2-in-1s workstations similar to Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel (specs-wise)?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Viktoria, Nov 16, 2020.

  1. Viktoria

    Viktoria Pen Pal - Newbie

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    My search engine skills have failed me, so I have come here instead.

    For more context:
    I've had my eyes on the 7 Ezel for a while because I'm a laptop-only user and didn't have an amazing (or any) setup. Recently, though, I have finally switched and now basically use my current convertible (Asus Flip 15") as a monitor (flipped back) with an external keyboard.
    Since I now essentially have the "hinge" functionality just by having this setup, I am not certain the 7 Ezel is a must for me anymore (excluding the times I'd leave my setup). My current laptop isn't dead yet but it doesn't hurt to be prepared, it has spooked me a few times already.


    Now to answering the questions!

    1. What is your budget?
    ideally <=3000€, but ready for up to 4500€

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Maybe, if it was a really good deal.

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Convertible

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    Above 13-inches (ideally 15.6 or bigger)

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    Austria (or Germany)

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    Had Acers and Asus before

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    2 hours min would be nice but it's not important

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    Drawing / 3D modelling / Video Editing (Vegas, Adobe PR+AE, Davinci potentially) / Home Office Use (Remote Desktop) / Use as a "workstation" (external monitors, keyboard, etc.)

    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. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    Adobe programs, Blender/maybe Autodesk Maya in future, Clip Studio Paint (Illustrating software), basic office Stuff, maybe streaming alongside Drawing

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    No, at least not as enough of a focus to be relevant, maybe occasional lightweight game

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


    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    FHD or more

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    No, but I do have a window near my desk so sufficient brightness would be nice.

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    Yes. Pen! With pressure sensitivity. Tilt would be a nice-to-have. Wacom EMR (nice-to-have) or N-trig is fine.
    edit: if the included pen was rechargeable that would be a nice-to-have - if it was store-able and rechargeable in the device, that would be another bonus on top!


    Component Specifics
    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?

    • overall size: 1-2 TB - Hybrid welcome, if so main SSD 500GB+ would be ideal (the other disk can be a HDD too)
    • 16+ GB RAM
    • Components should be a upgrade from a NVIDIA GTX 1050 and an i7-8550U (I know, not hard)

    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?
    • HDMI out
    • Audio jack (mic+out combined welcome)
    • 3+ USB 3 ports
    • microUSB is okay
    • Thunderbolt 3 would be a nice-to-have

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?

    • Numpad would be nice-to-have (i do have an external keyboard so it wouldn't be a big deal)
    • matte screen very nice to have (or screen protectors that do it instead)

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    Feel free to recommend any future models that have been announced too! I'm basically just keeping my eyes out for when my faithful companion decides to die.

    Thank you in advance!
    - Viktoria
     
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  2. daddyfish

    daddyfish Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hi,

    Well if the type of hinge does not need to be ezel styled or such and Ntrig is acceptable than that opens lots doors so to say for potential laptops. On the other hand (as far as I know) if you go with EMR pen it does not need batteries so it does not need to be rechargeable. Considering you already have a 2-1 and seem to be more interested in possible future models and most of my suggestions are based on likely future versions of existing laptops.
    Most users here seem to prefer EMR over Ntrig. Personally I use my pen for simple sketching and some note taking and cannot really tell which I prefer but I do like the Ntrig pen (HP) more because it has 2 buttons.

    There are so many options available so I have not listed them all here, instead I picked mostly good bang for buck 15 inch 2-1 laptops and some odd but possibly interesting ducks:

    - Newer versions of Asus Zenbook 15 Flip (note Asus Zenbook offers like better build quality and better screen than Asus Vivobooks). I cannot judge about the quality etc and pen support but it seems like one of the better bang for buck 15 inch 2-1's if you value a decent video card. Might want to wait for a price discount (in my country in Europe this was the case). If you do upgrade I would advice a future model with a video card better than the nvidia 1650 otherwise the difference would be small. Acer Flip/Flex 15 seems very similar in this regard but Zenbooks have better design imo. :)

    - HP Spectre 14 inch (note 14 inch is the only model with a 3:2 screen). Good screen, good port selection (many ports and has thunderbolt support). I am not sure which video cards it support, I think only igpu's so probably adviced to wait ~1-2 generations before igpu's are on the level of the nvidia 1050.

    - HP Envy 15.6 inch. I have one of these with a MX150, pretty cheap laptop which still has many goodies like an ok gpu (but worse than nvidia 1050), decent cooling, pen support and metal build (sligthly sharp edges!) etc. I think they now ship with mx350's which are similar to nvidia 1050 I guess. No thunderbolt but does have good selection of ports otherwise. Pretty much my budget suggestion in this list.

    - Samsung Flex laptops (15 inch iirc). EMR pen support and low weight. Like Envy and Spectre wait for future generations for better video card. Not sure about Thunderbolt support.

    - The Acer ezel you mentioned. Beast of a laptop. On the pricey side but understandable.

    - Dell Inspiron 17 inch 2-1; only if you want a bigger screen I think.

    - Surface Pro X line: these support rechargeable Ntrig pens and low weight for a very nice 3:2 screen. But at the moment I do not think they yet support all your programs perfectly, in the future possibly though. Also current cpu/gpu are not yet worth it compared to your current laptop, but again might change in the future.
     
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  3. starllcraft

    starllcraft Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Conceptd 9 EMR pen is the most powerful EMR pen at present. It has two buttons + magnetic adsorption function. It should use the same generation technology as Samsung flex, and it should be fully compatible if you can buy a pen separately. The two keys on the pen can be customized through the "tablet Pro pen tool" of Microsoft app store.
    But it can only be purchased from small websites of some suppliers: https://www.zandparts.com/en/Acer-NC.23811.070
    If only someone had moved it to eBay or Amazon for sale
    I would recommend buying galaxybook flex with wacom emr technology; acer conceoeptd 7 ezel; acer conceoeptd 9
    Wacom emr technology can use the "wintab" protocol, which will ensure that you can run normally in most programs.
    The wacom EMR pen does not require charging. The Active capacitive pen needs to be charged. After a few years of charging cycle, the pen will break down due to the battery life. Wacom feel emr technology In terms of service life, even the wacom DTU Pen Display 20 years ago can be used normally
    The wacom has a minimum core of 0.7mm, which is at least one or two times smaller than that of Active capacitive pen, and the Damping of the pen is larger, and writing is more comfortable; the failure rate of pen is the lowest. Wacom EMR pen has been tested by artists for decades. This kind of active capacitance pen fault, Active capacitive pen will appear slow diagonal jitter, occasionally broken touch, afraid of water, easy to be disturbed by static electricity and temperature;
    In terms of suspension sensing distance cursor, wacom EMR is the strongest, with a sensing distance of 10 mm, and the tracking speed delay at the highest position of the cursor is also very low (Hover cursor follow function, such as in Photoshop can see the size of the brush, tilt direction and so on is very convenient , iPad OS does not support suspension sensing cursor, no comparison). I have used the MPP scheme of Microsoft, and the tracking height is only 5-6 mm, and the maximum delay is very high and the offset is serious.
     
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  4. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Do you intend to use the hinge as a means to draw? Or do you like the hinge for your everyday computing?

    It looks like we're both doing the same activities: drawing, 3D modeling, and video editing. So I'll post the current setup I'm using, which is an ASUS Rog with Ryzen and NVIDIA 2060. I have a Samsung tablet with EMR that runs an Android App called SuperDisplay. This app allows the tablet to run as an extended or mirrored Windows monitor, while also retaining the S-pen (EMR) functionality. It is like having a thin and light Cintiq.

    Why I've liked this setup compared to my previous EMR 2-in-1 solution: I can get a gaming laptop that has serious horsepower and discrete GPU (NVidia 2060, 2070 with 6 to 8 gig VRAM) for reasonable prices. Some of my apps really push the GPU hard, and your choices of EMR with strong GPU is limited. The Samsung tablet gives me an external monitor for extra screen real estate, it's been very handy for content creation. Plus I like how the tablet has very free form factor options for drawing... I can lay it flat on the desk, I can "hinge" it if I have the right case, I can cradle it in my hands or lap.
     
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  5. daddyfish

    daddyfish Scribbler - Standard Member

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    , in my experience my Wacom EMR pen shows noticeable offset somewhat near the edges of the screen. Could be related to slightly older digitizer maybe? (/2013 model) My Ntrig pen (2017/2018 model) shows no offset (at least not something I noticed). The tracking height might be true, never noticed it but will be interesting to try it out.
     
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  6. Viktoria

    Viktoria Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you for the replies!!

    Yeah I've been on the look-out on comparison sites and all that, but the currently available Zenbook Flip models aren't really an upgrade from me current one, sadly. And this one was such a good deal too (1700€ for 2TB space (Hybrid) and pen included, so I'm a bit reluctant to essentially downgrade for the same money or more)
    This generally counts for the HP models too, I just don't see any that really help me out here, except just waiting until they upgrade I suppose.

    And with Surface Pro, I just feel like if I want decent power, it's already up there with the 7 Ezel and at that point I might as well just invest in that.


    First off, thanks for that suggestion! I actually considered it for a short while too, just getting a tablet and using it as an additional device or monitor. My concerns with doing this however are
    - the reason I want a convertible is its portability. Now a tablet is also quite portable I can just sit down somewhere else in the apartment and could do my work there but, I don't really like android for bigger usage on its own, personally.
    - two devices. I don't wanna deal with file transfer, I wanna have all of my stuff in one place and if I have to sync between them or have my stuff scattered, that's annoying. So while I like the idea of just taking a tablet with me that I could also use on its own (if CSP would work on it), i don't know if it'd work longterm.
    - the screen is a bit too small for me personally. the biggest tablet I could find on the local samsung site is 10 inches - now if I want it to double as a monitor too, I'd want at least 13 inch. edit: i found 13 inch but for 600 bucks, idk if it's that much cheaper, especially since I'd need a pen too.
    - I've gotten really used to having a touch screen in my workflow. I think if that changed, i'd miss it, so the laptop would have to have a touchscreen too, and that probably narrows it down pretty heavily on its own. Plus I like being able to fold the device for a cleaner setup on the stand.
    - I just now realized there are two wacom protocols and the pen I have doesn't support EMR, it supports AES, so I suppose I would have to get a pen too - are there any selections of pen or will I have to use the one included with the EMR device? I just found a wacom business site but the preview stylus had buttons, so that's good (if there aren't buttons I'd actually prefer switching to AES or n-trig, but idk if there are tablets for that - the surface line aside. edit: just figured out that basically all their drawing tablets are EMR based so technically all of the pens should work on EMR devices?). Because for the Acer Ezel 7, that would be a big downgrade for me, because that included pen is THIN.
    I didn't actually know they were separate protocols. Guess if I'm getting an EMR device, it's time to sell my bamboo ink haha

    How does that work? I'd prefer if I could easily switch it from it's "monitor" setup to it's tablet setup, which for my current setup is basically just changing the pose of the laptop stand / foot I use, which is very handy and easy (and sort of why that Ezel functionality fascinated me because wow, it's comfy)

    I also worry because with that admittedly nice setup, I would essentially get two new devices, that I'm not sure I need. I already use another pen display (that I don't use anymore bc it sucks quite frankly) as a second monitor and my desk isn't big enough for a 3rd one. So I don't think that would be the most effective solution, but if you have any ideas about how I could do it, do let me know, because I like the concept! I'm just not entirely sure.

    On the other hand, a tablet is a lot cheaper of an investment and I can try the EMR tech in small scale with my current setup, since it still works. And when the time comes I can still switch to the Ezel if I want to - however, then I have a tablet I don't need or use so... Hm.

    I've realized the Ezel would still kind of improve my setup because I wouldn't even have to change the stand anymore, I could just pull the screen forward, and I've kind of gotten attached to the idea of getting it for quite some time, but if I can optimize it differently I'd prefer that.

    God I wrote an entire essay, I'm sorry haha. Thank you all for your inputs!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  7. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    @Viktoria I'm confused: what's the problem with the ConceptD 7 ezel that makes you look for something else?
     
  8. Montae Dean

    Montae Dean Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I made an account JUST to reply to this thread. Essentially what you're looking for if you want something cheaper than 7Ezel but with still exceptional specs, the 3 Ezel (yes, there is one) is probably the way to go. It sacrifices the EMR pen for an MPP, but since you're fine with it it's no big deal. While it's only FHD it has insane color accuracy. I give the ConceptD 3 Ezel a hard time everywhere I go, but it's still a much better deal than any Surface model.
    ALSO One thing to know about Wacom EMR pens that aren't part of their 1st party tablets/displays units is that they use the same protocol across the board. For instance, any S-pen from a Galaxy Tab will work on the ConceptD 7 Ezel.The 7 Ezel's pen will work on HP Zbook x2. The many EMR pens that Chromebooks have for some reason? Yep, you bet. They work. I like to use the one's under the same brand name though because I'm "old school." So if ou were to get the ConceptD 7 Ezel, the pen for the Acer Chromebook Spin would be a good first place to look. That said, you can get an S-pen for cheap anywhere. I got my S4 pen for $15 (new of course) to use on my Notebook 9 Pro. Sadly the hinges on it are terrible so I've been researching the ConceptD Ezel line too haha!

    In any case, for your budget the ConceptD 7 Ezel is easily the best deal. Here's hoping you haven't made your decision yet. Of course, if you want something you can carry around like your tablet, I can see the Suface being better for that need - the highest spec version at least. The new Lenovo 9i Yoga should be something to consider. It's an upgrade in all the check boxes and comes with a pen as well.
     
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  9. Viktoria

    Viktoria Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Curiosity and prize optimization, I suppose. A semi-powerful normal convertible would work for my purposes too, but something is always kind of missing for me personally. I also like the brought up additional tablet idea but I'm not sure I need a tablet on top of everything.

    Though, as I mentioned, if the only pen compatible with the 7 Ezel is the small one that comes with it - that is pretty much my problem. Only one button AND thin as hell? No. I know there's alternatives like the Lamy pen, but the 1 button still throws me off tbh...
    I hadn't really noticed that, so thank you a lot for pointing that out @daddyfish
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2020
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  10. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    It sounds like a 7 Ezel fits your specific ergonomic requirements and I can't wait for you to review for us :) It's an exciting piece of hardware and it's great to see it come out.

    To answer your questions:
    - My setup was chosen for portability, so I could do discrete GPU enabled work out of the house. The Asus ROG and Samsung tablet combined still weigh 1 pound less than the ConceptD 7 Ezel. Prior to Covid, I was a frequent flier who strictly abides by one-backpack travel, and I couldn't stand having a laptop over 4 lbs.
    - There is no file transfer. SuperDisplay turns the tablet solely into a 2nd monitor with pen support. It's extending Windows on it. In fact, I use no other apps loaded on the tablet, it's strictly a monitor for me. The laptop, tablet, and my phone all use the same compact GaN charger, so I don't feel like I'm weighed down by gear.
    - How my switching works... the tablet's cover case doubles as a foldable stand like you see on many iPads. I prop it up next to my laptop when in 'monitor' mode. When I want to draw, I basically pick it up and fold the cover over like a paperback book. I find this far easier than having to flip a 2-in-1 hinge over on a laptop. (Granted, I prefer to draw on something laying flat versus on an easel) I also like having two displays when I draw, my main laptop could have reference images or retain the view of the 3d modeling app while the tablet could fire up photoshop for texture mapping. The other thing I've realized I liked is that my keyboard stays accessible while I'm drawing, so I can still press hot keys... I couldn't do that with my previous 2-in-1. Now having said that... the 7 Ezel's novel hinge design gets around many of my specific issues. But for my particular animation workflow, I feel there is no going back from a 2 monitor setup.

    No need to be sorry about your "essay". I find it fun to read everyone's thought process on this.
     
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