Tablet PC for drawing

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by M Lam, May 31, 2017.

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  1. M Lam

    M Lam Pen Pal - Newbie

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    i've been doing a lot of research and digging, but there's so much out there that it's overwhelmed me; hoping to get some clarity here and narrow my options down to a handful, or maybe even find the perfect fit.

    1. What is your budget?
    up to $1600 (CAD), absolute maximum. ideally around $1000 or lower. if you're aware of any sales where higher priced items are lowered to this range, any time of year, mention that too please!

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    new is preferred, but i would go for it if it would save me a considerable amount

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    i'm looking for a tablet PC or some other kind of convertible; a tablet that functions like a laptop and runs Windows, not an Apple or Android OS

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    at least 10 inches, preferably more

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

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    i was skeptical to lenovo since my previous laptop was one and was an awful piece of junk, but i'm open to trying their tablet PCs

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    at the very least, 2 and quick to charge; ideally 4 or more

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    i work as a primarily digital artist, and i'd just like to be able to take my work portable. i'll be mainly using it for drawing, writing, planning projects, and keeping track of my work. i'll also likely use it to show my portfolio and other work.

    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?
    it needs to run windows 8 or 10, not a mobile OS. no need for additional things like google services

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    needs to be able to run sai/sai 2, photoshop and other adobe programs (incopy, indesign, audition), and microsoft office. animation programs would be an added bonus, but not necessary. (not all at once, of course)

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    at most, i'd run the sims 3. but i don't need to up the specs just for leisure stuff, i'll just deal with what it's capable of handling or turning down graphics settings.

    12. Would you like to stream content through your home theater system?
    that's not an option for me, so no

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    at least 1080p

    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
    i'll be using it while traveling, and glare resistance would be a lovely addition, but isn't necessary.

    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, i need a pen with pressure sensitivity. wacom is preferable, but i'll take anything that performs well, as long as it has good pressure levels. i'm aiming for around 1024, give or take. something comparable to a standard graphics tablet.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    256 hard drive at least, i might consider 128 if it matches the other requirements and would save me a considerable amount, but as a last resort; i'm also open to 128 if i can upgrade the drive at a later time. the more memory, the better.

    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?
    at least 2 USB ports; HDMI and SD card slots aren't needed, but would be a nice addition.

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    i would prefer a tablet that's detachable from the keyboard, but folding convertibles are acceptable too. ISP would be great also, as my current setup uses ISP monitors and it's important to my work.

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    it should really come with a pen already, or at least have the option to add it for a relatively cheap price, for what i'm going to be shelling out. i'll buy online or in a physical store, as long as it's available for canada.
     
  2. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Your absolute best choice for digital art is the Wacom MobileStudio Pro. I don't know how that fits with your CAD budget. The MSP also isn't the ideal portable PC. My flavor of the month in convertibles is the Lenovo Yoga 720 15. It doesn't sound like you plan to do 3D, so you may be ok with the sub-$1000 model with integrated graphics. The Surface Pro 4 is still a solid choice, but you may want to wait for the new Surface Pro, which is due out in two weeks (though the new model will be slightly above your budget).
     
  3. M Lam

    M Lam Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm definitely interested in the Mobile Studio Pro, but it's waaaay above my price range unfortunately, i don't think any refurbishment or sales would help me on that one ahaha; i have been looking at the lenovo yoga series a lot, and the 720 seems to fit what i'm looking for and can afford more. personally i found the surface pro to be a bit shaky for drawing when i tested it out, but i'll keep an eye out for the new one and see if that's more to my liking.
    i'll still take more suggestions though!
     
  4. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm pretty excited about the upcoming Samsung convertible line. They have a 15.6" 1080p machine which uses, (wait for it) Wacom EMR!

    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/thr...d-15-flippers-with-windows-10-and-spen.72302/

    There's a silo for a small S-Pen, which is nice, but the pen is quite small, -too small I think for long periods of arting. But I believe there's a larger, more comfortable pen available from Wacom for about $60.

    Pricing and availability haven't been announced yet, but this looks like it may be *the* 2-in-1 to beat in the digital arts market.

    If you're interested in trying out this tech for super discount prices, there are a host of old tablet PC machines going back more than ten years on eBay. I still use an old Toshiba machine as my main backpack machine which is now 13 years old, and I got it for only $50 on eBay. I've done hundreds of comic pages on that thing!
     
  5. Hannes D

    Hannes D Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hey thatcomicsguy
    which old ones from ebay do you recommend?
    I am looking for a budget convertible or tablet to try out

    something small with a decent battery (a few hours)
    or
    something that is medium or bigger that i can keep plugged in (like a cheap laptop with dead battery )
     
  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    This is one of my favorites:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/TOSHIBA-POR...593873?hash=item58f6f85cd1:g:0H0AAOSwlY1ZJx0K

    I don't know if that one comes with the stylus or not, (resellers are often unaware that there is a stylus silo on the side). But compared to any modern $1000 tablet... $45 makes this as close to "Free" as you can get without it actually being free. I've spent more on groceries in one go before, and this is a fully functioning, portable Cintiq! I did a whole graphic novel on this exact model. (I graduated to a "14 Toshiba, and those are available as well, but they have a heating problem which needs a hardware fix, so I don't recommend them to people unless they're pretty hard core tinkerers.)

    I mean, it IS old, the screen isn't nearly as pretty as modern tech, and the memory maxes out at 2 Gigs and the processor is slow, and, and, and... But if you put Win 7 on the thing, you can run the current ClipStudio Paint with no trouble and there's tons of tech support pages. It's a great starter machine if you're looking to get your feet wet for under $100. It also has the highest resolution screen out of all of them at 1400 x 1050 at 4:3 12".

    Bumping up a level into the $150 range, you can get much more powerful old computers, with core i5/i7 tech. Notable entries include...

    The famous and thoroughly excellent HP Elitebook series...
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-EliteBoo...668995?hash=item1ec7891643:g:2YwAAOSwUKxYdms0

    And the Fujitsu Lifebook series had several nice convertible machines...
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujitsu-LIF...287850?hash=item25d7801eaa:g:vDYAAOSwfpVZJ4rB

    Thinkpad also did a bunch of Tablet PCs, and they were great; excellent hardware, but too expensive for me at the time to investigate. They're dinosaurs now as well, so they're probably quite affordable today. (I believe that one of the models also had an optional 1400x1050 12" screen, but I don't know how you'd find that today!)
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Thin...988838?hash=item3ae50dc826:g:Sg0AAOSwhQhY0qFR

    I stuck with the Toshiba line, even though the CPU's were older tech; -The old Pentium M series, but since they were fast enough to run Photoshop and other 2D drawing programs, I was okay with that. Their big advantage was that they had the biggest and highest resolution screens of all, which was my priority at the time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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