View Full Version : Looking for a Strictly for Art Tablet PC
05-15-2009, 09:01 PM
Im looking for a Good Art machine. nothing else, only programs i plan on running on it are Photoshop, illustrator, Art Rage, etc, i dont need a Gaming PC obviously. so im looking for a really good Screen with lots of sensitivity and space. pretty much the only thing im hanging on is The HP touchsmart TX2635 model, or one of Fujitsu's better models. Price isnt really a factor at this point obviously not anything too extreme but under $1700 would be nice
PS: i did read the stickied thread by the comic strip artist, i would just like some suggestions still please :)
05-16-2009, 09:09 AM
Question #1... are you looking to go Brand New, or the Ebay route?
if you just want a "nice" machine with good power and response and you are willing to go Ebay, then you should be able to get ample Tablet for only $1000. The size will probably be 12", since I know of only 1 size bigger and that was Gateway's 2008 Tablets at 14" ... too bad they quit production. And do you think the whole "resolution" issue is going to be big? if so that'll narrow your choices. And ALWAYS make sure it is Wacom tech and nothing else on digitizer.
Question #2 - Does Screen Size or Weight matter?
Question #3 - What minumum Specs are you wanting in a system?
Question #4 - what form factor are you looking at, Slate or Convetible?
Please keep in mind that I use a M1400 DAILY and am very pleased with "acceptable" CPU speed, screen size, form factor, RAM ... just wish the hard drive was bigger (only 20gb) ... and it is now 5 years old. And they go for under $400 (with a faster chip, more RAM, and larger harddrive than my set up).
The BEST advice i got was to just plunk down a "disposible" amount of cash on a used Ebay to get my feet wet, then spend the Dough on the NEXT one once I have figured what I like and dont like.
Personally, if unsure get a M200 convertible with 1 gb ram 1.5Ghz+, and 40gb+ ... probably available under $300 (YES $300!!) and get your feet wet. Or if you want to spend a little more get the M400 model a little faster and newer for $700 .. personally I'd go fro the M200 and buy some RAM to bump up to 2gb and start playing around with it.
But please do answer the above questions ... and look for the thread in the Artsist section that has a link to the Todd Dolce's Blulines podcast on TabletPc for some more general info.
Hope this helps,
05-16-2009, 12:16 PM
I am very happy with my hand-me-down M1400, which (upgraded to 2GB RAM, windows 7 RC) runs Office 2007, Sketchbook Pro, Adobe CS4, Blender, and pretty much anything I need perfectly well.
The slate form factor is perfect for artwork, thinner and lighter than a convertible, and the display (both brightness and viewing angle) is simply the best LCD I have ever seen.
As TedRx says, you can find them for less than $500 on eBay, including memory and HD upgrades. Slightly more expensive, but infinitely more reliable is ordering a used one from John at Allegiance (link in the site header) since then you can be assured that you are getting a solid machine with no hidden problems.
If you want a slightly faster machine with better accessories and power options, consider a LE1600. Same display, better hardware.
Or... If you are looking for a higher resolution screen (1400 x 1050 instead of 1024 x 768) then I would recommend a LE1700, again from Allegiance. That is my current planned upgrade path as soon as I can come up with the cash.
05-16-2009, 07:28 PM
yeah I just clicked on John's ad to the right on the LE1600 ... for less than $800 that is a DEAL !!!!
if looking for an le1600 (pre-owned) you can get one cheaper than that at "gainsaver".com
no affiliation. looks like you can configure it with a view anywhere display and 60g drive 1.5g ram for about 500. bucks. hows that for a deal.
m1400's on ebay are dirt cheap and you get a good machine! best deal on the market.
i would snap up the le1600 if it weren't for all the accessories i have for the m1400. the thought of re buying all of it again is too much for me especially because i really want to upgrade to the le1700.
05-18-2009, 05:26 PM
what a great deal on the le1600 ... thats about what I paid last year for my M1400.
Glad you started this post vasUG ... it got me thinking and I just Ebay'ed a new to me M200 for $269 !
It'll be my second tablet and first convertible ... now me and my daughter don't have to share.
05-23-2009, 05:55 AM
Let me know how you feel about that m200, Ted!! I've been thinking about picking up a second/backup in case my beat up m1400 takes a spill, but I can't decide if I want to upgrade and make the m1400 my backup or just get a backup m1400 (or something on the same level). More data is always good and so much the better coming from you, since I know we have very similar priorities in a tablet.
On topic, if you couldn't tell, I really have to recommend the m1400 for anyone looking to use a tablet to do digital art. They are dirt cheap, easily upgradeable and there's seemingly no end of them on the secondary market. The digitizer is as accurate as you're likely to find, the display is big and beautiful, the stock pen is superior to most and it's very lightweight and quiet as a mouse. Accessories are similarly cheap and easy to obtain. The motion flexdock and cross executive pen are highly recommended by this reader.
The downsides: It gets hot. The quietness I listed as a pro is actually a con. There's no fan and it gets uncomfortable to hold in short order. This is a double con because the processor automatically kicks itself into low gear to avoid overheating when this happens and all you can do is either put up with it weakly grinding away or walk away and give your wrist a break. You can get a cooling pad for it, but it adds to the bulk and can't be used while the tablet is in the flexdock. Obviously your environment effects this. It heats up much faster lying flush against a pillow vs standing free in a dock.
Also the processor is rather anemic by today's standards and the 3d capabilities are nonexistant. In graphics applications this isn't as bad as you might think. Among other things I use Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, Sketchbook Pro and Artrage on a regular basis. There are slowdowns of course, primarily in photoshop, but this doesn't cause lag when you're trying to draw. The physical act of drawing is unhindered by the slow processor, it keeps up with you just fine. More serious manipulation can be done but I usually switch to my more powerful computer for that. The processor is just weak and un-upgradeable.
In my mind, having a weaker processor is almost a pro. If I don't have a million uneccessary applications running, I draw. I don't check my email every 12 seconds, chat with some dude from high school, organize my mp3 library and surf for sexy pictures of anime babes. I just draw. And that's what you want, right?
I believe they can be had in the $200 neighborhood these days if you're a dealhound (Like Ted, I paid about $500 for mine about a year and a half ago). Your budget seems to be significantly higher than that, but if you have a more powerful computer to do more power-hungry tasks, I honestly say "buy several m1400s and lots of accessories and batteries. You'll still probably have money left over to try something else if you don't like it."
No tablet pc out there is going to compete power-wise with modern laptops. They put faster processors in the way more expensive ones, but I can't think of a single model off the top of my head that has even a rudimentary 3d graphics card for instance. Even the super expensive ones. Tablets that can even run Vista's Aero Theme are something of a rarity.
I suggest all this based entirely on the idea that you'll be using this as a supplemental computer. Do a little light web browsing, and draw. I have mine right next to my main computer in a flexdock and I try to make them behave as one computer as well as I can (A program called "Synergy" and Windows Live Sync, both free programs, make that almost perfect).
Suggestions for your new m1400:
Run Vista. When a proper Intel graphics driver comes out for Windows Seven, switch to that. You'll know when it happens because I'll be posting happy messages about it. Don't ask questions. Don't use XP Tablet. Just. Don't. Forget what you've heard about Vista. Download all the updates.
Download the latest Wacom Tablet PC driver and install it.
If it has less than 2GB of Ram, upgrade the ram. 2GB is the most it will take. It takes PC2700s. The small kind.
Even if you don't get a flexdock (you should), get something to make the darn thing sit at a good tilt or you will drive yourself crazy. Many people have come up with innovative tablet stand ideas.
Let us know how it goes.
If you're dead set on spending more money, there are of course perfectly acceptable other routes to take, but mine's the only one I can vouch for.
Obviously the motion le1600 and le1700s are a great choice as well. If you want to spend a LOT more money, I've always wanted to try out one of the newer Fujitsu Stylistics or an Electrovaya Scribbler. You're talking 3000-4000 for properly tricked out current-gen stylistics and scribblers though. Some people prefer convertables to slates and I admit the Lenovo X200 had my eye for a moment.
05-25-2009, 08:41 PM
Here are my FIRST impresions of the M200 based on very little hands on use, since it is actually for my 11 year old daughter who lOVES to draw on a Tablet Pc with SBP 2010 mostly ... now we dont have to share just my old M1400.
- Screen Resolution is Far superior to M1400, however it makes the fonts so small I personally dont like it. But if you feel like you have to get more info out of a 12" screen, then it CERTAINLY does that.
- Screen viewing is Far inferior to the M1400. Once I got the M200 running I then understood the advantage of my M1400's easily viewable wide range angle screen. If you are not right on top of the M200, you get that colorshift thing that alot of LCD suffer from. Wish I knew the science behind this and what it takes for the M1400 to overcome it. Ironically I got my wife a new Laptop earlier this year and even though it was brand new (budget mind you since I do not believe in spending more than $600 for a computer) it has the same "non-view anywhere" screen issue. That all said, IF you are at the correct viewing angle the screen looks GREAT, I however enjoy the ablity to view at a wide angle since my Tablet has a wide range of surfaces that it is used on from Pillows to counter tops.
- Form Factor is VERY NICE! It comfirms my contention that *most* people will want a convertible. The added size is unnoticable other than a little less svelte and may need a bigger carrying case than my $12 Walmart Pleather leagal pad case (which after 1.5 years is still doing great). The advantage is that it can be Either a Tablet or a Notebook. And with the popularity of Netbooks, a Convertible Tablet Pc is a VERY nice compromise with the functionality and use of a fullsize Laptop, the portablity and lesser weight associated with the smaller size of Netbooks(but not as small, but defintitely smaller than a 15-17" Laptoper) AND the full functionality of a Tablet Pc. A winning combonation! I certainly would not hesitate getting a convertible at some point for my self once I no longer need to "stealth" factor of my Slate Style.
- For the Price it was a HUGE bargin as it came better equiped than my M1400. The M200 has a SD card slot built in that I would KILL for on my M1400. The M200 came with 40gb HD, far better than my 20gb HD on the m1400 that has me CONSTANTLY adapting and dumping non-active files off my Tablet. If I had the SD slot that would no longer be a problem, and a Jump drive just as bulk but is often a "solution". The M200 came with 1Gb Ram that beat my stock set up, but now I have 1.5Gb on the M1400 and will one day go to 2gb. The BEST thing on the set up of the M200 is the better (i think) processor of 1.6Gb vs my M1400 which is 1-1.2Gb. If I could upgrade the Processor on the M1400 I would ... but I dont know how to. That is the thing I would kill for the most, but the processor does handle SBP 2010 easily and that is my weapon of choice these days anyway.
- The ONLY issue with the M200 was that it exihbits more wear and tear than my M1400, and there is some "spots" on the screen that would drive me nuts, But my dauther is VERY grateful to have her own Tablet and has told me repeatedly that it is fine with her. At some point in the next month I will detatch the screen and see if it is just some dust caught between the LCD and the outer screen which I think it is ... if not I may buy a "for parts" screen on Ebay and peice it together as a fix.
- The M200 does have a fan to keep the processor cooler but it is LOUD, but that is something that is easy to get used too ... especially if it helps stop the "screen hot spot" and CPU slow down that the M1400 has. So far I do not know about this first hand.
My overall impression is that for $269 it was money WELL spent since now my dauther has a compact Laptop that doubles as a Tablet Pc and If it had the High Quality View Anywhere Screen of my m1400 with out the "dust spots" then it would be PERFECT !!!!
(does anyone know if you can get a View Anywhere screen on a M200 with the high resolution.. such as Frankenstien-ing a screen from another high res Viewanywhere Tablet onto the M200 ... if so I will look on Ebay for a "for parts" screen that would do the job)
Hope this helps,
05-26-2009, 01:48 PM
Ok i didnt read all of the posts lol but ill try and answer as many of the questions as i can
I am looking for a brand new, no Used stuff
Screen size does matter, nothing below 12.1 Weight i dont care about, i dont plan on holding it in my arms for long periods of time or anything.
I would prefer 3 gigs of ram, a dual core processor, a reasonable graphics card (doesnt really matter tho, not gunna be gaming on it) at least 2 hours of battery life, but its not that important, the classroom desks have plugings on them.
I want it to be a convertable, i need a keyboard
Ive been looking at the lenovo X series tablets, and it looks like they're pretty solid looking, the HP tablets look like toys kinda, but mostly i just want something with great specs, and a good screen, with pressure sensivity, and very responsive :)
just lemme know what you think
05-27-2009, 12:14 AM
IT is hard to find good tablet pcs with a good graphics card. But if you go to Gainsaverc.om, maybe the Axiotron ModBook is your best bet. Great Specs, including 3D, Open Gl 2.1 capable. However it is a slate.
Can anyone recommend a good Tablet PC with a good Graphics card? The only one i KNOW is the HP TX2 Series. Maybe you would like that. They aren't too expensive and have a ATI chip. You can't get pressure in Photoshop with the TX2, but all of the other programs: ArtRage, Sketchbutt, MAnga Studio, are fine. Check it out.
05-27-2009, 05:57 PM
do you know why you cant get pressure sensitivity on photoshop? missing driver or something? i dont think it will be that big of an issue, but right now i have enough cash to fully customize the HP, and probebly get an extra batter or something, my only doubt about getting it is the durability, the plastic on it really looks chinsy and like it could break pretty easy, but i plan on checking out a demo version at the local best buy sometime to see if im really comfortable with it
05-27-2009, 10:15 PM
I just watched this video.
and he says the HP doesnt have wacom tech in the screen? but the wacom site says it does... im confoosed
05-28-2009, 03:47 AM
The TX2 doesn't have Wacom. Its N-Trig. N-trig uses the native drivers in Windows Vista and 7, Wacom and Photoshop use the old Win-Tab drivers.
Just call HP and they will tell you no pressure sensitivity in PhotoShop. If PS isn't what you use, you're fine.
05-28-2009, 04:26 AM
N-Trig may very well be the future of touch. see this post of Gottabemobile (http://www.gottabemobile.com/2009/01/12/microsoft-investing-in-n-trig-in-a-huge-way/)
05-28-2009, 07:25 PM
well i use photo shop and im looking to get into Sketchbook pro, but mostly photoshop :\
Ive narrowed my search down to three machines
-HP TX2z ($1,435.66) (fully customized) (free shipping)
– Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
– AMD Turion(TM) X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor ZM-86 (2.4 GHz)
– FREE Upgrade to 4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm) from 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
– 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
– ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3200 Graphics with 64MB Display Cache Memory
– 12.1" diagonal WXGA High-Definition HP LED BrightView Widescreen (1280x800)w/Integrated Touch-screen
– LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
– Webcam + Fingerprint Reader with HP Imprint Finish (Reaction)
– Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
– HP Color Matching Keyboard
– 8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
– System Recovery DVD with Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
– Microsoft(R) Works 9.0
– HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope
-Toshiba Portege M750 ($1,699.00)
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T9400 (2.53GHz, 6MB L2, 1066MHz FSB) Windows
Vista® Business (32/64-bit version), SP1
Microsoft® Office Ready with Microsoft Office Professional 2007 60-dayTrial Edition
3072MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz SDRAM (2048MB+1024MB)
12.1" WXGA Backlit Display supporting digital pen with indoor/outdoor viewing (1280x800)
Active Digitizer with Pen Input
160GB HDD (7200rpm, Serial-ATA)
Ultra Slim Bay DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
No Emergency Pen
Bluetooth® Version 2.1 +EDR
1 Year Standard Limited Warranty
-Fujitsu lifebook T5010 ($2273.00)
LIFEBOOK T5010,MUI VISTA BUSINESS,
AMT,MDM,GIGALAN,INTEL CORE2 T9550,1 YR,DL DVD WRITER,3GB (2G+1G),160GB(5400RPM) SATA HDD ,ATHEROS WLAN(ABG),BT,13.3 WXGA IN/OUT,WEBCAM,US KB,MAIN BATT,MOD BATT
Im leaning towards the HP, but the lack of pressure sensitivity with photoshop kinda gets to me :\
The other two dont include as much but seem like more reliable models, and leads me to the conclusion that they will have better preformance for art, were the HP seems a bit glamorized, and the price kinda seems to good to be true
05-29-2009, 01:38 AM
Well, as much as I like spending a long time typing a post you won't read, I think I'm'a bail on this thread. I will simply restate my feeling that no tablet will make you happy, you should buy a cheap one and use it in conjunction with a desktop or a powerful laptop.
Anyone who is interested, there's an m1400 with max ram and a 40GB hdd WITH a flexdock for $334 or best offer on ebay.
Ted, you might want to look into dropbox (getdropbox dot com) to solve your capacity issue. Definitely makes shuttling bits back and forth a tad easier.
Also, anyone who uses a slate-style tablet might want to look into synergy (synergy2 dot sourceforge dot net).
06-08-2009, 12:52 PM
I decided to go with the Toshiba M750, overall it seemed like the most solid medium priced one, and it has the wacom screen :)
06-11-2009, 01:30 PM
Just stay away from HP, Gateway, and DELL ones, Hahah
06-11-2009, 01:33 PM
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