Yet another artist seeking a Wacom alternative

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Waleis, Aug 5, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Waleis

    Waleis Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    To begin, i just want to express my appreciation to all that have contributed to this incredible and exhaustive resource for folks like myself. I am an artist and freelance graphic designer with a starving artist's array of tools. That is to say, extremely limited. I am familiar with Wacom tablets and their digitizer technology that is used in tablets currently but have used an Intuos 4 so briefly that it couldnt count as experience. I couldnt handle the disruption in hand/eye coordination so i promptly returned the product and gave up on the prospect of true digital illustration until the last year or so.

    At that time i knew nothing of the availability of tools like the Cintiq or tablet pc/slate products. I was certain that such a thing like drawing and painting directly onto a computer screen was surely still science fiction. One might be so bold as to say I'd been living under a rock, which symbolically, is true with regard to being abreast of rapidly advancing technology.

    I only recently revived the interest in digital illustration but with obstacles yet to overcome. I have two young boys and a meager pharmacy technician's salary, so something like the Cintiq is well beyond my financial capabilities.

    Now please bear in mind that i have been lurking around these forums, soaking up the wealth of information available here for just under a month now so i have a decent idea of what i want and basic knowledge of what my options are.

    That being said, and with regard to the information supplied in the following form, i have one burning question: should i opt for buying cheap, used to get a solid feel for digital illustration and gain funtional experience i can apply to more appropriate tools like the Cintiq?
    (I'd probably be able to amass the small fortune needed to purchace higher-end products in the meantime)
    1. What is your budget?
    Minimal. It could take several months to even raise up to $300 without opting to sell off my existing laptop (which would be of little use after obtaining a tablet pc)

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    Indeed. I'm too frugal to be that picky, though I'd prefer something warrantied even if it's used/refurb and would be willing to pay additional out of pocket for the peace of mind.

    3. Do you prefer a media/mobile tablet like the iPad, Windows tablet PC, or notebook convertible?
    Im moreso interested in the convertible as I'd still like to websurf and the keyboard just makes sense.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer? 5 to7-inches 7.1 to 10-inches 10 to 13-inches Above 13-inches
    Im inclined to as large as is available but that is wholly dependant upon its resolution. In my budget, I've found 14.1" Toshiba Tecra tablets that i think have the SXGA option. Ultimately, bigger screens are a plus but only if the resolution enables a decent workspace.
    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from [where do you live]?
    US preferred
    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    None

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    3-4 would be great but i do most work at home so i can live with being tethered to the wall from time to time.

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

    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 is my comfort zone

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run? (Microsoft Office or other Word Processing Suite/Photoshop/3D Studio Max/Autocad etc)
    Photoshop; either CS4 or CS5, depending upon what runs best i suppose. Maybe Sketchbook.
    The main purpose is sketching and drawing, refining ideas with regard to clean lines and detail. I can apply color and further refine works at my desktop.

    11. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    None

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

    Screen Specifics

    1. Any preference on screen resolution?
    My desktop runs 1920x1080best i believe. I havent found a tablet at resolution but suffice to say that a larger workspace WILL make the difference so whatever meets that while not falling below. 12" would be sweet.

    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
    Maybe and it would be nice not to stare at my reflection

    3. Do you require a pen? With or without pressure sensitivity? Do you prefer Wacom or N-trig? See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Yes. Wacom preferred and im under the impression that tablets tgat support wacom digitizers hsve 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. Im not experienced in its use so i guess i cant be picky

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require? Would you like expandable memory?
    HDD size is unimportant as i plan on upgrading to a minimum 64-128GB SSD. The more RAM the better, 4GB would be a great start but it depends on the system. DDR2 is quite an investment but i have two broken laptops each with 2 gigs DDR2 so maybe they're compatible.

    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?
    USB is a definite but i can live without the rest

    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?

    Just that im leaning towards this as a learning experience. I cant afford a Cintiq as yet anyway so I'm looking for an affordable alternative. Im thinking of picking up a used toshiba m4 but they're not exactly easy to find in working condition. Im also aware and uneasy of the risk involved with buying a later model tablet. I'd hate to spend any amount of money on something that wouldnt last long. Other tablets I've found are the Motion Computing le1400 and le1600, Fujitsu Lifebook t4210,4220,5010 but i havent found an affordable one that i can get just yet. Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    3,384
    Likes Received:
    565
    Trophy Points:
    181
    If you're going to get a tablet pc, get either the hp 2730p, the Lenovo x200t, or the Fujitsu t5010. The first 2 are easily in your price range, the last could probably be gotten for 400$ if you searched. All carry core2duo CPUs, and all answer some design problems earlier generations might have had. I do a lot of digital art on my x200t and find it adequate. I'm sure the other two are as well. All have good build quality too.

    The other option is to save up and get a used Cintiq 18sx or 17x or 15x. You can get these for 300-600$. As you have an existing laptop/desktop and plan on working from home, you'll get all the benefits of a large screen-- though you give up portability. I waited and waited until I found a 18sx on sale, and all parts included, including shipping, I got one for 400$, so it can be done. I absolutely f*c*ing adore drawing on it. 15" x 11" with a rotating screen might be worth it to you for 500$ and no portability. Hard to say.

    I like both things I've got, got them both used during flusher times, and am glad I have them now. They're both good options for an artist looking for something cheap to experiment with digitally.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  3. cmenice

    cmenice Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    41
    For what it's worth, I spent very little time with an intuos 4 and was also disturbed by the hand eye separation issue. I only used the device briefly before sending it back.

    I moved on to some of these tablet PC's and even bought a cintiq. I also had picked up a bamboo fun tablet to use for touch because I was having wrist issues from my mouse. But what I found when I tried to draw on it, was I could! It took more practice to get used to the separation, but for me personally I like it as an option.

    Since they are the cheapest option, might it be worth some time to explore a Bamboo create for a bit? Give a chance to work for you? There are some cheaper off brand tablets that get decent reviews as well.

    Sent from my Excite 7.7
     
  4. cmenice

    cmenice Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    41
    The brand name is Mono price and they have a 9x12 for about $85.

    Sent from my Excite 7.7
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  5. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    56
    I think you'd like the Fujitsu T5010, since it has the best Wacom pen response I've encountered yet, it's pretty fast for a Core 2 Duo-era machine, it supports DDR3 (meaning 8 GB RAM upgrades can be done at reasonable cost), and it has a 13.3" screen that's guaranteed AFFS+. Also, you're sure to get enough battery life with a modular bay battery installed.

    I even have one lying around I could offer you at a good price, if interested.
     
  6. Waleis

    Waleis Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    I am definitely interested. How does one go about conducting such business? I'd imagine there is a PM option here as in other forums. The only problem I've had with the t5010 is that on ebay they're outt of my immediate price range. I'd need to save up some dough to get one. Let me know what you have in mind.
     
  7. Waleis

    Waleis Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    @cmenice
    I have seen them, and of course, the price for these models were intriguing to say the least. I can't say that I really gave the Intuos a real shot. It just felt too unnatural so I gave up quick. It might not be a bad idea to grab another graphics tablet just to test the waters again, with more serious intentions this time around. Thanks for the info.
     
  8. Shogmaster

    Shogmaster Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,264
    Likes Received:
    1,502
    Trophy Points:
    231
    If you are interested, I have recently refurbed several Toshiba M750s from parts via EBay. I just wanted to get one fixed up for my mom, but I saw a great deal where a recycler was selling 5 for $300. 2 of them were busted beyond repair, but I got 3 nice working units out of them with only couple more benjamins for parts. One of them already went to my mom, another was claimed by my friend for future purchase, but I have 1 more left. The left mouse button is worn (still works fine), and cosmetically it's a B grade. I still have to resolve a driver issues (something makes it go BSOD when running on batteries. On AC power it's rock solid), but I confirmed it works great with digitizer (this one only has Wacom EMR, no resistive touch). I also don't have a pen for it so you'll have to get your own.

    Let me know if you are interested, and give me know how your Ebay account stats. If you are interested, I will make a post on the buy and sell forum here for you with more details.
     
  9. Waleis

    Waleis Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    I'm not really familiar with that particular model, in all honesty. I've done broader searches in eBay and have run across it but as I'd not heard mention of it I paid no heed. Is it suitable for my purposes? How does it compare to the m400? I imagine it's a newer model than the m400.
     
  10. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    3,384
    Likes Received:
    565
    Trophy Points:
    181
    From the review I just found on ruggedpc.com (google search) it seems to be, in many ways, a clone of the t5010-- same processor, about the same weight and thickness too, Wacom of course, with a pen. The main difference seems to be screen size-- 12.1" for the M750, and 13.3" for the t5010.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page