Digital Artist looking for a new drawing computer

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Lilawyn, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. Lilawyn

    Lilawyn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey all, it's been a while! Many moons ago, TabletPCReview helped me pick my first tablet computer--a Samsung Slate 7. It died unceremoniously late last year, and I immediately replaced it with the first tablet that reminded me of that first tablet-computer love, the Surface Pro 6. I've enjoyed using my SP6 but the pen jitter has recently been making me wonder about greener pastures.

    I also have a Surface Studio 2, which I adore (even with the the persistent line wiggle--there are plenty of ways to mitigate it that I've learned over the past year), but can't take my Studio 2 with me when I'm away from my desk.

    I've been hitting up Best Buy to get my hands on all of their in-store tablet models, and recently fell in love with the Lenovo Yoga C940 (the 4K edition). At that point, some difficulties arose with my particular situation. My household currently includes a NASA subcontractor who works remotely, and is a part of several Cybersecurity initiatives at their workplace. Long story short, it might be a problem for us to have a Lenovo in the home ecosystem/network if they end up on the banned vendors list for government subcontractors. It would probably be fine, (and I really DO love the penfeel of the Yoga C940) but for the sake of not stressing anyone out, I was hoping to query you all about other tablet possibilities. I might be pleasantly surprised and fall in love with a non-Lenovo tablet.

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    Hoping to spend between 1500-2000, maximum budget 5000.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Prefer to buy new.

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Anything that would give me the pen experience I'm looking for.
    (Already own: 12" iPad Pro (2nd gen), Surface Pro 6, Surface Studio 2)

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    12.3" and up.

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    United States.

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    Looking for a non-Lenovo computer given my particular situation.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    4-5 hours would be nice, but I would consider something with even a horrendous battery life.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet?
    Drawing. All day, every day.

    9. Do you have an OS preference?
    Windows.

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run?
    Sketchable, Autodesk Sketchbook, Lazy Nezumi Pro, Adobe Fresco ... maybe Photoshop if Adobe figures out its brush lag issues (which are horrible on my Surface Pro). Considering jumping over to Clip Studio if Photoshop doesn't improve.

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

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

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    Minimum of 1920x1080.

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

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    Pen is required. I'm looking for Wacom EMR or AES tablets.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    RAM: 16GB minimum. 32GB would be amazing, if possible. Expandable memory is not required, but would be a nice perk.
    Hard drive size: no smaller than 256GB. I sync all of my work across One Drive, so it's not absolutely necessary to have the amount of HD space I'd prefer (1TB).

    2. What sort of inputs do you require, if any?
    No inputs required.

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    Pen form factor is extremely important. I got to test-drive the new Bamboo Ink at Best Buy. It's sleek, fits well in my hand, and seems like it would be comfortable for me for long drawing sessions. This tips me towards Wacom AES, but I've also seen interesting conversations about Wacom EMR pens being compatible across brands.

    I've gotten used to the Surface Pen over the past year, and it's pretty close to an ideal form factor for my claw-like drawing grip.

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    I'm specifically looking for tablets that have low IAF. One thing I've missed on the Surface is the really super-light touch marks I could make on Wacom digitizers.

    High color accuracy would be an appreciated side bonus. My work doesn't currently require pro-level color accuracy, and I can color-check on other computers. Ideally, the screen has at least 80% Adobe RGB gamut. But fine if not!
     
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  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    "NASA made me do it" may be one of the best excuses/pretexts for having to buy a new toy that I've ever heard! :p

    With that said.., is Samsung likely to be on the naughty list? Because their Wacom-enabled 2-1n-1s are epic. I sometimes draw on mine at home instead of the big Dell Canvas I have on my desk simply because of its superior feel and near-flawless execution of pretty much everything. -I have a 2017 Notebook 9 Pro 15, which is still available new but which is being updated in 2020 with is successor, (a 15.5" version if I'm not mis-remembering). -You need to perform small semi-hack to get the pen working to its full potential, but once there it's perhaps the best drawing laptop on the market.
     
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  3. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Don't ignore the HP zbook. 4K screen and if you get the dreamcolour / dreamcolor screen you might be happy. It's pretty heavy and don't expect much extra oomph from the graphic card but for drawing, it's fabulous.
    Have to also add - it comes with programmable express keys and (I haven't tested it) is pretty solid if you drop it. The newer version costs around $2-3000 in the US with the more powerful quad-core 8600 processors but if you're not using Adobe applications - you can get the older dual core 7500 CPU version for around $900 from BHPhotography. Last Xmas, BHPhoto sold off all their dual core and quad core stock in a fire sale which is where I got mine so I am not sure if this dual core version comes with dreamcolour screen.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1381225-REG/hp_3ft15ut_aba_zb_x2_g4_i7_7600u.html
     
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  4. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Oooh. If you can manage on a 14" screen, then that might be the device to go with. I imagine HP would not be on the nation's no-fly list.
     
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  5. Lilawyn

    Lilawyn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm REALLY excited that NASA is going to have to make me....look at tablet computers. For a while. To determine Which One Is Best. :D

    The Notebook 9 Pro/Pen looks awfully tempting! I'm a little hesitant about it, since I can't get my hands on the Pen model at my local Best Buy, but I may end up taking my own advice to buy & try & return if the machine doesn't live up to my expectations!

    Holy heck, this is a SWEET deal. I'm going to look into this today.
     
  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I wish you luck, if you can try before you buy that is the route to go. I imported mine from the US but I was pretty certain after all my research this was the machine for me. Certainly the BHPhoto offer can have RAM upgraded really cheaply too.

    Thread here on tips, quirks and foibles associated with getting the best out of the zbook.

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/zbook-x2-just-announced.73074/page-107#post-542649

    Main one is don't charge the zbook battery over 80%.
     
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  7. Lilawyn

    Lilawyn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've been looking at deals all weekend long, and feel cursed with indecision about this purchase. I'm terrible at taking care of my devices, in that I often leave my Surface Pro 6 on the charger for days at a time without really thinking about it--and this is even with me knowing it's terrible for battery life, and after I've been trying to take precautions to keep the SP6's battery life up. I probably need a tablet that's a bit more on the idiot-proof side, rather than nurture-it-to-get-the-best-out-it side. I haven't come to a decision yet, but I think that the Zbook deal is probably going to finish before I make a move. Augh. xD
     
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  8. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Some users have been able to set the zbook tablet bios to limit charging to 80%,
    Don’t know how to do that myself so I just unplug before it gets there. It’s the only palava I have. It’s true Wacom EMR2 and a fabulous drawing experience.

    I wish you well whatever you decide and a Happy New Year with whatever tablet you buy.
     
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  9. reversible

    reversible Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Just gonna butt in here...that looks like a steal! Based on how BH listed the models with the Dreamcolor display, I don't think this one has it though. Is it still worth it in that case?

    I'm primarily a photographer that also dabbles and drawing and video but I've been torturing myself with an old Surface Pro 2 because I love its EMR and portability. The zBook was just too pricey for me before, and the Surface Neo really piqued my interest despite its AES. Would this zBook still be a good buy?

    Also there's a secondhand one for $665 over there, if anyone else is looking.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
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  10. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm afraid I haven't tried the non-dreamcolour display version, I read some people last year saying they had received the non Dreamcolour version and swapped over for a few $100-$200 extra and wouldn't go back.

    As I mentioned to the OP, I suppose the best bet if you can get a 30 day trial is to go for that and see. The zbook is heavier than you realise if you've become used to modern lighter tabletpcs so that is another thing to get used to.
     

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