Laptop with Wacom EMR and powerful GPU

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by janimator0, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. janimator0

    janimator0 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've been having a very hard time trying to find a decent Tablet PC that is powerful. This will be my work laptop so I'm willing to spend some extra cash. I recently tried to buy a Lenovo Yoga 720 15" fully loaded but was extremely disappointed with the stylus performance. As an example, I'm currently using a 7-year-old Fujitsu T901 fully loaded with i7 and maxed out ram which is destroying the new fully loaded Yoga720 15" with GTX1050 in stylus performance by far! Here are some quick comparison videos. As a side note, I highly recommend the Fujitsu T901, It is a beast! So far the closest thing I found to what I want is the Samsung Note 9 Pro 15" with the pen, but seems to be lacking in GPU and CPU compared to YOGA 720 and the like.

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    $4000

    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?
    YES

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    Approx 15 inch would be nice, but not picky

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    Live in Canada but can travel to USA if needed

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    No preference

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    Whatever I can get.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    I will be using 2D and 3D software for designing animating and creating professional products.

    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

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

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    Nothing specific, but would be a nice option

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    Not really

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    1080 or higher

    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
    Would be nice, not mandatory

    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, EMR. I recently gave the Yoga 720 a shot and was very underwhelmed by the stylus.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    hopefully, 1TB

    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?
    Mini Display out would be nice

    Misc
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  2. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Hey there, its going to be hard to top the power offered for its time in your T901, I also struggle to see anything that actually improves on my T902 much as well.
    Here's the short list of EMR machines to consider:

    -Acer Switch 7 sounds like its right up your alley, unfortunately its looking more each day like vaporware...
    -HP ZBook X2 is advertising itself as the champion of power for EMR tabletPC's, and its pretty awesome in specs, but their is an issue of lag on fast strokes due to its custom Wacom driver. Apparently HP is aware of this and escalating the complaints to their engineering dept.
    -Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 16, I'm sure your familiar with it. It also has beefy specs and people seem to like it for the most part, especially just for drawing and painting. Maybe not the best at being an all rounder though.

    powerful EMR convertibles like the T900,01,02 are no longer a market standard. Everyone moved to integrated GPUs, thinner, lighter, slates and yoga style, less battery life as a result... its kinda sad. The machine of my dreams is EXACTLY the T90- series style laptop with a 360 hinge, hot swappable battery, 2nd modular battery bay, user upgradeable RAM and SSD, 4K screen, beefy GPU, and fantastic thermals. But that wouldn't look sexy enough (bulky cooling), and unless some sort of large market share community like gamers start demanding an EMR penabled gaming laptop, I don't see it happening.

    It does seem like HP ZBook X2 is at least a nod towards power tablet users, as was the Vaio Canvas (no GPU or EMR, but AES and quad core CPU).
     
  3. janimator0

    janimator0 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm honestly glad I'm not the only one noticing this. I might be wrong but I think the Note 9 pro 15" might be a more powerful solution than the ones you've posted (unless you haven't checked it out yet).
     
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  4. artistebot

    artistebot Scribbler - Standard Member

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    IMHO: the only current devices that resemble your specs, is the Acer Switch 7 & and HP Zbook X2. I would not consider any Wacom device as a "Laptop", kinda needs a keyboard huh? Only the HP is out, and has better specs than the other anyway. The sparse info on the Acer suggests it has less than 2 hours battery life. You might consider looking into the newly announced HP convertible workstations, however they may not have Wacom EMR. Also if you get a chance try the Surface Book 2, several people find it works really well for them.

    Concerning the "lag" issue, I have not noticed it in general use, but under some circumstances it can be noticed. It is totally related to the Wacom driver, as when disabled and using only MS Pen drivers, there is no lag present. The Wacom software is needed to configure the Express Keys, as the Pen works great without. HP has isolated and confirmed the issue so hopefully they have a solution soon.

    If you are looking to save a bit money on the HP, they often offer various discounts, but none are currently valid. Sadly Canada is not often eligible for discounts so having a way to purchase in states the might be a better option. I live in Silicon Valley and being Canadian myself I am familiar with that issue, but that is the way it is. LOL

    Since I have the HP device I might be able to answer some questions you might have concerning it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  5. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Wait your in Canada too?? I always assumed you were in the States, how on earth did you get that crazy 40% deal on the ZBook X2? Did you get a friend in the States to order it for you?
     
  6. janimator0

    janimator0 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the information. Am i wrong in thinking the Samsung Notebook 9 pro 15 inch outperforms the devices you mentioned ? Its too bad that the keyboard isnt sturdy on the hp zbook x2. It looks like it would be impossible to use this device on your lap, due to the flimsy hinge. ultimatly making it less of a laptop more of a tablet.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  7. artistebot

    artistebot Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I live in California, moved from Vancouver years ago....

    I cannot comment on those Samsung devices...maybe? Yes the Zbook X2 Keyboard does not make it well suited to sit on my lap. I do use it that way, from time to time, but it is awkward compared to a regular laptop.
     
  8. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro uses the Radeon 540, sadly I don't think it's as powerful as the proposed cards in the x2 & vaporware Acer Switch ....It is a dedicated card, but lower spec'd than the other two.
     
  9. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    The HP Zbook X2 looks like it beats the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro by only a small-ish margin in graphics, but quite a bit in the other departments if benchmarks are to be believed.

    check out these benchmarks to compare in these two reviews:
    https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/samsung-notebook-9-pro-15-inch
    https://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/hp-zbook-x2

    of course take benchmarks with a grain of salt as they will never give you the specifics of real world experience, but it looks to me that the ZBook is more of a power user machine than the Samsung is.

    Both machines seem decently fast, but with painting and drawing being your top priority, none would give you as guaranteed of a responsive pen experience as the Mobile Studio Pro. I wish we had a list of true convertibles to recommend, but you gotta be able to use AES to open that bag, and I entirely agree that AES is just too much of a hurdle for those who are used to EMR activation force and buttery response so thoroughly.
     
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  10. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Both the Zbook and N9P should more than suffice for drawing and painting. I bounce between my 10.6 Galaxy Book and my MSP13…..and its really seamless…..like if my MSP died….I would have no trouble at all going to the Zbook. (Driver related Lag woes aside)

    All kickstand based tablets are poor for Lap useage…..but unless you plan on using the device in Lap 90% of the time, the kickstand of the Zbook would be overall much more useful. Even with the MSP13 and its 3-position stand…..I can’t count how many times in the short time I’ve had it...that I wish it could offer more positions or was an Zbook/Surface styled kickstands. (I hate overhead lighting and screen glare with a vile passion.)

    Another benefit you would get however with the Zbook x2 is access to the two thunderbolt 3 ports….so you could definitely do an e-GPU option should certain needs require a greater graphics bump. Samsung although giving us USB-C…..hasn’t offered Thunderbolt 3 for any of their S-pen devices just yet.
     
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