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November 5, 2012


Replies: 6

Windows 8 Tablets and Cintiq alternatives.

CurtisKeefe Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
I know people that have them swear by them but I cannot afford a Cintiq. I have had a lower end Wacom for years and have always liked drawing on paper more.

Windows 8 tablet PC or what have you seem interesting as the whole 'screen you can draw on' is my main concern. I don't really have an interest in it's use as mobile technology so I was wondering about those who have experience what they think of alternative monitors you can draw on that they use and the price they got it for.

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Devious Comments

will2power71 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not a problem. I've been agonizing over the decision just like everyone else --unfortunately, I think most Tablet makers don't know how to market tablets to Artists yet. It took a while to collect all that reasearch, but I didn't want to waste my money and end up with something that wasn't a good fit for me. I'm only happy to share it.
will2power71 Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I find this subject near and dear to my heart, so I will give you what information I have gleaned. Firstly, I am interested in the Cintiq because I do not do well with the intuos4 by itself. I've been drawing for years and unfortunately, I've become entrenched in paper drawing, so I want a digital device that is as close to that as possible. Also, I work in IT --so I confined my research to measurable parameters as far as hardware is concerned. You asked to find a comparable match --so the devices I have mentioned here are along those lines.

If you're looking at the Motion Computing LE series for art, you'll probably want to take note of this. The LE1600 and 1700 processors are single core and dual core processors. Odds are, once you get into Photoshop or Painter, you're going to wish that you'd stuck it out for something with a bit more power. These processors are 2005 and 2007 technology. If you're just going to be working in sketchbook pro, or something a lot less memory intensive, then it's fine. If you're looking at loading Photoshop CS6 or CS5, you might find them a little lacking. Even buying on Ebay, you're still buying equipment that's five to seven years old, with no warranty. If you're like me, that's a hefty financial investment without any sort of guarantee. If you're looking at spending 300 dollars like that, then there are some alternatives that you might want to consider.

Starting with the Cintiq, look at the base criteria. I have included screen resolution, pressure sensitivity, and price. Other people have opinions based on feel and response, but I do not feel those things should be looked at because those things are based on personal preference, which is different for everyone. I didn't Research anything beyond the Ipad for Mac, with respect to Apple. People will say look at a modbook, but they're just as expensive as buying a cintiq. Because you're budget concious, I'm going to try to get you to the best bang for your buck.

The Cintiq 12wx offers:

Screen resolution 1280 x 800
Pressure Sensitivity 1024 levels
Price: $817

Now if you're strictly wanting to keep this cost as low as possible then you will want to look at the Yiynova 10.1 inch graphics tablet.
It's a USB Monitor/Graphics tablet. That means that the picture comes to the display via a USB cable. You don't have to buy another video card even if you already have two or more monitors.

Screen Resolution 1024 x 600
Pressure Sensitivity 1024
Price: $299

There are a couple of Youtube reviews on it's performance. The strongest one is this one.

I have not tried it, but this is the absolute lowest price, brand new alternative to the cintiq. It's feature set are somewhat less, but it does have going for it that it's small and lightweight and you can use it with your existing equipment. You don't have to buy anything else. Now they also make a 19' monitor


Screen Resolution 1440 x 900
Pressure Sensitivity 1024
Price $499

I say this one second but I also add a warning. I didn't consider this one for purchase because most of the reviews say it was good, but there are quirks with it. For every good review, I found as many bad reviews or reviews that list problems that take away from it's good rating. I did not find the same case with the USB tablet. So be warned.

I basically want something I can take with me and I don't like the idea of carrying a tablet and a graphics tablet. I also don't like the idea of a tablet that runs abbreviated apps. This is not to say that I have anything against Android --but rather, I already have the drawing apps that I like and am comfortable with, and I don't like the idea of having to buy them again, or buying a different version, or getting a version that only has some of the features that I like. If I'm comfortable with Painter or Photoshop, then I don't want to step down. No offense to the ipad, but my reasearch indicates that the lack of a true active stylus, makes it unsuitable for a sustainable effort. To me, it seems like people who are picking the ipad are doing it for reasons of style and not really looking at the function. There are active styli for the Ipad, but complaints abound about lag, jitter and lack of sensitivity- because you're using software to imitate hardware. Hardware is always going to be faster and more accurate than software trying to imitate it. They tried to make a few pens work to the platform(i.e. the Adonit Jot Flip or the Cregle iPen), but until apple truly gets into support of the art community with more than just lip service, you're wasting your money.

I found the two that interest me most right now are the Dell Latitude 10

Screen Resolution 1366 x 768
Pressure Sensitivity 1024 levels
Operating System Windows 8
Intel® Atom® Dual Core (Z2760)
64GB SSD Hard Drive
Price $699

It's not due out until later this month, but the feature set and cost alone make it worth a look. The Stylus has to be purchased separately I believe, but it is a wacom stylus. It has an Atom Processor, but it does have certain attractive features like a replaceable battery. And the fact that you would be able to run the full on versions of the applications out there make it worth a serious look. However, this is not the one I decided to purchase.

I actually settled on:

The Samsung Series 7

Now this one is also not due out until November 15th. It's about twice the cost of the Dell 10, but if you look over the list of features I think waiting an extra month or two to save the extra money was worth it.

Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Pressure Sensitivity 1024 Levels
Operating System
Windows 8 (64-bit)
CPU/ Processor
Intel® Core™ i5-3317U Processor
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Intel® HD Graphics 4000
Price $1199

I picked this one because it's a much more powerful platform. I have yet to find a tablet pc with a more powerful feature set than this. Right from the start, you're on a 64bit platform. It's screen dimensions are big enough to draw just like you would on a regular piece of paper. To date, I have not seen another tablet pc with 1080p display AND a pressure sensitive Wacom based stylus. Plus, it comes with a bottom half that allows you to dock it and use it like a laptop. Or you can purchase a smaller lighter bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

The Asus eb121/ep121 might also suit you, but as an artist, I don't think you'd be satisfied with 256 levels of sensitivity (Older model Wacom bamboo fun tablets had 512 levels of sensitivity.) That's why I didn't mention it as a consideration. My ambition is to move up or at the very least sideways.

Now to be fair, the Wacom 12wx is now $817.00 at I already have a laptop, so I could just buy one and go on with that, but that's just another 4 pounds and a size larger laptop bag, and that just really isn't where I want to go.

Just one word of caution. I'm a IT manager, so for me it's not such a big deal, but I will make the following suggestion for any digital artist looking to buy a tablet. If you purchase one, do not load any other software on it other than what you absolutely need for your artwork. Windows has always had a problem with slowing down because of installing and uninstalling applications. Even installing quicktime will take away performance when you want to concentrate on your artwork. All of those background applications and update routines will kill your system resources and get in the way of the applications you truly want to run. If you're looking to use a tablet for drawing, then stick to just drawing stuff and You'll be much happier with it's performance over time. If you want to do email and stuff --save it for your desktop or your iphone or hell, even get a chromebook for $249.
malmida Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student General Artist
good lord, this is the most helpful forum post I've ever read on here lol. so thank you very much, this is the exact information ive been searching for. i have a dell credit card, and luckily dell does sell the cintiq 12wx. but if im going to spend 600-1000$ i would prefer the device to have more functionality than just digital painting (despite that being my main focus) so ill be going with the latitude 10. id prefer the samsung series 7, but sadly dell doesn't carry those.
good lookin out
lemon1986 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
If you're planning to own a new machine, then I'm afraid to tell you that tablet pc's are just as expensive!

Unless you don't mind to own a used tablet, they're known for being cheap as dirt with good digitizers! Cheapest one is the motion M1400, $120 and works good with sai and sketchbook! But for photoshop you'll have to go higher, I owned a motion LE1700 with core solo cpu for $144 shipped and seriously I couldn't be any happier with it! There are models that comes with core2duo (perfect for photoshop) for $250~$350. Nice and responsive :)
Kasuji Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
ipads are quite nice for drawing and doodling. but cintiqs are expensive for a reason. i think intuos + good monitor is the best solution if you donīt have real much money
Pakaku Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
There's a reason you can't afford a Cintiq, compared to pc-tablets
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