Help get me out of the basement!

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by JacobVan3D, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. JacobVan3D

    JacobVan3D Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    ~$1500 USD
    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Any of the above
    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    12.9" + (Largest iPad Pro and up)
    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    I don't particularly like the file system in iOS.
    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    10+ would be nice
    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    Drawing/Painting/Illustration if it is a Windows device then the previous plus some minor 3D
    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?
    I tend to prefer Windows
    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    Procreate if Apple (Windows - Photoshop/Clip Studio Paint/Rebelle 4/Adobe Illustrator/Adobe Animate/After Effects/Blender/Maya/Zbrush
    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    FHD+ (I am really liking the 3:2 ratio, are there any downsides to that?)
    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
    I don't require this, but it definitely would add more opportunity to use it
    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Yes, but I don't mind if I need to purchase separately.
    I am not sure. I have used a Cintiq 21UX, 22HD and I have an XP Pen 24. None of these pens have batteries. I have used a HUION GT-185 and this pen required a battery. The feeling wasn't quite right, but I don't know if that is because of the type of pen or not. I have used a more recent Huion, that didn't require power, and I still didn't like it.
    I don't know if any of that helps. I tried to look at what type the XP Pen was, but I can't tell.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    512 SSD +, 16 GB +
    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?
    I mostly want to use this like a tablet, so anything is a plus but not really necessary.
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    I work in the basement and work has been requiring more and more of my time. There are some quick things that I can do if I had a tablet or laptop. I do quick notes and draw overs for work and I need to respond on Slack pretty often. So being able to take an image/video from Slack and do a quick annotation or paint over is pretty important. I would also like to use it to update my painting and animation skills.
    Basically all of this can be done with an iPad. I just figured if I was spending that kind of money I would look at all of my options. If I can add some 3D in there great! I have used Blender's 2D animation portion as well. If I can get more use out of this guy then I will be getting more of my moneys worth.

    I have been looking at iPad Pro which is about to release a new one. Acer Spin 5 which doesn't seem to have wide availability. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex 2, which released in UK/Germany, but not in the US. I may be totally missing something, so feel free to let me know. It would be nice if the keyboard was detachable, if not then it definitely needs to convert or flip or whatever to be used for drawing.

    I noticed people recommending hp Zbook x2 Canvas. I can't seem to find that available anywhere to know if it is in my price range.
  2. daddyfish

    daddyfish Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hi @JacobVan3D , bit late to the party but considering you got no replies yet I will give it a go. :)

    First to answer your question related to 3:2; for productivity and work it is imo superior to 16:9. Also for Photoshop/Draw-like work since you get a larger canvas to draw/work on. It also feels more natural when you use it as a tablet.

    Ok so to recap you want something that has a decent cpu, decent gpu (for some 3d work) and you have preference for Windows and detachables.

    Are you open for N-trig pens and does it matter if it is a slightly smaller screen than 12.9 inch?

    Surface Pro 7+ (note the +) does seem to match your criteria otherwise. It has good integrated graphics (Intel Xe Iris) and cpu is solid too. The related keyboard and pen are widely available (supports up to attachments from Surface Pro 4). It also has a SSD hatch which means you can quite easily upgrade or replace the SSD (recommended to read a guide about it though). For it I would suggest a Surface pen 2017 which is a nice feature-rich pen (as long as the pen tip is intact, which is user replaceable, I have the same pen). This pen offers: tilt support, lots of sensitivity levels, nice balance, magnets, has a eraser button, a right mouse click button and a Bluetooth button for basically 3 macro's. Note that the Surface pens also work on other Windows tablets that have N-trig (except for the Bluetooth, minor issue though).
    A few more notes:
    1) if you go for a Suface device (or any other expensive consumer laptop/tablet) I would advise getting some warranty.
    2) I always install a glass screen protector on my detachable devices and phones, it greatly protects the device's touchscreen while does not influence the pen or touch. Its cheap too, it does have learning curve though for larger screens.
    3) A simple case/cover that protects the tablet against fall damage or such might be an idea too. Just be sure it does not block any vents and I would suggest getting something that 'breaths' so it does not trap any heat.
    4) A Surface Pro 7 might also be an option as a cheaper/budget option. The processor is 1 generation older which mostly translates in a noticeable slower but still decent gpu (/3d work) and less battery life. It also misses out on the SSD hatch. Same goes for the Surface Book 3 but its less reliable though does offer a bigger screen. The Book 3 might be a solid option for you if you can find it for a good price.

    Besides that there are some business detachables (Latitude, Elite, Thinkpad Surface Pro clones). For better or worse these usually support Wacom AES. They tend to be expensive though, but offer business features, reliability and endurance at the expensive of using the previous generation processor.

    The options with Wacom EMR you already seem to have pointed out.

    Finally for non-detachable laptops but with a 360 degree hinge there are many options. A few noteworthy are HP Envy x360 Ryzen, HP Spectre 14 with the 3:2 screen, Asus Zenbook Flip series and Yoga series. I think these all support N-trig pens so Surface pens work on them. You do want to double check the reviews for the screen and how good N-trig pens work on it. I also would suggest getting some 14 inch or smaller, otherwise its gets bulky as a tablet (keep an eye out on the weight).

    If you have anymore questions feel free to ask them.
  3. daddyfish

    daddyfish Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I just came across the a review of the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon 13ITL5. Its not a detachable but its still interesting to mention because it has a 16:10 screen and low weight of <1 kg for a 13.4" inch screen. Comes with the recent Intel Tiger Lake cpu's so good cpu & igpu (for 3d programs). Downside is mainly the midrange screen (might not be enough for professional work, depending on the exact type of work and workflow).

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