budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

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  1. #1
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    Default budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    Hi all. I've done a bit of research and homework but am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the options and not entirely sure of my own judgment. I keep wanting to just pull the trigger on ebay "deals" but I know that's a bad way to make big money decisions. I went from being minutes away from buying a Motion LE1700 to a similar matter of clicks away from buying a Fujitsu T5010. I've entertained the Toshiba M700 and HP TM2T, and even for a few hours decided that I would save up for Samsung Series 7 before I decided I was out of my mind.
    I used to do a bit of digital graphic art tinkering and after nearly a decade with my skills untouched I want to jump back in but take it seriously this time.
    I've looked at this forum, a number of detailed reviews by graphic artists scattered across the web, the forum at conceptart.org, and watched a few youtube videos of different devices that might suit my needs being used by other artists (EP121, LE1700, Cintiq). The EP121 looked so good on the videos but folks on the forums don't seem to agree. Unfortunately I'm not mobile so I haven't been able to hit up any stores to try out some models myself, though most of what I'm leaning toward currently anyway are older devices.
    I want to be able to do a lot of sketching, some vector animation (adobe flash, toon boon), and webpage design. I also want to thoroughly learn/relearn photoshop and would prefer my device be powerful enough that the device itself doesn't become a source of frustration as I embark on that journey. Being able to do some tinkering with 3D modeling (e.g. Blender) would be an amazing plus, but not absolutely necessary. If I understand correctly, older model tablet PCs like the LE1700 can have trouble running the latest photoshop especially if you're doing a lot more than just sketching. The only tablets I know of that might be powerful enough to "do it all" are ones with i7 processors like the Thinkpad X201/X220 or Motion C5V/F5V or one of the newer elitebooks, etc... but as you'll see all of those are beyond my price range.
    One last thing, I like to rotate my canvas a lot while I'm sketching so I'd really really like a tablet with multitouch.

    General Questions.

    1. What is your budget? $700max prefer $300-500 range BUT if it makes the most sense I can wait on this purchase till I have a little more money. With other financial priorities in life though, I'd rather not spend more than $1000.

    2. Would you consider purchasing used/refurbished?
    without hesitation

    3. Do you prefer a Slate, Convertible or Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)?
    convertible because I tend to be happier with multipurpose devices AND I like being able to replace my battery and other components.

    4. What size Tablet PC would you prefer?
    Small and light ~ 5" to 8.9"
    Compact ~ 10"
    Mainstream ~ 12.1"
    Large ~ 13.3"
    Prefer large, mainstream is acceptable, but if everything else is what I want I could be talked into something smaller. anything less than 8.9" is way too small though.

    5. Which country do you intent to purchase from?
    Would be ordering online so I don't really care. Am in the US.

    6. Do you have any preferences to brand loyalty or dislikes?
    Nope

    7. How many hours battery life do you require?
    Am currently near outlets all the time, but I don't like having to be plugged in if I don't have to be. Also would like the option of drawing outside. I don't expect to be drawing continuously for more than 30 minutes to an hour at a time though so I think all in all battery life isn't going to be an issue.

    8. What will be the primary usage scenario of this tablet?
    sketching and full graphic art production, notetaking (handwritten), web design, vector animation, digital music production with a DAW, diagrams and mind maps, and messin around with 3D modeling.

    9. Do you have an OS preference?
    Win7/Win8

    10. What software and tasks do you intend to run?
    Photoshop, Sai, Sketchbook, Word, Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash, Toon Boon, Blender, FruityLoops, Audacity,

    10. Do you intend on playing Games? If so please list.
    If that's an option, that would be exciting (Civilization on a touch/pentouch screen would be a pleasure for example), if not, I've got my xbox, desktop pc, and android tablet to keep me company.


    Screen Specifics

    1. What resolution do you prefer?
    XGA - 1024x768 ~ large and easy to read text and graphic icons but you fit less on the screen.
    SXGA - 1400x1050 ~ Small text and graphic icons which require good vision but the gain is a much larger screen. (no longer available new, must look for used or refurbished machines)
    WXGA - 1280x768 ~ has a wider usable area than XGA, ideal for viewing Spreadsheets and other programs that require desktop space. The mainly used resolution for new tablet PCs since 2008.
    Really not sure. Whatever is best for graphic art?

    2. Do you require the screen to be readable in sunlight?
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Would be nice to draw outside some days, but not absolutely necessary.

    3. Do you prefer your display to be glossy or matte?
    matte is best for drawing right? Or just for a brightly lit room? I really don't know.

    4. Do you require Touch? (without pressure sensitivity) (Which one: resistive or capacitive)
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Pressure sensitive touch; no. Pressure sensitive stylus; yes.

    5. Do you require a Pen? (with pressure sensitivity) (Which one: Wacom or N-Trig)
    See the above linked FAQ for guidance
    Wacom please.

    Component Specifics

    1. What size Hard Drive and Memory do you require?
    I think given my needs lots of memory. Would prefer a device with a 8gb max (or larger) and would strongly prefer no less than 4gb. But it's arguable whether I know what I'm talking about so someone could convince me otherwise of course.

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

    3. Do you require ability to add a second Battery or Hard Drive (Modular Bay technology)?
    would be nice, not a requirement.

    Misc
    1. Other non specific items ~ please add other items you require not covered above?
    -I'm really concerned about screen quality in terms of color reproduction and consistency as well as durability given that a stylus will be rubbing on it constantly. I wouldn't want to have to replace the screen in a year.
    -SD card slot would allow me to hotswap my drawings and stuff to other devices (but not absolutely necessary as I could just use something like dropbox instead).

    2. Additional requests ~ anything other you wish to take into consideration?
    Don't think so. Like I said, multitouch would be amazing as I like to rotate the canvas a lot, but I think that was the in the questions already...

    Given my requirements and desires, for $350 on ebay the Fujitsu Lifebook T5010 looks as good as I can get and I see that a lot of other artists are using it as well. But as you can see my needs/wants go beyond just sketching and I'm worried I'll be wasting my $350 if there's another device out there that will allow me to do everything else also. And if I do have to settle for a low voltage core2duo processor, is there anything as good or better than the T5010 for around the same price?

    Thanks all and sorry if I'm way too wordy, am new here and just trying to be detailed.

    ~earthpen

  2. #2
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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    Sadly, touch will not be usable in [almost] any art program; it simply doesn't recognize it properly and as its been like this since 2008-2009 or so, don't expect it to change anytime soon; Art Rage is the only I know of that does alright with it, but its only usable to zoom or rotate the canvas which is really more of a novelty than useful on a Tablet PC (it is a whole new medium and work flow I think ... that said, I have personally found you need a ULV Core 2 Duo based Tablet PC at minimum if you want to run Photoshop well and do a bit of 3D work (for 3D stuff, or for better Photoshop work, get a LV C2D based device with a GMA 4500MHD GPU).

    I think the two best options for notes and art Tablet PC's are the
    HP 2730p: great screen by default [LED type with viewing angles that are second only to the best of the best -the Super Bright Outdoor screen from Lenovo and the AFFS+ on the Motion Computing ones- same with colors and viewing clarity] with a chemically hardened glass screen front, has a few nice features like the keyboard light touch volume buttons and pointer stick, a nice design with slice battery or slim dock, great keyboard; and best of all IMO is there is a modded BIOS available that allows easy overclocking so you can eek a bit more performance out of the device but easily under volt it so it runs cool

    Lenovo X200 tablet: not as good of a screen as default [CCFL type was typical, you can hunt down a LED one though; still they are not that bright, and the clarity and a few other qualities aren't that great, it only ever came with a hard plastic screen front. a few with the single or multi-touch screen options] but there is an excellent Super Bright Outdoor screen option [hard to find], it lacks a keyboard light, the design doesn't allow for a slice battery )but the 8cell battery gets you sorta close [6-8hrs] to the 2730p with slice's ~12hr [all assuming good condition batteries]), the dock that is available isn't a on-the go solution and has an angle to it [bad for use in tablet portrait mode, may help in secondary landscape tablet mode], the keyboard is good [but IMO not as good -I got a Lenovo T500 recently, I find it to take too much to press the keys and like the lighter touch and shape of the keys on my 2730p].

    Both of those have the same screen size, the same Wacom pen technology (I would recommend getting the Motion Computing branded Wacom pen or the Axiotron Studio Wacom pen, both ate $30-35 typically), both are about 1" thick and relatively light; they both use the same CPU and GPU, the only place where they differ is in the HDD/ SSD that is usable as well as ram (the 2730p uses DDR2 ram, and a 1.8" uSATA HDD/ SSD so it is a little more expensive and harder to get than the DDR3 ram or the 2.5" standard height HDD/ SSD drive in the X200 tablet)


    I find the LV processor and GMA 4500 MHD in my 2730p to be way more than adequate for heavy heavy multi-tasking, good Photoshop and other 2D work, and even a good deal of 3D work (Though I had to use my eGPU to do heavy 3D work, I would not recommend a eGPU system though :\ ). Also, as sad as it is the Core 2 Duo architecture was truly revolutionary for the time, but since then there has been little improvement in base CPU and GPU's so even the latest and greatest these days won't be massively better than a good Core 2 Duo; also the First Gen core-i processors ran HOT and had shorter battery life than a similar C2D processor, the second gen Core-i [Sandy Bridge] also seem to run pretty hot at times though run better idling than the first gen core-i


    EDIT: As for the T5010, Steve B got one a bit back but sold it off in favor of keeping his X200 tablet because the T5010 while with a Full Voltage C2D processor he said the only real difference was in very intensive water color brushes and at that it was minimal; plus the screen is plastic [I think] and the rest of the machine is a little 'sloppy' as its 1.5" thick, a bit heavier has no pointer stick, but it has the modular bay [second HDD/ SSD, second battery, DVD CD drive, or nothing]
    Last edited by Agent 9; 03-24-2012 at 07:49 PM.
    Current: HP 2730p Win 7 & Linux Mint | Toshiba M4 | Motion M1400 renice 120GB SSD | ITRONIX IX-325 | Motion F5 (U7500 update) | Fujitsu P1620 | T4220 w/SXGA+ 160GB Intel X18-M & 1TB HDD in bay | broken TC4400 [for experimentation] | i5 3570K mITX desktop w/GTX460 | ASUS N10j
    Gone but not Forgotten: HP Tm2 | HP Slate 500 | HP touchpad 32GB | 6-core desktop

  3. #3
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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    @Agent 9

    I don't think thats true,I can use my fingers with corel brushes !
    Last edited by Agent 9; 03-24-2012 at 07:50 PM. Reason: shortening quote

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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aicent View Post
    @Agent 9

    I don't think thats true,I can use my fingers with corel brushes !
    I didn't clarify really, that's my fault... Touch or multi-touch is really poorly implemented in the programs that use it at all, and the ones that "don't" actually support it will instead see touch basically as a mouse input even to it will try to draw a line if you have a drawing tool selected [in most cases], but because its seen as a mouse it will not be smoothed or have anti-aligning or curve interpolation and all that jazz.... The best use of a touch enabled screen in terms of art would be this http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/soft...p-toolbar.html
    Current: HP 2730p Win 7 & Linux Mint | Toshiba M4 | Motion M1400 renice 120GB SSD | ITRONIX IX-325 | Motion F5 (U7500 update) | Fujitsu P1620 | T4220 w/SXGA+ 160GB Intel X18-M & 1TB HDD in bay | broken TC4400 [for experimentation] | i5 3570K mITX desktop w/GTX460 | ASUS N10j
    Gone but not Forgotten: HP Tm2 | HP Slate 500 | HP touchpad 32GB | 6-core desktop

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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    @Agent 9

    Most helpful!

    So you think T5010 is a bad buy? Even given my other non art program needs?

    And I guess you're right about the rotating being a novelty, with a tablet I can just rotate the device itself!

    Thanks a ton for the pointers. I was just looking at the HP 2730p actually, I saw a couple on ebay for only $60ish, one of which had a broken screen which I could replace for $75 also off ebay and the other was missing the power cord which I could replace for $10. Only thing about either of those options is you never know if there's anything else wrong with it until getting a charger or new screen. But anyways, I could get a complete tablet for only $300 looks like. Same for the Lenovo X200 you suggested. I'll compare the two.
    While I don't care about brand/company, I really was compelled by Fujitsu's stuff though, so if you get a chance, please do elaborate more on whether that's a foolish direction for me. I don't really care about weight at all (oddly I'm still accustomed to some of the early generation laptops from back when), and I really like the added options a modular bay would give me.

    What kind of 3D programs do you use on your 2730p? And why would you not recommend an eGPU? Not terribly excited about it but just wondering.

    ~earthpen

    p.s. I think I left Art Rage off of my programs list by accident.
    Last edited by icantdecidehaha; 03-24-2012 at 08:43 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    Its not so much that its a bad buy or anything, but it doesn't bring more performance or usability than the X200t or 2730p; and those two are smaller, thinner, a little lighter and more solidly built than the Fujitsu (which are my problems with the Fujitsu's)... you can see a little bit of a review/ comparison of the T5010 and X200t SBO by Steve B here x200t Superbright Outdoor vs. t5010- a users review, with pics

    In truth the big names in pen/ pen & touch Tablet PC's are Fujitsu, HP (business, not consumer ones), Lenovo and Motion Computing, there are also other brands pushing out new models now (or some rugged Tablet PC manufacturers), but those four are the makers of the best out there so you will find it hard to go wrong with them.


    I used Autocad for the 3D work and some simplistic rendering; I did the drawings and renderings for this thread all in a moderately sized [3.6MB] file http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/hard...ablet-pcs.html I did use my eGPU as I have many 3D objects in the work space. The eGPU is a PITA to setup so it works, and it often has random issues and little problems with it running smoothly, but it is a easy way to get more GPU power on an already existing computer's screen, also it is not at all portable, plus its expensive!!
    Last edited by Agent 9; 03-24-2012 at 08:53 PM.
    Current: HP 2730p Win 7 & Linux Mint | Toshiba M4 | Motion M1400 renice 120GB SSD | ITRONIX IX-325 | Motion F5 (U7500 update) | Fujitsu P1620 | T4220 w/SXGA+ 160GB Intel X18-M & 1TB HDD in bay | broken TC4400 [for experimentation] | i5 3570K mITX desktop w/GTX460 | ASUS N10j
    Gone but not Forgotten: HP Tm2 | HP Slate 500 | HP touchpad 32GB | 6-core desktop

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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    I read Steve B's reviews on the 5010 and it seems like most of the issues he had were with using the screen outdoors and the weight of the device. My usage scenarios will be very different, that is minus a few attempted outdoor drawing sessions. Hmm. Still not sure.

    Right now I'm on the fence looking at the 2730p, X200t, and t5010. Oh, and what about the Toshiba M700?

    Getting a tablet pc is half of my purchase. I was also planning on upgrading from a bamboo pen to a intuos5 touch large. The really love the texture of the bamboo and how it feels as I do my strokes, but it's been really awkward to draw on cuz the drawing real estate is just way too small for me. Also maybe it's just my inexperience but I can't seem to get the tablet oriented with my canvas, that is I have to have the tablet in landscape when the canvas is in portrait to have the x and y axises match up. Very frustrating and I don't know if that's a driver issue or what, I have the latest drivers installed on OS X Lion using CS6.
    Anyway, I digress, I'm just today found out about the Yiynova 19" thanks to Agent 9 pointing me towards Steve's posts. And from their I also found the Bosto Kingtee 19" AND am now reconsidering buying a used cintiq 15sx, 18sx, or DTU-710.
    I'm not sure which of those to get yet or where my tablet pc could fit into any of their shortcomings. For example, I read that the yiynova can be kind of lacking in accuracy for really precise drawing. Would I then for example be able to use a 2730p to do any precision work I needed and do the rest on my yiynova? Is that a sensible workflow? The whole reason I still wanted a screenless wacom tablet in addition to a tablet pc is because I really appreciate drawing on a larger screen. I have a 25" monitor and a 40" on its way, despite mostly disliking the bamboo and it being disorienting drawing on one medium and seeing it show up on another the screen real estate is really a pleasure. A used older model cintiq or a cintiq alternative like the yiynova could really do it for me with anywhere between 17-19" plus video out to my even larger monitor, best of all worlds maybe. But I'm put off by the reports of less accuracy.
    Here's what I was expecting:

    Tablet pc = direct pen to page drawing good enough for complex sketches
    Desktop pc + intuos5 large + large monitor(s) = when needed or desired greater pen sensitivity than the tabletpc, more workspace and greater accuracy thanks to massive monitor(s)

    What's confusing me is that I read a lot of conflicting reports on the following two issues:

    a) whether greater pen sensitivity makes a meaningful difference
    b) everyone seems to be raving about the cintiqs but at the same time I read a fair number of complaints about issues with pen to pixel accuracy (which yiynova seems to be slightly worse with)

    I can get the Intuos5 large on ebay for $440, the cintiq 15sx for $360-400, cintiq 18sx for $500 or less, cintiq DTU-710 (17") for $400, yiynova 19" for $500, and a pc only kingtee 19" for $650. If I spend $300-500 on a tablet pc I can still fit both the portable and the plugged in usage scenario for a grand or less. And given my strong desire for direct pen to paper design work yet the inferiority of tablet pc processing power, getting a cintiq (older), yiynova, or kingtee just might give me everything I need and also mean I can be a bit less hopelessly picky about the tablet pc. Is there any reason to get an intuos4/5 instead of one of those?

    UPDATE: $200 shipping on the kingtee!??
    Last edited by icantdecidehaha; 03-25-2012 at 11:33 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    First of all, do yourself a HUGE favor and only ever get yourself a Wacom equipped device (be it Tablet PC, graphics tablet, or Cintiq like tablet) because Wacom is the best of the best and has been sop for a few years now and it won't be changing anytime in the foreseeable future (especially where art programs are concerned), that said even Wacom devices are not perfect and have room for improvement (nowhere near as much as the other branded devices though)... Wacom, and Wacom only...

    I think its a good idea to upgrade from your bamboo to a larger Intuos, but do you need the latest? I think the only thing the 5 offers over the 4 is it has touch and can run wirelessly, other than that its pretty much exactly the same as the 4 but costs quite a bit more... but that's up to you to decide


    As for the Tablet PC's, I personally am gravitated towards the HP and Lenovo because of the thinner profile, more solid build (no notable flex or creaking; they are just really solid throughout), and the trackpoint is pretty big because trackpads are just not usable to me; that said the T5010 is a great machine and if the slightly larger screen is attractive to you then I say go for it (the T5010 only used a good AFFS+ screen, so you will get a good quality screen with any T5010). As for the Toshiba, forget about it, the screens all sucked really hard on the Toshiba Tablet PC's (viewing angles, brightness, and so on), also their quality is alright but doesn't quite compare IMO.

    To the Cintiq vs Tablet PC discussion (again, only bother considering Wacom) it really comes down to portability because a Tablet PC is all self contained and portable (use it on your desk, your couch, on the go, when traveling, and anywhere else really); where as a Cintiq is bulky and has a cable mess and needs a AC adapter to work (so you are stuck desk bound, or wherever you set it up at)
    Current: HP 2730p Win 7 & Linux Mint | Toshiba M4 | Motion M1400 renice 120GB SSD | ITRONIX IX-325 | Motion F5 (U7500 update) | Fujitsu P1620 | T4220 w/SXGA+ 160GB Intel X18-M & 1TB HDD in bay | broken TC4400 [for experimentation] | i5 3570K mITX desktop w/GTX460 | ASUS N10j
    Gone but not Forgotten: HP Tm2 | HP Slate 500 | HP touchpad 32GB | 6-core desktop

  9. #9
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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    I dunno, I've seen many happy artists using N-trig for example. I know wacom is the best, but there are also specific features I want from my devices and only so much money in my bank account. Ya know? From what I'm reading, there are a significant number of professional artists who are quite satisfied with the yiynova and the kingtee (they do have some problems of course, but so do the cintiqs). I can't ignore that. I'm not even a professional artist, yet, and I've never used a cintiq before so I might not even notice the difference. No disrespect though.
    Also I think maybe I was a little unclear. It's not tablet pc versus cintiq for me. It's the best tablet pc in my budget + Intuos versus tablet pc that can do everything minus 3D work + used-cintiq/yiynova/kingtee. If a Intuos makes more sense for my needs than a used cintiq for example, I'm going to be a lot more picky about my tablet pc choice because it will be my only direct pen to paper/screen device.
    I can get the Intuos5 large for only $60 more than the cheapest price I could find on the 4 large, and on a fixed screen I do like the ability to do a multitouch rotation gesture.

    Update: Oh, and what do yall think about the HP 2740p? It has a full voltage i5 and can be had for $800 looks like.
    Last edited by icantdecidehaha; 03-25-2012 at 03:41 PM.

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    Default Re: budding graphic artist with a few other needs (FORM FILLED)

    I was under the impression that the T901 had dedicated graphics, but a T901 I'm looking at says Intel HD graphics. Why is this and is a dedicated graphics card for the T901 something you can add later or it has to come with it?

    Edit: Also, is the T901 powerful enough you think it will run the bluestacks android emulator w/o a problem? I'm hearing that Asus isn't making the $250 quad-core 7" Memo tablet anymore and I just don't have the money or the excuse to buy any other android tablet; yet there a lot of android only games that I love to play. If I could just play them on a tablet pc I would be golden.
    Last edited by icantdecidehaha; 04-15-2012 at 03:10 PM.

 

 

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