Artist's tablet for low budget

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by JenniferJD, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. JenniferJD

    JenniferJD Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    1. What is your budget? 150 dollars

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished? At that price point, it's almost required, right? I'm okay with used and or refurbished.

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible? I don't really have a preference, but windows if at all possible. I'd like to run Krita and inkscape on it.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    10 inches would be best, but I can work with less.

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

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

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    No preference, if it can work while plugged in.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? Drawing and painting.

    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 if possible, but it's not a deal breaker.

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? Krita, Inkscape

    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?
    More is better, yeah?

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    Yes, higher sensitivity the better, Wacom is best, but it's not a deal breaker.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    I'd like at least 64, I think. And no.

    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? No preference

    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above? Honestly trying to decide between these: In my area there's galaxy note & tabs 10.1 and a Lenovo thinkpad x230 and I'm wondering what I should go for, or if there's another option out there that would be better.

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

    the_whiterabbit Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Well, honestly it's going to be tough to find something in your budget. Maybe a used Asus Vivotab Note 8, maybe a used Asus Transformer Mini T102HA (will probably be harder to find in your price range, but would be better for your uses than the Note 8).

    Maybe a used Toshiba Encore 2 Write, but those are also getting hard to find. The thinkpad x230 might not be a bad choice if you don't mind the larger size than modern tablets.

    If Android is ok for you, a Galaxy Note 10.1 might be ok, too. Honestly, you're probably at the mercy of what you can find in your price range. Good luck!
    WillAdams likes this.
  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    There are tons of options in that price range, and pretty good ones, too.

    You can easily find an old core i5 system.

    I like the HP Elitebook 2760p.

    Here's one right from the top of the eBay search...

    12" screen, Wacom EMR, good little chassis. A very popular machine in it's day.

    For a larger, higher resolution screen, (though a slower processor, but which can still run Photoshop and CSP nicely), there's the old Toshiba Portege M200.

    You can install up to 2 gigs of ram, (recommended), and with Windows 7 running on them, they offer a very solid, reliable performance. -They have 1400 x 1050 12" screens at the lovely 3:4 form factor. You can run ClipStudio Paint on this machine with Win7 without any trouble. I really like this little device!

    There were a lot of different Tablet PCs from that era, and the EMR drawing experience was, with a few qualifiers, (edge accuracy is muddy), generally excellent compared to the tech offered today. The modern N-Trig Microsoft pens and even Wacom's AES don't stack up against the old Wacom Penabled EMR systems.

    Here's a Fujitsu with a 13" screen at 1280 x 800 for $150:

    I still work almost daily on a machine from this period, a 14" Tecra M4. -A fantastic old beater Tablet PC, with the biggest screen available at its time, the same size as a sheet of 8.5" x 11" printer paper! (Though, I don't generally recommend this machine to people; there's a manufacturing bug in the model which requires a soldering iron hack to fix; the GPU fan won't turn on, so you have to rig it to run by diverting power from somewhere else on the mother board. But I hacked mine and have drawn three graphic novels on the thing since.)

    In any case, there are a lot of cool options for you to choose from and there are many old forum threads here where any problems which might pop up have been discussed and solved years ago.

    2D raster digital arts are wide open today and if you're willing to live with the obvious performance ceilings, you totally don't need new gear to participate. Not at all!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    WillAdams likes this.
  4. the_whiterabbit

    the_whiterabbit Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    That's a fair point, I wasn't considering older machines (which is funny, because I have like 4 sitting under my desk in a crate right now :D ).

    With the older machines, you will get lower battery life and have a MUCH larger/heavier device, and may or may not have a capacitive touch screen. You also may have trouble running newer software--especially anything that uses the video card (integrated graphics have come a long way!). That said, the old-school Wacom Penabled tech is great (especially having pens that don't need batteries), though it does sometimes have trouble with edge detection (though some devices do seem to address this).

    Actually, you might be able to find a Surface Pro 2 in your price range. The battery life isn't great, but you could add a power cover later on (they're fairly cheap these days) and you might have the best of both worlds--recent enough to run modern software just fine, reasonably thin and light (sure, not compared to the Surface Pro 3 or later, but still) and ok battery life.

    Plus, they use the old-school Wacom Penabled tech, so there's TONS of options as far as Stylus choice goes.

    Good luck!
    WillAdams and thatcomicsguy like this.
  5. AseshB

    AseshB Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hey! I know this is way too late but I'm still posting if it helps any other person reading this.
    I am also on a very restricted budget and on top of that, I live in India. Staying in India means I can't ship every product I see on US Amazon to my country. If they do ship, there is a lot of customs cost and the warranty goes out of question or if there is any requirement to send the product back (problems like dead on arrival), it's a hassle.

    Anyways, I found the following websites selling some good products. Please note that I haven't purchased anything from this websites yet. So do your own research.

    In my searching and researching around, I found that the glyde website is better. I checked out their "Transaction Policies" and found this
    "Return Policy(for Buyers)
    Sometimes items aren't what you expected, and we understand that. If your item is not As-Described, you can return it within 72 hours of delivery. All you need to do is let us know! Simply choose one of these three options.

    Respond to the email you received from Glyde when your item was delivered.
    Go to the Transactions page of your account and "Reject" the item.
    Email us at

    Once you've let us know that you want to return the item, we'll send you a pre-addressed, pre-stamped shipping kit. Simply put your item in the kit, drop it in the mail, and you're done. You'll have your money back for the item in a few days."

    Swappa doesn't hold back payment from the seller so I think its less secure.

    At your (and my) specified budget, we can only hope to buy a good quality chinese brand's product or try to get lucky buying good used products. I would personally prefer to meet my seller in person and check the item with him/her present for defects. In that way, we can't be scammed. I can't do that. Probably you can?

    Here is a product from Amazon It is certainly beyond your budget but maybe you can wait and save up if possible at all? It costs $229 currently. Its a new product from a good company. This company used to have listing in the official Microsoft store.

    Do let us know what you had/have decided.

Share This Page