Dell Inspiron 15 - 7000 - 15.6" Wacom AES!

Discussion in 'Dell' started by thatcomicsguy, Apr 30, 2016.

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  1. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Wacom's AES is like using a slightly different expensive physical pen or brush than the one you're used to. It's also a high quality tool, but it behaves in its own unique way. It has its own quirks and subtle response patterns which set it apart from EMR, and if you do a lot of drawing, you'll definitely find yourself having to retool yourself around them, but like switching to another brand of inking pen or mechanical pencil, I've been finding the transition doable. It's definitely not broken. Just different. And its good qualities are quite strong. With the right software, it's pleasure to use. (I really like the Dell's glossy screen, but then I've always preferred working on glass over frictioned surfaces.)

    EMR, I find, gives a marginally better response when drawing slow speed "very careful" lines, but I don't spend a lot of time working at that speed, and I've noticed it less as I continue.

    The most annoying element with AES, honestly, are the flush buttons on the Lenovo stylus. They're hard to find with your fingers. -I've scored mine with an exacto knife, giving them a bit of a texture, but it's still not ideal. I like the big honkin' side rocker switch on the Cintiq pen. But that's the sort of problem which time and money can solve.

    As for the 16:9 space thing...

    I just completed some comics work on the machine, but they were pages made up of square panels, and 'square' doesn't really challenge a narrow screen. It was just fine to work on.

    I'm going to be doing some traditional 'tall' comic pages tonight, which I think for me will be the acid test. I'll report back in 10 hours or so.

    Otherwise, it's a very roomy screen. With 4:3 screens of olde, the tool pallets were always getting in the way; even on my 21" Cintiq, I find them annoying sometimes, so that anyway is purely a pixel count thing rather than a physical size issue. On the Dell, I find myself swimming in left-right space. You can work with the pallets open if you choose. ClipStudioPaint/MS5 can sort of minimize tool pallets to single bars which really do put them out of the way enough to still see what you're doing.

    When compared to my old Tecra M4, which with EMR basically meant the top and bottom half inches were too unresponsive to be considered useful drawing area, whereas I found myself drawing almost right up to the screen edge on the Dell, making the old and new screens effectively about the same in terms of vertical useful space.

    But there is a psychological component at work as well, which must be considered. The Dell, even at 15.6" is about three quarters of an inch narrower than a sheet of classic typing paper. So far it hasn't been an issue, but I think a good test will be laying out tall comics panels on a narrow screen. I've not done that yet.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
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  2. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @thatcomicsguy There's always the option of working in portrait mode which ends up being awfully close to the aspect ratio of a typical 10"x15" comics page. If you work with your palettes minimized, memorize all your shortcuts and keep a Bluetooth keyboard nearby, it's not too bad.
     
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  3. Tea and crumpets

    Tea and crumpets Scribbler - Standard Member

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    After realising this was a thing thanks to the journal entry of @thatcomicsguy on DeviantArt I immediately looked for it on the Dell site and - of course - it doesn't exist in the UK. The information is there but the website doesn't link to it, instead I had to use Google to visit the page directly.

    I had a quick look on Ebay and it seems I can pick one up for £500+ with delivery and import tax included. That sure beats the £750+ I am looking at paying for a BestBuy ThinkPad Yoga 14 from the same place and don't get me started on the 460 advertised on Lenovo which costs £800-£1,000 without a dedicated GPU.

    I need to do more research on the device to find out its weak points and no option for a dedicated graphics card is a shame but I like how this looks so far. I wonder if Dell would handle warranty in the UK if I bought this from the US.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  4. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    What's bothering me though watching your video is the perception of the somewhat laggy, buttery stroke feeling I had when I used to draw with the surface pro 3, moreso if after this I watch your other video with the cintiq 21. Jittering isn't particularly bad for what I can see.
    All in all seems to be a very good machine with a great price.
    Something interesting in case the Companion suddenly died on me.
     
  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Up close and personal, I find the stroke feel to be quite tight in MS5/CSP. In Photoshop, I definitely found it would start to delay badly depending on Adobe's mood swings, -which I think might in part have something to do with the scratch disk being on a spinning platter hard drive. (??)

    In any case, I still haven't managed to tweak PS into shape. In particular, no matter what I try, I can't fix the touch response. It still has that weird bug described earlier. -And it might be specific to the current Dell driver set. One of the suggested fixes which people have good reports about on other machines I can't even do. -That is, turning off Windows Ink driver. The service doesn't appear in any of the places you're supposed to look or anywhere else I've explored, even though it's obviously running, and the Wacom driver, (I have the latest one installed), doesn't give any option to choose. It's all integrated or something...

    I had to get some pre-press work done, so I finally gave up and just turned the touch feature off from the devices menu. That leaves pen input intact so I could get working without Adobe randomly snatching the canvas away from me. -Which isn't so bad given that I've been using Photoshop without a touch interface for years. But it still irks...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  6. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    Wow, this is the first time I hear photoshop touch not working properly on cc2014/2015. I presume the obvious "enable touch gestures" under Photoshop prefs isn't turned of, is it?
    Aside from this, if the performance has something similar to the Surface Pro 3, expect the possibility of the stroke to be worse in photoshop in terms of responsiveness: I always envied how much better things where in clip studio back then, basically I opened it only to rejoice on how smoother everithing was. :D
     
  7. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Have any of you guys pulled the nasty sticker off the keyboard yet? Does it leave behind a mess?
     
  8. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Picked up one of the refurbished i7 6500U models on eBay and performance is still pretty atrocious. Benchmarks only put the new model 2 - 7% ahead of the i5 6200U. Besides the HDD, the display driver must be contributing to the problem. The Intel site won't let me install the latest generic versions and the Dell drivers are from December. Any of you manage to install a different set?
     
  9. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Looking at the CPU Benchmark site...

    My old Dell Latitude E6410 which I have running my studio Cintiq has a Core i5 520M. It scores a 2401 on the cpuenchmark site.

    My new Inspiron's core i3-6100u scores a 3519.

    The Core i5-6200u scores a 3920.

    And the Core i7-6500u scores 4333.

    And for a fun reference...

    My old Toshiba Tecra M4's Intel Pentium M1.73GHz scores a modest 419.


    What those numbers actually mean carries some subjectivity, but I know that the old Tecra was actually pretty good for moderate raster graphics, though slow with big brushes on large canvases, and even moderate 3D work killed it.

    My new Core i3 system is like greased lightening by comparison. I've not hit any upper limit on what it can do yet in terms of 2D drawing with respect to the CPU. Memory limits and speeds, however are another issue.

    What kind of placement on that benchmark system would a CPU have to be at in order to cover 3D and video editing without hangups?

    -My old Dell Latitude with the low-ranking core i5 is pretty good at cutting together short videos from 1080p source clips, but I wouldn't want to be making videos more than a few minutes in length. For example, the final processing for that 5 minute drawing video I posted earlier took over half an hour to crunch with no GPU assist.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
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  10. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Based on these reference benchmarks, the i7 should deliver a maximum 10% improvement over the i5's results. Instead, I'm seeing as little as 1% difference. And, given the low i5 7568 baseline, this is especially disappointing.

    To top it off, I managed to install the latest generic Intel drivers and the performance actually decreased. :-(

    The only hope now is the SSD. Or a memory upgrade?
     
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