Digital artist, need tablet for sketching, painting, editing

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by sygnin, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. sygnin

    sygnin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi! I am a professional digital illustrator; my home studio setup is Win 7 Pro desktop with a Wacom Cintiq 24HD and another screen. I use my computer to draw in Photoshop, and to create my art in Illustrator and Photoshop. Photoshop is my primary tool for pressure sensitive drawing, though I can also use Sketchbook if I have to.

    I need a mobile solution for under $1000 CAN. I would prefer a tablet with an optional keyboard if possible. Something that is light, but powerful enough to run my programs. I obviously need something with at least a stylus input and pressure sensitivity. If you have used a Cintiq before, you'll know how it's very responsive - I am looking for something that is similar. I cannot draw on a tablet that has lag (I tried on my current, non pressure sensitive Asus tablet, couldn't do it).

    Thanks!

    *****

    Below is the questions and answers the site asked to fill:

    1. What is your budget?
    Under $1000 CAN

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    No

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

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    13in ideally


    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?
    Like - Asus, Lenovo // Dislike - Dell, Apple

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    Not that important. 5h+ would be nice.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    For work - drawing, creating art in Illustrator (no pressure necessary, but nice if it works). Editing in Photoshop. If light enough, it would be used for recreational stuff ike watching movies, surfing etc, while I'm not in my studio (i.e in bed)

    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 7 or 8

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

    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?
    Anything sharp

    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
    Preferably but not necessary

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

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    Reasonalbe SSD with expandable storage for tablets.

    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?
    Prefer a full size USB and SD card slot but not necessary.

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    I wan to buy something that is available now in Canada (some products are available in the US but not Canada)

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

    sygnin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Anyone? Ok, to make it easier, should I consider getting the Lenovo Thinkpad2, Asus Vivo Tab, Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T, Surface Pro, or consider an older Win 7 model like the Asus EP121?
     
  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well. . , it's a bit of a pickle.

    There are plenty of machines for under $1000 which can do much of what you want, but they're all eBay refurbs.

    New machines capable of what you're after are going to cost you more.

    Several of the computers on your short list will not please you, I suspect. The Surface Pro has driver problems, (no pressure sensitivity in Photoshop at the moment), the EP121 has disappointed many people with its choked down CPU speed issues, and anything without a physical keyboard will probably drive you nuts given your software preferences.

    The Vivo Tab and Samsung ATIV both seem like very pretty machines with lots of modern features, but they also both have 1,366 x 768 screens under 12", which in Photoshop is really annoying in my opinion. They might be okay for casual users, but I found the fact that a couple of drop down menus actually vanish off the bottom of the screen to be really broken. (Maybe some users simply don't need those particular menu options?)

    The Fujitsu t902 is currently considered the top of the bunch of modern machines in terms of horse power and screen dims, (the only Wacom-enabled 13.3" monitor available as a new machine). But it'll cost you more than double your budget.

    I would recommend either lowering your expectations or open yourself up to eBay refurbs where there are some machines actually capable of running your software, have keyboards, have screens worth a damn and will cost >$1000.

    Though, bear in mind, I'm not 100% up to date on all the new hardware available. I'd visit the Win8 thread on this forum to get a better overview of your options.
     
  4. sygnin

    sygnin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks! I'll check out that thread too.
     
  5. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    "There are plenty of machines for under $1000 which can do much of what you want, but they're all eBay refurbs."

    Hi Mark, just curious, what other refurbed/used units should be considered that have large screens on Ebay in your opinion? The only ones I am aware of are the M4 and the M7, which feature the large georgous screens you love so much. Are there any other older machines that have larger than 12.1" screens that you would recommend to digital artists as a large drawing machine?
     
  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well, aside from the Tecra line, I was thinking of some of the old 12" machines; the Toshiba ones, (m200, m400), and the Motion Computing LE1700 with the 1400x1050 option, (though that needs a keyboard plug in), might do the trick.

    Lenovo also offered the X61 with a SXGA+ 12.1" screen option, and are nowadays quite inexpensive.

    If a user is willing to get a system with only 1280x800 then why spend a ton of money on a new device when s/he can get one of those sweet HP 27xxP elitebooks for three or four hundred dollars? Lenovo's more recent ThinkPad X220 also has this resolution at 12.5", but with more respectable internal specs, (but then we're getting into the $600 range which is comparable to some of the items on his short list, minus the battery life.) Fujitsu's Lifebook T5010 also shares this resolution but at 13.3" screen size; you can get those for a few hundred bucks.

    But really, I realize that my own focus is limited largely to Toshiba's legacy line when it comes to 3:4 screens with high resolution. There's not actually as much out there when I really consider it.
     
  7. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    dang, I was hoping there were some larger options I was unaware of. I guess that's where the M4, M7 and T902 are unique... I was hoping there were other ones with 13"+ screens with a higher resolution than 1200 x 800. Its a shame the T901 didn't have a higher resolution, if it did I think it may have been even better than the T902, with its dedicated video card, and 16:10 ratio.
     
  8. euser

    euser Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Everyone on this forum is saying the Surface Pro lacks pressure sensitivity in Photoshop. I'm looking for the same kind of thing you are and I have ruled out the Surface Pro for that reason. I think the ATIV looks good even if it's a little small. Or there are the 10.1" Yiynovas that are $299, and 19" for $499 (saw these on Amazon) and are like Cintiqs. The small ones say the shipping weight is 2.4 lbs, and the item is 1.5 lbs. so they don't have a ton of cables like the 12" Cintiq. A small Yiynova used with a netbook would be manageable to carry, I'm considering that. I will probably get the ATIV though so I can have just one piece of hardware to carry. (I'm hoping the TSA someday gets used to this stuff, last time I traveled with my Cintiq they took it out and bomb-dusted it).
     
  9. Zero

    Zero Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The X220t is a horrible tablet. If you didn't know , it's even worse than the X230t.

    Fujitsu is the only company left that makes great convertible tablet PCs. I would guess there are some Panasonic ToughBooks that would offer a similar writing experience but they are awkward to carry around.
     
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