Tablet pc vs graphic tablets

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by lucicam, Mar 23, 2014.

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  1. lucicam

    lucicam Pen Pal - Newbie

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    First of all I'm sorry if there was one another topic on the same subject but I was not able to find it, point me to it pls :).
    If not, hello, I'm pretty new to digitally drawing and there are some really good benefits to it and I'm considering of buying something to go with it. Now I'm thinking between a graphic tablet (Intuos) or some tablet PC. I tried them both and I prefer drawing on screen, it's more natural and it feels like you're improving your on paper drawing too along with it. Although tablet PCs would be exactly what I'm interested in, there are 2 problems that come with it: the price is too hight and the performance too low. Now the graphic tablets... the problem with this is that it seems really unnatural to draw somewhere and look somewhere else and also you can't really draw properly unless you're at a desk(not that like would really be a problem but I had to say it). First time I tried to draw on one I was barely able to write properly, not even talking about drawing. I've read all around the internet that you get used to it but another thing is that I feel your drawing skills don't really improve on paper because the strokes you're doing are pretty small and also since you're not looking at what you're drawing the brain can't really improve your drawing altogether. (I still have a long way to go, It's pretty much a new hobby I picked up. I've been drawing random things all my life but I never really got into it until now.
    PS. I need to buy a laptop anyway so a tablet pc could be an option, if not I'll just get a laptop with a graphic tablet ... depending on the answers I get here xD.
    I'm sorry for any mistakes in the text, english is my second language. Also thank you for your time answering my question :)
     
  2. lucicam

    lucicam Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Seriously no one has any type of preference? -.- or just lazy to answer? hm... which option would be better in terms or getting used, easy to use and accurate? I'm not really thinking of doing professional work but I intend to make some wallpapers and t-shirts with some of my drawings on them.
    (this reply also serves as a bump)
     
  3. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    typically "Graphics Tablets" aren't really discussed much on this board, since the focus is primarily with Tablet PCs

    That being said, most of us (art users anyway) have tried traditional plug in graphics tablets. In my case I was rocking an Intuos 3 before a Tablet PC.

    If your new to both of them...the on-screen element of a Tablet PC would be much easier to adapt to. Its different for everyone, but when I first got my Intuos 3, it took me months to really get used to the disconnect. Some artists have claimed to have needed only weeks, if not days to get used to it, so its different for every artist. I can now swap between both with ease...but I still prefer drawing on screen.

    Overall I would heavily recommend a Tablet PC over a graphics tablet but there are a few pros to a graphics tablets that are worth mentioning.

    1. Unless you get a Cintiq product, most Tablet PCs do not have express keys, most Wacom Graphics Tablets like the Intuos Brand however do have them.
    2. Overall cheaper price ($300 range) and much longer life span. Even though we are technically on the 6th gen of Intuos (IntuosPro) there are still plenty of Artists using Intuos 3 & 4s, and even Bamboo Tablets. I know a few professional comic book colorists that are using Bamboos 5+ years old to this day. Since you can plug the graphics tablet into a new computer if you get one, it can live longer then a Tablet PC.
    3. On Tablet PCs there is a slight gap between the Pen tip and the digitizer panel depending on the thickness of the glass/construction of the screen/etc which creates what's called Parallax....since your new to this all, its nothing you really need to concern yourself with now, but the disconnect of a traditional Graphics Tablet kind of negates any issue Parallax can pose.
    4. Since your drawing on the screen of a Tablet PC or Cintiq.....you may be extra cautious when applying pressure since you don't want to scratch up the screen or break the glass...on a graphics tablet that is not really an issue since your not drawing on the screen. And so long as you have Intuos 4 and below you can replace the tablet surface for a much cheaper price then replacing the screen on a Tablet PC. And even if the drawing surface is scratched up, its not a big deal since it doesn't affect your display.
    5. Some digital Artists have gone all out for an expensive $2000 Cintiq rig and ended up returning it for a much cheaper graphics tablet because of a common oversight. With a Tablet PC, Cintiq.....or traditional drawing.....when you draw....your hand/arm is blocking the screen segment its over. comparatively if you use a graphics tablet....you have the entire screen in your visibility as all times when drawing. For some artists this can make or break the purchase since having the full screen is significant enough to warrant the disconnect.

    Now provided I haven't sold you on a graphics tablet.....the main benefit a Tablet PC will net you is portability. Being able to sketch on the go, or take it to places without a mess of wires. Even if you have the wireless add on for a graphics tablets and have your laptop nearby....its not as functional in a sense as using a single all in one device. The Portability and ease of using a single device is still the area where tablet PCs reign supreme.

    And although most "New" Tablet PCs are fairly expensive, since most of them were designed for business usage, you can snag some really good ones super cheap off e-bay so long as you don't mind buying used or refurbed. And since they were purchased in bulk for companies to use...most of them are in fairly good condition.

    The HP 2730p/2740p/2760p can all be found for good prices off ebay, as well as many other Tablet PC offerings from Lenovo or Fujitsu

    But if you really want a new tablet, the Surface Pro & Surface Pro 2 is currently the easiest to obtain since Best Buys and Staples nationwide will carry them. The Surface Pro 2 will cost you nearly a grand, but the original Surface Pro 1 which is still a very sufficient tablet is $599, and its quite likely Microsoft may dip the price again to $499 making it a very good deal.

    Another good option is the Asus Vivo Note 8 which retails new for $300-$329...its a tiny 8 inch screen, Most everyone on this board would agree its more of a companion tablet more then anything, but if you're starting out its should be an excellent starter tablet. And its also the Cheapest "New" Tablet kind of ever to have a Wacom digitizer.
     
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  4. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Hey lucicam welcome.

    I am an artist using a Wacom based tablet PC (T902) for art. I used a graphics tablet for years, and once used to it is a very affordable way to do anything from hobby to professional digital art. If you prefer to draw on the screen though, there are plenty of affordable options. In fact, tabletPC's are the neat niche that allow artists to draw on screen in an often more affordable way than going the normal route of just buying a Wacom Cintiq for use with your desktop or laptop. Cintiq's cost upwards of $3000 new, and then you still need a computer. You can grab them used for less, but they are quite overpriced for what they are.
    TabletPC's can be overpriced new too, but you are generally getting more for your buck. A computer, for starters!
    You could pick up a used good tabletPC and sup it up yourself with a new SSD and max RAM and still spend much less than you would on a new laptop and intuos. Like a HP2730p +SSD and RAM.

    To your question specifcally:

    Graphics tablet (Intuos, bamboo)
    PROS:
    -promote good posture
    -affordable entry
    -can deliver just as professional results (many of your favorite digital artists only use intuos, and even prefer them over Cintiqs)
    -lasts forever, doesn't need upgrading unless it breaks.
    -many levels of pressure and newest digitizer tech (arguably not noticeable)
    CONS:
    -harder to get used to
    -maybe not as fun as drawing on screen?

    TabletPC's (T902, Surface Pro 2 etc. etc.)

    PROS:
    -draw on screen
    -computer and tablet in one!
    -easy to get used to (parallax and edge drift annoys some people though)
    -FUN.

    CONS:
    -expensive (new)
    -gets outdated over time
    -older Wacom digitizers or other OEM's like Ntrig. (less pressure)
    -made for businesses not artists. (but artists use em anyway!) *exception is Wacom Companion


    If your in need of a good laptop anyway, fill out the form in the "what tabletPC should I buy?" and see if a tabletPC is the right pick for you.
     
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  5. lucicam

    lucicam Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you for taking time to answer my question. I'm really confused on what I should do, your posts helped. I'll consider them and try to make a topic on the "what tablet pc should I buy" section on the forum to see what I'm looking at considering the price and my performance requirements. :S If I really can't find a good tablet pc I think I'll just get a better laptop and a graphic tablet ... though I hope I do find something because I would prefer to look at what I'm drawing.
     
  6. kangxi1988

    kangxi1988 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One word about it, though. I still believe is better to get used to a regular tablet. Easier on your eyesight and ergonomics, and cheaper to replace, which is key if you are a freelancer pro without a great balance in your bank. Still, I am more and more seeing the huge advance that can be to have that as an additional, complementary tool, for things like inking or other accurate line art work. I don't see myself drawing 14 hours a day over a warm screen, that's for sure. But totally doing sessions of 2 - 3 hours.



    There are other brands. Such as XP-Pen Graphics drawing tablet , I have used my XP-Pen Artist15.6 tablet for 3 years . https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077PCCC7R But in my very long time research, a bit obsessive, I reckon, those are my favs. I know am going a bit off topic, but IMO, at some point of the hobby (I was a hobbyist before getting to live from it ) you "might" want... more.
     
  7. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Personally and I think my advancing age has something to do with this - don't give up with drawing on paper. My personal experience is that I can't get the accuracy I want or am used to with pencil / brush on paper. My advice to myself if I was asking your questions would be try and explore combining scanned drawings and digital techniques. Find your personal balance and strengths and work with them.

    I'd also warn myself that there are some techniques that digital technology still hasn't duplicated or found algorithms for yet and there are some techniques that there are buttons for in Photoshop or similar that would make my traditional artwork less painful.
     
  8. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    OP is from 2014, guys.

    Still.., the question is not without it's replay value!

    Personally.., I'm really glad I went with a digital solution. My eyesight has been going the same way as that of my parents before me. -I may need bi-focal lenses at some point in the next ten or fifteen years. I'm finding I have to lean in much more than I used to when I was a kid to see and work in high detail, and that's not fun. With a computer screen, I can let the computer do all the magnification while I get to keep my back straight!

    I keep paper/pen projects in the non-critical part of my art life, doing sketches and one-offs, while my long hours of production work I do on a computer.

    I suppose a 'blind' graphics tablet would provide the same sort of service and do it even better, because I could be sitting up completely straight with the pen in front of me, but I find the disconnect was not something I could get over back when I was trying to get over it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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