Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

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  1. #1
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    Default Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget?
    $2000

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    No.

    3. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)?
    I hope you could help me answer this question. Refer to MISC section at bottom.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    Over 10"

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    U.S.

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    I'd prefer a brand I've at least heard of.

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    3+

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet?
    Digital Speed Painting, Sketching is the main requirement. But if possible, I'd like something accurate and powerful enough to get into detail on large Photoshop canvases.

    9. Do you have an OS preference?
    Windows

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run?
    Photoshop(Required), ZBrush (Optional)

    10. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    Doesn't matter


    Screen Specifics

    1. What resolution do you prefer?
    Not sure, as high as possible.

    2. Do you require the screen to be readable in sunlight?
    Not required, would be a plus to able to Plein Air, though.

    3. Do you prefer your display to be glossy or matte?
    Matte, but I have seen anti-glare glossy screens, and that would be fine too

    4. Do you require Touch? (without pressure sensitivity) (Which one: resistive or capacitive)
    Whichever is the most accurate with a digitizer.

    5. Do you require a Pen? (with pressure sensitivity)
    I know and trust Wacom.


    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require?
    128gb HDD, 4GB Ram

    2. Do you require an Optical (CD/DVD) Drive to be built in?
    No

    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)?
    Not Required

    Misc

    One of the main reasons I am torn between Tablet(slate), and Tablet laptop, is the fact that I use the hotkeys on my Intuos 3 at a rate of about 20 times a minute.
    I love the sound of the Samsung S7S, but I don't know if it has programmable keys, I would not be happy going into the color palette to use the color picker every time. Going to the Edit menu to undo strokes would just be a painful experience.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    Even with a convertible Tablet PC, in slate mode, you can't access the keys anyways. You have to get yourself a BT, RF or wired mini keyboard. That's the only way to do it properly.

    As for the models, I suggest you get the Fujitsu T901 with the Quadro GPU option.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    The t901 sounds like a nice machine, but I'm having trouble finding information as to how accurate the pen is compared to other tablets, or compared to say a Cintiq.
    Many concepts need architectural drawings with clean parallel lines, which I found impossible on a friends HP tx1000. The cursor was slightly off from the pen in the center of the screen, and continued to get worse the closer to the edge of the screen you got.

    Not trying to be difficult, just careful. $2000 is a lot of money.

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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    First, TX1000 was not Wacom. It wasn't even EMR digitizer. So let's leave TX1000 out of this discussion. It was sh*t machine anyways.

    I think your friend had a TX2000. That was Wacom. And BTW, all Wacom pen displays including Cintiq 21UX has the cursor drift you are describing. It's the nature of EMR pens and digitizers. The solution is simple: DON'T DRAW NEAR THE EDGES! Get in habit of repositioning your canvas you are drawing on near the center of the screen. It's really simple. Really easy. It's digital drawing, so take advantage of zooming and panning.

    Third, watch this: Cintiq digitizer vs Tablet PC digitizer - YouTube.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    Actually, if you are wanting perfect (or close to perfect) lines then you will have to use the tools built into programs to do so (Photoshop and the line tool; Sketchbook Pro and the Ruler; or one of the many other various tools the programs have, and don't forget the symmetrical drawing plane to make perfectly mirrored drawings... lots of tools...); the reason these tools exist is because the digitizer adds a slight variation to our inherent inaccuracies (which we would normally use a real ruler or drafting tools to make up for when using paper and pencil or whatever)

    its just the nature of the beast (active digitizer pens -be it on a Tablet PC, a Cintiq, or a Intuos or Bamboo... and especially for the off-brand ones)
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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    Well, that's really good to know about the drifting. I am also fine with 1024 levels of sensitivity. I just know with long arching lines, I have gotten used to drawing with my shoulder, and use most of my tablet in the process. Using the line or pen tool, and stroking a path with simulated pressure just doesn't quite have the same effect. But then again, I put speed painting and sketching as my requirement, not architectural draftsmanship.
    I have been using various Intuos' for the last near decade and have just become fed up with setting both the laptop and tablet in my lap. I don't know much about the world of drawing on screen. I got an iPad a couple of years ago, while it was a great media tablet, I soon after regretted it. I'm not trying to be picky, I'm just scared of buying the wrong thing.

    Thanks for the help.

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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    I do sometimes use the Convertible in normal "Laptop" mode on my lap, but draw on the screen in Photoshop whilst accessing the keyboard, with the screen supported against my legs as I lie on the couch, but when it is standing on the desk or so I am a bit wary of straining the hinge if I were to put pressure on the screen while it is not folded over. But I have been moving away from using the keyboard more and more as I programmed more and more frequently-used commands into "StrokeIt", a very handy little program with which you can set just about any keyboard shortcut as a pen stroke. For instance, you draw an E in the air close over the tablet to access the eraser, Z brings you Zoom, V the Move tool, same as the normal shortcuts, but you can also change them, or program your own. For instance, I have the "T" gesture set to "Ctrl+T" for Transform, and "Reverse T" set to "Ctrl+Shift+T" = Transform Selection, cause I use those a lot. The program provides about 80 gestures (if I remember correctly) to choose from, but you can also program some of your own, if you want to make patterns that are not too similar to those 80. The T901 does have a few programmable buttons on the screen bezel, so it is possible to program them to be the standard modifiers that you need to press and hold while doing something, like Alt for setting the clone source/picking the colour, etc.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    @RKronso:

    Sounds like you're on the right track wrt expectations, etc. Just one point of note. There are 256 levels of pressure sensitivity on a tablet PC, not 1024.

    Some claim to be able to notice the difference, and I suspect they can with really big brushes, but I also think a fair bit of the difference is imaginary and that with a blind stylus test it would demonstrate the difference as being largely indistinguishable. The thing you will notice, however, is that there is no angle awareness on a tablet. Airbrushing, for instance, is not the same on a tablet PC as it is on a Wacom device with angle awareness active.

    Tablet PCs remain quite awesome regardless, but it's important to be fully aware of the limitations before you dive in with your cash.

    Getting an Apple device for art creation wasn't the best choice, though. If finger-painting has been your experience to date on portable devices, then you'll really feel an improvement with a Wacom enabled screen!
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    Default Re: Digital Artist Needs Laptop/Slate

    Quote Originally Posted by thatcomicsguy View Post
    @RKronso:

    The thing you will notice, however, is that there is no angle awareness on a tablet. Airbrushing, for instance, is not the same on a tablet PC as it is on a Wacom device with angle awareness active.
    Angle Awareness? Do the mean Tilt Control? The Cintiq and Intuos line have that, but older Wacom lines like the Graphire and the current Bamboo don't have it. I see it on other forums quite frequently how some artists just slam Tablet PCs because they lack tilt and 1024 levels of pressure. Never mind that there are plenty of artists who still use Graphires and Bamboos with similar "Handicaps" and never once do they get slammed as being inadequate.

    One thing also worth bringing up, that I wasn't full aware of until the Cintiq 24HD came out.....The Entire Cintiq Line is dim. 180-190-200 Nits of Brightness. Thats like entry level brightness for TN Panels (ah my Lenovo x61). For a $2599 model like the 24 HD, I would have just assumed it would have like 600 nits as standard like most monitors do. On the Wacom board over at ConceptArt, One of the forum members purchased both the Samsung Series 7 and the Cinitq 24HD, and he was just stunned how the Series 7 was twice as bright and had a greater pixal density over the Cintiq.

    Granted, your not really going to be dragging the Cintiq around anywhere, but 200 nits is hard to use if there's a window letting sunlight in. So another Tablet PC benefit is superior screens or at least screen options.
    Lenovo X-61 Tablet - 1.6 ghz, 4 gb ram
    Gateway C-120X - 1.06 ghz, 2 gb ram (dead)
    Hp TC1100 - 1.1 ghz, 1.5 gb ram
    Ls800 - 1.2 ghz, 2 gb ram
    Eee PC T-91, 1.3 ghz, 2 gb ram
    Ipad 16gb Wi-FI (it does count as a tablet)
    HP Slate 500 - 1.86 ghz, 2 gb ram
    Asus Ep121 - 1.33 ghz, 4gb ram
    Samsung Series 7 Slate - 1.6 ghz, 4 gb of ram

 

 

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