Used Samsung S7S or Cube i7 Stylus?

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by crazycat, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    General Questions.
    1. What is your budget?

    $350-400

    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?
    Windows tablet
    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    10 to 13-inches
    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    Vietnam
    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    I prefer tablet with Wacom ERM as it's easier to find replacement pen, I would avoid Surface Pro because they are hard to fix/replace part
    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    The more the better, but I could live with at least 3 hours.
    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet? (Email/Web Surfing/Drawing/Word Processing/Entertainment/Notetaking etc)
    Mainly drawing, some web surfing. Maybe very light 3D modeling with Blender(but not absolute necessary)
    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?
    Windows
    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    Clip studio paint, older version of photoshop maybe, Blender if possible
    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?

    1366x768 or higher
    2. Will you be using the tablet outdoors? Do you need to be able to see it through glare from the sun?
    No, but would be nice to have
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig?

    Yes, wacom
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance

    Component Specifics

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

    64GB at least, and 4GB of RAM is enough for my use case.
    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?
    I don't need full sized usb as long as OTG work, and yes to HDMI input
    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?

    I would like one with good cursor tracking, at least better than the Asus note 8, edge drift is inevitable, but minimize it would be nice
    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    I live in Vietnam and have a low budget, so it's far easier to order something new from China than the US. After a while I have narrowed it down to either a Cube i7 Stylus new 64 GB and an used Samsung series 7 Slate 128GB (the windows 7 one, not the newer 700T1C). Both are readily available I my city and I can come over to test before buying but I'm currently torn between the two.

    The Cube i7 Stylus seemed to be nice. It have a newer processor that seem to beat the S7S, better battery life, higher resolution (full HD) and most importantly it's brand new. On the other hand I heard that it have heat problem (maybe fixable by lowering clock speed), bad wifi that can only be fixed by a hardware hack, cracked version of Windows...and I'm a bit wary of China build quality. It's available for $390 by local vendor, and 1 month warranty by them. 6 month warranty is applied but I have to ship it back to China.

    The S7S is an used machine. It have bigger screen (11.6) but lower resolution (1366 x768). I prefer drawing on bigger screen, but I'm not sure how it stack up in portrait mode as I use that a lot in my Asus note 8 (And the experience is not pleasant). I heard that Samsung quality is good, but don't see much review of this unit in the drawing department. It's being sold for $340.

    I'm torn because I liked the bigger screen of the Samsung, but also like the newer machine. I also don't know how the digitizer stack up in real life, as Wacom digitizer varies between device. My Asus note 8 always have the cursor off the tip by at least 1 mm in the middle of the screen even with 128 point calibration, and it get worse to the edge, so I'm hoping to get one that deliver better experience.

    Both device are sold without a pen, so I have choose between the available Samsung S-pen (it's the full sized one with 1 button and eraser tip) for $20, or order the Cube pen from China for $25. They look similar and I'm not sure which one is better. I read from a review that they could be the same pen rebranded.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  2. Schlave

    Schlave Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I own and have used both, and would recommend the cube tablet over the samsung, for the following reasons:
    - not much difference in widescreen 11.6 inch vs 10 inch in terms of usability
    - superior resolution
    - fanless design
    - lighter weight
    - longer battery life.

    with regard to your concern on performance:
    I have a rig with a cintiq 22hd at home, and use the cube i7 stylus as a digital sketchpad. It is able to cope with digital painting on photoshop and light zbrush modeling.
    See zbrush modeling on the asus vivotab note 8, a tablet which uses the far weaker atom bay trail ()
    and a review on drawing using various software on the surface 3, a tablet which uses the weaker cherry trail atom (http://www.parkablogs.com/picture/review-microsoft-surface-3-artists-and-drawing)

    I find using a toolbar software helps to counter the difficulty of using photoshop on a small high-DPI screen.
    I use the pen Samsung bundled with the S7S, which has a clip enabling me to attach it to the cube tablet's case.
    I have unfortunately relegated the Samsung to the shelf due to the fan (being more bothersome in practice), low resolution screen (making it difficult to read ebooks) and battery life.
    In practice I find the cube + case + pen combo a very lightweight sketchpad solution (and this is someone who brings a pad of watercolour paper and paints around with him) which you can throw around and abuse.

    my only caveats with buying the cube tablet are:
    - the company uses illegally activated windows copies to bring down its costs - it did this for a 24h sale in which the tablet went for USD 299. It may differ in your case
    - chinese single-language os installation. I eventually got around this problem after upgrading to windows 10 and switching the display language internally.

    let me know if you have further queries.
     
    crazycat and Bronsky like this.
  3. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hey Schlave, thanks for the recommendation!
    I was learning more to the Cube I7 as well, because it's a newer processor with brand new hardware for just 50$ more. Since I live in Vietnam, the possibility to get official warranty is close to none (the shipping cost is almost as much as the tablet itself!), and XDA had throughout dissected the Cube so it's also easier to use self-help.

    I'm not worried about performance, as I have been managing quite well with the Asus Vivotab note 8(did a 8000 pixel wide painting with 30 layers on it, only lag occasionally and never crash :D). I just have a few concerns about the heat affecting the tablet's life, as my use case is a bit different from yours. I plan to use this tablet as my main art machine to replace my old suffering first gen I3 laptop, connect it to external display and all that. I have a bamboo but could never get used to the disconnection between hand and screen, so after getting to Asus Vivotab Note I manly did my commission work on it, only use the bamboo to add final adjustment and detail that the small screen missed.

    Recently my laptop died so I figured it's better to buy a tablet pc with both stronger proccessor, bigger wacom screen to use for the next 1-2 years until I earn enough for a drawing rig, so I need something that will last long. I have a few more questions:

    -How is the heat on your Cube? Does manual tuning and reduce speed limit help? I'm worried if leave as it is the chip could be fried soon. I don't use software that require high perfomance so I'm fine with limited speed, as long as it's better than an atom.

    -How is drawing in portrait with 10.6 inches 16:9 compared to 11.6 inches? If you use ClipStudioPaint, do you have a setup that maximize width space for drawing? I'm used to the cramped space of the note 8, but hoping that the cube could be rommy enough to have color pallete on screen.

    -How is cursor tracking on the Cube with calibration ? Is it possible to connect lines at 50% zoomed out? Is inking accuracy? The Asus Vivotab Note have quite bad cursor tracking even in the middle of the screen and it get worse to the edge, so Inking require a lot of patience. I could disregard 1cm around the screen for the Cube, but how is the middle?

    -How long does the battery last while drawing? I know it's better than the S7S, but timed example would be nice.

    -Is wifi working well on your unit? I will need internet to search for references so it's important. I saw report on XDA about SSD interfere with wifi antenna, but it seem to be a hit or miss problem.

    -Did you find anyway to get genuine windows on your tablet? Someone on XDA said that Cube offered him genuine windows 8.1 with Bing single language Chinese edition, and I heard that MS dropped single language edition in Windows 10, so it might be possible to get English after upgrade.
     
  4. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @crazycat
    If you're using the new tablet as your main machine, do account for build quality. I prefer S7S to the Cube in this area. However, some S7S units are known for screen-lift issue so you might want to take a note when looking for one. I also don't like the plastic feel. That said, the S7S was quite popular as an art tablet back in the day.

    If you mainly use your tablet at home, an alternative is to look for legacy convertibles such as ThinkPad X220t, Fujitsu T901/T731 or HP 2760p. Their build and durability are superior and will last for a long time. Yes they are bulky, but reliable as the main machine. Also you've already got the Asus for leisure sketch.

    As for cursor tracking, did you use 128-point calibration using the command line trick? The trick only works on Window's tablet driver. It does not have any effect on Wintab driver so you won't see any improvement in Photoshop or ZBrush. Fortunately, you can switch Tablet service to Tablet PC in ClipStudio Paint to take advantage of the calibration.

    Nevertheless, the current Wacom Feel driver (i.e. Wintab driver) now supports 25-point calibration. You might want to check it out.
     
  5. Schlave

    Schlave Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'll do my best. I'm sorry but due to limitations on my time I cannot put timed examples or hard benchmarks

    - I use this docked to a dell u2711 at home. I have to make a custom resolution for it to display 1440p at 50 fps because I cannot find a dp-mini hdmi cable (which I understand are illegal

    - I use the standard case the tablet came with, so heat is not an issue wrt holding it. As to exact temp measurements, I have not done any and cannot comment on the life of the chip in that regard

    - I do not use clip studio pain. I am only a novice at PS CC/SBP

    - cursor tracking is good. I used the 25 point calibration available in Wacom's standard feel driver. Edge as expected can deviate up to 5mm, otherwise accuracy for most of the display is ok. Nowhere as terrible on the vivotab note8, which I also have owned and used

    - unfortunately I cannot provide a timed example. My ballpark would be ~5-6h if you flog it through photoshop

    - wifi and BT are ok on my unit, did not have to install any special drivers

    - if you write to cube and ask for a refund for the windows key or a genuine chinese language key, you can get it.. however I felt the time and energy spent to cut through the nonsense and cookie-cutter replies (that others on xda were getting) wasn't worth it
     
  6. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @cleft
    Thanks for the advice!

    Yes, it's built quality that I'm concerned about. The problem is the S7S is quite old and I find it a bit overpriced, as there are people selling the newer 700T1C with pen for the same price(sadly not in my city). When buying second hand machine, it's also necessary to throughout check for battery life, SSD life, or if any parts got replaced by cheap Chinese parts or not (that happen a lot around here), which is a lot of hassle that I don't want to deal with if possible.

    I actually don't mind bulky machine, but laptop with pen options are quite rare here, and those that are available are either too old or too expensive. There is a Thinkpad x200t being sold for ~$100, which is quite outdated. Or a Fujitsu T732 I'm lusting for but it's ~$550,way over my budget. There are also some $400 Surface Pro 1, but I don't want a machine I can't replace battery and SSD. All of those are used machine and also required inspection. I wish there were refurbished options, but sadly there is none.

    I think I would go check out the Cube, and might pick it up if there is no problem. Either buying new or old machine here still have a risk, so I guess I will opt for the new one.

    @Schlave
    Thanks for the reply! 5~6 hours is quite good. ClipStudioPaint doesn't eat as much memory as
    Photoshop, so I think I will manage well with it. I'm glad to hear that cursor tracking seem to be good on this tablet.

    The tablet have a case it come with? Does it prevent heat dissipation? I was worried about the tablet heat and planned to use it with an external laptop cooling fan on my desk(it also provide an angle to draw easier) .

    I guess BT and wifi is truly a hit and miss problem. I will look at it when checking out the tab.

    The seller said that it have Windows 8.1 with Bing. I will check to see whether it is genuine or not.

    Thanks everyone for the helps. I will go check the Cube and see if it's good for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  7. cleft

    cleft Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I can understand your struggle. Tbh I also had my eyes on the Cube i7 Stylus, but as a companion device. The build looks surprisingly decent, but not-proven durability is my concern. More importantly, not knowing the battery oem paranoids me (but maybe just me). It being a companion device is totally fine, but as the main machine is a gamble.

    Anyhow 1-2 years is not really a long time, so the Cube might still serve your needs in this time frame. Good luck with your purchase.

    Still I'm curious though..
    Doesn't the reason contradict your prefer choices? IIRC the Samsung and the Cube don't have battery and hard drive replaceable either. Not to mention that SP1 has superior build quality and, as an extra plus and minus, is hard to service, which significantly reduce the risk of having internal component swapped.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
  8. Schlave

    Schlave Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You can order a case with the tablet. It is a cheap faux leather thing, don't think it helps with heat dissipation, but it allows you to prop the tablet up in two angles. It just lends me peace of mind when throwing the tablet around. I clip the S7S pen to the case cover.

    Have not had wifi issues on my tablet. Bluetooth works well with a microsoft keyboard and razer mouse (which I use when in maya 2016).

    I'm finding the cube works well with basic maya modeling (I like to live on the edge) but of course it slows when asked to render, and I have not yet tried rigging yet.

    Let us know how you go!
     
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