Tablet w/ Wacom Digitizer for Design Professional

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by solagratia, May 20, 2013.

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  1. solagratia

    solagratia Pen Pal - Newbie

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    My wife is one of those super creative types who uses Autocad and SolidWorks. She does industrial design and architectural drafting work and is looking for a mobile solution to supplement her desktop workstation. A friend recommended the MS Surface Pro and I've heard tell that the Fujitsu Lifebook T902 may be another possible solution. She values processing power and accuracy over form factor and mobility (though all are important). I was wondering if anyone in this community had thoughts on current powerful mobile solutions that we may consider that are currently out or are slated to come out before 2014. I've heard that Wacom is coming out with a tablet, but its more than likely going to be a droid OS, can anyone confirm that this is more than an educated assumption?

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Wacom's customer base relies on tried and true visual art and 3D design software. Android does not yet offer any mature software specifically useful/essential to professional artists/designers.

    I suspect Wacom is fully cognizant of this fact and I doubt they would shoot themselves in the foot, creating a product their established customer base will have no motivation to embrace.

    One thought is that their upcoming device may compromise and run Android natively with the option of plugging into an x86 computer to run as a standard Cintiq. I don't see the immediate advantage in that either, unless Wacom is gambling that Android will soon offer a much more robust set of software choices than it does at present. I don't see that happening for another year or two at the very least.

    In any case, unless their new machine can offer a larger screen than 13.3", then the only advantage over competing existing devices will be tilt sensitivity in their stylus. If that feature is unimportant, then the Fujitsu T902 may be a better choice; it's available right now, is very powerful and has a 13.3" screen to work on.
     
  3. meow9th

    meow9th Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The T902 has the advantage over the Surface Pro and every other tablet PC today in terms of processing power - not only does it offer a Core i7 rather than i5, it offers a full-voltage processor rather than an ultra low voltage one. Also, I don't know how important memory is for AutoCAD and SolidWorks, but the T902 offers up to 16 gb RAM whereas the Surface Pro tops out at 4 gb.

    The Surface Pro has the advantage over the T902 is terms of form factor and mobility. It's 10.6" rather than 13.3", it weighs 2 lb rather than 4.4 lb, and is not made any appreciably thicker or heavier by its keyboard dock solution (the Touch/Type Cover). The Surface Pro is also cheaper.

    For something in between (and still very expensive), you may want to look at the Thinkpad Helix for your wife. It offers up to Core i7 (still ultra low voltage though) and up to 8 gb RAM. It is 11.6" and weighs 1.8 lb without its keyboard dock and something like 4 lb with its keyboard dock. It is not yet widely available, but resellers have stock.

    Another possibility is the Thinkpad X230t, a convertible tablet PC similar to the T902 in many specs. It is somewhat smaller at 12.5" and 3.7 lb. Beware of the low resolution, 1366 by 768.

    You did not mention battery life, but both the Helix and the T902 have the potential to provide twice the battery life of the Surface Pro due to the extra battery option on those devices. Of course, twice the battery life means pretty much twice the weight, too.
     
  4. tijo

    tijo Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Small note on that, the i7 offered remains a dual core CPU, namely the i7-3540M, I'm not too sure 300 extra MHz and 1 MB extra L3 cache is really worth the price hike for the i7 vs the i5 unless you're going to crunch numbers on it, render scenes, etc. The full voltage vs ultra low voltage is worth it if you want more processing power though, regardless of the model, I agree on that.
     
  5. Zero

    Zero Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The Fujitsu LifeBook T902 is the best tablet PC out right now.
     
  6. solagratia

    solagratia Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey Everyone!!

    Thanks so much for all your super fast and insightful replies :). We'll check out the all the options and get back to you with what we decide.

    You guys rock!!
     
  7. meow9th

    meow9th Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I agree, and I always opt for Core i5 when I'm buying machines for myself - even though I do crunch numbers. However, sometimes people want that extra edge, particularly if they are using demanding software, which seemed to be the case here.

    The benefits of i7 over i5 are really marginal, I feel, and except for heavy loads, I just don't see that anybody would ever notice (except for the additional heat from the i7!). Even my number-crunching - if I do something really serious, that takes several hours, then it'll still take several hours with the i7. Maybe it'll take 4.5 hr instead of 5 hr, but from a practical viewpoint, that doesn't make a difference does it?

    But I feel that for heavy-load uses, the i7 will make a noticeable difference over the i5. Not sure if this is such a case.

    Well, and there's also the voltage M vs U difference.
     
  8. tijo

    tijo Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    If you're crunching numbers all day/all week, then 4.5 hours vs 5 hours can be worth it, especially if your job depends on it, otherwise, in my opinion, the upgrade to the i7 is too expensive. Of course, any tablet available right now will "suffer" when it comes to the GPU (or lack of) in programs like solidworks. Not that it won't work, just that you have to know what to expect vs a quadro card.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
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