Rugged Tablet PC for the road!
First, let me just say, I am blown away by the high level of activity and information available in this forum. This is truly a godsend!
Second, can I also say I am just a bit overwhelmed with it all! Ahh! I hope you all understand!:geekg:
For this reason, I am creating a thread to ask a pretty typical question with some very specific caveats. I have been reading all about the tablets you incredible artists use and now I have some questions of my own.
Here's the setup: My husband is an illustrator. We have the Intuos 4 Medium and an IMac at home and this is also his setup at his office. As of 2 years ago, he was still using traditional mediums and scanning in to his Sony Vaio for digital editing. I am a Mac gal all the way (growing up, my family did not own another brand of computer, so I have to admit I am pretty PC illiterate at times) and brought the beautiful 20" IMac display into the life of my darling artist husband. (We ditched the Vaio when we moved in together. It had a good life, but was dying.) He has really grown to love the Intuos 4/Mac combo and does not really see his career going back to the "dark ages", as he calls it, of pencil to paper... outside the occasional portrait commission.
We are planning a six-month trip to Asia in about a year and herein lies the real bulk of my questions. My husband is hoping that he will be able to continue to work while on the road. We're not going to be able to stick a desk top computer and USB tablet in our packs, so my husband is pretty forlorn about losing his setup! We definitely want to simulate the experience of using these tools as closely as possible in order that his quality of work does not suffer. So, I need some advice! Originally, we had thought of bringing a laptop and the Intuos with us, but have realized that will take up a lot of space in our packs. We've also got an iPad, but there are some serious lag issues (I am sure you are aware) and he does not like using it for more than just sketching. Also, the multi-touch interface kills it for him. It is really difficult for him NOT to lay his hand down on the screen while using the stylus. Not to mention, it has little to no internal storage and does not run Photoshop or Illustrator software. The iPad is really my personal tool/toy and was not really intended for his artwork, so we're not too broken up about this. Other considerations: I really think we'll benefit most in this situation with something that is "rugged" or "semi-rugged" (I am gathering that means water resistant and drop resistant to varying degrees), lightweight (relatively speaking), smallish (I am thinking 12"-13", but I don't know what is "too small" when it comes to this kind of thing) and hopefully USED. I would hate to have a brand new computer broken or stolen while we're tramping about Southeast Asia! And for that matter, would like to keep costs down to a minimum. My mindset is that something that costs me a few hundred dollars won't make me as sad if it breaks or is stolen in comparison to how sad I would be if a $2000 machine was broken or stolen. We would like to spend about $400, but we're willing to spend up to $1000. If it costs more, however, it costs more. Since I don't know so much about this type of tablet (being a complete Mac geek), I am really not knowledgeable about the cost. All things considered, we probably would not spend more than $1500 (and that would be a really tough sell).
One option we have considered is the Motion LE1700. There was a really great thread about it in this forum, which is what has us considering it! It looks amazing as far as pressure and sensitivity, but we'd really like to know all of our options before settling on something. Frankly, there is just not that much info out there (outside of this forum) regarding this artistic application of these rugged and semi rugged tablets. I was hoping that some of you who have been able to use them could share your experience. Is there a tablet PC that would work better than the LE1700 given our situation?
Wanderlust in Waiting,