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I've seen a lot so far as sketching and drawing on the go, but which is the most effective for the least cost?
I've heard iPad has been trying to make drawing easier, though I've been eyeing the Asus eee note that's made for not taking and sketching since I don't really need a whole computer and rather just a portable...tablet pc thing...
Are there any others?
Confidence isn't saying, 'I've reached the best I can be--I can go no further.' It's saying 'I know what I'm doing, but I can always get better.'
Pencil and Paper with your brain intact...
There really isn't one because it depends on what you want to do and how you want to draw.
Each has their own pros and cons.
IE ipad isn't wacom enabled tech like some tablet pcs, so no pressure sensitivity, and the stylus has to be conductive (basically to read like your finger) but has a lot of battery life compared to tablet pcs. You can still use your finger too. Depending on the app your options may get limited or results aren't great when you transfer items. This is changing though.
Tablet PCs are less pressure sensitive than regular wacoms -256 levels of pressure sensitivity. Some can be more annoying to take around even as a laptop, viewing angles can be a pain in the ass depending on screens (iPad may have this issue too). Depends if you like convertible or slate pcs. Startup can be time consuming compared to iPad launch times. On the other hand, depending on the kind of tablet PC you can run programs like Paint Tool Sai (windows) or other native programs that you would use at home. This may depend on the power of the laptop ($$$) and its graphic card which you cannot swap. If you want more pressure sensitivity it also means lugging around a wacom - so that is an additional power drainer and setup/startup time waster.
I'd suggest checking other threads on various laptops and the Wacom forum, since there is a long post about the LE1700 to get more information.
Really? I'll be perfectly honest....that first sentence I said is the truth after trying all these other options. Really it can just be a waste of money if you're not developing your foundations and trying the cutest digital craze. I still default to pencil and paper and my sketchbooks for most of my drawings and studies. It also transfers better in the long run.
That does not mean "Do not use digital or do not find a portable laptop" but consider if you probably could use some more foundational skills and work on pencil and paper along with digital.