Something to replace my x230t...

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by T-ravisty, Jul 29, 2017.

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  1. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I've been using my x230t for the past ~4 years every day and it's served as a worthy companion, I'm not looking to get rid of it, but I need something with a little more grunt and portability.
    I've consistently had my eye on the Surface Pro line, but I'm not a fan of the lack of user upgradability - although that seems to be the norm now.

    I'm looking to build a new desktop soon, but would also like something for a portable daily driver for drawing, animation, and the odd occasion of video editing.

    Thanks. :)

    1. What is your budget?
    AUD $1500.00

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Windows Tablet PC/Notebook Convertible.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?

    12 to 13-inches
    Above 13-inches

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    Not a fan of HP, Lenovo preferred. Open to other brands. Will consider HP if the product meets my needs.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?

    6+ would be ideal. External battery would be nice.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet?
    Drawing and animation along with watching movies, web, emial, word processing.

    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?

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

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    Not really, but graphics card would be nice for CUDA rendering in Adobe/3DS Max - not a deal-breaker.

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    1080p +

    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?

    Matte screen preferred, not too much outdoor use.

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom EMR, AES or N-trig?
    Wacom pen is ideal, but I am so out of the loop with the current tech. Something about AES becoming the standard now?

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    - 16GB RAM (or user expandable to).
    - More than one storage drive, 256GB minimum.

    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?
    - 3+ USB 3.0
    - DisplayPort/HDMI
    - SD Card slot

    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    - Available docking stations?
    - External battery, easily user replacable.
    - Backlit keyboard
    - Pen silo (do the machines have a pen silo for the digitizer?, not crucial, but handy)

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?

    - I'd like to have something that's relatively sturdy, like the x230t, that can take a beating.
    - Somthing with long battery life, or that I can easily swap in a new battery when required.
    - Something that is good to draw on for extended periods.
    - I don't want something like the Yoga where the keyboard is folded around when in Tablet Mode.

    Models I am interested in:

    - Surface Pro 3+
    - Cintiq Companion
    darkmagistric likes this.
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    You might have to find a time machine.....the way the whole markets shifted....I can't think of a single current device that would really meet your criteria. If its not a Surface Pro Clone, its a Yoga style, the old Swivel Screen Tablet PC is practically extinct. And removable batteries have long been gone.

    If you're looking for something more portable then your x230T......I wouldn't go for the Cintiq Companion 1,2 or even the MSP.......the express keys are wonderful to have....but the overall size really cuts down on the portability, especially compared to a Surface Pro.

    I don't know if they're in your market yet, but the Samsung Galaxy Books are pretty good.....I have the 10.6 inch model and its wonderfully portable. At full Screen Brightness I barley get 4 hours of Battery life running ClipStudioPaint, but since its USB-C Charged I can plug in external Phone Battery Chargers and charge it as easily as I charge my phone on the go. And despite a 7th gen Core M, and only 4gb of really handles the art tasks great and the pen performance is literally the next best thing to Cintiq grade. There is a 12-inch model with a 7th gen i5 and 8GB ram that would give you more power.....but that model retails for around $1300 USD here in the states.......and from what I remember of the massive price inflation of tech in Australia....I wouldn't be surprised if its priced at 3000 AUD or something lol.

    If the Samsung Books not an option......I would say.......just splurge and get a Surface Pro.......You've wanted one for years....I still remember the look in your eyes when you played with my Pro 3 when I brought it to Melbourne back in my 2015 visit. Like if you were to splurge and indulge yourself.....get a Pro....but not the Pro sucks for drawing.......I would say honestly just go to the top of the Food chain and get the New Pro (5)......price be damned. From everyone's take on it....Microsoft significantly improved the pen this time around with tilt, less jitter, higher polling, accuracy, IAF, pressure, etc.....I don't have it so I'm just going by the here-say on this board and some Youtube videos, but the general consensus is that Microsoft did good this time. (but they also did bad by charging extra for the pen now). But still.....a New Pro (5) with either the new Surface Pen or the Wacom Bamboo Ink Pen (that has super low, cintiq level IAF) and the Wacom Express Key Remote.....that would be a mean art machine.
    stoneseeker and WillAdams like this.
  3. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    @T-ravisty If you were in the US I'd recommend the 2nd gen X1 Yoga which is currently on sale with a 25% discount. Thinkpad robustness, Wacom AES, under 3lbs. The only catch: price. Once you start customizing it's easy to push the price way up.
  4. Starlight5

    Starlight5 W I N T E R B O R N

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    @T-ravisty consider HP Elite X2 1012 G2 - it's like Surface Pro, but business-class upgradeable&serviceable. Both Thunderbolt3 and WiGiG docking stations available. I personally moved from X220t to TPY 260 - it's great except battery life.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  5. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Hey @T-ravisty ! Long time no see!

    Another one to consider along with the above recommendations, that has turned many heads on the forums here is the Yoga 720 with quad core CPU and even a decent integrated GPU:

    Still, if it were my money, I'd probably throw it at the new Samsung Notebook 9 15" with S-Pen...

    dedicated GPU and full Wacom EMR glory -(like your X230t)- in a 15" screen, its almost enough to make me retire my T902! ...almost. ;)
    Starlight5 and darkmagistric like this.
  6. T-ravisty

    T-ravisty Scribbler - Standard Member

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    1. My first question, is the keyboard still active with the Yoga's or any that fold back (what's the term for these style TPC's?), I'm concerned that I'd bash random buttons and bust up my workflow.
    Surely it deactivates?

    2. What are the main pen tech's out there now?
    What are their pro's and con's?


    I'll go warm up the DeLorean...

    Ouch. The Samsung Galaxy Book is looking to be AUD ~$1800.00+.
    The deal breaker
    I think you're right. I was in awe seeing your Pro 3..... Back in... 2015..... Christ, has it been that long?!
    I do enjoy the aspect ratio of the MSP line. More palm space, especially when drawing portrait.
    16:9 is a bit too small at times.
    The use of the Wacom Express Key Remote is a plus.

    I've got to hand in to Microsoft, lately they've really gone all in for the creative industries! It's gobsmacking. I just find it hilarious because for YEARS all creative stuff has been (assumed) and targeted at Apple users.

    @JoeS @Starlight5
    I'll look into both of these. I've seen the HP Spectra - which I believe is the consumer variant of the Elite X2 - at a few stores. Are they comparable to test the performance? I'd prefer the business line for upgradability (buy lowest storage and RAM and upgrade myself).

    The Yoga's do interest me, being the successor of the Lenovo x-tablet line.

    Yeah, long time. Just been busy with life. Looking at the post history it's been over a year since I logged in!

    Where are you at now?
    I've thrown myself into the world of print the past few years - I've never worked in an industry so cut throat - I've worked on some really cool projects and with some awesome clients too, but man, advertising though.... You really can feel dead inside!

    I have seen that the Yoga 720 has been causing quite the stir. An integrated GPU is a huge plus.
    Do you know whether the 4k version the 720 supports the digitizer? That would also be a plus.

    Why would you choose the Samsung Notebook 8 15" over the Yoga 720?
    Their specs seem comparable.
    It is due to the pen tech?
    I feel your workflow requirements are similar to mine when it comes to specs so I'm interested to hear.

    I usually have Illustrator, Photoshop, Bridge, Chrome, Distiller open for work.
    At home Chrome - 15+ tabs because I'm a monster, Foobar2000, Photoshop, Affinity Designer, Illustrator - Sometimes TVP, which I'm really trying to ween into using more, haven't done much animating this past year unfortunately, mostly design.

    I think right now I'm torn between the Yoga 720, Samsung Notebook 9, and MSP4/5.
    The 15" of the Yoga 720 and Samsung Notebook 9 interest and concern me. Great for the space, but the portability of it is a bit concerning.

    Thanks everyone! :)
  7. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    I've moved across Canada, still in the animation industry, but do mostly environment design for films and shows now. Its been nice! I've never worked in print much before, but I have done the odd corporate commission and I know what you mean! Don't burn yourself out!

    Samsung Notebook 9 15" > Yoga 720 mostly because the digitizer in the Samsung is really quite superior... only Wacom's own Mobile Studio Pro would compete on the same level. Wacom AES and Ntrig have come a long way though, I just know if your used to the buttery EMR response and IAF, your best off sticking with it. That said, the quad core CPU in the 720 is compelling in certain scenarios too. I imagine it could do a touch more heavy lifting in certain applications, though thermals would probably play a bigger role and I'm unaware of how both fair in the cooling department ...with regards to specific questions on the Yoga 720 @surfaceproartist is your man, but to my knowledge both screen resolutions include Wacom AES digitizer.

    1.) Yep, deactivates AND recesses to flush within the chassis to my knowledge.

    2.) N-Trig (bought by Microsoft), Wacom AES, Wacom EMR, Apple Pencil... and all the rest don't really hold a candle to those... Synaptics, etc. N-Trig has vastly improved in the most recent implementation, but still feels like a different tech than EMR so requires getting used to. Wacom AES is apparently pretty good if not still a hair better than Ntrig, but I haven't got a chance to try it yet, that's based soley on other's observations.
    thatcomicsguy likes this.
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