Tablet/Convertible for Photoshop for under $600? [Form filled out]

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by thezeronumber, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. thezeronumber

    thezeronumber Pen Pal - Newbie

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    General Questions

    1. What is your budget?
    £400 maximum, aka $600.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Yes (I'd have to for this budget).

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

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    12" minimum. 13-14" would be great.

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    England, UK.

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

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    Will be plugged in most of the time. Maybe 1-2 hour(s) for "emergencies" would be nice

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet?

    9. Do you have an OS preference?
    Windows XP/7.

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run?
    Photoshop CS4/5.

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

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

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    No, as long as the UI doesn't fill up the entire screen (I don't know how to tell what resolutions will give what UI size in Photoshop).

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

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig?
    Yes (Wacom (P)enabled with 256+ pressure sensitivity).

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    60Gb minimum. 100Gb+ would be great.
    Expandable memory minimum. Default Ram doesn't matter too much as I would need to upgrade it for Photoshop.

    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?
    2x USB 2.0 ports minimum. 3-4x would be great.
    CD drive, SD and MicroSD would be great but not essential.

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    I have a lovely Desktop at home which is more than capable of running Photoshop and a plethora of other things but for various reasons I do not get to use it as much as I would prefer. What I would like is a portable device which can run Photoshop well-enough so I can work on line-art and colouring with several large layers (I will be drawing more than photo-editing). I am hoping for a plug-and-play experience where I can settle-in to a new destination and be able to use the device for a few hours before travelling somewhere else and doing the same there: AC power will be the main source and any battery life is an emergency back-up to me (power-cuts, need to swap to a different wall outlet, etc). I hear that 4-8Gb of Ram is required for decent Photoshop fluidity and that the CPU doesn't matter too much as long as it's a dual-core and isn't ULV but someone would have to help me on confirming that and detailing what other specifications I should be looking out for. I do not care much for resolution as long as the picture is clear and Photoshop's UI doesn't invade 75% of the screen. 12" is the minimum size I will take but the more the better for obvious reasons. I know I'd need to go second-hand or refurbished and I have no problem with that but I'm still not sure how realistic my hopes are with such a budget. I don't mind if the device won't be winning any style awards, what I care for is function and practicality. Weight and dimensions are not a concern either. As long as the screen is in good shape and it works how it should I will be happy.

    I have contemplated purchasing a new Laptop and using a Wacom Tablet alongside it but I have an absolutely horrific time with drawing on one surface while looking at another: Something about it feels so disjointed and try as I might I cannot get used to the idea of it. I've made do with this set-up on my Desktop for a while but I often feel like a mouse and line-art tool could produce a very similar result in a much faster time and with less need to perform multiple attempts or feel like punching the monitor in frustration (I'm currently using the mouse to colour as I'm that horrible with Wacom Tablets).

    That's pretty much all of the information I can think of right now. I've done some brief searching around on ebay and have found a few potential devices but with so many choices and variations available I am lost in a sea of confusion. There are a couple of Toshiba Tecra M7s being sold for £315 and I've heard good things about them (14.1" screen!) but I have no idea if that's a good deal or if there is some catch I am failing to recognise. I also noticed a Fujitsu T4220 going for a bit over £300 which is apparently the higher-resolution version at 1400x1050 but again, the specifications and prices of these particular devices elude me: I'm comfortable enough with Desktop components but this is a whole new ball-game.

    I am hoping you guys can herd this lost sheep through the maze of drawing devices! :)
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012

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