Companion or hybrid

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  1. #1
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    Companion or hybrid

    Alright so I've read some post about both of these great products and neither review I've seen or read has said "buy the other one...". I'm not gonna waste anyone's time by writing about the specs, Wacom makes professional equipment hands down. Now the way I see these products is as an investment for me because no matter how anyone sees it,it's a lot of money(especially for an artist). Many questions arise when I think of both products such as, I want to be considered a professional so will an "app" help me get to be that? Is the companion a WYSIWYG(no upgrading, no comp connectivity...etc) ? Do I have to invest more money on programs to run on the companion? What's my limits to the companion/hybrid? How strong are the android apps? Professionally speaking, would u hire someone that presents something to u from an app? I'm an illustrator/comic book artist and I don't like limitations so what route would someone suggest?i don't mind sitting in front of a computer for awhile but I do like to move around if I get bored , which would you choose? Artistically speaking what are the pros and cons to either product if you had to choose one ? And just for the record I've worked with Photoshop,illustrator, sketchbook and manga studio before. I'm just looking for other opinions in the matter. I'm thing to weigh out my decision base on the pros and cons. Thanks in advance

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    I know what you mean about the reviews. I have been meaning to write up a more subjective review but haven't gotten around to it. I have a Companion Hybrid and I can't tell you what you should do but I can tell you why I went with the Hybrid. It really boiled down to this:

    Now the way I see these products is as an investment for me
    I very likely would have dropped the extra coin for the Companion PC if they had built the Cintiq into it like they did the Hybrid. But, because the hardware in the Companion PC is already outdated from the front of the portable computing market (Graphics Processor, RAM capacity, screen resolution, Haswell, etc.), when someone decides they want to upgrade their hardware the Companion PC will become a brick. Or a second, less powerful mobile computer, ie. a mobile sketchbook. From an investment point of view that is massive depreciation.

    But if that is the fate my Companion is destined for then I figured I'd save a thousand greenbacks and get a Cintiq I can use with every computer I will ever buy. The Android apps are getting very good. Artflow Studio Pro is my new favorite and it only just launched. It will continue to get even better I imagine. The only exception is heavy painting. I think if you are a digital painter you may not be happy doing that on any mobile app.

    ANYWAY, I have enjoyed the Hybrid immensely. It is an outstanding mobile sketchbook (truth be told I use it more often in Android than I thought I would).

    And as for professional credibility, I am not a pro, but I imagine your work speaks for it self and the software you use to create your work doesn't matter at all. If you blew away a client with something you made on an iphone why would they look badly upon you for that? On the contrary, I think it would speak to your talent.

    I'll try to get the review done soon so if you still haven't made a decision you can take a look.

    Hybrid Pros:
    - Cheaper. Way cheaper.
    - Cintiq (plug into any computer as a Cintiq)
    - Android Apps (it is actually nice to be able to sync and use the same apps as on my phone)

    Hybrid Cons:
    - Doesn't have the heavy stuff (Photoshop, Painter, etc.)
    - That's really the only thing you'd be missing.

    Companion PC Pros:
    - Runs pro software (Photoshop, Painter, etc.)

    Companion PC Cons:
    - Expensive. Really expensive.
    - No Cintiq

    I don't have a Companion PC so you'll have to get some input from someone who does about exactly how well the thing actually runs the high end programs. If they're not smooth then you'll really be kicking yourself for getting the PC.

    Good Luck!

    Cheers

    PS. What is WYSIWYG

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    Finally an honest answer. I felt like people were scared to tell me their opinion in fear of the Wacom police. I haven't decided yet but with the looks of the very handful of honest answer I'm leaning towards the hybrid now but I'm still disappointed I can't run powerhouse programs and have to stick with the app version. Thanks
    WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get,it's an old saying

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
    I'll try to get the review done soon so if you still haven't made a decision you can take a look.

    Hybrid Pros:
    - Cheaper. Way cheaper.
    - Cintiq (plug into any computer as a Cintiq)
    - Android Apps (it is actually nice to be able to sync and use the same apps as on my phone)

    Hybrid Cons:
    - Doesn't have the heavy stuff (Photoshop, Painter, etc.)
    - That's really the only thing you'd be missing.

    Companion PC Pros:
    - Runs pro software (Photoshop, Painter, etc.)

    Companion PC Cons:
    - Expensive. Really expensive.
    - No Cintiq

    I don't have a Companion PC so you'll have to get some input from someone who does about exactly how well the thing actually runs the high end programs. If they're not smooth then you'll really be kicking yourself for getting the PC.

    Good Luck!

    Cheers

    PS. What is WYSIWYG

    I just ordered a companion hybrid, much for the same reason. I also do a lot of traveling and teaching (not a professional artist, I'm a technical instructor) and I use a tablet for online/in-person hybrid classes. Often, I'll be somewhere that they already have a machine hooked up to a projector. In that case, I can plug this in and be good to go. I'm *hoping* I will have access to the rest of the hardware - speakers, camera, mic - but I haven't seen any info one way or the other, so while I don't expect it, that would be a huge bonus, because those are things I bring anyway.

    Lastly, it's redundancy - what are the odds that both your pc and your tablet are going to break at the same time? If the PC breaks, you can get by on android for a while if necessary, and if you have a cheap bamboo as a backup, if the hybrid breaks, you can keep working. Both situations are less than optimal, but you can still get stuff done.

    That said, I'm probably more nervous about this than any other purchase I've made recently. I've been using intuos tablets and they've been fine, really, and this is still very expensive. If it ends up being as good as I think it will be, it will be worth it, but if not, it's still a *LOT* of money.

    Oh, and this is just a complete side bonus: you can use it as a monitor for any hdmi in. I have a video camera I can plug this into and have a really nice monitor to use with it when I want to do video stuff.


    I'm new here and could always use some advice / criticism. Feel free to take a peak at my sketchbook if you have the time.

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    I suspect that the Windows version of the Cintiq ( Companion ) may require buying a new full app such as Adobe Photoshop to be installed despite already having a copy of it in the Mac or PC. So if a person has Photoshop CC in the Mac, how can Adobe allow this person to install it in the tablet? Wouldn't the Photoshop CC or any app be required for a re-purchase? I do know Adobe allows installation on certain 'seats', or registering no more than two computers.

    I'm still thinking of the Hybrid version because my full apps such as Manga Studio or Sketchbook Pro is in the Mac. I think Sketchbook Pro is also installed in the Hybrid out of the box? But my iPad is 1G and has no bluetooth stylus so I need to upgrade to a new iPad and have a Wacom stylus. That might be my best bet for portable work, otherwise the Android Hybrid's pressure sensitivity, larger screen and hardware build destroys the iPad, professionally speaking.

    EDIT: I currently own a Wacom Intuos 4, btw, for the last three years now, btw.

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    The windows cintiq companion is considered just another windows machine, so you do not get any additional free licenses of software, I'd imagine. This will depend on the vendor. Amazon creative cloud allows two machines, I think, but manga studio can only be installed on one machine.


    I'm new here and could always use some advice / criticism. Feel free to take a peak at my sketchbook if you have the time.

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    I'm leaning towards getting a Hybrid for the reasons above AND the fact that I absolutely LOATHE Windows 8. I use Mac and have for over 20 years, but I'm forced to use Windows at my current full-time position and I HATE IT. They've even given me a Surface Pro to use and it's the most miserable computing experience out there. From what I'm seeing on the reviews, the Windows Companion is just a step up and just a LITTLE bit better than the Surface Pro. Anyway, since Apple will never allow a Mac OS X companion (I doubt the rumored iPad Pro 12.9" tablet will be that either) then the next best option is the Hybrid. It will work with my Mac and the Android portable software is getting better and better. I haven't seen too many reviews of Wacom's Infinite Canvas software that comes with the Hybrid though. I'm curious from you guys who DO have it what you think of the software that comes with it. It would be really cool if Manga Studio would come out with a native Android version.

    To answer the question about licensing though, the new Adobe CC model is a subscription. Whatever machine you are own, you have a license to download and use the software so long as only one copy registered to you is running at any given time. You can install it on as many machines as you own, in as many different platforms as you own, because the license is to YOU not your MACHINE. So if you own 5 machines, you can install it on them all, even if they are both Mac and Windows. As long as you only have any of the Adobe software only open on ONE of them at a time, you're fine.

    On previous versions, you are allowed to legally install the license you purchase with the software on up to 2 computers that can be active at one time. So, you could install it on a desktop and on a laptop and still use the same serial number but I think both have to be in the same platform (Mac/Windows). Now, if you have a Windows machine and change to Mac (or vice versa) you can "cross grade" to the SAME VERSION for $30 but it deactivates the old copy on your old machine to transfer that license to your new machine.

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    Also, one thing I've heard some of the Mac users that get the hybrid are doing to get a "faux" Mac Tablet experience is to run the laptop in "lid down" mode with the Hybrid running as an external monitor/keyboard and leaving the laptop in the bag and just using the Hybrid with the cables running to the bag. This leaves the only thing visible being the Hybrid and the combo cable with full access to their Mac software and storage. Kind of serves as a slave terminal to the Mac. It would be REALLY cool if it could be done through bluetooth/wifi or USB dongle instead of by wire but since it's one combo cable, it's not too bad. I have a feeling that if I get one, that's how I'll wind up using it a lot of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerPlayGraphix View Post
    I'm leaning towards getting a Hybrid for the reasons above AND the fact that I absolutely LOATHE Windows 8. I use Mac and have for over 20 years, but I'm forced to use Windows at my current full-time position and I HATE IT. They've even given me a Surface Pro to use and it's the most miserable computing experience out there. From what I'm seeing on the reviews, the Windows Companion is just a step up and just a LITTLE bit better than the Surface Pro. Anyway, since Apple will never allow a Mac OS X companion (I doubt the rumored iPad Pro 12.9" tablet will be that either) then the next best option is the Hybrid. It will work with my Mac and the Android portable software is getting better and better. I haven't seen too many reviews of Wacom's Infinite Canvas software that comes with the Hybrid though. I'm curious from you guys who DO have it what you think of the software that comes with it. It would be really cool if Manga Studio would come out with a native Android version.
    Out of curiosity...what programs would you be using and how extensively would you use the device for them? Regardless if you prefer OSX or Windows....all of the main software; Photoshop, Painter, Sketchbook Pro, Z-Brush, etc all perform exactly the same on either OSX or Windows. The only real difference is the experience outside of the program...but all the "in program" functions would be indistinguishable. Even if you hate Windows...if you use the device for Photoshop or Manga Studio 95% of the time, putting up with Windows the other 5% of the time shouldn't really be that bad.

    Although I haven't tested them myself yet...the general word of thumb is that Wacoms own Android Apps for the Hybrid are all garbage, and vastly inferior to the other Android Art Apps like Sketchbook Pro, Layerpaint, or Artflow.....but its not a stretch to say that those Android Art Apps......still pale greatly to what can be accomplished using the Full Desktop Programs. And although the Android Apps are indeed getting better.....its gonna be years still before they can ever hope to achieve the performance and capabilities of proper Desktop/Laptop art programs.

    And have you used any Android Tablets yet....if you detest Windows so greatly I really don't see Android winning you over any time soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerPlayGraphix View Post
    Also, one thing I've heard some of the Mac users that get the hybrid are doing to get a "faux" Mac Tablet experience is to run the laptop in "lid down" mode with the Hybrid running as an external monitor/keyboard and leaving the laptop in the bag and just using the Hybrid with the cables running to the bag. This leaves the only thing visible being the Hybrid and the combo cable with full access to their Mac software and storage. Kind of serves as a slave terminal to the Mac. It would be REALLY cool if it could be done through bluetooth/wifi or USB dongle instead of by wire but since it's one combo cable, it's not too bad. I have a feeling that if I get one, that's how I'll wind up using it a lot of the time.
    Its for this sole reason I believe the Hybrid is overall a better investment then the Windows companion since it can technically have a much longer lifespan and instead of being limited to an ultra low voltage i7, you could pair with much more powerful laptops or desktops.

    However unlike the regular 13HD Cintiq which requires a separate AC power adapter...the Hybrids Battery pack grants far greater mobility since you can take it beyond the reach of a wall outlet...however I have yet to see many reviews detail using it in this capacity, and have yet to hear any confirmation of how long the battery can last when paired.

    However if you want a "Wireless" option.....only one real product fits the bill, the Lenovo Think Vision LT1423p. Its bascily a 13.3 inch USB powered Display monitor with a Wacom Digitizer (tablet PC digitizer) that costs $450. but they also have a "Wireless" model that has a battery pack and costs a bit more at $550....the product was delayed almost a year from when it was supposed to be released....both products are kind of available....but so far only the Wired ones have shipped to consumers....it was confirmed that the display works with a Mac, but the calibration is buggy and no clue on wintab support for programs like Photoshop (since the monitor was designed for Windows 8, it has no official Mac Support). But it really hasn't been put its paces as so few people have gotten it....I like to hold out hope that with a little fine tunning it may be a viable option for Mac users...and overall the perfect poor mans Cintiq. However...when they unveiled it almost a year back.....the Wireless performance looked horrid....I'm hoping that during the long delay they were able to remedy that....but I think we're still a few years off still before Wireless displays will be more practical.

    I was going to get the Wired model...but apparently it does take a pretty heavy USB power drain on the host laptop it pairs to. Once reviews start to come in for the Wireless Model...provided the battery can hold up and the Wireless is even somewhat usable....I'll will probably choose the Wireless one.

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    I'm thinking about getting the Hybrid version as well. I just don't see the Windows 8 version being worth the extra money. I already have a PC with PS and whatever other software I want installed on it and the Hybrid can be used as a normal Cintiq, which I think is actually a benefit over the Windows 8 version.

    My biggest concern is lag. I have a Galaxy Note 10.1, which most people are happy with, but I find it very frustrating to draw on, even for just simple sketching, because it lags and has momentary freezes that makes creating precise lines somewhat difficult.

    But Wacom does have a 30 day return policy, so I guess if it's not worth the investment it can always be returned and the only money that's lost is the shipping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAutomaton View Post
    My biggest concern is lag. I have a Galaxy Note 10.1, which most people are happy with, but I find it very frustrating to draw on, even for just simple sketching, because it lags and has momentary freezes that makes creating precise lines somewhat difficult.
    Are you using the original Note 10.1 or the 2014 10.1?

    I have only encounter in-app freezing on very rare occasions

    1. Using the clicker on the s-pen, sometimes it may make a snapshot by accident and with the auto snapshot edit feature..it technically freezes the app for a few seconds after I discard the screen cap. But that's very few and far between. It never got in the way of a drawing.

    2. In Layerpaint, using the "Move" tool can cause Layerpaint to bog down causing a massive freeze and delay to all actions taken in the app.

    3. Sketchbook Pro...in one of its earlier builds....would freeze and crash if you did too many small & quick brush/pencil strokes too quickly. Kind of like the app couldn't keep up with the digitizer...and it would crash the app and you could lose work. This was a "Huge" Problem for me....but Autodesk long ago corrected this bug quite a few updates ago.

    The current build of Sketchbook Pro is 2.9.2, What version are you using?

    Also have you tried Artflow, Cloverpaint, or LayerPaint HD?

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    I have the 2014 version.
    I am at work now, so I'm not sure which version of SBP I'm using. I would imagine that it's the most up-to-date as I only installed it about a week ago.
    The only other app I've tried is Infinite Paint, I think it's called.

    The easiest way to explain the issue I've found is that it just doesn't seem to always record pen strokes, so sometimes I'll have to draw a line a couple times before it records it. Always with short strokes.

    I actually do a ton of really basic sketching/doodling in S-Note as that always works perfectly, which I guess makes sense, since Samsung made it specifically for the tablet.

    The issue is so minor that it should really just be nothing more than a slight annoyance, but I find it frustrating.

    I guess I shouldn't have used the term "freeze" as I suppose it doesn't really freeze, exactly. It just seems like it's always trying to catch up or is always thinking or something.

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    Duplicate post

    Last edited by TheAutomaton; January 3rd, 2014 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Duplicate post
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