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February 1, 2012
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Best 'tablet PC' for digital artists?

:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Budget: 700 $

My only preferences is for it to be able to run at least Sketchbook on full speed, and it must have a touchscreen that only reacts to the stylus.
Also, I'd rather not get it through eBay if there are other ways to buy it.
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:iconevilprogrammer:
evilprogrammer Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012
iPad has the same problem my Samsung Tab does. It's designed for touch (finger) and doesn't have an alternate pen mode. It's great as a portfolio though. I picked up a new Motion LE 1600 that had been in a warehouse for several years before being sold to a company that liquidates inventory on ebay. It has a lot of power, is compatible with Wacom pens, and came with sketchbook pre loaded. At the time it cost $600 (much cheaper today). I'd surf e-bay looking for this sort of thing.
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:iconcaterpillartomoko:
caterpillartomoko Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
Glanced through your thread and thought I'd share something with you : [link]
This user seems to have a good level of knowledge about tablet PCs and even reviewed on it.
Stuffs like Asus Eee Slate121, Samsung Series 7, Fujitsu etc are reviewed there.
It does not state all the pricing though but you can gain some info and then debate your needs and wants and budgets for it.

My own opinion is : if you can wait for better quality/performances I think it would be best to wait for a bit and keep your eyes open for any new stuffs. Otherwise, if you already have your own graphic tablet, you can stick to it for a bit longer.
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:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! Will definitely check out those reviews:)
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:icontheateles:
TheAteles Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I've been searching for the same thing and have come across the Lenovo Thinkpad it has pressure sensitivity and palm cancellation so you can lean on it. Which no other tablet has that I am aware of right now. Also android has sketchbook pro the same app for iPad. Which lets you save files as PSD and import/export to photo shop. You have to buy lenovo's pen though, but it has a narrower tip than anyother tablet PC stylus. I've been searching for an artist review and comparison to the iPad and other android devices but haven't found one yet. 700 easily gets you the 16gb tablet ($499), dock ($60 for laptop like use) and stylus($30). With some cash left over.

[link]

Now that is on the xoom a totally different tablet but you can get an idea of the software and it only costs $4.99.

[link]

The second video is from lenovo's announcement of the product and is pretty sweet.

There are better Android tablets for other purposes, but this is probably the best for art because of the palm cancellation and pressure sensitivity. Well at least for now I'm sure the summer will bring newer better tablets all around.
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:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sounds good:) It looks a lil' bit laggy though.
Anyway, thanks for the tip!
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:icontheateles:
TheAteles Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem I just got my first intuos and i'm enjoying it. But I'd love to have a portable tablet to do concept design/practice sketches as they dont have to be super high res. Personally I'd like to see something of a mix mash between the transformer prime and thinkpad.

Using the new Tegra 3 chip which is quad core with the benfit of the ntrig technology would be awesome.

Couple things to keep in mind. iPad 3 will be out in about 2-3 months in all likely hood and by that time probably a couple more android devices. Wouldn't surprise me if Wacom teamed up with an android developer/OEM to get a bamboo like product on the market sometime this year since the iPad and other tablets have been so popular for digital art. If that happens would probably follow the pricing set by the iPad3.
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:iconironsocks:
Ironsocks Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think the problem with All-in-one iPad-esque tablets is that they are great for browsing, emails, various flash games and taking notes however I personally think they are a bit like Woolworths.

(For anybody not know what woolworths was, it was a chain of Stores in the UK which sold a load of random crap and didn't have a main selling point, with most people saying it was the pick 'n mix which brought it the little money it actually made, eventually going bust in the recession.)

What you should do with your dough? Save more of it and invest in something like a Cintiq 12wx and if necessary more for a PC, it's expensive, but you know your going to get a tablet which is quality, practical and will last you a long time if you treat it nicely.
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:iconironsocks:
Ironsocks Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
More to add: Forgot I don't think iPads use flash :P Correct me if I'm wrong.
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:icontheateles:
TheAteles Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
you are correct no flash player on any iOS devices.
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:iconnevma:
Nevma Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
I have found that many people have negative reactions to using an iPad for drawing, but this doesn't match my experience at all. I mention this because Sketchbook on an iPad works very well (which is what you asked about). Yes, the iPad doesn't have pressure sensitivity, and it doesn't have the precision that a tablet has, but it does have some advantages over a tablet PC or tablet and desktop setup. It is very portable, apps are relatively cheap, and of course it can perform other functions as well. I contend that it is like any new medium: you have to get used to what it does well and what it does poorly.

Regarding responding only to the stylus: One solution that I have seen people use to prevent unintended touches with a stylus is to use a fingerless glove.

I'd recommend trying an iPad out if you can. You may not like it, but then again, it may be exactly what you're looking for. And FWIW, there's likely an iPad 3 on the near horizon, which if the rumors pan out, is likely to have significantly higher resolution and processing power. Unless you need a solution today, it may be worth waiting a few months to see what Apple produces.
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
You might want to look into refurbished tablets. That's how I got my Fujitsu. I'm not sure prices are as low as 700 though. Refurbs should be available on the company's site and come with a warranty, but Fujitsu for example has an official ebay site where people can bid for laptops/tablets. Personally I'm getting rid of it and getting an Intous and a Laptop because the problem with Tablet PCs is that they don't come any bigger than ~12.1" or 1280x800 resolution and it's really been bugging me. There's just not enough screen space to be comfortable in Photoshop. They're great if you have no hand-eye coordination, but I think with enough practice I'll be fine with a tablet. I look at the cursor instead of the tip anyways.

PS: DO NOT get an iPad. iPad styluses are designed to work like another finger, it's not like a Tablet PC where the touch is separate "hardware" from the pen. On tablet PC's even if they have touch (which I don't recommend due to the graininess it adds to the screen), when you place the pen near the screen, touch is disabled. The pen sends info to the tablet, the actual screen doesn't sense the pressure, the pen does. Read a few buying guides/tutorials on tablets if you can find them, there's different kinds of touch and pen technologies, etc. iPads will read the stylus like a finger, there is no pen pressure. I've tried to draw on the iPad and while it is possible, it's an absolutely horrible and frustrating experience. It's like trying to ink a drawing with finger painting or paint with a mouse in Paint (Actually painting with a mouse would probably come out nicer than with an iPad), possible but you might want to rip out your hair after an hour. It's even useless for sketches and hand written notes. Often times it doesn't read my strokes, and the size (pixel x pixel) of drawings is small in certain apps.

Hope this helps :)
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:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the answer!

Other that the small screen, how was your experience with the Fujitsu PC? Is it responsive enough to almost feel like drawing on a regular paper?

Ok, I will avoid iPad until they get more artist friendly then:D

Hope you'll feel more comfortable than me with a tablet.
I really wish someone would release a budget tablet PC aimed towards sketching and inking. Like those plastic draw/erase tablets I used to play with as a kid.
Too bad I cant construct one myself without breaking against a trillion copyrights though...
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
It's very responsive. I upgraded the RAM to 8GB and the Hard Drive and it's a beast (but worked okay at the default 2GB), I just can't handle the small screen anymore.

Nothing can ever feel like paper, but if you really like that paper feeling you can get a matte screen protector (get a protector before using it at all btw, you don't want to scratch the screen, I recommend Photodon, cheap and good) and that will feel more like paper (it will give it some grain though) or you could buy felt nibs (default plastic ones feel too smooth and scratch way more) or do both, and the feeling will be pretty close to paper.

The closest to an artist friendly iPad like design (no keyboard, screen only) I've seen is the Samsung's Series 3 [link] but it's way expensive and not powerful or tablet kiosk tablets but those are even more expensive [link] It's quite insane. I wish they made 14"+ inch HD resolution slates. Something like a Cintiq but with all the hardware inside and slightly smaller. That would be perfect. But there isn't enough demand for something like that and Wacom would loose money on their Cintiqs by producing the tablet "hardware" in anything bigger than 12.1".

I have seen a DIY project where they turned an Intous into a Cintiq on the cheap, but of course, you'd still need a desktop or something.

For something similar to those draw/erase kids tablets you're talking about there's the new Wacom Inkling [link] Pretty cool for quick sketches/ideas. Not really for painting or smooth inking, but yeah... That might interest you. You can use it on any paper, then transfer the sketch to your computer and color it in there...

PS: Have you tried playing around with the tablet settings (mapping area)? There might be something you can change to help your hand eye coordination. I've heard that if the screen is proportioned wrong sometimes circles come out like ovals, etc. You also have mouse mode to choose from, so instead of the tablet area = the whole screen, it equals a part the same size.
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:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hah, never knew DIY Cintiqs existed! You learn something new everyday...
This might actually be a viable investment for me, although the demos I have seen on Youtube show very mixed results in performance. It's still nice to know that you can build a cheap Cintiq alternative though.

Yeah, I've played around a lot with the tablet settings but nothing seems to be working for me. The only thing that helped a little was to put a paper over the tablet to get better friction-grip. But that just wasn't enough. Guess I'll have to stick to the good ol' paper, pen and scanner until I can afford a Cintiq or another "digital paper" of the same quality.
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012
Well if you really like that paper feel, sadly nothing will be as close to it as a tablet and seeing as you feel that even that is not textured enough (I'd try to find super textured paper at an art store and tape it over the tablet), I doubt even a Cintiq would work for you. The Cintiq has a matte screen, but that's just to prevent glare, the texture is minimal. It should feel the same if not more slippery than a tablet or Tablet PC with an matte anti-glare protector.

I hope you find something that suits you, if not, there's always pen, paper, and a scanner as you say.
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:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I really hope so too. I just hate having a bunch of papers and drawing material to keep track of:D
Hopefully the texture on a Cintiq wont be as important when I can actually see what I draw directly on the spot where I do it. Thats my main pet-peeve.
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:iconpyrohmstr:
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Professional Artist
Unfortunately, you're not going to get a decent tablet PC for only $700 unless you find a heavily used one on ebay. I picked up a Fujitsu stylistic for $200 once...but it had been heavily used in a hospital.

You could buy an intuos4 tablet for a lot less than 700...Do you have a computer now?

Finally, and they aren't really that good for drawing, but you might be able to work with an iPad2? They don't have good sensors for drawing but they'll be much better than anything you'll find in a tablet PC for under 700. If that makes sense.
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:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually own an Intuos4. It's great for colorizing and I can draw some decent sketches with it but my hand/eye coordination suffers greatly when I try to do line-art/inking.
Is it possible to turn off multitouch and work solely with a stylus on iPad 2?
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:iconpakaku:
Pakaku Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
Don't even bother trying to draw with an iPad.
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:icondbguardian:
DBguardian Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
ok, can you elaborate on the cons with drawing on iPad?
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:iconpakaku:
Pakaku Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
It's the equivalent of drawing with a mouse.
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:iconnevma:
Nevma Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
I find drawing on an iPad with a stylus to be quite easy. Not at all like drawing with a mouse.
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:iconpakaku:
Pakaku Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
There's no pressure sensitivity, for one :B
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:iconnevma:
Nevma Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012
Very true. Which means that it is not like drawing with a pressure-sensitive tablet. Which makes it akin to drawing with a mouse in that respect. But on an iPad, where I look and where I physically draw are the same place, quite unlike a mouse. YMMV.
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:iconpyrohmstr:
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2012  Professional Artist
I think some drawing programs turn off multitouch. I don't own a stylus for my iPad2
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