Something for gaming and art

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by watchdog, Jun 16, 2008.

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  1. watchdog

    watchdog Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I've only been looking into tablet PC's for the last two days, but I've been thinking about a new laptop for a couple of months now. I looked over the forums and saw a couple of good answers but to make sure that I make no mistakes I decided to post my specific concerns. I am an artist, but all of my work has been pen and ink on paper, I want to branch out into more digital areas and I wanted to try my hand at doing art on my computer. I have one of Wacoms old Graphire tablets but I have not gotten used to drawing in such a detached manner (or maybe I should try drawing on something other than Photoshop). At any rate, I want something I can practice on but it does not have to be super portable. After that I also have a handful of games, nothing too heavy (I prefer console games to PC) but my main game focus is listed below although I dont hold out much hope from what I've seen online so far.

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    Ideally, $1,500, but anything up to $2,000 will do.

    2. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)?
    A convertible

    3. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    Small and light ~ 5" to 8.9"
    Compact ~ 10"
    Mainstream ~ 12.1"
    Large ~ 14"
    It doesn't matter

    4. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    Well I am currently in the US military, and am currently in a country with a lot of sand...Basically I need someone who will ship to an APO/AE address but there are options.

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

    6. How many hours battery life do you require?
    2 at the least

    7. What do you intend to use the Tablet for?
    I am interested in trying my hand at digital art and drawing, I love surfing the internet, not too heavy into games but gaming is one of the two main needs I am focused on

    8. Do you have an OS preference?
    Preferably, XP. I will accept Vista if I have to

    9. What software and tasks do you intend to run?
    Photoshop for one, Illustrator which I need to learn (have both on current laptop), would like to hear about any other dedicated drawing and illustration programs that exist (especially if they can help do comic book designs)

    10. Do you intend playing Games. If so please list.
    Yes and this is the important part, the number one game I need to play is Bioshock. I had purchased the game only to find out that the NVIDIA Geforce Go 6150 card in my Pavilion dv2000 was incapable of properly playing the game. The rest of my games like The Sims 2 should not be too hard to play but I'm stuck with Bioshock and I want to try and play it at some point.


    Screen Specifics

    1. Do you prefer standard or widescreen?
    Kinda like widescreen

    2. What resolution do you prefer?
    XGA - 1024x768 ~ Large and easy to read text and graphic icons but you fit less on the screen.
    SXGA - 1400x1050 ~ Small text and graphic icons which require good vision but the gain is a much larger screen.
    WXGA - 1280x768 ~ Wider viewing angle of XGA but ideal for viewing Spreadsheets and other programs that require desktop space.
    1024 sounds good to me

    3. Do you require an Indoor only or Indoor/Outdoor screen option?
    Doesnt matter

    4. Do you require a Passive or Active Digitizer?
    Active, thats the wacom interface right? I dont need a touch screen.

    5. Do you require Wacom, Finepoint, or N-Trig Technology?
    Wacom sounds good


    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require?
    Anything over 160 gb, 250 would be great, 300 (if there is such a thing for this type of computer) would be optimal

    2. Do you require an Optical Drive?
    Yes

    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)?
    No


    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    Nothing

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    I briefly read someone in another thread mentioning other art programs (sketch art specifically), I would be interested in a list of good programs.
     
  2. atom

    atom Pen Pro - Atomic Member

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    I'd get one of those "rugged" tablets. Though from your requirements, I would get the Gateway C142x.
     
  3. mas5acre

    mas5acre Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Tablets are intended as buisness machines and as such arent intended for gaming, Gaming sucks on tablets. That said you have a very small choice:

    A rugged tablet that will survive the harsh sandy conditions like a tuffbook, i think they make tablets. Rugged tablets are expen$ive and will probably break your budget! Sorry little to no gaming.


    or


    Dont expect much at all from it but A little gaming performance in the form of hp's t2500z which is not the most durable but comes with the Radeon HD x3200 for (really) light gaming,
    It is a cheap alternative not intended for durablity, but in the world of gaming on tablets, its probably as good as it gets. Its chasis quality is on the cheap side and I dont know if it will survive but it fits your budget.

    No matter what you get I reccommend going to newegg.com and getting a 64gb ocz ssd drive for a $1000 (skip the cheaper ones, they are garbage), make sure its the right size drive for your tablet, it is a low power, high performance, and high durability part which also improves battery life, this part is way outta your budget, but given the conditions, I thought Id recommend it.


    Maybe get a t2300z from hp for 1000 something + an ssd for like close to 2 grand? Even with an ssd Id be worried bout durability in the t2500z.
     
  4. watchdog

    watchdog Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm not too worried about durability, the laptop I'm on now is an HP Pavilion dv2000, and we have a dust storm going on now (It's not like in the movies, it just looks like yellow fog, and it's not sand but a fine dust).
    I knoticed from looking through some of the threads here that gaming is not really what the tablets are for. The only reason I'm thinking tablet is for the ability to draw directly on the screen, my brother suggested it to me a while back. I have a cheap graphic tablet I bought last year but I dont like the detatched way you have to draw in order to use it, as for the Wacom Cintiq I dislike the idea of carting a whole bunch of different items around and the price would compeate unfavorably with trying to get a new laptop.
    I'm thinking I might look into a much smaller and cheaper tablet, the ones without keyboards, as I'm only looking for an art board. HP has already informed me that Fedex doesn't ship out here but told me I could order through AAFEES.com.
    I saw a thread where someone listed the games they got to play on the Gateway device and Bioshock was one of them. Bioshock is the only high end game I have (that and a recent Star Trek game but it plays well enough on my current computer, Bioshock does not), the rest of my games are The Sims 2 with a couple of expansions, Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends, GTA: San Andreas and Simcity (3,4 and I'd like to get Societies). Everything else is much older, my problem today is my current laptops optical drive will not play DVD's (it doesnt even recognize them, game disks are OK though) and one of the USB ports is acting up.
     
  5. watchdog

    watchdog Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Forgetting about the gaming angle, which tablet would be best for learning to use the various art programs if you're a novice. I have a wacom Graphire tablet but I prefer to try my hand at direct drawing and would like to know what recomendations for an artist starting out in a digital world.
     
  6. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    If you are willing to pay up to $2000, I'd say get yourself the Fujitsu T4220 before they get rid of that 4:3 form factor forever. To me, it's still the best artist Tablet PC (even with the 65nm CPUs instead of the newer 45nm CPUs) because:

    1. Wacom Penabled
    2. Bezel free LCD
    3. Highest resolution option available (1400x1050 SXGA+ LCD for $50)
    4. Powerful CPU available
    5. Can max out RAM cheaply (4GB physical)
    6. Portable enough not to be burden if you carry it around everywhere

    If I was in your shoes, I'd get this.
     
  7. watchdog

    watchdog Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Ok, I've looked into it. I need to find out what retail seller will ship to my current address, or I may have to send it to my brother and have him ship out to me.
    Consquently, if I am unable to find the 4220, what alternative devices do you suggest.
     
  8. Windmill

    Windmill Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hmmm. I am unsure about American prices, but for $1,000 could you get a cheap gaming-enabled laptop? Like a normal one? Then you could also for $1,000 get a 12 inch Cintiq.
     
  9. watchdog

    watchdog Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Well I recently got the HP tx 2500 and I need to know how best to set it up for illustration art. I have photoshop and I have downloaded Manga Studio Debut (wont install yet because it needs to be elevated, whatever that is). I would like to know how to optimize the pen and the programs.
     
  10. tlewis

    tlewis Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Congrats on your purchase. With just a little dedication a tabpc can be a hyper cool life-changer for an artist. A fantasy come true. I use mine for almost 100% of my pro illustration duties.

    To get the most out of Adobe stuff (not sure about Manga Studio) you should get the latest penabled driver off the Wacom site. I don't have an HP, but I understand that the 2500 has touch - as does my Lenovo X61 - and the whole driver dance can be a little knotted. Be patient. Read this forum and threads on GottaBeMobile and TabletpcBuzz re: Wacom. The driver I mentioned enables pressure sensitivity in PhotoShop and other high-end apps - like Painter...
    http://www.wacom.com/Tabletpc/driver.cfm

    Meanwhile...play with ArtRage. It's a "natural media" app that doesn't rely on the Wacom driver for pressure. It looks like a toy at first, but is quite powerful. It has some limitations - no lasso f'rinstance - but it's dirt cheap ($25, I think), and has a free version as well. I love pencil sketching in it:
    http://www.ambientdesign.com/

    A kinda overpriced (to my mind) but probably pretty essential pro-level tablet-centric graphics app (which - like ArtRage - gives pressure effects without the Wacom driver) is SketchBook Pro:
    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=6848416

    Here are some professional articles/tutorials re: Sketchbook with illustration and storyboarding
    http://aliasdesign.autodesk.com/learning/articles/details/CreatureBox_133184/
    http://aliasdesign.autodesk.com/learning/articles/details/Digital Storyboards_133133/
    http://aliasdesign.autodesk.com/learning/tutorials/details/SketchBook Pro with Bobby Chiu_133140/

    Go nuts.
    t
     
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