Are tablet PCs good to draw with?

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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Are tablet PCs good to draw with?

    Hey all. I am trying to feed my addiction of drawing digitally outside of the house. At the moment i use an iBook and my wacom, which works 'ok', but is kinda clunky... just too many parts involved. I figured a tablet PC would cut my total hardware by 2/3, so it would be worth while.


    But i am having trouble figuring out if these things are any good to draw with. I wanted to see how many pressure levels they have, but i cant find that info on any site i look up. I wanted to find out more info on the detail and sensitivity of the screen, or any info on how well applications like alias sketch or painter work in it. All of which, i see no answer to.

    From what i have seen, these things are marketed for people who need to take notes while at the job... things like a manager in a warehouse. That doesn't say much to me about how well these things can handle actually drawing!

    Has anyone had any 1st hand experience with these things? Any info i can find relating to art is much needed, i want to make sure its worth the money.

    My work: [link]
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  3. #2
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    wacom has a cintique type, which is basically a tablet pc, and it has 1052 sensitive levesl (i think).
    Problem with tablet pc is, if you break or scratch the surface, it'll cost you more to fix it or replace it. Especially with scratches, a few scratch on tablet may not affect you much, but it'll be bothersome with tablet pc.
    Maybe you can go to a nearby electronic store and try them first.

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  4. #3
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    Isn't the Cintiq only a display/tablet mix, without any HD or anything? This is what i gathered from Wacom's page. I would need a mac mini to accompany me.. i mean that DOES reduce the hardware I lug around by 1/3, but if i can, i want it to be all in one.

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    I just got my Toshiba Protégé M200 last week ----- Man I love it!

    It was released about a year ago, but is relatively affordable right now for such a small unit (smaller technology is always more expensive)...
    The thing is so small and light I keep it with me all the time --- it doesn't come with an internal CD/DVD drive to cut down on weight (i just use tiny USB hard-drives) .. (in the end I think it's less than 4 lbs .... it feels like holding a sturdy sketchbook)

    The screen is 12.1 inches measured diagonally - so that ends up being about the same size as an 8.5x11 scrap of paper. It runs at a resolution of 1400x1050, which is 2 resolutions higher than my Cintiq and it's a nice resolution that is even condensed back into the 12.1" screen (think a little crisper than a PSP's resolution.
    I customized mine to a 2Ghz, 1gig RAM, Pentium M ----- so it's able to run every program I throw at it... faster than my work tower surprisingly (laptop Pentium M's are extremely powerful for some reason...)

    the M400 was released a few months ago --- it's a larger unit with 14inch screen ... about the same price as the Protige M200 ------ so basically your choice of portable vs. less-portable (I have my home Cintiq on my tower, so I wanted something lighter for sketching --- also my ProtigeM200 has 4 mappable hot-key buttons by the screen)
    The 'Cross-Toggle' and Mappable hot-keys are all customizable --- so I manage a total of 10 hot-keys once I noodled with the settup... plenty of hotkeys, but still nothin' matches the speed of a keyboard .. so sometimes I plugg my tiny PS2 portableUSB-keyboard in

    As far as I could research the Toshiba's are the only Tablet-PC's integrated with Wacom technology - Wacom even have downloadable drivers for Toshiba support, if you don't wanna use the ones that come on the machine.

    my larges critique is the viewing angle ...... as is the case with thin laptop LCD monitors, but it's more apparent when you have one converted to Slate-Mode and are close up (so as soon as this technology is fixed, I'll seek out a newer model)...... It takes some getting used to since you really have to prop it up to see what you're doing .... often i just put it in my lap and hover over it...
    The lack of a good viewing-angle doesn't really hurt Black&White sketching, more an issue when color is introduced to an image.

    So, there's my little review : P

    But Viewing-Angle aside -- TabletPC's are something every digital artist should have .... you just can't beat sketching digitally with the same flexability you have from a little sketchbook.


    Quote Originally Posted by look
    wacom has a cintique type, which is basically a tablet pc, and it has 1052 sensitive levesl (i think).
    Problem with tablet pc is, if you break or scratch the surface, it'll cost you more to fix it or replace it. Especially with scratches, a few scratch on tablet may not affect you much, but it'll be bothersome with tablet pc.
    Maybe you can go to a nearby electronic store and try them first.
    The Cintiq is a Monitor supplement --- you can't take it anywhere but 5 feet from your tower ..... people always seem to think it's portable when they see me working on it... "Why don't you take that outside??"
    It makes up for it's lack of portability by being the most responsive and having a flawless viewing angle.

    Last edited by Sammy; July 21st, 2005 at 04:50 PM.

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    Talking

    Aha! Awesome info Sammy. Its good to know Wacom does have a hand in this market, since they are the only ones i really trust to be of my standards.

    How responsive is the pen? Pressure levels and such.

    My work: [link]
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    oooh. you just answered my questions too! I saw one at Bestbuy the other day and fell in love. not that i can afford it. but i was like...wow! i could have soooo much fun with that. thanks for the info.

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    Couldn't you just use a cintiq with a laptop? Does the cintiq require it's own power source? (I'm guessing it does) I guess it would still be cool if you were near an outlet.

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    Lord Blue,
    The pressure sensetivity works great, I think I had to install the Wacom drivers before other programs outside of Alias would recognize it -- also the extra button on the pen is pretty nice.
    Most tablet pressure levels are pretty overblown ---- 1000+ levels of sensetivity seems useless... I think my Cintiq is 500+ and I can't tell the difference between it and the Protige.
    My Cintiq is an older model now --- almost 3 years, and the 1024x768 resolution is soooo ugly by today's standards

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinix
    Couldn't you just use a cintiq with a laptop? Does the cintiq require it's own power source? (I'm guessing it does) I guess it would still be cool if you were near an outlet.
    Technically you could ... though, it depends on your deffenition of "portable" (a 5lbs laptop + an 8lbs Cintiq) ------ and yea, still you need to find power outlets .... and make sure your laptop supports duel-video outs.
    All Cintiqs also have 3 cables that feed out of the machine (VGA/digita, USB, and AC-adaptor)
    There's a lot of artists and designers that use smaller traditional-tablets with their laptops ...... I've never used a traditional-tablet much, so I'm all in support of Tablet-PC's!!


    Here's a WIP that I've been noodling in my spare-time --- 100% on the Protege.

    P.S. --- Typed all this up while on the john ... laptops rule

    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    i have a tablet pc. mine is a cheaper one it cost around 1200$. it does have some problems first it isnt wacom supproted. i cant get the pen presure to work in photoshop or any other program. also it gets hot sometimes. i would make sure you get a wacom supported one. if any smart computer guys are out there and know how to get the pen preasure to work that would be awsome. the tablet pc i have is a averatec c3500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cthomp
    i have a tablet pc. mine is a cheaper one it cost around 1200$. it does have some problems first it isnt wacom supproted. i cant get the pen presure to work in photoshop or any other program. also it gets hot sometimes. i would make sure you get a wacom supported one. if any smart computer guys are out there and know how to get the pen preasure to work that would be awsome. the tablet pc i have is a averatec c3500.
    Try this - http://www.wacom.com/tabletpc/driver.cfm

    Might work ---- if it doesn't there might be some home-brew drivers somewhere


    my website
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    O my soul, do not aspire to immortal life, but exhaust the limits of the possible. - Pindar
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  12. #11
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    Unfortunately the Averatec are one of the few tablet pc's that do no not use a wacom based digitizer so you might be out of luck on that.

    Check out these forums for some possible answers
    http://forums.tabletpctalk.com/
    http://tabletpcbuzz.com/forum/default.asp

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