Still on the hunt for that perfect sketching machine...

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Neve, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Neve

    Neve Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions

    1. What is your budget?

    450ish USD. Lower is better, would prefer more around 100-250 personally, but will pay for more.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?

    Definitely!

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

    Media/mobile tablet with stylus or Windows tablet pc

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    • 9.7 to 13-inches
    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?

    USA

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?

    Not really no

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?

    Hmm 6+ hours of constant use should be plenty. I can be more lenient on this.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)

    Sketching, light drawing, Powerpoint/Document viewer (for notes), surfing the web

    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?

    Whatever gets the job done.

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

    iOS: Medibang, Procreate
    Android: Medibang, Artflow
    Windows: Clip Studio Paint, Medibang

    All three will be using at least PP.


    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.

    Nope!

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

    Nope!

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?

    At least standard HD (1920 x 1080).


    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

    Mostly inside cafes and such, but will be using this outside as well.

    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

    Wacom EMR usually, but we'll see.

    Component Specifics

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

    Depends on the device, but minimum 4 GB for Windows. Android and iOS maybe 3 GB?

    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?

    A non-issue.

    Misc:

    MUST be light and run cool. It must be touchscreen!

    Background:


    I bought a Notebook 9 Pro, and while I haven't had a chance to use it much yet for art, I've fallen head over heels in love with it. It's fast and the Wacom EMR is like butter. However, I bought it also to double as a school computer so I'm treating it carefully since it's the most expensive tech investment I've made.

    Last year, I bought a Samsung Tab A 10.1 with S-pen and while I love the portability, I feel its storage size, processor and RAM size to be severely lacking, even for sketching. I can't really work in Artflow or Medibang or most art apps passed a 2000x2000 ppi canvas without it starting to lag. But I love being able to scroll through my notes and browse. Anyway, I'd like to sell it while it's still commanding a decent price which leads me to fulfilling its spot:

    I want something as light and cool as possible. I want to be able to stuff it in my bag for cafe trips or test days at school. I want to be able to flip it out and read my notes and it not to feel cumbersome. But I also want to be able to draw on it at 300 dpi (min.) canvases (3000x3000 ppi) without delay or lag.

    I've been looking at the Galaxy Book 12, but touch just seems more fluid and intuitive on Android/iOS, so considering one of the newer Tabs too. I also own the HP Zbook pen and S3 pen which I LOVE both dearly. If there are older machines that can take advantage of these pens' low IAF, I wouldn't mind knowing. I probably won't settle on anything until I at least try the new Apple Pencil, but as it is right now, the weight of the barrel for the original just isn't ergonomic enough for my hand.

    I WILL wiggle on budget if there is a notable performance difference on something, but I would prefer to not spend more than half of what I paid for my Notebook which was 940 with the tax included.

    So, your thoughts? :) Thanks in advanced!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  2. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 or S4?
     
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  3. Neve

    Neve Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm thinking about it, but would like to hear other suggestions ha ha. I'm wondering if there is a real difference in power. I've seen a couple reviews so far there isn't between the two, but I can't tell if the latency (?) is improved. Has anyone tried both? I find Artflow and Sketchbook Pro to be the most responsive on my Tab A, but working on anything beyond 150 dpi is a chore.

    I just watched a video comparing the Surface Pro 2017 and Lenovo Miix 520 that has Wacom AES 2.0 and the latter performed waaaay better. But I'm guessing all devices with the improved AES are out of my budget range, right?

    I should reiterate I am open for older machines provided they have touch and aren't too heavy and hot. A Fujitsu Stylistic, for example, is not something I want. I have one and it's more trouble than it's worth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  4. Neve

    Neve Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Sorry for the double post, but just want to say that I'm looking more and more into Windows machines. Galaxy Book and the Helix Gen 2 have caught my eye from recommendations on this board. Touch seems to work well on both of these devices, but how is palm rejection? Also still open to other considerations. I really just want something to supplement my laptop.
     
  5. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Android is pure junk for content creation. I picked up an S3 recently and it's a beautiful piece of technology totally wasted on an OS from hell and all the "Apps" are spawn thereof. The only thing it is good for is honing your Pavlovian responses to social media, watching movies and the alarm clock. And I guess things like keeping track of appointments. It's a glorified pocket book.

    You can sketch on it, but after using a full Windows machine, it's basically an exercise in masochism and self-labotomy.

    A GB 12 using Clip Studio Paint is going to have excellent palm rejection and excellent touch.

    Generally speaking, you're not going to get a good touch interface with older equipment. Touch was only perfected with Windows 10, and all the good older machines ran on Win 7 and are an inch thick. (Though, there might have been a Windows 8 tablet or two out there, but I can't recall anything standing out from that period.)

    Your budget is going to have to be in the $1000 range to be realistic for the kind of feature set you are looking for in new equipment.

    If you drop touch and thinness and long battery life as requirements, (and you don't mind looking old school), you can get an absolutely wonderful older machine for around $150.

    And then of course...

    There's the weird and wonderful Fujitsu t904/935... That's an outlier in all of this. Might be just the thing. (Though, I don't know how good its touch is.) I've never used one, but reports are generally positive, and it would fit your budget.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujitsu-Li...=item56ba13bfd2:g:3MAAAOSwoDlb22zG:rk:12:pf:0
     
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  6. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm gonna scream the answer 'till all of y'all gets it:

    LENOVO HELIX 2ND GEN!
    LENOVO HELIX 2ND GEN!
    LENOVO HELIX 2ND GEN!
    LENOVO HELIX 2ND GEN!
    LENOVO HELIX 2ND GEN!
    LENOVO HELIX 2ND GEN!

    It's EMR, it's got a relatively modern CPU with decent power and battery life, It's the right size (11.6") and right resolution for the size (1080p), it's got a great KB dock if you want one, and most importantly of all, it's got proper Feel driver support that makes the current Samsung EMR units useless in comparison in pen action. And you can get the base tablet for under $300 on eBay.
     
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  7. rhizome

    rhizome Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Shogmaster, does the helix have pressure and tilt?
     
  8. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Tilt wont be on older EMR machines like the Helix, but the pressure curve, IAF and touch should feel like butter... a very good drawing experience. EMR is still king of the crop, if you can find a 2nd gen Lenovo Helix at a good price, it would be perfect for your needs.
     
  9. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Since you already have the Notebook 9 as you're main device, I would get the Galaxy Book 10.6. It might be dinky on specs with only 4GB of Ram and Core m3, but it can certainly hold its own, I bounce files between the GB10 and the Mobile Studio Pro with no problem (in Clip Studio anyway) And since you're already accustomed to drawing on the Notebook 9, you'll feel right at home since the Galaxy Book uses the same caliber of S-pen tech. And the Zbook X2 pen will work just as well on the Book as it does the NB9. With older EMR Tablets like the Helix 2, the Zbook Pen and current Spens might not work as well since the older EMR devices were designed for different nib assemblies and the Pressure output might be wonky.

    One criticism I would throw at the Helix....while I never owned one, I did have the Thinkpad Tablet 10 which borrowed the same overall design as the Helix.....and one thing that drove me crazy was the edges. Because of the keyboard dock design......the Bottom has squared edges and the top has rounded edges. I didn't think too much of this when I bought it....but I used it for life drawing and general purpose sketching....and the edges did drive me crazy. Just makes the device feel kind of awkward when holding it in portrait mode......and it also made the devices balance feel off....since the bottom squared edge was thicker and weighted more then the top round edge. The Galaxy Book....despite having a notch for the keyboard/Book attachment....is much more flush, round all around, and its weight more balanced.
     
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  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    When it comes down to it, the feel of a tablet is one of the most often overlooked features when folks (like me, anyway) consider a purchase.

    -I mean, we look at CPU specs, screen specs, pen specs.., all the specs! We worry about things like light bleed and fan noise and battery life.

    But as close as we come to thinking about what it will be like to hold the darned thing in our hands, which is where it is going to be during an important portion of its service life, (they're supposed to be digital clip boards, after all!), is to discuss weight and puzzle over where the stylus is supposed to go.

    I had a Portege M400, which had better internal specs than its little brother, the M200. It had a faster 64bit CPU, twice as much memory and an optical drive, with the same 12" Wacom EMR screen. I was thrilled when I found one at a price I could afford!

    And I used it for maybe three weeks before giving up on it and going back to the M200.

    Why?

    You guessed it!

    The M200 just felt better in my hands. The M400 creaked and groaned, it's cheap plastic panels bending under its own weight, the weird, sharp edges digging into my hands. It felt like a dollar store toy.

    The "lesser" M200 by comparison was solid and comfortable. It's lid action was smooth and all the ports were in the right places. It took buying a "superior" model to realize just how well designed it was, -and how important ergonomics are with these devices.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
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