So... I got my Conceptd 7 ezel and I feel like I owe you guys a review

Discussion in 'Acer (Gateway)' started by jsinisi, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. jsinisi

    jsinisi Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Like the title says I bit the bullet and threw some money at my computer screen to buy this thing. Since I used this site to help make the decision I think it's only fair I give back a little.

    A little background on me so you know where I'm coming from. I'm an industrial designer who's been using mostly an ipad for early concept work and sometimes client sketches for a few years now. I've also used an older cintiq, a couple of intuos's and an xp-pen knock-off. I got the coneptd as the ipads getting a little old and I'm finding myself wanting something a little more capable; at the same time my laptop died and I really needed something juicy to replace it that runs VR and solidworks passably well.

    General Performance, Looks, etc...

    I feel like other reviews have already covered the speed, looks, feel and all of that other stuff; plus people really want to hear about the drawing experience so I'll just give a few quick thoughts here.

    First off it is definitely fast and plenty capable for VR/3d modeling that I need it for. I tried fallout 4 VR and it was playable with some reprojection. the optimization on that game is terrible so that tells me it's a pretty capable PC. I also have worked with a few of my larger solidworks files (145 parts at the largest) and it was passable there. if that's all I wanted it for and I had the cash I'm sure the workstation card would be better but it was perfectly fine.

    The screen is nice. I'm not going to go to in depth here but to say the colors are vibrant and it has a nice almost paper like look to it. the only downside is that the matte texture seems to hold/show finger point oils better than average.

    As far as general look and design. It's a nice looking computer overall, it's not groundbreaking design or anything but it's not ugly. That being said for a $3000 computer I would of expected the fit and finish to be a little better. it feels a little plasticky in places and I'm not convinced that the ezel hinge would survive much abuse. I think if I drop it I'll have a detachable keyboard. That being said the hing works fine, it holds everything in place and I really like the actual function of it and the positions it gives you; I just wish it felt a little sturdier.

    Size wise the entire computer is smaller than I expected, think thin gaming laptop rather than full sized asus rogue kind of thing. I am a bigger guy but I actually like drawing with it on my lap from the couch, which is something I was worried I'd be giving up leaving the Ipad.

    Overall in this category there isn't anything wrong with it but it doesn't really justify it's price on these aspects alone. Hardware is very solid and fast but Its no macbook pro as far as build quality or aesthetics. Thats about what I expected going in but my point here is that if the integrated pen isn't a big selling point to you or you don't know what EMR is there are better deals out there.

    Drawing Experience

    This is the bit I think everyone wants to know about. I'm going to do a lot of comparing to the apple pencil here since that's what I've used the most recently and I still have it here to test. Overall I definitely like the drawing experience more on this then I have on the other devices I've used except maybe the Cintiq (when the drivers worked). That being said it's not without it's faults.

    First off screen feel. this was something on the Ipad that I never really got used. it felt like drawing on ice, this is not like that. The texture is just a little less gritty than drawing on printer paper and I feel like my strokes are a lot more accurate without smoothing than they were on the glossy Ipad. The size is a nice upgrade from the Ipad, it's not as big as the xp-pen or the Cintiq I've used but those were really both overkill for me in most situations anyway.

    I haven't noticed any serious lag or jitter and I would say it feels a little more direct than the apple pencil did overall. There is some parallax but it's not bad and you can calibrate out. I have had the calibration go wonky on me once for no reason and had to reset and re run calibration to fix it.

    For software I've been using mostly clip studios pro. I have photoshop and a trial of Corel painter but of the three Clip studios has had the best pen feel. both photoshop and painter seem to take a lot of pressure to activate the pen and I haven't been able to fix it in settings. In clip studios I would say that activation pressure and sensitivity are on par with the apple pencil. The other side of that is that the computer itself doesn't really have any adjustment that I can find for pressure. It does not use the wacom feel drivers so that's a bit of a disappointment. In general I think the pen drivers are lacking and I hope they patch something in to improve them eventually.

    The final thing that I can think of is that the pen itself is definitely thin and light. I would say if I were to compare it to traditional media it's similar to a piece of vine charcoal. a little thinner than a pencil. I think this a bit of personal preference I always liked thin drawing implements. If you like drawing with a full size pen you are very much out of luck here though at least for stock solutions.

    Overall I'm very happy with it and it's a great upgrade over the ipad for me. The drawing feels more natural and it's obviously a much more capable machine. However, I'm a pretty specific consumer and I don't think it's a slam dunk for everyone. I'm very mobile and almost never work at a desk so I kind of need to be able to bring my whole "studio" with me or I'm very unhappy. this is the first device where I really feel like I can do that %100 and the trade offs are worth it for me. The only real disappointments to me were the lack of feel driver support and maybe the durability of the hinge but other than that it works like it's supposed to. Overall there were no big shocking disappointments but it also wasn't way better than I expected either.

    I don't often review things but I've tried to be as honest as possible with the pros and cons. If you have questions I'll try to answer them but I'm not online all that often.
     
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thank you for the review. As far as the Pen itself goes, since this model does use Wacom EMR, you should be able to use other EMR pens. Most any Samsung S-Pen should work, and other popular Tablet PC EMR pens are the Hp Zbook x2 Pen (with backend eraser) , the Staedlear Norris Pencil (looks, feels, and even smells like a real pencil), and the pen from the Wacom One display tablet should also work. All three of those should be much more comfy to use then the small stick the Acer includes with it.
     
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  3. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Thanks for the review!! You are filling the unicorn void for us. I'm surprised there is no repurposed Acer specific wacom drivers? HP ZBook X2 seems to have a rebranded feel driver. hope they release one eventually for you
     
  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hey, let's not go scaring off the new guy just yet...

    We don't usually let them know we go sniffing out our pens until they are at least 'scribbler' status. ;)

    Nice overall impressions, @jsinisi. A few questions to expand on your pen experiences:

    1) Was the stroke latency and jitter equivalent to the Apple Pencil (2?) or did you notice any subtle differences compared to EMR?

    2) Assuming you came from the IPP, was the 60Hz screen on the Ezel, not a noticeable downgrade from 120Hz (either in terms of UI responsiveness or trailing strokes in CSP?

    3) When you say 'parallax' do you mean EMR tracking offset/edge drift? Parallax usually refers to the physical pen-to-pixel air gap created by a non-laminated display, but Ezel has a bonded IPS screen right?

    4) Lastly, does Acer provide any sort of Control Panel applet for customizing the pen, like with other 3rd-party UD 2.0 implementations (eg. Dell Canvas Pen settings or HP Create Control Panel). Does the pen just show up as a generic input device in Device Manager (that possibly can be overridden as a WacomHID device as on the Switch 7?)
     
  5. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thank you for the in-depth review.
    My wallet is going to hate you :)
     
  6. jsinisi

    jsinisi Pen Pal - Newbie

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    It just shows up as generic input in device manager. no special control panel that I can find just standard windows pen calibration tool. I'm not familiar with the switch seven or overriding the drivers there but I'll look into it. I'm kind of assuming (hoping) that with COVID and everything they just aren't all full capacity on this launch and acer will come through on something when the dust settles.
     
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  7. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    For Photoshop I would suggest, as usual, the use of Lazy Nezumi to adjust the pressure curve.
    To me Photoshop can't read correctly any non cintiq/intuos/wacomtablet pen that doesn't have a proper property panel with curve adjustment. Not even the Surface family.


    P.S.
    To anyone else: yeah I know, it's been a VERY long while, sorry. But I read you all from time to time and I miss the hours spent here.:oops:
     
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  8. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    @jsinisi I was wondering: did you happen to see if this thing has some ram slots somewhere?
    I cannot find any info if the ram is soldered or upgreadable.
     
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  9. Worzyl

    Worzyl Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I would like to ask about the sound capabilities of the machine. Are the speakers any good? Do they provide enough base?
     
  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Damn!

    I missed this post when it first came up.

    The Concept 7 Ezel was one of those Unicorn machines out of my price range. 15.6" screen? 32 Gigs of memory? Enough graphics card to help Davinci Resolve along nicely? Those powerful ports? Built-in Ethernet? Yowza!

    For the top end model, $3999 USD in Can Bux is... Well, let's just say I'll just honor the Unicorn from afar while crunching away on the next best thing; my beloved Notebook 9 Pro 15. (I was actually looking at eBay sales of refurbs just because they got so many things right and I don't know when another near-perfect machine will come along. For $800 USD..!)

    As for the pen...

    You might be happy to know that you can buy third party pens which have more bulk and which function just as smoothly on Wacom's licensed digitizer. I'm currently using one of these and consider it one of the best available:

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07D36PTCH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     
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