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January 14, 2013


Replies: 12

Help -- should I get a laptop with large screen for my birthday or an android tablet to draw on?

SamuraiTsundere Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student General Artist
Hi, I'm an art student at a performing arts high school, and I really want to be able to draw digitally on the go, as I love digital art, and other applications, like programming games, and grapic design. I have a graphics tablet (a Bamboo Create) already, and a really beat-up family laptop, but I've always wanted my own personal computer... however, I recently realized that if I got my own laptop, while I could finally download anything I want (mom doesn't like me downloading stuff on our computer in the case that it gets a virus and we both need it for school and work), if I wanted to draw, I'd have to pull it out, turn it on, and set up my tablet, which is NOT small enough to just do ANYWHERE.

However, I found a solution to this -- you can take something called an "Adonit Jot Touch" pen ($99.99) -- its a pressure-sensitive pen for android and Apple. Since I program, and like to be able to get my free apps and stuff, and I like the Android interface better (AND more often than not, the tablets are cheaper). With the Jot, I could whip out my tablet ANYWHERE and just buy Photoshop or Sketchbook Pro for tablets to draw on. Lately, I've been trying to find a tablet within a $250 price range that at least has bluetooth 2.0(the pen requires this to work), 3D graphics, and a 9.7-10.1 screen size for drawing space. Now, this is where the problems begin:

On one hand, if I get a laptop, I could download and play 2D games like Maplestory and Wonderland online (I'm also a gamer :D), download ALL my art, graphics, and game-making programs AND draw. The screen'd be much bigger, and I could use it at school for notes, and watch videos, and just have better specs. On the other hand, if I get a tablet, I can just attach a bluetooth keyboard and still take notes and write my stories (I write as well -- sorry, I just need this computer to be a "Jack of all trades!") just like I could with a laptop, it'd be light-weight, and I could just take it wherever I wanted and turn it on and draw with ease, and all the games are really good AND free. It would have better accessability (being able to just tap on the app-version of a website instead of typing it in and whatnot) and I could listen to my music. BUT, I wouldn't be able to download and use any other programs besides the few that work with the pen(to be honest, I was just looking for an alternative to the Cintiq, since the pen has quite a few pressure levels, and I'd only be paying about $300 for it all). And as a HS student, both would be super-useful to me... I was thinking that if I bought a laptop, I could just get a Chromebook or something, but the problem with that is that I was gonna save up my money and get a laptop for 3D graphics, programming, animation, gaming, ect made at my local hardware store once I saved up about $1,000. If I get this laptop, then turn around and get another one hopefully by the end of the year, I'd have TWO just lying around. D:

So, should I get the laptop now and the tablet later, or vise-versa? If you have any models with the specifications I asked for and good reviews (For the laptop, 4GB, decent processor -- preferably the third gen, but i'm not picky as long as my programs and low-res games work really fast -- good screen size for my artwork -- preferably around 15'-17" or more . And for the tablet -- 9.7-10", bluetooth 2.0, 3D graphics, slot for an SD card to expand space, and I suppose whether it's icecream sandwich or gingerbread or whatever doesn't matter as long as its fast.) post them please, but just make sure they're within my $200-300 price range!

Thanks :D

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Devious Comments

Griffon-Nage Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
My two cents... within your price range it's quite hard to find something that really fit, but you maybe can take a look at used device ?

For drawing purpose on a tablet, I still think Samsung note 10.1 is the best. I know sometime they are sold with a price cut, but I'm not sure about bluetooth on them...
You can find some asus slate (ep or eb 121) and the old samsung 7 serie too, but it will be in used condition...

There is an information about lenovo realeasing a wired monitor with wacom digitizer inside it (13 inches) around second quarter of this year... that would be arround 350$... I know lenovo did great device by the past but I would wait to see some review about it before saying it's a cintiq alternative, I'm afraid about the digitizer being a lower one with 256 level of lressure like in other tablet pc :/

And finally, brands will drop price sooner or later about win8 tablet. A lot of them already plan to release new models in september.

Soooo... I would say : buy a good latop (it help so much when it come to programing !) and wait for tablet to drop prices :) if you are not in a hurry of course !
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional Artist
Hmm, an iPad 3 with a pen would probably be right about what you want. You can't beat the retina display and you should be able to get something fairly cheap since it's not the newest model.

A laptop could work and it would certainly work better for drawing. In my opinion the iPad is really most suited to sketch work but there are certainly people who produce amazing pieces of art with it. It's more about the artist and less about the tools in this case.

I think you'll find that android tablets are not going to be up to the specs you want and you really can't find anything that will even come close to the retina display.
SamuraiTsundere Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
I don't think that's too fair to say -- I know it sounds stupid since I was the one who asked for honest opinions, but pardon me if I think you sound a little biased... Like I said, an iPad has/is

A.) Out of my price range
B.) Limited memory and functionability, vs. Android's ability to expand and/or use microSD cards
C.) the interface is too simple -- I'm a programmer, and I like to modify my devices, and since Android is open-source, that's perfect. Actually, today I happened to find the perfect model of Android tablet that fit ALL my specs (with a slightly lower resolution than I'd like, but it should be able to run basic 3D games). If you want my honest opinion, I think that apple products are more often than not over-rated. As an artist, yes, I CAN definitely appreciate the hot-keys that are on mac-books (our school uses them for animation and all other types of digital arts) because they make choosing your tools much easier. The programs that come bundled are great (garage band, photo studio, all that good stuff) but I find it ironic that a tablet that boasts having adobe products like photoshop can't even run flash. Plus, I'd have to jailbreak it to do anything with it, and that'd be too much work, killing my warranty in the process. Bottom line, I just don't like that as soon as you say you're an artist, and you ask for computer recommendations, the first answer is always "Get a mac!" There ARE other options. Besides, the Adonit Jot Touch is a pen that works with iOS AND Android, so it's the exact same thing. iPads are better for some, and Androids are better for others.

... now that I think about it, I think you helped me make my decision. :D I hope I didn't come off as sarcastic/passive-agressive or anything (trust me, I wasn't -- I just don't care for Apple products) but thank you for the advice. :D
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional Artist
First off, I've seen 32 GB iPad 3rd generations going for $300 on sales and iPad 2's going for about the same. You're working on a tight budget so waiting for sales and looking for deals will only help you. So, it can be within your price range.

32GB is as much memory as any of the decent sub $300 Adroid tablets will support. For that matter, at your budget you're basically only looking at a Galaxy Tab 2 7 inch. Even the Kindle Fire HD is out of your range. Functionally even an iPad 2 will kick a Galaxy Tab 2 out of the water.

The interface is basically the same on both OSes. You will have to unlock the Android to program for it in the way you think you will. Plus, there are c/c++ compilers for iOS straight from the app store. Unless you have some very specific thing in mind that you need Android for you'll appreciate the responsiveness of iOS more than anything. Considering you can easily have the same style of widgets and shit running in iOS as android, you're not really gaining anything going with android.

Finally, the adonit Jot Touch you want is currently iPad only. I'm not sure why you think it's going to work on Android. It's also not out yet, but if you want it then as of right now you'll need an iPad. There are other pens of course but you mentioned that one specifically. Also, the Galaxy Note 2 doesn't have Bluetooth 4.0 :shrug: so even if they do release Android support at some point your best in-budget android tablet won't support it anyway.

There are reasons people suggest Macs for artists. They have the best built-in screens hands down and are actually on-par with everything else cost wise (also other historical reasons that are less relevant these days). To be honest, it sounds to me like you don't have enough money in your budget and you think that going with an android tablet will somehow get you more for less money... trust me, you will come to see that in the long run it's better to wait until you can get something better. Even if you don't get an iPad, any Android tablet worth buying is going to be $400-$500. You would be better off waiting to get that and sticking with your bamboo/laptop combination for a while longer.
SamuraiTsundere Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student General Artist
I already know WHY macs are preferred to artists. And like I said, while price does come into question, I really just PREFER using other OS (Windows or Android) because I can program with it. And jail-breaking isn't really required for the android if you go into the settings and mess around a bit. Plus, if I wanted to make apps for the market, I don't have to go out and give away my left hand to buy a Mac/Apple desktop/laptop.

No, the Adonit is not limited to Androids, as I've read reviews, websites, and gone to my local hardware store and asked. It's ANY device that has at least bluetooth 2.0.(though the charge time would be faster if it was bluetooth 4.0)

No, I'm not limited to a simple Nexus 7-- I've found at least 20 models that fit my specs AND price range, some of them offering almost more than iPad. The one that I mentioned earlier that I found has a 9.7 screen, good resolution, Bluetooth 2.1, google Play Store, decent processor for 3D games... it does almost all that an iPad does, and it's literally only $199.99 since my local hardware store offers awesome deals. Besides, the site say it itself:

"Jot Touch’s Bluetooth connection means it can work on any platform; iOS, Android, and Windows" This is quoted from [link]

I don't get why you say the interface is the same... I'd say far from it. You can't use open-source applications and/or widgets on your device. You can't really have several apps at once without one shutting down after you open a new one. you can have way more windows open on Android explorers. Android has flash and can show full-page websites without getting super slow. That's kind of a big deal for me.

Also, why would I limit myself to an iPad two which would, in the end, cost much more than the tablets in question (I have some on my list that while maybe $50 more, they have way better specs and a larger size than an iPad) JUST to have 32Gigs? The things I'm doing will require more than that. If I can keep switching out the SD card, in theory, I have unlimited amounts of data as long as I keep my SD cards labeled. Plus, the cards can go anywhere from $4-$10. I'd just need one for my games and art, and one for my music and movies.

However, I'll be the first to admit that going out of the way to find a CHEAP Android tablet that fits my specs was no walk in the park, but it wasn't HARD. That's just it about iPads -- I think they're amazing if you've just got the money to spend, and want guaranteed product that you can get our artwork done on and not have to worry about reviews, because even though there are people that have qualms with it, a vast majority are going to say they like it, some even only doing it for brand-loyalty. They're also good because they automatically come with a warranty for Apple. But I can get the same re-assurance and more by just paying an extra $40 -- two-year warranty, parts and labor, and accidents. I don't WANT to jailbreak my iPad to do any sort or open-source programming (maybe I wasn't totally clear last time, and I get it -- I did not mean program the TABLET as much as getting open-source APPS that I wouldn't be able to do anything with on Apple, since you have to get approval by the apple market to do anything with their stuff), I like also having a broader, and overall better range of apps.

Have you ever tried any of this with an Android before, or are you just guessing? Again, I ask this not to be snarky, but I've tried both. I'm not saying iPad is a horrible device -- I think its a good tablet. BUT, I think, just how I feel about just about all apple products, is that they're over-priced and over-simplified. If someone were to come up to me and say "Here's a free Macbook, no strings attached." you bet that I'd take that and run with it! :D But there's just a personal dislike I have for them, and I don't feel like being limited to what I'm given. If I want to increase the ammount of memory on my tablet (TRUST me that I'd need way more than just 32Gigs), I can. If I want all of the Zenonia and Gamevil apps free LEGALLY, I can get it. If I want apps that do specific things such as downloading music/movies straight to my tablet instead of the computer and transferring first? Absolutely, I'll do it.
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional Artist
I own an iPad, a Galaxy Note II, an iPhone 5, and I currently am running android on my RaspPi :p I also had a Galaxy Tab for a few weeks. So yes, I've actually had significant experience with both OSes across multiple devices. That and the 6 years of helping people on this forum find tablets and shit. When I say you want an iPad for art and that it would be worth getting an iPad 2 over a ~$200 tablet I say it for good reasons. I mean, if you don't want an iPad I couldn't care less :shrug: I wouldn't buy an iPad right now either (I want one of them fancy Surface Pro's).

I'm curious what you managed to find for $200 that is better than an iPad. I'll literally buy one tomorrow (I've been looking for a decent, cheap Android tablet) if it's actually any better than my iPad. I don't have high hopes but I'm willing to look.

The press release from a year ago is old information. You should read their pre-order page which is iPad only for now. They've upped the requirements and changed it all around quite a bit. Also, the fact that it has been a few months away for roughly a year now is concerning. I've had my eye on the things for the last 12 months. At least the price is down considerably.
SamuraiTsundere Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Student General Artist



neither of these are the one that the guy at the store recommended (which, I think they may be the only ones that carry it, but I haven't searched yet). These are just two of several tablets I've seen that have very good specs for the price, almost, if not better than the iPad.

There's also this one:


And no, it DOES work with Android. I've seen videos, reviews, yada yada -- all of them posted in 2012(obviously 2013 would be way to early to expect another one :P). Either way, I've made my decision... I want to pick one of the three tablets I've posted, but I can't really decide. Two of them are better price-wise, but the last one actually had one or two articles stating it was pretty much better than the iPad, price and quality wise. I just need to figure out if we're willing to pay an extra $40-50 for a few extra features.
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Professional Artist
None of those are anywhere close to an iPad in terms of hardware or performance :p but they are cheap. Well, the one that is actually for sale isn't really all that cheap in my opinion. I still think you would be better off buying a Kindle Fire HD than the off-brand stuff :p If I end up getting one I'll probably go for a samsung note 2. Or one of them fancy Surface Pro tablets.

They are only supporting iPad for now. Quoting directly from their site:

"When paired with Bluetooth 4 devices, the new Jot Touch gets up to 1 month of battery life on a single charge. Not to mention enabling palm rejection, pressure sensitivity, and shortcut buttons. (New iPad and iPad Mini only)"

Yes, it will register input on an android tablet but you won't get any of the pressure sensitivity or other fancy stuff. The rest of their Touch site is also iPad only. There was some talk that they wanted to support Android in the future... but as of right now it doesn't look like it's going that way. You'll have to wait for it to come out officially. They clearly say "iPad 2 and New iPad" on all of their stuff. I'm not sure what videos you saw, but I don't think they were the Jot Touch if they were on an android tablet in 2012.
SamuraiTsundere Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Student General Artist

A.) I just told you. I need a tablet. With big drawing space. So I can draw with it. 7 Inches is nowhere near enough.

B.) If you're going to quote the site, don't disregard the quote I just sent you in my last reply that said that it does indeed support Android devices.

C.) You know what I find funny? You said in the first post that you had an iPad. Then, in the one before this one, you said that you "didn't even want one". Sounds to me like you're either trolling, lying about having one in the first place, or all of the above. Your answers are biased, and not very helpful. I said I want an android. You keep trying to push an iPad,even though I said I am very impartial to them. I hope you have luck finding the tablet that you want, but as for this post, you haven't been very helpful at all.
(1 Reply)
Pakaku Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
The only pens I've seen in stores (not online) are the ones that are stubby at the end, not pointed. And fuck it if I'm going to pay 99$ for a chunk of metal without getting to try it out first.
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional Artist
I've seen them in stores and my parents have two of the pointier ones. Not the fancy super fine-point pressure ones. They work well enough :shrug: Better than a finger for drawing but they don't add much to the normal day-to-day use.
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