Lenovo Flex 5 for drawing - software compatibility

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by mattchee, Sep 25, 2017.

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  1. mattchee

    mattchee Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey all, I'm hoping someone out there can help me with my question. Here's where I'm at:

    Pretty decent deal on a Lenovo Flex 5 at the local Costco - the model they have is the 15.6" screen, i7-855OU, 16gb ram, 512gb SSD (no HDD), the NVIDA GeForce 940MX 2gb graphics card, AND comes with the Active Pen (though I'd probably eventually get a Bamboo Ink). So this has my interest.

    To my understanding, this is the first Flex model to work with the active pen, with previous models just being touch. So I am wondering if the pen input works, with regard to pressure sensitivity, with the usual software used for drawing, EG- Photoshop, Illustrator, Clip Studio Paint, etc. Through research I've found that it is Wacom AES, so does that mean it has the compatibility I should expect from Wacom?

    The marketing refers to Windows Ink and OneNote, but not really any other software, or barely even notes that it might be good for art! Also, most reviews I'm finding don't really talk about pen input (in fact, most barely even note that it has touch input).

    Anyhow, I'm just concerned with whether the pen input plays nice with the software I'd like to use. The rest of the spec's I feel good about, and the size/weight/etc are not an issue for me.
     
  2. Shiratori

    Shiratori Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'd have thought so. I have a different Lenovo which also uses the AES active pen and it comes with the Wacom Feel driver pre-installed. My fiancée uses hers with Photoshop CC, Clip Studio, SAI, Leonardo, Krita and Sketchbook without any problems.
     
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  3. mattchee

    mattchee Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you! THIS is the information I have been looking for!

    I think I may have to nab this thing... as long as I can convince my wife it is a good idea! ;)
     
  4. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hide it among the cereal boxes and plead ignorance when you unpack at home.

    Some applications require the Wintab driver to get pressure working so don't panic if you find something doesn't behave as expected. Krita for example requires the Wintab driver.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  5. mattchee

    mattchee Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Solid plan! Both the cereal box thing, and the Wintab suggestion!
     
  6. Shiratori

    Shiratori Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One thing to bear in mind with the Lenovo pen is that it comes with a hard nib and no spares. If you like a slightly more grippy nib (like the soft nibs for the Galaxy Note pens) then I'd suggest getting the spare nibs that Wacom sell for the Bamboo Smart (I'd also recommend the Bamboo Smart as an alternative for the Bamboo Ink if you don't need the Bluetooth functionality as it's a lot cheaper and comes with a lid to protect the nib). You'll probably at least want to remove the nib and re-seat it by hand anyway as Lenovo supply their pens with the nibs inserted a little too far for most people.

    Regarding Wintab, as I said before Lenovo should have pre-installed the Feel driver which enables Wintab support, although you'll probably want to update to the latest version here.
     
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  7. mattchee

    mattchee Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Good info on the pens! Not too concerned with the grippiness of the nibs, but I did have concerns with the Lenovo pen with regard to how far the nib sticks out. I was able to find the Bamboo Smart on the Wacom site for sale (and pretty much nowhere else), so I think that might be a good option. I like the Bamboo Ink shape/feel and I hear it takes less pressure to activate - but the Bluetooth functionality is not something I care about at all, so not really worth the money I'm thinking.

    The Flex 5 doesn't come with the Active Pen, but the Costco bundle I'm looking at does include the pen, so I will check it out and go from there, I suppose.

    Good info on Wintab/Feel. I think I will get everything up to date and then see if I run into any issues, and then look deeper into WinTab, but from what you're saying, it really shoudn't even be an issue.

    This all, of course, is if I end up being able to get this thing! I need to make up my mind ASAP though before they sell out. Thanks again for all the great info!
     
  8. Shiratori

    Shiratori Pen Pal - Newbie

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    If the bundle you're after has the standalone boxed pen then I think it comes with spare nibs and a nib extraction tool so you can easily fix the issue of the nib not sticking out far enough. I think they may be fitted my machine at the factory which would explain why they're pushed in too far. When you fit a nib by hand it goes in to the correct position.
     
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  9. mattchee

    mattchee Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, quick follow up: I went for it! I'm typing this from my new Lenovo Flex 5! And so far so good...

    I've had it for a little over a day, but only have been playing with it in earnest for the last few hours (last night I was setting up my old Surface Pro 3 for my wife... that was the deal!). Anyhow, I've installed a bunch of software and everything so far that uses pen pressure has worked right out of the box with no additional configuration - Clip Studio, Photoshop, Illustrator... no issues. Illustrator has a slight hiccup picking up pen input, but I think it may be a software thing (I think in tablet mode it's expecting touch input, and the pen input is throwing it off... looking into it). Not terrible, though, and mostly I work with a mouse in Illustrator anyway. Still need to install Krita & Sketchbook, but I expect that they will work just fine. CSP I was most concerned about and it works BEAUTIFULLY.

    The Lenovo Active Pen that it came bundled with, interestingly enough, did not come with extra nibs or extraction tool. Not too worried about it though-- I have an extractor for my Wacom Intuos pen that ought to work if I want to re-seat it (holy moley is that nib in there). It did come with this weird plastic pen holder that they expect you to shove into the USB port. It doubles as sort of a holder when you're on the go, and a pen stand when you're at your computer working. I don't think I will use it. It's kind of clever as a stand, but to put the pen in it to go somewhere would freak me out that it would snap off or damage the USB port. I felt some horror just trying it out once! HA! Anyhow, other than the short nib, the pen works great, and I'm in no rush to get a replacement (other than that they might stop selling the Bamboo Smart soon).

    Anyhow, that's it! Just wanted to check back in #1 to say THANK YOU for your help/information - I'm super pleased with my purchase! And #2 in case anyone who was like me, searching for this information, might find this and know that this software works great on the Flex 5 from first hand experience.
     
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  10. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Good to hear your wife got on board, and you're enjoying your new device.
     
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