Artist looking for a work tablet to draw & animate with.

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Jakten, May 26, 2020.

  1. Jakten

    Jakten Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?

    - Around $2000 CAD, can go a bit higher but not much. Still open t suggestions slightly higher.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?

    - Refurbished sure, used maybe.

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

    - and but more likely Tablet PC or Notebook convertible.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?

    - 10-inch plus, 13+ is best.

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

    - Canada

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?

    - No but I would like the device to run windows.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?

    - I’m not sure what’s standard but maybe like 4-6 hours?

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)

    - Drawing, Animating, 3D, maybe some sort of video editing.

    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 as I would like to use Windows programs.

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

    - Krita, Blender Sculpting, maybe Photoshop, potentially Unity. Maybe eventually some better 2D animation software like Toon Boom or Pencil 2D.

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.

    - Likely less intense stuff like indie games or emulators. Would be nice if I could run Dark Souls even if on lowest settings. Since I make games as a job it would be nice to be able to test the game so middle range maybe.

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?

    - Yes, movies and games.

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?

    - As good as I can get, probably 1080p as the lowest.

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    - I probably would but it’s not a huge priority.

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    - Wacom is preferred.

    Component Specifics

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

    - Any size is fine as long as it’s expandable. Maybe 256GB as a base. Atleast 1TB if not expandable.

    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?

    - All of the above I guess, Full-size USB is probably best to have and I would like to hook to a TV. Atleast one MicroSD especially if a smaller hard drive.

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

    - Internal Bluetooth would be good, I’m not sure how common that is. Also maybe a headphone jack would be nice too but not necessary.

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?

    - I’ve been looking at the Lenovo c940 i7 16Gb Ram for about $2K CAD but I saw a thread here recently that said there may be some pen jitter. It’s not horrible jitter but I would prefer no jitter if possible. Also as good of pressure sensitivity as I can get. Also maybe good palm cancelling so that I can rest my hand while drawing.
     
  2. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    If drawing is your first and most important task you wish to use this for you probably want to stick to devices with Wacom EMR (they won't have the jitter you mention and handle pressure curve much better), but if you are doing a lot of 3D tasks and drawing is secondary, then you could open up your options a LOT by considering Wacom AES penabled devices like the one you mention (the Lenovo C940 15" has a lot more 3D capability with its dedicated GPU than the 14"), there are MANY 2 in 1 devices out there now that offer Ntrig or Wacom AES (at least in contrast to the EMR selection) .

    For EMR, one of the best options you could find right now would be in the HP Zbook X2 canvas, which you could find refurbed for a pretty decent deal now I think. It has decent power and EMR and is generally well favored among artists here. It's a bit smaller than your preferred size though, at 12.something inches.

    The other option to consider would be the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 15" also with Wacom EMR (watch out for variants with the Wacom AES though)

    Beyond that, anything with Wacom EMR starts to get quite a bit less powerful and smaller unless we bump your budget up 3x for something like the Acer Concept D9 (the dream device according to your use case and wish list). If you are willing to consider AES pens (they are certainly the next best choice) then hopefully someone here will chime in with which ones are best-- I don't really keep up with them as much.
     
  3. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Correction - The zBook x2 has a 14-inch display. But when you couple the bezel and express keys the overall device is in the 15/16 size class. Size wise its the same relative footprint as the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13inch (which has bigger bezels).

    But I concur.....the Zbook would a great tablet for any creative professional. But it is very big/heavy and short on battery life (2-3 hours). But if you plan to hook multiple monitors up to it....its kind of gold in that regard given its ports and bluetooth keyboard. And you get Express keys and a Wacom EMR Pen so it has alot of pros.

    Compared to the c940, despite them having the same screen size, the zbooks bezels will make it look significantly larger then the c940, so prepare yourself for that.

    Now it does have a 2GB Quadro graphics card, but its kind of low end all things considered, and Quadros aren't meant for gamin, but the C940 only has 10th gen Iris, so the Zbook would still have an edge in graphics. But both have Thunderbolt 3 so you can get an eGPU down the line if you need more graphics power for gaming or 3D.
     
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  4. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    People are selling their old Samsung 2-in-1 Notebook 9 Pros in order upgrade to the new Flex.

    I know I was considering doing the same, but figured there's no real need. Mine is in near perfect condition and I'd still be spending at least $1500.

    Now's a good time to scoop one and it's well within your budget. A simply fantastic computer:

    https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Samsung-Not...084935?hash=item1a95e6ddc7:g:U7EAAOSwRv1ek3iU

    There's a few of them on eBay right now in the $1300 CAD price range.

    EMR Pen
    15" screen
    16 Gigs Ram and user-upgradeable SSD.

    I really like mine and I do tons of work on it. The only downside is the battery life is about half what it was when I got it in 2017. I get about 2 hours out of it now when I'm away from a wall socket and working on heavy files.

    The other option is to get somebody in the U.S. to buy you a new Flex from BestBuy and have them ship it to you. (That's how I got my N9P originally.)

    It's just about within your budget and brand spanking new. The only downside is you only get 12Gb of soldered memory. That might be a bit tight for animation.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  5. Dekus

    Dekus Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have the HP zBook X2. It has an i7, 16Gb ram, 512Gb M.2, nVidia Quadro GPU, 100% Adobe RGB matte screen, Wacom EMR with a pen that is close to the Intuos wacom pens.

    And I have a love-hate relationship with it :D

    All the specs are amazing and the screen and pen are superb. But it's insanely heavy.. and it's a tablet. So the keyboard is just a flippy-flappy thing that attaches to it. So it is impossible to use anywhere else other than on a table. Completely metallic to a military standard it reads on the paper.
    And the battery will last for like 2-3 hours at max. eh..
    oh and it costs 2500USD :)

    Now I am looking to sell it and get the blue Notebook 9 Pen. So far it seems to be the best option for me personally that there is on the market.
     
  6. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    for using it in laptop mode yes, the kickstand/keyboard cover form factor wasn’t really designed with lapability in mind. but for using it on your lap for drawing or watching videos, you could always attach the keyboard cover on backwards.
     
  7. Dekus

    Dekus Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yeaa it's just that I personally feel that I'm much faster with keyboard shortcuts in applications than with the programmable buttons. I never remember which one of them was what and I press on the button that changes the led dot a ton of times.
    Before this I had the Fujitsu T5010 and I had it on my lap with one hand on keyboard and other hand painting away. I used it a lot lot more than this HP now.
     
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  8. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    oops! thanks for the correction.
    a small note to clarify as well, the C940 15" does have dedicated GPU: GTX 1650 Max-Q. The 14" is just the onboard IRIS like you say.
     
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  9. Jakten

    Jakten Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! The Z-Book x2 seems quite nice but most of what I am finding for sale is on the higher price end so I think I might go with the Samsung Notebook Pro. I like that it seems to be lighter as well but the removable keyboard on the zBook is pretty nice too. Hopefully the Samsung works out well!

    Thanks for the suggestion and for updating this to another listing too. I was sad that the previous one timed out.

    I was also wondering if anyone knows how the stylus that comes with it is or if it is worth it to get a better one. I’m not really sure about styluses either.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    The mini-stylus which comes built in is really useful; I don't think I've used the actual touchpad for more than 5 whole minutes since I bought the computer. However, it's not a great pen for drawing with since it's so small. They call it a 'toothpick' for a reason. There are a number of options available for alternative pens (which you have to carry separately).

    I use this one:

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07D36PTCH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It's really nice. I have two of them just in case I lose the first one and they're no longer available, (which hasn't happened yet in either case.)

    This stylus is also very popular, (though I've never tried it):
    https://www.amazon.ca/LAPICES-ESPEC...PFJ55QGCM5G&psc=1&refRID=7JXBS31QHPFJ55QGCM5G

    -Oh, you also have to run a sort of hack to get the pen button to work properly. Samsung's native software expects people to only want to use the pen for dumb-assery and other nonsense. Luckily, there are a couple of ways to get it working properly with art programs and general Windows use. They're detailed in the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro thread, pinned I think at the beginning. But if you end up buying this computer and need help, just ask somebody here and we'll be sure to help you out.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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