Apocalypse Incoming: Am I about to buy an iPad?

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by Shogmaster, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Alternatively, replacement/used Surface power supplies can be had for very little money - get 2-3 and leave them everywhere. You'll thank yourself. You can also get a USB->Surface cable/connector and use 3rd party battery packs as combo of AC ("Mains") power adapter and battery backup when there is no wired power available. Sorry too busy to link the products I refer to, but I've purchased all at one time or another.

    I'm about to give up on my iPad Mini5 for note taking because of the obnoxious noise of each screen tap, and I'm getting pretty close to rejoining the Surface brigade! Just curious: do you do much note-taking or mostly drawing with the pen, and if the former, are you having trouble adapting from EMR for writing? Personally I find MPP pretty much fine for handwriting, with the more important variable being the physical characteristics of the pen itself (weight, material, size, etc - having used several non-MS variants in past, though the current MS pen is quite comfortable for me.

    Seems like virtually all the artists in these parts have abandoned Surface/MPP entirely for iPads; Good to know you can use it to draw reasonably, if not first choice.

    EDIT: Never thought about this, but since these Surface power cable converters are now commonly available, reliable and not too costly, you should be able to easily dongle-up to USB-C. I'll be looking into that since I'm going back to Surface, probably, so will report in when I look into it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  2. zendragon

    zendragon Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Alright, I hate what I'm about to say but, I'm 80% convinced to get an iPad Pro instead of a new tablet PC. I have discovered I really only use my current tablet for art and occasional writing, web browsing, and reading pdfs. From what I've read, I can spend $1500-$2000 on something like a Yoga with AES 2.0 and still not get the same drawing experience of the iPad. All the other processing power and capabilities would just be overkill for what I do. Even with the excessively priced pen and a third party keyboard case, I'm still looking at less than 1300 for the 12.9 Pro with 256gb. I feel like, to get a similar drawing experience on a tablet pc, I'm looking at at least 3k for a Wacom emr device that won't even be as portable.

    Am I making the right choice or am I crazy? What am I going to hate going from never having even used an apple product to making it my main device? I use CSP for art on my PC and SketchBook on my Mate 20X, and since both are available on the iPad, I don't think I'll have too hard of a transition there. But I'm sure there are other things I haven't thought of. For those of you who have made the switch, what do you hate about it? Would you still make the same decision now?
     
  3. Lilawyn

    Lilawyn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I bought a 12.9" iPad Pro (2017 version) as a stop-gap after my Samsung Series 7 slate died last year. Before I made that purchase, I made sure to try out the Apple Pencil in-store. It wasn't too heavy for me (though I'll admit I got used to extremely heavy fountain pens over the years), but the whole process did feel weird to me in a way I couldn't quantify until later.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't try out any of the art apps I was going to use in-store. If I had, I think I wouldn't have purchased an iPad Pro. It's a very minority opinion among my artist friends, but I HATE Procreate. Not in a way where I'm going to rant at people who enjoy the program--I'm happy it exists and is fulfilling other people's art needs!--but it made the art creation process have just enough friction for me that it wasn't enjoyable to create art with it. In the month where my iPad Pro was my only pen-input device, I drew a grand total of 2 days with it.

    I then bought a Surface Pro 6 afterward, because I needed to get client work done, and it wasn't happening with the iPad. Once I had some hands-on experience with the iPad, I can see what I didn't think about when I was buying the iPad. Before I purchased the iPad, I didn't think about iOS was going to fit into my workflow when it was my only functioning pen device.

    First suggestion: head to a store that has them on display and give yourself at least 15 minutes of screentime with that pencil in your hand. For me, the pencil's weight wasn't a problem. But it was LONG and it felt terribly unbalanced in my hand. I also really disliked how I didn't get "feedback" from the screen through the nib. It felt like drawing with a charcoal stick, which was such an unusual and unpleasant feeling for me. I thought that this feeling would improve over time. For many people, this either wasn't an issue, or it did improve! For me, it didn't.

    Second suggestion: buy from a place that has a 15 to 30-day return policy. I purchased from a place that had 7 day returns. I didn't realize how unhappy I was going to be with the machine by the end of a month. On day 7, I was still VERY satisfied with the device. The longer the returns period, the better!

    Third suggestion: If you're 80% certain about the iPad, go ahead and buy the device! Really pay attention to your usage of the device while you have it. I couldn't test out how I'd react to the programs I was going to use on the iPad until I was attempting to use it in my creative workflow. I didn't notice how I was coming up with excuses to not draw for my clients' design projects until I was doing my monthly overview. But this is one of the reasons why I'll strongly urge you to buy the iPad if you feel 80% certain about it; you'll never be able to fully KNOW how the iPad will fit into your workflow until you can actually use one. Real world data (from how you feel about the pen to how to feel about the programs) can only come from using one, rather than going off of supposition and best- (or worst-) case guesses.

    So while I ultimately didn't like my iPad as a drawing device, I would definitely encourage you to get some hands-on time with one, however you can!
     
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  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I haven't tried a full conversion to iOS, but did kind of do an experiment last year going full mobile with Android.

    The art experience actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be without CSP (I used an app called ArtFlow as a replacement). If you're dedicated to switching, the entire workflow from sketching to final digital render is quite doable on mobile.

    But personally, after about 2 months of experimenting, I could never quite shake the feeling of being 'limited'. Constrained in the sense of never feeling quite in control of your files, especially when transferring files between apps; and feeling encumbered multitasking with the browser open while drawing. In general, any task involving multiple programs had just enough friction to make you want to reach for the PC.

    So my conclusion was the mobile sketchpad was great for doing single pieces of a workflow, but really annoying to trying to put it all together with.

    In the end, going back to a tablet PC really felt like a breath of fresh air. Personally, I decided it was worth the trade-off of worse battery life and portability just to feel fully in control of your files and most of all, easily multi-task⁠, for when you want to draw, organize reference files, and browse/research all at the same time.

    Hope that helps, and good luck with your new tablet! :thumbsup:
     
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  5. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    word....even with iPad OS and its ability to actually download files direct in the Safari browser, and work with Thumbdrives.....more often then not a problem I'm running into is randomly not being able to open the files in my app of choice. Like if I download a Comic Book CBR file in Safari....I ended up using two completely separate Comic Readers on the iPad......the reason being via the default files app.....it weirdly won't let me open the file with my preferred app......like it doesn't pop up on the suggested "open with app" list......and no amount of settings changed can get that app onto that list......then one day it will be there....and then the next its gone. Even with Sandisk and their lighting thumbdrives with Sandisk Apps to transfer files....it can be annoyingly difficult to sometimes get files to the app you want. It took me almost 10 minutes to get a video file to open up in VLC. On Windows or Android it would take seconds.
     
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  6. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I actually have to admit that I reach for the iPad more often than my tablet PC/ drawing monitor due to light weight and long battery life ( especially in winter when getting out of bed is much more difficult). I'm not happy with my pen performance though but it might have been my pen/iPad problem. The thing is both Procreate and Affinity photo perform horribly in my ipad (might just be me), and the only decent drawing app is CSP and Medibang. Medibang may lack some features but it's very close to desktop version, and CSP is best but it's subscription. So when buying the iPad, you should take into account subscription cost as well.

    Another thing other mentioned is the annoying file system.
     
  7. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    No one on this forum has been back and forth between devices, and between Windows, MacOS, and iOS, than I have.

    IT IS ALL ABOUT WORKFLOW.

    First - I love the size and weight of the iPad Pro 11, and with a back lit SmartKeyboard it would be nearly the perfect PC - IF it were a PC. That last one is the killer however - I don't want a "guess where it is" file system (even in iOS 13); I don't want anything less than Word and Excel's full features, as well as Adobe Acrobat Pro. In fact, if I HAD to be limited to only to a tablet then I would go back to Surface Go. This is not just an issue of "muscle memory" or refusal to work differently - in the business environment your business needs dictate your choice of device - you should not be forced to change your workflow to accommodate the device.

    @Marty and @darkmagistric both hit the nail on the head above - be honest with yourself and analyze your workflow to death before committing to the iPP - in a pinch it can work with a lot of extra thought and planning, but you CANNOT just pick it up and be anywhere near as productive a you will with your PC. Mine has been relegated to a great media consumption tablet and fun for couch surfing, but only Office work in a real jam or where I just didn't bring a PC.
     
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  8. zendragon

    zendragon Scribbler - Standard Member

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    These are great suggestions! I had already planned on getting some screen time with the apple pencil at a store. I hadn't thought of checking out the return policy. I planned on buying from Costco, who usually has great returns, but I'll check out if they have anything specific with Apple stuff. I'm not too worried about the art programs since it has the 2 I currently use if I don't like Procreate. But I am worried about usability in general. Though the quickness to start drawing intrigues me.

    This is definitely my biggest concern. I use my phone for my portable sketchbook now, and it's possible to finish out pieces, but feels limited. I've heard better things about art apps on IOS, and having CSP alone I hope will be less limiting.

    This is an interesting take. I had always heard drawing on the iPad was so much faster and seamless because you can just pick it up and start drawing. Can you not open files from within the app you want to work from? Or is this just for non-art stuff?

    What is it about the pen performance you don't like? I have an AES 1.0 pen, which has some jitter and lag, but is way better than the older ntrigs I've used. The thing I hate the most about it though is when the tip is off from the curser. It's not consistent so I don't feel confident in my strokes. I had heard Apple pencil is better than AES 2.0 for that type of accuracy. What would I be sacrificing for that?
     
  9. zendragon

    zendragon Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great point. This is not my work device. I have a laptop for that.

    My current work flow for my tablet is mostly drawing in spurts. I use my phone as an idea sketchbook, then once I have a sketch I want to flesh out, I pull it up on my tablet, or just redraw it in CSP having it pulled up on my phone as reference. Since I work full time and have 3 young kids, this is done on 1 hour lunch breaks and 30 minutes or so at home after the kids go to bed and occasionally longer on the weekends. When I have that time, I pull out my tablet pc, turn it on, enter my password, hope that CSP didn't close or my tablet restarted on me so the file is already open, and I get to work. And hopefully my pen kicks in right away. Sometimes it takes awhile before my tablet realizes I'm trying to draw. I don't switch between screens much. I use my phone for most of my references. I pretty much just draw. (or paint or whatever point I'm at in the piece).

    My pain points are the time it takes just to get started working, and the occasional pen issues that I feel like I'm reworking more than doing actual art sometimes. I'm sure a lot of that could be relieved with newer windows devices like the Surface X. I just don't know that I can do ntrig for art again. So now I have to figure out if the iPad file system will just be the same problem in a different package for my limited art time I have.
     
  10. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Could be defective with my Pencil or Ipad ( mine is the 2018 non-pro version), but in procreate i have horrible line hooking problem, in Affinity I get both line hooking and stray mark caused by bad palm rejection. I don't even think of CSP because it's subscription (a few hours free in iphone but Subscription only in ipad ). the only app anywhere close to desktop program and I can draw somewhat normally is Medibang, and it have cloud feature that is convenient to save on, then open it in Medibang PC to continue work on it when ipad feature feel limited.

    I don't have experience with AES, most devices I own is older EMR device, so I always just turn it off when not using rather than depend on sleep.
     

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