View Full Version : Tablet PC...any with tilt?

09-22-2006, 05:22 PM
I'm looking to purchase a tablet PC in a few months....does anyone out there use one with ArtRage? If so, how do you like it and what brand of computer do you use.

How important is digitizer vs. touchscreen and does anyone know of a tablet PC with a digitizer screen that recognizes tilt?


09-22-2006, 05:56 PM
Before you get too enthusiastic about 'tilt' support with TabletPCs, be aware that ArtRage wouldn't use the tilt option even if it existed.

We've tried to put testing in for the availability of tilt support using the Microsoft TabletPC API, but have had difficulty making that test work reliably. So in the meantime it has been removed.
In other words, ArtRage only supports 'tilt' and 'orientation' when using the Wacom WinTab API (the way most graphics tablets do it) but not when using the TabletPC API.

That may change at a future date, but for the moment ArtRage 2.x doesn't support tilt on a TabletPC, even if it was available (although I can't think of any TabletPCs which support tilt at the moment anyway).

09-23-2006, 12:24 AM
The digitizers that Wacom provides for tablet PC's don't support tilt.

See this page on the Wacom site for a summary of features:



09-24-2006, 06:49 PM
Well, at least that's one less option to worry about :) .

Does anybody have a recommendation on a tablet PC?
Acer, Motion, Electrovaya, Toshiba, Fujitsu?

Who has the best looking screens?

Is an active digitazer a necessity, or will touchscreen work OK? Touchscreen doesn't have pressure sensitivity, right??


09-25-2006, 01:57 PM
Well, at least that's one less option to worry about :) .

Does anybody have a recommendation on a tablet PC?
Acer, Motion, Electrovaya, Toshiba, Fujitsu?

Who has the best looking screens?

Is an active digitazer a necessity, or will touchscreen work OK? Touchscreen doesn't have pressure sensitivity, right??


By definition, Tablet PC's have activ digitizers - it is a Microsoft requirement. That is a good thing - otherwise, resting your hand or just brushing the screen while writing or drawing would crete unwanted results.

I personally chose a Toshiba M400 (and had the M200 before that). I like the machines, they well equipped, have a nice screen, and are fairly durable. Some folks like slate-style Tablet PC's versus convertible (which are like anormal laptop, but the screen flips around. I do a lot of typing, and prefer the convertible.

Check out tabletpcbuzz's forums for the most active discussion. Their news area is slow and not frequently updated, but the forums are the most active of any TPC site.

Best wishes...


10-23-2006, 04:22 AM
Hiya Michael...

I use a Toshiba Tecra M4 (which has now been made redundant by the release of the Tecra M7, which is Vista-ready).

I'm extremely happy with the results I'm getting on this machine. You can check out my pics on my Flickr gallery (the link is in my sig file below).

The difference between a touch-screen and an active digitiser is huge. Pressure sensitivity is essential to making awesome paintings using ArtRage (that's my opinion, anyway).

Whichever machine you end up buying, I recommend that you pump it to the gills with ram. And buy the high-end one, the one with the fastest processor you can get. One of the failings of tablet pcs is that they seem to be aimed at middle-of-the-road users. So they tend to be underwhelmingly specced. Blah.

Blue skies

10-23-2006, 03:06 PM
Thanks, that helps me decide.

I'm considering the Lenovo X60s when it comes out soon. It looks like it has an option for a high-res screen (1400 x 1050), but i'm not sure yet if it has an active digitizer.


10-23-2006, 10:42 PM
Hey guys

I think this is a great discussion, and I've been thinking about tablet PC's for quite abit of time now. I'm curious to know how the performace is of the tablets you mention. I've seen a couple firsthand and they were slower than slow even with simple paint software like MSPaint. I'm thinking about getting a Cintiq screen just to be able to enjoy the more intuitive input, but a tablet pc will get me the same for a cheaper price + it will be more usefull in the longrun.

If its not too much of a bugger, could you please list your machine name and a a couple of lines on how your TabletPC works for you. I'm mostly interested in lag-drag (the amount of drag between the stroke you lay and the visual feedback from the tabletPC), screen quality and speed with larger Artrage canvases, and lastly how big of a concern is the offset of the pennib on the screen to the pixels laid down on the canvas?

I'm pretty sure that many more are interested in these observations as tabletPCs are becomming faster and faster and seems to be working pretty neat with software like Artrage.

thanks a bunch in advance.

10-23-2006, 11:57 PM
Hi Peter...

I'm driving a Toshiba Tecra M4 with 1 gig of ram. It's a 1.73 GHz processor, with 128 megs of dedicated video ram on an Nvidia chip.

I run CorelDraw 10 and ArtRage 2.2 on it with absolutely no hassles.

I DO get some stroke lag on it in ArtRage, but truly only when I'm working on a MASSIVE canvas (5000 x 5000 plus), or when I've got about 20 layers, or when I've set a particular tool above the 100% size limit.

At all other times, ArtRage behaves EXACTLY like a real brush or pen or whatever.

Corel Painter 9.5 has huge draglag at all times of the day or night on my machine.

Screen resolution is a lovely 1400 x 1050, which is nicely crisp, and is traditional format (not widescreen), which is a plus for me.

The error between penpoint and actual cursor is extremely negligible in my opinion. I can mostly draw a line, lift the pen, and continue the line seamlessly almost all the time. The screen seems well-calibrated to the pen.

There are things that DON'T please me about this particular machine.

It runs VERY hot. Too hot to have on your lap for extended periods, and definitely too hot to leave on a cloth surface overnight. I fear that it COULD cause a fire.

(I've got a piece of freeware installed which monitors the chip and harddrive temperatures. Right now, this computer has been on for about an hour, with three apps running -- Roxio Audio Central, Firefox with 10 tabs open, and my 3G card dashboard for internet connectivity. CPU temperature is 75 degrees celcius. Harddrive is 49 degrees c. That's FREAKING hot, if you ask me. And that heat manifests mainly on my left wrist, next to the touchpad, and from the fan top left. Yeeeeeks.)

It's also a heavy machine. If you lug it in an over-the-shoulder bag, you're asking for a back injury. It's strictly only to be carried in a backpack, so that the weight is distributed evenly over both shoulders. Seriously. I'm in physiotherapy cos of this bugger.

Oh... back to the screen... regardless of which machine you decided to go with, ensure that you buy one with an outdoor-viewable screen. My Compaq shipped in South Africa with an indoors-only screen. And it sucks. Deluxe. Yuch! Pathetic!!!! With even moderate ambient light around it, the thing is almost unviewable. And the view angle is terrible. Straight on only.

All in all, though, I'm very happy with it. I wouldn't even CONSIDER a Cintiq. If you want to go anywhere with the Cintiq, you need to lug both it AND the computer it's attached to. Yikes!!!

Blue skies

10-24-2006, 12:29 AM
hi there Roy. Thanks for the lengthy answer. That was exactly the info i was looking for. I totally agree with you on the cintiq deal, and it is very costly to booth.

Sounds good with the performance. Seems like the tabletpc's have picked up speed recently. Great to hear.

thanks again :)

11-14-2006, 09:30 PM
What inpact does integrated vs non-integrated (GeForce, ATI) graphics have on the Artrage experience with a tablet computer?

11-15-2006, 02:41 AM
I would guess not a huge difference unless the integrated uses shared memory witht the main system and you don't have much to begin with. I see little performence difference between my tablet (integrated video) and my desktop, which has a pretty decent graphics card in it.

AndyRage could probably comment on what aspects of the cards the code actually utilize.


11-15-2006, 08:41 AM
The short answer is that we use virtually no graphics card hardware features. Almost all the graphics compositing happens in main memory, and the result block-transfered to the graphics card.

So the performance on the sexiest most 3d-accellerated all-singing all-dancing graphics card will be much the same as the performance on crustiest old cheap one, so long as the memory interface bus is similarly spec'd

11-18-2006, 05:07 AM

I run ArtRAge on a Fujistu Tablet (Slate format) that I use strictly for graphics. I find that I mostly use my larger screen Macs; however, when I travel or when I want to be able to have my hand put the stylus on the graphic (to get away from the hand-eye coordination needed when using a tablet with a regular computer).

It's a stock Fujistu Stylistic 4121 (933 MHZ Pentium III, 256 MB RAM, 10.4" screen) and I find it excellent for drawing/painting with ArtRage.

There is a slight blue tint from the digitizing glass over the screen of the Fujistu that results in WYS on the screen is not quite WYG colorwise on another screen or on the printout.

The lack of a seperate keyboard on the Fujistu Tablet is not a problem for me with ArtRage. The added weight and bulk wouldn't be worth the "convience" of having a real keyboard.

My advice is to get a tablet pc with as large a screen as possible, the newer Fijustu Stylistic 5000 has a 12.1" screen.

12-20-2006, 10:16 PM
i've got a gateway cx2620
after the fact i'd definitely recommend ensuring your purchase is "penabled (http://www.wacom.com/tabletpc/what_is_penabled.cfm)"
(mine sports finepoint technology, the pen has great weight- but it's pressure feature lacks range and isn't compatible /w many apps.)

12-20-2006, 10:28 PM
I've about settled on the Lenovo x60 tablet, but i'm waiting till after April so that it'll both have vista pre-installed and hopefully they'll incorporate the new Intel motherboards (code named Santa Rosa) around then.

12-21-2006, 01:09 AM
i think the lenovo x60 looks very snazzy indeed. Have you read anything on how hot it gets? ie. too hot to have on your lap etc.

and how is the pressure sensivity with this thing?

I've those issues are working great I might be seriously tempted to buy one too...

12-21-2006, 02:07 AM
.. oh, and what are the main differencies between the T60 and X60?

I read up abit on the x60 and it should still have a tendency to get fairly warm... hmm...

12-21-2006, 02:15 PM
Tons of info and videos about it here:


Might also check the forums on that site.

I think the full model number is x60t and there is also a Lenovo x60s that's NOT convertable (to write on the screen).

FYI these things are the same as IBM Thinkpads (Lenovo bought IBM's laptop division)

12-22-2006, 03:24 AM
thanks for the link :)

I just need one clearification on the levono x60. Does it support pressure sensitivity on the screen itself? Nowhere have I seen indication of this. Ofcourse the the pen works with the pad as a normal touchscreen but if it also registers the pressure (which you would need to paint in AR2 or another Paintprogram), I haven't seen actual proof of.

Have you info on this Austin?

12-22-2006, 03:52 AM
At all other times, ArtRage behaves EXACTLY like a real brush or pen or whatever.

Corel Painter 9.5 has huge draglag at all times of the day or night on my machine.

Hey Roy, I was wondering if you have tried that free tabtip utility from cartoonmonkey which might help. We had some feedback from users of Project Dogwaffle saying that it made a big difference in reducing or removing lag.

TabTip can be found in the FAQ near the top:

12-22-2006, 12:25 PM
Hi PVIllustration,

Yes, the screen has an active Wacom digitizer. There are 3 screen options that i am aware of, and all have an active digitizer:

1.) A high res screen [SXGA+ (1400x1050)]
2.) A normal res screen [XGA (1024x768)]
3.) A normal res screen that ALSO has touch and is outside viewable

For that last one, the digitizer pen overrides the touch input when the pen is close to the screen...or you can turn the touch part off alltogether.

I think I'd like the touch input for internet browsing etc without having to hold the pen, but, yes, from what I've heard, you do want the active digitizer for doing artwork.

Check out these vids:




12-23-2006, 10:32 AM
that sounds great indeed. =)

If the lenovo actually supports a wacom digitizer does that mean you can actually use the wacom pen for painting on the tablet?

thanks again for the links. I'll be certain to check them out. :)

I must say I'm most intriqued by the lenovo. The size is perfect and the weight too. And it finally seems that the power is present to actually push painting on the tablet PC's to new lenghts. Especially if you go for the extra RAM options the lenovo has. Pretty cool stuff.

12-23-2006, 08:32 PM
I know you can draw directly on the screen with the pen that comes with the computer. One question i've been meaning to ask of tablet pc users in this forum is if ANY wacom pen can be used...like, can I use the same pen that I currently use on my Intuos2 pad?....that pen has more buttons that the one that comes with the Lenovo computer.

12-24-2006, 09:33 AM
exactly. that was my question too. I know that it IS possible on other tablets, and was wondering if this was the case on the lenovo too.

Guess we will have to ask around for that bit...

01-05-2007, 03:18 PM
hmmmmm......Mac's gonna reveal their first Tablet computer next week!
I wonder if it'll be cool enough for me to switch over to Mac.


01-06-2007, 03:10 AM
i saw that news item too, but its gonna be a slate and not a tablet like the lenovox60 etc. so it's not of interest for me...

Besides it's not being developed by apple themselves as i understand it.

01-11-2007, 09:03 AM
@ Staigerman...

Thanks so much for that link to the TabTipTamer. I followed that link to installing a new Wacom driver for my tablet. Haven't restarted the system yet to see what effect it has, but I'm almost certain the combo of both will be astounding. Thanks!

@ Austin_Texas...

I use a regular Wacom Graphire as my mouse when I'm in desktop mode. And sadly, no... the Wacom pen does NOT work on my tablet screen. Sad, but true. And the pen that comes with the computer doesn't work on the Graphire either.

Blue skies

01-11-2007, 07:11 PM
Thanks for the info royblumenthal.

There doesn't seem to be any wacom tablet pc pens with more than one button.

I wonder if Intuos 2 or 3 pens work with a tablet pc.

01-11-2007, 10:22 PM
I saw a link to the new modbook, that roy also posted elsewhere on the forum, and I must say it does look pretty interesting. But the pricetag is huuuge, and it's not shipping until later in the second half of 2007 if I got the info right...

It's not a slate as I first mentioned - seems the first reports on that were false. Anyways - here's the link:


01-12-2007, 09:12 AM
Yeah... the tablet pc pen button that came with my Toshiba is actually horrible in comparison to the Graphire's pen.

The Toshiba pen is a long, straight, slim thing, that gets quite ugly to hold after a while. NOT ergonomically designed. More like it was designed by an engineer with a problem: 'The problem is, we've got NO space INSIDE the Toshiba to fit a nice, round, ergonomically fat pen. Can you make it as thin and straight as possible so the we can jam it in?'

The Graphire pen is a dream to hold. Nicely curved, nicely weighted. And it only has two buttons... left and right click, basically. But INFINITELY useful.

My workaround on the tablet is that when I'm in SLATE mode (with the keyboard covered by the screen), I plug in a very small USB keyboard, and use that for essential shifts and controls and alts. I really wish tablet manufacturers would actually wake up to the fact that graphics users need HARDWARE buttons to press. All they have to do is have a little row of the darn things on the tablet side of the machine, and everyone would be happy.

Ah well.

I live. And I'm happy with what I'm producing on the machine. And I'm more than happy with ArtRage. What a kickass piece of software. It's stuff like ArtRage that makes me proud to support shareware.

Blue skies

01-24-2007, 11:05 PM
I've now settled for the tablet pc I'm gonna get within the next couple of weeks. I've spent many hours searching for reviews, hands-ons, impressions etc. etc. so I do feel I'm basing my pick on solid foundation. At least I hope so.

I was very tempted to get the Lenovo x60 which is indeed a very sexy machine, but also quite costly. Instead I've chosen the Asus R1f as it is: faster, cheaper, has a bigger screen and higher resolution. It also has a dvd r/w and is almost the same weight as the x60. It does not have the multitouch screen and is not quite as sturdy as the x60 which should be in a league of it's own, built wise. But the difference in price does make up for it I believe. And I'm pretty sure the 13" screen of the R1F will be a perfect match as I'm gonna use it primarily for art. Mobility is slightly less important for me.

I'll let you know how it goes. :)

02-01-2007, 07:04 PM
Congrats, PVIllustration, for deciding on your new computer!

I still can't decide, but i'm not in any big hurry. I was wondering if you found any direct comparisons between the Lenovo and the Asus. I was wanting a comparison of screen brightness/clarity in particular.

Anyways, let us know how your new machine works out for you.

02-02-2007, 01:52 AM
Hi Austin

As you may know I scrapped the Asus in the last sec. It had some really nice things going for it like a bigger screen and quicker cpu while still be quite lightweight. But I got scared away by a couple of things - foremost it is Asus' first tablet PC and while some say it shouldn't matter since Asus has been building laptops since forever, I still believe they will do much better next time.

The Lenovo was my favorite but it's just getting too expensive for what you are getting even considering the super lightweight and the multitouch screen.

So I was in a dilemma - Should I wait untill I could afford the Lenovo or should I go and be a test sheep for Asus. And this was when I suddenly fell over the HP TC4400. It imidiatly attacted me. It was built business like, like the Lenovo. Faster than the lenovo and much much cheaper than the lenovo. So I went for that. HP has now made several Tablet PCs in various forms so that was an easy choice over the Asus. The HP only has a 12" screen like the Lenovo thus the asus would be a luxury, not a nessesity.

I've had the HP for little less than a week now, and I'm quite stunned with it's performance. It's fast in Artrage. I mean really fast. Works great with photoshop and the gfx card is actually more capable than people lets you think. Now I haven't installed any games on it (I will try not to) but I've run Wings3d and MudBox on it and they work out great. You will probably not be able to do your finished models on the box, but you can easily do 3d even if you are away from your desktop computer. The small screen is a minus in 3d generally since most programs are quite filled with menus, but for smaller and more 'simple' programs like wings and mudbox it works great.

I have two negative points of the HP at this point. The battery life is not the best. When painting nonstop I guess I have around 3 - 4 hours time before you need to recharge. Not great, but not the worst either. Another thing that I'm missing is the DVI out. Apart from these two things I can hardly think of anything bad to say...

On the screen part I was quite worried but I shouldnt have. The HP has a great screen with great value definition and nice colors. I believe the Lenovo is not much better and I'm quite certain that the asus screen is abit worse since I've read reports on it being quite frosty because of special coating to reduce glare.

On a whole, I'm most happy with my HP. It's a keeper for sure... :)

02-18-2007, 09:30 AM
Got into this discussions little late being as I've just found this site. But I do have an Acer Travelmate c 314xmi Tablet PC. It's a wonderful machine!

2*GB Ram ,100 GB dual hard drive, pressure sensitive screen.

The pen is same size as a standard BIC Stic but has a programmable dual click button as well as an "eraser"!

Not exactly a featherweight machine at 6 lbs, but with DVD RW removable (swappable for added battery) it still is quite portable. All kinds of ports make it easily connectable to any peripherals or fully capable as a desktop replacement machine.

the screen is outdoor viewable as well as violable from any angle! A slew of user programmable buttons make it highly customizable and easy to use in tablet mode.

This model has All the beeps and whistles - total connectivity from wired to wireless built in!

It does get warmer in tablet mode than it does as c laptop mode, but the built in fan keeps heat concerns at bey.

Working with just battery power yields 2 to 4 hours depending on how you have the settings programmed.

Using Write Shield's screen protector eliminates worry about screen damage as well as offering a paper - like feel to writing!

Screen calibration is a snap and there is No lag between gesture and input, then to text output. I was particularly amazed at how easily this pc recognized my chicken scratching and was able to interpret its text!

I've added to the fun and functionality of the tablet by downloading several free programs from Microsoft. Use of one of those programs was responsible for leading me to this site and Art Rage 2!

No touch screen-just a digitizer. I didn't think to test the Graphire pen on this pc-maybe it will work of I load the driver? But this pen is perfectly acceptable to auto and drew with and they give you extra pen tips too!

Hope this helps!

An update for inquiring minds! I tried to get my Wacom Graphire 3 loaded on the Acer TabletPC but was unsuccessful. However at Wacom. com in driver updates there is a Tablet pc driver which I downloaded successfully. this added some functionality to my Acer Tablet Pen but I could not get the Acer to recognize the wacom pen. Guess an email to support dept. is in order.

06-02-2007, 09:15 PM
Well, I've just about decided on getting the HP 2710p when it comes out next month. There are some details on my quest for the best machine posted at the gottabemobile.com forum here:


P.S. There are pictures of the machine here:


06-04-2007, 12:57 AM
That is a snazzy looking machine indeed, Austin. And what a great read on the GBM forums. Thanks alot for that. :)

I can safely say that I'm still enjoying my TC4400 and I would not hesitate getting a HP tabletPC again next time, when I need to upgrade (hopefully not in the next couple of years... Damn expensive gadgets!)

What is the processor spec on the one you are looking at? And I guess the HP still comes with a integrated graphics adapter, no?

06-04-2007, 01:26 AM
I use a HP TC1100, it's only 10" but really snappy and I can take it everywhere just like a small magazine. If only batteries would last longer it would be perfect, I really don't understand why HP stopped producing it.

As for the pen the original one doesn't work anymore, not a great loss though...then I tried a cross executive, but I'm not happy with the pressure sensitivity (and with the fact that it slips out of my hands so easily and is now full of bumps - but that's my fault).
Now I found the one in the picture and it's just perfect: eraser and 2 buttons, light but well balanced, a great sensitivity and nice feel between my fingers, it never slips (almost).
It's a pity I don't have a replacement nib nor a cap to protect it from the cruel world...

06-04-2007, 03:56 AM

Would you recon that the pen would work with a TC4400 as well? And do you have a link to the pens' product number/page?

It looks like a wacom pen... is it?

06-04-2007, 08:35 AM

The machine is supposed to be available at the end of July. The highest processor speed listed is a Core2Duo 1.2GHz (U7600), and, yes, it has an integrated graphics adapter. It seems as though it's impossible to find a tablet pc with an nVidea or ATI graphics card, however, this machine has the newest integrated graphics that's much better than the typical integrated graphics. And the rest of the scecs are here:


I can't wait to get my hands on one!

That is a snazzy looking machine indeed, Austin. And what a great read on the GBM forums. Thanks alot for that. :)

I can safely say that I'm still enjoying my TC4400 and I would not hesitate getting a HP tabletPC again next time, when I need to upgrade (hopefully not in the next couple of years... Damn expensive gadgets!)

What is the processor spec on the one you are looking at? And I guess the HP still comes with a integrated graphics adapter, no?

06-04-2007, 12:14 PM
Hallo PVIllustration, just go to ebay and look for "tablet pen", you'll eventually find an auction with the same picture I showed before (I don't post the link here because I don't know if I can). The seller is the same I bought from, very reliable. When I purchased it, I remember they were also listing a large number of compatible tablet pcs, but I can't say if TC4400 was mentioned among them, you may ask. The pen comes without a package, with just the stand, and has a "vaio" logo near the eraser. Works great!

06-19-2007, 08:48 AM
Hmm, am I the only one with a Lenovo X60T? I think it's awesome, very lightweight (with the 4-cell battery at least) and excellent for drawing. It can heat up massively though, especially when it's folded together... but it does not overheat, something my previous laptop (a HP Pavilion ze4400 - not a tablet PC) was very prone to doing.

There is only one thing I don't like about it: the horrible Windows XP drivers. I deliberately didn't wait for the Vista release (I think it came out one week after I bought mine...?) I'd never use Vista, and I thought the Windows XP drivers would be reasonably ironed out by now. Wrong. I think I'll ditch Windows completely over the summer, I have had very pleasant experiences with Ubuntu.

Also, a very nitpicky detail: the thumbprint reader does not seem to function reliably in temperatures over 25 degrees Celsius (though I suspect it's the humidity, not the temperature... or maybe the wetness of my fingers? Sheesh), it gives many false negatives. At least it doesn't give false positives LOL. But I doubt anyone'd need this feature while drawing :wink: