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Thread: Looking for a Windows Tablet for Sketching...

  1. #16
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    I've been holding out for the Surface Pro 3, but will wait a while after it's released and after I've seen more reviews from working artists using this tablet. Last I read, beta testers were still seeing a bit of lag when drawing in Photoshop but MS expects to have that fixed in the release version. The hardware specs otherwise seem pretty impressive for a tablet.

    Though I have to say, even though I was very excited about the SP3 a few months ago, now I'm slightly less enthusiastic now because the cost of a fully loaded SP3 really isn't that far from the cost of the Wacom Companion running Win 8. MS's decision to switch from Wacom penabled to Ntrig didn't help either. Because the price difference isn't so dramatic now, I'm eyeing the Wacom Companion again. But I'll wait and see.

    BTW, I still use my aging HP tm2 'Wacom-enabled' Tablet PC heavily for drawing and 3D animation. 'Happy Box' and our recent short 'Scareplane' were mostly animated on this convertable laptop, and I run Lightwave on it every day. Not that I recommend buying a 5 year old Tablet PC (I don't!)--these days it will be cheaper and smarter to go with newer gear.

    G.

  2. #17
    Super Member Silkrooster's Avatar
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    I am thinking about the surface 3, for portability. If that was not an issue, then I probably would have gone toward the cintiq. The price is about the same, but being tied to a computer is not always a good idea. But eventually I will need one or the other as drawing just is not that natural for me with the Intuos 3. I like looking where I am drawing.

    The surface gives more bang for its buck though, even though I am not certain on its pressure sensitivity if any.
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  3. #18
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    The Cintiq Companion isn't tied to a desktop computer, it's an actual Windows 8 tablet you can use on the go. It's pricey though.

    However, while the Surface Pro 3 can be bought much cheaper, if you order one fully loaded it can become almost as expensive as the Cintiq Companion. Then the question you need to ask is do you want a genuine Wacom with 2048 levels of pressure or can you settle for the Surface Pro 3's Ntrig with only 256 levels of pressure? Early reports are saying that Ntrig is probably fine for most users but I really want to try this myself before buying. Also, I really want to see if the lag issue that's been reported with the SP 3 is fixed.

    Another option is the Cintiq Companion Hybrid, which is a much cheaper Android based version of Companion. The neat thing about this model is that, when you're home or in the office, you can plug it into any desktop and use it like a regular Cintiq. When it's plugged in, you can access the data from the tablet and move it to your desktop computer. The 'downside' is that, being an Android tablet, when you're out and about you're not going to run your favorite Win programs on it (like LightWave.) But there are some good Android apps out there for drawing, painting, storyboarding, etc., so it's a good option for some artists.

    I mentioned in an earlier post that I still use my HP tm2 tablet PC for daily work, which includes using programs like LightWave, 3D Coat, ZBrush, Fusion, After Effects, Vegas, Photoshop, Manga Studio, Anime Studio, etc., but I surprised myself a few months ago when I found that my preferred way to draw and paint concept art has been with an iPad Retina and a Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. This 2048 level pressure sensitive stylus works amazingly well with a program called Procreate. When I'm done with a painting, I have Procreate send it to my Dropbox so I immediately have access to the artwork on my tablet PC or workstation. The iPad/Wacom Intuos/Procreate combo won't do nearly everything I do with my tablet PC, but for me it's been more convenient and in many way a better tool for sketching and painting on the go.

    G.

  4. #19
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    (Of course, this is from the guy who used a hacked Nintendo DS Lite to draw concept art for a couple of commercial jobs. That was fun and it worked out well at the time...but I don't recommend it.)

    G.

  5. #20
    Super Member Silkrooster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenlaw View Post
    The Cintiq Companion isn't tied to a desktop computer, it's an actual Windows 8 tablet you can use on the go. It's pricey though.

    However, while the Surface Pro 3 can be bought much cheaper, if you order one fully loaded it can become almost as expensive as the Cintiq Companion. Then the question you need to ask is do you want a genuine Wacom with 2048 levels of pressure or can you settle for the Surface Pro 3's Ntrig with only 256 levels of pressure? Early reports are saying that Ntrig is probably fine for most users but I really want to try this myself before buying. Also, I really want to see if the lag issue that's been reported with the SP 3 is fixed.

    Another option is the Cintiq Companion Hybrid, which is a much cheaper Android based version of Companion. The neat thing about this model is that, when you're home or in the office, you can plug it into any desktop and use it like a regular Cintiq. When it's plugged in, you can access the data from the tablet and move it to your desktop computer. The 'downside' is that, being an Android tablet, when you're out and about you're not going to run your favorite Win programs on it (like LightWave.) But there are some good Android apps out there for drawing, painting, storyboarding, etc., so it's a good option for some artists.

    I mentioned in an earlier post that I still use my HP tm2 tablet PC for daily work, which includes using programs like LightWave, 3D Coat, ZBrush, Fusion, After Effects, Vegas, Photoshop, Manga Studio, Anime Studio, etc., but I surprised myself a few months ago when I found that my preferred way to draw and paint concept art has been with an iPad Retina and a Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. This 2048 level pressure sensitive stylus works amazingly well with a program called Procreate. When I'm done with a painting, I have Procreate send it to my Dropbox so I immediately have access to the artwork on my tablet PC or workstation. The iPad/Wacom Intuos/Procreate combo won't do nearly everything I do with my tablet PC, but for me it's been more convenient and in many way a better tool for sketching and painting on the go.

    G.
    Yeah I think the tablet I was referring to was the cintiq HD, which is tied to the computer. But I think the hybrid is closer in price.
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  6. #21
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Yeah but the Hybrid is an Android tablet so no Lightwave.

    Also, remember that the Surface Pro 3 does hit $2k when you start loading it up to be more in line with the Cintiq Companion Windows tablet, which I think goes for around $2500. (Just checked--it's on sale now for $2150. Hmm. Still pretty expensive, although that's about what I paid for my HP tm2 several years ago when it was on sale.)

    It really comes down to what you want to do with it. If the tablet is a replacement for a regular laptop or desktop that you use for 3D, it's going to be pricey whether you go with the Surfarce Pro 3 or Cintiq Companion. Then the tradeoff to consider is, do you want more cpu power (I think Surface Pro may have the edge there--need to check on that,) or do you want genuine Wacom hardware (i.e., 2k pressure, Intuous Stylus, Expresskeys, etc.) If 3D is not the primary use for the tablet, you could go with a far less expensive model.

    To be honest, I really can't decide. Sigh!

    G.

  7. #22
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Then again, when I think about how I use my aging tm2, I don't do much 3D rendering on this computer because it's really not powerful enough for that (for production animation anyway.) When I do 3D work on this tablet PC, it's mainly modeling, rigging and animation, and I save the rendering tasks for the render farm at my home studio or at work. ZBrush, 3D-Coat, Vegas, AE and Fusion all run fine on this machine, as do many drawing and painting programs I use for concepts, storyboards and comics.

    So, I guess you don't really need a fully loaded tablet to get a lot of work done, especially if you can offload cpu intensive tasks like rendering to other, more powerful computers.

    I think the main weakness with any of the newer Windows tablets is going to be the graphics chipset. Surface Pro 3 uses Intel HD and Cintiq Companion has an Nvidia GPU with 72 core, so Wacom has the edge there.

    G.

  8. #23
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    Greenlaw, I'm in the same boat as you. I will probably go with the Wacom Companion. I did a search for GPU on the Companion and it uses Intel HD 4000 to. The 72 cores is in the NVidia Tegra in the Hybrid. Taken from: http://www.wacom.com/en/in/overlays/...es/2013/in-971

    Cintiq Comapnion
    Operating System: Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro
    Processor: 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i-7-3517U processor, 1.9 GHz
    Graphics Card: Intel® HD Graphics 4000
    RAM: 8 GB DDR3
    Hard Disk Storage: 256 GB or 512 GB solid state drive
    Additional Storage: Micro SD slot
    Battery: 7.4 V, Li-polymer
    Battery Life: 64.4 Wh

    Cintiq Comapnion Hybrid
    Operating System: Android™ 4.2, Jelly Bean
    Processor: Nvidia® Tegra® 4 Quad-core processor
    Graphics Card: Nvidia® GPU with 72 graphics cores
    RAM: 2 GB DDR3
    Hard Disk Storage: 16 GB or 32 GB
    Additional Storage: Micro SD slot
    Battery: 7.4 V, Li-polymer
    Battery Life: 48.5 Wh or 72.8 Wh
    It's better to have tried and failed, than to have failed to try.
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  9. #24
    Eat your peas. Greenlaw's Avatar
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    Ah, okay, thanks for the correction about the Nvidia GPU. Will keep that in mind.

    I'm leaning more towards Wacom at the moment because of the sale. I wasn't planning on buying anything for several months to a year though, and only sooner if my tablet PC suddenly gave up the ghost. Wish Wacom would stop teasing me.

    I wonder if the sale means something new is coming. Hmm.

    G.

  10. #25
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    That's what I am thinking. Their discount was at 200 a few months back, now it's $350. So, hoping a new one is coming with a Haswell in it, maybe redesign or graphics bump. I can wait. I just installed Toonboom Harmony on my MS Surface Pro 1 and things are going well. So, I can wait a bit longer and see what appears on the market.
    It's better to have tried and failed, than to have failed to try.
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