Tablet for a Senior in college studying Graphics Design

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by convergent, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    My daughter is a Senior in Graphics Design and uses a MacBook Pro running the Adobe Creative Suite. She primarily uses Illustrator and InDesign. She is looking for a "tablet", but no idea what would be best. She has fellow students that use Wacom tablets (not Cintiq) and a few who have iPad Pros. Looking for some advice on what would be the best for her to get, and if she did an iPad Pro then what software would she use that she could import into the Adobe Creative Suite?

    Help! :)

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget? Prefer under $1,000, but really depends on how well it works.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished? Yes

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible? No preference

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    • 5 to7-inches
    • 7.1 to 10-inches
    • 10 to 13-inches X
    • Above 13-inches

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

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes? Currently using a MacBook Pro for main computer.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require? 4+

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

    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? Have an iPhone and Mac

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc) Currently use Adobe Creative Suite, primarily Illustrator and InDesign

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list. No

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system? No

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution? No

    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 No

    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. Yes, this is a key aspect of the tablet, for drawing.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory? 64G 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? NA

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?

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

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The most affordable and nicest tablets right now for traditional illustration style work are the new Wacom EMR digitizers --- presumably your daughter has a license for Adobe Creative Cloud --- this allows two activations, so one can have both a Mac and a Windows install on the same license.

    The Samsung Galaxy Book 10 is a very nice unit and quite affordable --- if you can stretch the budget to get the 12, it's even nicer. If you do get one of the new Wacom EMR digitizers, be sure to get a Staedtler Noris Digital Stylus to go with it --- very, very nice.
     
  3. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    As incredible as it sounds coming from me, in this case I think a laptop+Intuos pro tablet would be a better choice.
    My problem is that manipulating those damn control points in Illustrator directly on screen with the pen and your hand blocking your view is a poor experience. So poor that when I had to use illustrator on my Cintiq Companion I ended up using a mouse to do the job.
    Add to this that, despite what Adobe claims, Illustrator has a tendency to work poorly when it comes to pressure control on anything that’s not Cintiq/Intuos. Recently a friend of mine wanted to get a Galaxy Book 12 so I made her a favor and tried it on mine: I couldn’t do a thin to thick line with the brush no matter what, so I told her it was a no go sadly.

    If she already has a decent Macbook Pro and wants a tablet at all costs, I would consider the iPad Pro with a subscription to Astropad Studio Pro. At least this way she can use it as both a sort of Cintiq and a stand alone tablet to do some lightweight drafting while waiting the arrival of Affinity Designer for iOS.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
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  4. V.I.N.CENT

    V.I.N.CENT Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I agree with Azzart. If she's not an illustrator, I would go with standard Wacom Intuos Pro tablets, whichever size feels more comfortable to her. As a Graphic Designer and Illustrator with over 20 years experience using tablets and Interactive Screens, an Intuos on the side will be much more productive than working on the screen for almost all Graphic Design options. Illustration and digital painting are the only places I find working directly on the screen is beneficial. When I'm trying to do line work in Illustrator or touching up photos in Photoshop, having my hand on the screen actually gets in the way but using a digitizer to the side is absolutely necessary. If you don't want to spring for the brand name of "Wacom" then you can look at alternate professional digitizing tablets like Huion which are really pretty good as well. Knowing how college kids are though and, if money isn't critical, then always go with Wacom. They are still the standard bearers in the region.

    I personally use a Macbook Pro Touchbar with a Wacom Intuos Pro Medium and have a UGEE 22" Digitizing Display for when I want to do illustration work on screen and as a Second monitor. The Intuos is my go to for 99% of my work though. Most of my Illustration work I do on my iPad Pro 12.9" now with ProCreate.
     
  5. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I will gladly yield to @Azzart 's observation on Illustrator --- never liked it (and I've been using it since v3.2 on a NeXT Cube), I've always used Flash, FutureWave SmartSketch, or Macromedia Freehand when I needed to do vector illustration.

    FWIW, I suggested a Mac Mini, Wacom Cintiq, and iPad Pro w/ Apple Pencil and the software to make it work like a Cintiq when my daughter was considering upgrading from your old MacBook Pro --- didn't mention it here 'cause she has yet to take the plunge.
     
  6. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks all... great suggestions. I'm getting a bit beyond my understanding of this, but she can use other software on the tablet if she got an iPad Pro, and then import drawings into InDesign I believe. This is where she kind of lost me. Are there other vector graphics software you'd recommend for the iPad Pro.

    Summing up what I'm hearing... the Intous may be the best place to start because your hand doesn't block your drawing on the screen and you have full control of Illustrator.... and its a lot less expensive. The iPad Pro can be used as an attached tablet with Astropad, kind of like a Cintiq, and also stand alone with iOS illustration apps. Out of curiosity, how good or bad is the experience with Astropad vs. a real Cintiq? My understanding is the Cintiq drags with it a lot of cables and power supply making it a less than ideal portable solution. Being a college student still, she hauls everything around in her backpack.

    What is the difference between Intuos Pro Medium and the Paper Edition? Looks like $300 vs. $350 on Amazon.

    What is the difference between the Cintiq 13HD and Pro 13"? Looks like the $800 vs. $1000 on Amazon.

    A refurb 12.9" iPad Pro 128GB Wifi is about $659 + $85 for the Pencil.

    I'm not sure having her adding a Windows tablet to her bag would be good, as she's never really used anything but a Mac. Plus, they would all be a lot more money... like if she got a Galaxy Book, right?

    We could actually get the iPad Pro and Intuos for about the same money as the Cintiq.
     
  7. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I believe the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil would be the best option --- using the software @Azzart mentioned it can be used as a Cintiq/tablet and would be a single thing to add / manage.

    I've done the separate graphics (Intuos) tablet and laptop thing, and it's clunky if one is travelling (though less so now w/ power over USB) --- fine if one can leave the tablet set up at a desk and cable up to it when working there.
     
  8. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    We ended up going with an iPad Pro and Pencil... the newer middle sized one. Got a deal on Black Friday and I just got it to her this past weekend at the university. After a few days she is really loving it. She is not using it connected to her Mac as a Cintiq wannabe... but only stand alone so far. Over the holidays she'll be experimenting with different usage models. Still may also get an Intuos Pro Medium.
     
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  9. Richard B. Beets

    Richard B. Beets Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The Wacom Intuos Draw is an affordable battery-free tablet for Photoshop and digital artists. Some of the others you may try,

    Huion KAMVAS GT-156 HD
    Wacom Intuos Pro
    Huion KAMVAS GT-191
    Microsoft Surface Pro 4
    XP-Pen Artist 10S
     
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