Surface Pro 3 - NTrig digitizer comments, questions & reviews

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by mstoller, Jun 6, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. SAM 2013

    SAM 2013 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Was there some sort on "non-compete" clause in their contract.
    This does not make a lot of sense, unless Microsoft was not
    following the agreement. Just how many specialized Companions do they
    really sell to the average customer?


    So, does that mean the NTrig pen is purposely "Gimped" so
    it does not perform as well as the Wacom on the Surface 1 & 2?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  2. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,930
    Likes Received:
    1,893
    Trophy Points:
    181
    I've heard directly from folks within Wacom that they were very disappointed by Microsoft's decision. What's your source for this?
     
  3. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

    Messages:
    4,067
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Trophy Points:
    181
    It was via back-channel conversations that were leaked....
     
  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,493
    Likes Received:
    3,462
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Hmm so I guess surfaceproartist just got the official "PR line", while Wacom is silently re-positioning its tech for (only?) the 8-10" Tablet PC segment and Android devices (with Samsung).

    This is making me quite depressed. I'm holding out on the SP3, until when (if?) MS ever implements the pen fixes they promised Gabe from PA. In the mean time, there seems to be a troubling lack any new announcement for Core i5/i7 Wacom-enabled tablets.

    Samsung seems to have killed it's Tablet PC initiative entirely after the death of the Ativ Q. Lenovo hasn't mentioned any firm plans to update the Helix. The only new Core i Wacom tablet to launch recently is Toshiba's Dynabook Kira L93, but that was actually announced last year. Fujitsu's T and Q Lifebooks and Motion's R12 tablets were also late 2013 products.

    Might Wacom have actually rejected all new 2014 12+" tablet designs from OEMs? Please say it isn't so.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  5. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

    Messages:
    4,067
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Here is the source of these leaked back channel rumor...

    Some insights into Wacom > N-Trig change: Surface pro 3 | Coffeehouse | Forums | Channel 9

    "1. It helps to make the tablet thinner.

    One of the reasons bigger and fatter Wacom Tablet PCs work better than thinner ones is that they can use thicker and better sensor board. I think one of the reasons why Surface Pro 1 and 2 was thicker than most people would have liked is because of the extra depth needed for the sensor board layer below the LCD. N-Trig does not use extra sensor board, but just uses the projected capacitive touch layer for X/Y coordinate.

    2. Wacom DID NOT want bigger Surface to have Wacom in it.

    Recently Wacom has "requested" MS that they do not advertise Surface Pro 1 and 2 having Wacom tech. Indeed when you go to MS Store, now they will avoid telling you that they have Wacom pen in it..

    This is because Wacom does not want Surface Pro from further eating into Cintiq Companion sales, which is not as good as they hoped (hence the price drop). The Pro 1 and 2 was eating into it bad enough at 10". At 12", this would be a disaster, so no more Wacom inside.

    3. Hardware wise, N-Trig has caught up with Wacom:

    The new Duo Sense 2 with v3 firmware is Very good. The pressure curve is just as responsive, the tip is just as sensitive, and temporal update rate is similar. And N-Trig's design by nature has less parallax issues, and tip offset issues since the pen tip sensor is closer to the pen tip, and the sensor grid for X/Y coordinate is right at the surface of the tablet.

    The only remaining problems are drivers, and software support.

    Software support isn't what you think it is. It is more subtle and entrenched. Most art software out there was first written when N-Trig did not exist, and they are tailored for Wacom's pressure curve. This is why N-Trig feels a bit "off" with things like Painter for example. But with more recent apps with neutral pressure curve like Fresh Paint, they feel about the same.

    As for drivers, if you use apps that already support Microsoft's tablet API, like Manga Studio 5/Clip Studio Paint, then you are good to go. Just go into setting and flip the tablet settings. Even with things like Photoshop, things are getting better since now CS support Microsoft tablet API natively. We just have to wait for rest of the art app community to stop only supporting Wacom's WinTab API."
     
    uncaringbear likes this.
  6. spinedoc77

    spinedoc77 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,871
    Likes Received:
    464
    Trophy Points:
    101
    So do you think Wacom actually told MS NOT to use their hardware? I mean it's not like MS is specifically advertising the SP3 as having NTrig technology. If they released the SP3 with Wacom but didn't advertise it the people who want Wacom would know VERY quickly it had that hardware, and the people who don't care or don't know wouldn't get excited over Wacom branding. I can't see the advantage of MS choosing to not use Wacom, note I used the word choosing.

    The more I think about it the more I'll bet the reason was based on saving money, plain and simple. Maybe there was some encouragement from Wacom, maybe not, but could they really have flat out refused to license their hardware to MS?
     
  7. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,493
    Likes Received:
    3,462
    Trophy Points:
    231
    I read this post a while back as well, but I thought it was just the poster's speculation. In Point 2, he doesn't actually state any more than what Shogmaster said a while back as to Wacom's possible motivations.

    Point 1 was called into question when dstrauss and others noted that Samsung is able to create extremely thin-profile android devices (with minimal bezel) using Wacom tech.

    And point 3 is highly opinionated at best. For example he states that the polling rate is similar, but neglects to mention that is only when the pen is in contact with screen, not during hover (thus creating hover lag). He says that the tip is just as responsive, but people have noted that the IAF on N-Trig seems significantly higher than Wacom's 3g. The increased hover distance that Wacom provides is also glossed over, but this has the very real benefit of improving palm rejection.

    So all in all, I'm skeptical that we can use this one source to determine Wacom's intent.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  8. dceggert

    dceggert Owner of a TabletPC Museum Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,105
    Likes Received:
    553
    Trophy Points:
    181
    My opinion is that the rumored Wacom request is nothing but conjecture based only on noted poor sales and price cuts for the Cintiq. It's a guess.

    My guess, based on my extensive knowledge of product design, development, and manufacturing, is that Microsoft probably stopped stating the SP1 and SP2 had Wacom inside right about the time N-trig was chosen for the SP3 to avoid discussions later. The design process would dictate prototypes with both systems be constructed (and there may have been more; Atmel and Synaptics may have been tried as well). Then the prototypes would have been analyzed to death for package, cost, and performance. Panay stated at the intro that every decision was made to minimize thickness so N-trig was selected because it can be thinner, have better battery life, cost less, and performs well compared to Wacom.

    Continuing to advertise Wacom being in the SP1 and SP2 after the time of the decision would then mean explaining why SP3 went N-trig later if Wacom was so good. So, instead of setting up for a detailed comparison of why a change in digitizer technology happened, the advertising group just stopped talking about what was in the predecessors and there would then be no explanation needed when the SP3 launched. Not talking about it for a year or so would mean people would forget, right?

    Only YOU would care; John Q Public iPad buyer wouldn't know the difference between "whackem", "entrig", or "at mall" so no need to talk about it and just confuse people unnecessarily.
     
  9. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,329
    Likes Received:
    3,840
    Trophy Points:
    331
    <<...My guess...is that Microsoft probably stopped stating the SP1 and SP2 had Wacom inside right about the time N-trig was chosen for the SP3 to avoid discussions later...>>

    Dan: Pretty logical argument, in my opinion...
     
  10. jnjroach

    jnjroach Technology Strategist Super Moderator

    Messages:
    4,067
    Likes Received:
    1,477
    Trophy Points:
    181
    I can confirm that this did happen between Wacom and Microsoft, and the updated their marketing prior to any announcement of the SP3, but I'm unable to divulge my source....sorry....
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page