Beginner art budget portable + some noob questions

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by OriginalDan, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. OriginalDan

    OriginalDan Pen Pal - Newbie

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    1. What is your budget? - $1000aud (so 700-800ish usd?) but lower the better
    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished? - yes to both
    3. prefer media/mob tab like iPad, Win tab PC, or notebook convertible? - Long as its windows and portable.
    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer? 10" or larger
    5. country to purchase from? Australia but i don't mind ordering overseas
    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes? strong disdain for ios lol
    7. How many hours battery life do you require? longer the better though every device these days seems very similar drain under load anyway.
    8. primary usage scenario of this tab? drawing first and foremost, anything else is a bonus.
    9. OS preference? Windows
    10. What software you intend to run? whatever art apps folks most recommend for said devices
    11. playing Games? rarely
    12. stream content through your home theater system? no need

    Screen Specifics
    1. Any preference on screen resolution? 1080p and above
    2. using outdoors? need to see through glare from the sun? 50/50 but intention is to use on pub transport, lunch breaks, with friends if lockdowns ever end lol
    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    leaning toward Wacom EMR based on Shogmasters EMR vs AES video but I'm aware EMR is on very few devices now, Hoping for tilt as well

    Component Specifics
    1. HDD and mem size? expandable memory? only need space for a couple art apps but more the better?
    2. inputs? full-sized USB, SD, microUSB, microSD? HDMI inputs? no preference, would rarely connect to external screens.

    I've been learning drawing ol pencil n paper for a couple months and now after a digital portable option, i got a Surface pro 4 and a Raphael 520 pen based on TabletPros video
    didn't realize SP4 doesn't have tilt so ordered a broken SP5 to attempt a screen repair but later found videos detailing line wobble with MPP vs EMR vs AES and felt like an idiot as the SP5 and pen is still in the mail lol.
    fast forward more youtube/fourm deepdives and I'm torn/confused on a few options:

    Considering the Samsung Galaxy Book 12 but results are confusing as 2ndhand starts at $600 for the 12" 128gb 4gb ram, m3 cpu varient but a couple Book2s show up for $700 with a mobile snapdragon cpu? id assume a 8core mobile cpu would be better than the duel core m3?
    the 'ion, S, and Flex' models seem to be way out of my prince range from $1700-$3000+ :S
    the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 15" which looked perfect except for starting at 2.5grand and only overseas :/
    I'm not even sure what varients have EMR and what don't it's super confusing.

    second option was the Lenovo Flex 5 14" can get it new at $992 from amazon via the US. though it's AES and a little bit concerned if it shows up broken id be out of pocket a lot dealing with returns + the US is a kinda ground zero for covid right now :S

    and that's where I'm at, any other tab suggestions would be greatly appreciated! been going a little insane looking at 2in1s n tabs the last half week straight haha.
    with hindsight i shouldn't of purchased an SP4 or a broken SP5 thinking ill repair it because from all the reviews i don't think the m3 cpu and 4gb ram will cut it even if i do manage a repair lol.

    thanks for your time frens.
     
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    To clarify one bit, the Surface Pro 5 has an updated chipset for the pen performance. The Pro 3 was bad, Pro 4 was ok, and Pro 5,6, & 7 is good. Pro 5 isn't at EMR levels, but I find it more then sufficient for drawing. However you need to get the Pro 5 pen. If you use the Pro 3 or Pro 4 pen on the Pro 5, it won't perform as well. The best pen is the Slim pen in my opinion. Its made for the Pro X, but it works on every other Surface device. Its has a different nib assembly and in many cases I prefer drawing with it over an EMR pen.

    However...Surfaces aren't exactly user friendly to fix. I haven't kept up with the ifixit tear downs on the more recent Surfaces, but the Pro 3 was a nightmare to open. I had a Pro 3 with a dead SSD, tried fixing it myself, was a horrid failure of an attempt. I'm not sure of the screen damage you have, but given how relatively old the Pro 5 is at this point, I think you would be better off just getting a new working unit as opposed to fixing one. And keep in mind, the Surface Pen piggybacks the pen data off the touch screen. If the screen is broken and/or cracked, and touch screen doesn't work, neither will the pen. And even if you can fix the screen, if the touch screen components got damaged, even if the screen works, the pen/touch might not.

    The Galaxy Book 12 if you can find it is worthwhile. Sadly the 4GB model is the only one easy to find, the 8GB variant is much more expensive and harder to find. While the Ram limit is unfortunate, so long as you have enough space on your C-drive, scratch disks do help alot. And if you're mindful of the Ram limit, depending on your workflow, it is somewhat easy to work around....depending on your work flow. Now the Galaxy Book 12 only came in a Core i5 model. If you see a Core M3 option, thats the smaller sized Galaxy Book 10.6. They were the first gen and Samsung released the 10.6 with Core M3 and the 12 with Core i5. I have the 10.6 model and I do love it dearly. Despite the weaker Core m3, and 4GB of Ram, its still a great drawing tablet. If you could find one cheap enough and don't mind the smaller screen size, I'd totally recommend one. But for me the Galaxy Book was always a secondary drawing device, overall the Core i5/12 model would suit most people better.

    Everything else in the Galaxy Book Line, you can largely ignore for now. The Galaxy Book 2 especially steer clear of.
     
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  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yeah, I wouldn't mess around with anything not Wacom EMR. Just to keep sane and not spoil the medium for you. The other formats do work, but it's like the difference between drawing with a good pen and one which is constantly clogging up.

    Now.., while new and recent EMR machines are great, as you point out, they are damned expensive.

    However, all is not lost for you! There was a time six-ish years ago, when there were a ton of new EMR Tablet PCs being released. They still work, they can run Windows 7 no problem, and can handle all the best art packages. (ClipStudio Paint and Photoshop and others). And they are well within your budget.

    Here's one I've always admired:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujitsu-Li...858169?hash=item522d17e1f9:g:s-8AAOSw321eKKHv

    And another Fujitsu:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujitsu-Li...551658?hash=item3fe424b96a:g:lqQAAOSw-Nle90N~

    There are many other brands.

    There's also this one... I've owned several of these, and loved them; it was possibly my favorite TabletPC of the era:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Toshiba-Po...908426?hash=item2a506c68ca:g:Hd8AAOSweW5VS4Lz

    Thing is, the Toshiba M200 is very old now, and has a lot of limitations. It maxes out at 2Gb and the screen is very old school, (narrow viewing angle and grainy screen cover), but in terms of basic usability and fun-factor to draw on, it was just awesome. And the screen, despite its age, had a great high-resolution and 3:4 format. I drew hundreds of pages on it and it's big brother, the Tecra M4. But I'd advise going with the Fujitsus today.
     
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  4. OriginalDan

    OriginalDan Pen Pal - Newbie

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    interesting so the MPP2 with SP5 onwards is better than some EMR pens? whenever the SP5 arrives ill test it with the Raphael 520 pen as it just arrived so i tested it on SP4 and definitely understand the issues, drawing at normal speeds is 'mostly' okay but anything slower is pretty bad i don't see myself using the SP4 for anything more than quick sketching and seems a bit overkill if that's all i did with it lol.
    if it's any better on the SP5 ill defiantly have to try that slim one though looks like it's going for $235aud here! damn that microsoft tax.
    yeah I'm aware it looks difficult as hell but got one for $165au so appears $230ish for a replacement screen and they normally sell for 700+ so if pen/touch is jank i can just resell and cover the cost or gift it. i did regret buying it after the fact though haha.
    yeah tons of the 4gb model around $600+ the 8gb ones are all 1000+ which a Flex 5 for 1000 which would be way better general performance but it's AES 1 i think? doesn't appear to support tilt? can't find any info to confirm that. is crazy how hidden the info on pen support/digitizers are :S
    weirdly very few 10.6 models in Aus and when they are it's priced same as the 4gb 12" :/
    the galaxy book 12 appears to support tilt, 4096pressure etc so i think ill try to nab a secondhand 4gb as cheap as i can lol. interestingly specs wise the 4gb i5s appear better than the 4gb m3 SP5s which go for $650-$700 here
    did they change digitizers? prices for those are all over the place lol

    yeah after trying the SP4 totally understand all the videos demoing the line wobble issues. maybe the SP5 with the MPP2 pen i got Might be enough to deal with but we'll see
    the T935 seems pretty good actually but conversion rates bring it up to $436aud spec wise seem to be between SP4/5 only seem to exist primarily in the US and vary wildly with conditions but i think ill pass very few of em where on US ebay anyway, also yeah that M200 2gb sounds too limiting. had no idea fujitsu even sold laptops haha.

    thanks for the suggestions, looks like ill try to hunt down a secondhand galaxy book 12" 8gb under 1000. but ill have to see how the SP5 goes with the 520pen.
    think i might avoid the Lenovo Flex 5 14" since its AES 1.0 only i think? is there any similar AES2 devices? and is AES2 even worth it vs MPP2/EMR? it's weird i can scarcely find comparisons between the three let alone the latest versions.

    wish someone would make a Surface Pro/Book version with EMR id go over budget for that haha. originally was going to get a Surface Book1 but found out it doesn't support tilt then fell into this rabbit hole lol

    honestly kinda tempted to try to import a samsung notebook 9 pro, i dunno what import charges will add though since that would likely take it to 1200-1300 :/
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  5. starllcraft

    starllcraft Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The problem of screen edge drift is more serious when purchasing the old 1024 EMR device, but not in the new version of 4096 pressure sensitive EMR device.
    I think if you want a cheap enough EMR device, you can consider chromebook. In China's second-hand market, you can choose the chromebook that can install the wacom EMR technology of windows as follows:
    dell chromebook 7486 =$192(i3 8130u+8+64),
    acer chromebook spin13= $342(i5-82850u+16+64),
    acer chromebook spin11= $114(n500+8+64),
    HP chromebook x2 prototype (only wacom EMR is used for prototype, wacom AES is used for official version) = $142 (m37y30 + 4 + 32).
    The cheapest Acer chrome book tab10 and ASUS chrome CT100, which can't install windows, are both priced at $71.
     
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  6. OriginalDan

    OriginalDan Pen Pal - Newbie

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    do you mean the m200 old ones or fujitsu or galaxy books? I'm guessing EMR ones pressure is in the screen and others are primarily pen based?
    seems like the dell 7486 about 650.
    acer chromebook spin 13 starts at 800aud for the i3 8gb fairly similar spec to samsung book but less storage
    theres a 'R spin11' not sure if that's the same one not many 11" spins show up, but only has a 1core celeron @1.6ghz 4gb for $490 so that's a pass.
    HP chromebook x2 prototype $1100aud+ i don't even... aus pricing really is all over the place xD honestly no idea whats going on there
    man even the CT100 is like $730 new but $330 ebay from the states i dunno if covids screwing up the pricing or could be because they're not sold here typically they have a heavier price tag i guess?
    i probs don't need that low end though but could make for some inexpensive gifts if the prices ever remotely normalize lol

    the Surface pro 5 arrives in 2ish days, if the screens not damaged that badly hopefully i can test the mpp2 pen on it, if it doesn't work probs another week to get a screen and if it isn't much of an improvement on the surface pro4 ill grab a Galaxy book 12 8gb i5 since there's a handful around for $750aud.
    ill reply with how that goes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  7. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Edge drift was a phenomenon where the cursor response got a bit fudgy near the extremes of the screen, (where the Wacom antenna under the screen ended). I never found it an issue since most of my time was spent drawing in the prime areas of the screen, but it definitely made hitting the corner icons and scroll bars a little weird-feeling. Pen pressure is 100% determined by piezoelectric mechanics in the pen itself.

    The difference between old and new Wacom EMR tech may be measured in subtle tweaks. There's no edge drift anymore. The big difference has nothing to do with Wacom; it's simply that screens have become so much better over the last half decade; thinner, brighter, better viewing angles. Going back in time is a bit of a shocker after you've gotten used to modern screen tech! -But the old 'Penabled' styluses were way better than any of the new battery-pen stuff which leverages touch screen tech today. Line jitter was uncommon and the pens were super-reliable. The only better systems right now are the ones which use modern Wacom EMR. (Samsung owns a small percentage of Wacom.)

    The only people to really challenge Wacom since their patent expired have been the Chinese Cintiq clone mfrs. Nobody has brought that tech to laptops; none of those drawing tablet companies have been big enough fish to get into the billion-dollar pond where Dell, Lenovo and HP swim. Even the average broke art bum is hard-pressed to take some of those companies seriously. XP-Pen and Huion and the like are gaining cred, but it's been slow. They used to have trouble just making literate ad copy and working out basics like, "Don't make the cable come out the bottom of the screen where it's supposed to sit on the desk, (you morons)." A big laptop maker with million-dollar corporate clients isn't going to give people who can't get their act together the time of day. "Clean your room."
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  8. OriginalDan

    OriginalDan Pen Pal - Newbie

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    interesting stuff so strange EMR used to be so common then almost disappeared in favor of this business focus market shift. It's disappointing to see microsoft still advertising the surface line at artists seems fairly disingenuous.
    They of all companies can afford the licencing fees for wacoms tech but clearly lately been following apples methodology of closed controlled ecosystems like the microsoft store,
    i only run the LTSC versions of Win10 as I'm so sick of the bloatware and nonsense like turning the start menu into this tiled tablet like mini browser monstrosity? yet they still don't have a native way to center the taskbar i dunno wtf their UI department's been on the last decade smh.

    maybe the Universal Stylus Initiative will reorder things? just stumbled into it but seems very new, think it's only 1 pen on the market the HP USI? anyone have experience with those? the few videos out there seem pretty mixed some apps look solid, others latency issues, clearly needs driver maturity/software support. no idea what tech it's using but seems more business aimed due to letting up to 6 pens on the same device lol?

    presumably lenovo would adopt that wacom clone tech first being HK based? here's hoping they refresh the Flex with that tech if it's any good.
    Huion seem to sponsor a ton of art youtubers Jazza sponsors em on the regular are they actually any good or do they suffer similar problems of n-trig stuff? (i dunno what tech they even use) was considering getting a display tab in the near future.
    If lenovo can get their copy, get sponsorships and market the hell out of it i wonder if wacom will freak out lol.

    the bonus those newcomer brands have as you said basically rapid fire revisions/major design changes and the publics the beta testers vs wacom larger setup adds bureaucracy and a ton more time in quality control. interesting times though.

    Definitely keeping an eye out for future samsung secondhand gear, it's a damn shame the notebook 9 pro doesn't exist in Aus the 2017 model with the 16gb ram amd540 would've been perfect but sadly way outta price range and rare even in the US, I'm hoping in time we see some RTX cards in EMR devices as I'm attempting to migrate from maya to blender on my desktop and having a RTX card on the go would be mad....expensive but mad nevertheless lol.


    Tried the Surface Pro 5 and yeeep about as expected haha i couldn't tell the difference on it vs SP4, maybe the slim pen would help but with my current MPP2 pen not seeing a change (even with wintab drivers) and the slim pen being $235 i think ill call it quits on the surface line.
    Tilt requires a lotta brush specific tinkering to get just right but since I'm drawing at an angle anyway it felt more like a gimmick that got in the way. id have to spend a lot more time with different apps to get that thing useful for me atleast.
    Got repair parts in the mail hopefully that goes well and i can atleast cover what i invested lol

    ordered a Galaxy Book 12" 8gb ram model for $750 quite hyped. also gonna pickup a noris digital pen :)

    edit: i might stop including the quotes cause it keeps autoflagging my posts for admin review :S
     
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  9. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Congrats on the GB 12. That ought to serve well.

    USI, I think, is what morphed into the various battery-operated styluses which have become ubiquitous across the market. It was hard to see what was going on, (all behind closed doors at the time), but from my impression, the big vendors weren't trusting of each other and couldn't reach an agreement on a standard. I blame Wacom; it wasn't in their immediate best interest to fully develop the common pen market because if a truly good digitizer system become cheap and popular, it would render their Cintiq line obsolete, so they dragged their feet until finally everybody went their separate ways to make their own implementation of the good idea on the table. I picture something from Game of Thrones, but with fewer daggers and more poker faced double-talk.

    Nobody on the outside knows, but I have to wonder why MS and every big OEM ditched Wacom after the Tablet PC years. -Wacom was licensing their tech to everybody, and it was great, but then MS bought out a crappy third party pen company and developed it as best they could into the half-assed system they currently offer. Was Wacom raising their licensing fees and making fear-based demands which became too much to bear? Or was MS just trying to "Rule Them All"? Or a bit of both? I'd love to know the story behind the shift.

    I wonder if Wacom would be doing better or worse now if they'd whole-heartedly pushed the best technology rather than played it the way they did. Currently, sure, the best drawing boards are Wacom in-house Cintiqs and they have exclusive market share, but their bottom line hasn't exactly been stellar over the last few years. If, on the other hand, they'd made drawing awesome on every laptop in the world, from every brand, I can't help but suspect that they'd be making more money and be a better known and better loved brand than they are today. I've gone from broke artist forced to do lots of eBay DIY to having a disposable income. And today when I see their logo, I respect it, but I also resist giving them money whenever possible, whereas brands I love, I find excuses to spend money on. Fear creates limits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  10. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Don't need to hope, there's already the Acer ConceptD 9 and upcoming D 7, both powerhouses...and 'mad expensive' would be correct. :p

    @LoVe was able to snag a D9 for only $5400 CAD (~$5700 AUD) which, believe it or not, was considered a steal against the MSRP is $5000 USD.

    However, you may end up waiting years anyways for these things to hit EOL status and drop to a price for mere mortals.
     
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