


    9. Do you have an OS preference? For example, do you own an iPhone and a Mac, or are you a Windows fan? Do you own an Android device and use Google services frequently?
    Windows 10

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    See 9

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    No

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    No

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    I'd really appreciate your advice here. ZBrush can handle 4K displays, Alibre currently doesn't, but high DPI might be implemented in the future. So for now, Full HD would be on the safe side but when I look at my iPad pro, a high resolution screen just looks gorgeous. I often read reports of users having problem with high DPI screens, but on the other hand I am not sure if a FHD screen would be a bit too backwards-oriented.

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    It would be nice if I could use it on the (shaded) balcony.

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    Yes, very important! ZBrushing definitely needs a precise pen. On my desktop I have a Wacom tablet (EMR), so the pen should be good. Not too much jitter or lag. Tilt support not required.


    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    Memory: ZBrush needs at least 16GB RAM. SSD hard drive (not critical I think).


    2. What sort of inputs do you require, if any? Would you like full-sized USB and SD card slots? Are microUSB and microSD ok? Do you require HDMI inputs?
    Nothing specific. Full sized USB would be nice.

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    Should be silent. No siren fans. No coil whine. No flickering PWM. No crap TN screen.
    Should be reasonably lightweight.

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    Most important item: ZBrush needs A LOT of CPU power. Often I have my desktop (i7-8700K) running full steam on all cores, so a quadcore is a must.
    Zbrush is CPU only, so a discrete GPU is not necessary. Alibre would run on a modern integrated graphics as well.


    After reading many reviews, I think the Lenovo 720 15" fits best. The AES digitizer seems decent and the processor has enough power. What I don't like is that the CPU feels outdated - an i7-8550U would have the same performance with 15W TDP instead of 45W. Well, reviews say the fans are silent and battery life is not really an issue, but I have the impression that I buy a dinosaur age CPU with a 7th gen i7. Not sure if we can count on an update... CES has passed without one.
    Also display: FHD seems the conservative choice, but high DPI (4K option) would look nice. What problems are there with 4K displays on a Windows 10 laptop?
    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks for your help! - Martin
     
  2. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    The list of machines you can pick from is relatively small, but its still better picking than we had 6 years ago.

    -Lenovo 720 15"
    -Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16"
    -Vaio Canvas (best CPU out of the list, full voltage quad core!)
    -HP ZBook X2
    -Acer Switch 7
     
  3. Martinn

    Martinn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the interesting list! The Acer Switch 7 might be an interesting variant I did not have on my radar. A bit small, but Wacom EMR - nice. Also a bit on the expensive side.

    Regarding the Yoga 720 15: I wonder if they add the new Coffee Lake hexacore processor not too far in the future. Also, golem.de reported that there will soon be a Yoga 720 15 with Nvidia 1050 Ti MaxQ (lower power GTX 1050).

    Anyway I am wondering if sofa-zbrushing could work - ZBrush needs a number of keys (Alt, Shift, Ctrl); some of them with pen down (curve trim brush: tap alt while drawing to add an edge) which does not seem to work with an on-screen-keyboard.

    - Martin
     
  4. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    @Martinn you can get e.g. a Bluetooth gamepad and remap it, to use like Wacom Express Key Remote.
     
  5. Martinn

    Martinn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yes, I had this in mind also. What I am wondering is if with extra keypad (like Expresskey) the whole setup is still sofa-compatible? The whole point of a 2-in-1 notepad is that one could use this in tablet mode for relaxed sketching on sofa, balcony... But I guess that if you need an extra keypad, then this gets more difficult and you probably need a table anyway. But if you are there, you can just take any regular notebook and connect your tablet to it.

    So, Yoga 720-15 plus Bamboo ink, gamepad or expresskey and ZBrush work technically. The question is - is this fun to use or is it that unwieldy that this is more a theoretical possibility than a useful setup? Any personal experiences on that?

    Thanks a lot, Martin
     
  6. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    $10 Android BT "VR" controller has lot less buttons to map then Wacom Express Key Remote, but I find the much better ergonomics makes it a way better user experience.
     
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  7. Starlight5

    Starlight5 So what if I'm crazy? The best people are.

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    @Martinn if you don't need many buttons, consider this one.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Martinn

    Martinn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I don't know yet how many buttons I need, but a cheap gamepad would be an easy experiment. Big advantage over Wacom Expresskeys would be it doesn't need a dongle.

    I have to admit I am still not confident if 15" is the way to go. Mobility would be better with 13" (although this is not top priority). But if I think loudly...

    What would you recommend for the same requirements as above, but 13"? If I enter the following criteria
    -13"
    -FHD
    -i7 8gen
    -16 GB
    - Pen support

    the digitec.ch search gives me:
    • ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX370UA-C4201T (13.30", Full HD, Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB, SSD)
    • (HP Spectre 13-af090nz (13.30", Full HD, Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB, SSD))
    • ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UX461UN-E1066T (14", Full HD, Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB, SSD)
    • ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX370UA-C4202T (13.30", Full HD, Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB, SSD)
    The Spectre looks nice, I wonder how it compares to the Zenbook Flip S and the Yoga 720-15... Any opinions?
    EDIT the Spectre is not a convertible... leaving the Zenbook Flip S (Zenbook 14 is already much heavier).

    Tanks, Martin
     
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