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Thread: Tablet PC Suggestions

  1. #1
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    Tablet PC Suggestions

    I'm in the market for a new laptop and have been gravitating toward a tablet PC for the ability to do some casual art and design work on the go.

    Basically I want something that is relatively compact, can be used comfortably as a regular laptop, has an active digitizer, provides a good battery life, and sports either WXGA (1280x800) or SXGA+ (1400x1050) screen resolution.

    I'm currently deciding on one of the following makes/models:

    * Lenovo X61 Tablet (SXGA+ bezel issue edition)
    * Fujitsu T4220 (SXGA+)
    * Fujitsu T2010 (LED WXGA)
    * Toshiba R400 (LED WXGA)

    I'm curious to know how many ArtRage users are using tablet PC's either exclusively or as a supplement and what particular models are recommended.

    Or should I just go for a normal laptop and purchase something like the Wacom Intuos3 instead?

  2. #2
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    well, your last question is difficult to answer. You are the only one to answer it actually.

    I have a tablet pc (a HP TC4400), which I use exclusively for my art. However it's hooked up to a stationary screen through a dvi output from my dockingstation. I works great (even though there are a few glitches with my wacom not being set up properly with the buttons on the pen).

    I got a tablet PC instead of a traditional laptop, because I wanted it be lightweight and to be able to use it for painting when I was travelling without the need to bring my intuos3 with me everytime. For sketching my TC4400 is so much better and rewarding than using my intuos. However for final touches I always hook it up to my stationary monitor.

    Needless to say, AR is like a perfect fit for a tabletPC.

    happy hunting
    /Peter
    Lead Concept Artist - NDS Denmark
    Illustrator
    www.petervillumsen.com

  3. #3

    Another TC4400 user

    I, too, use an HP TC4400. Got it refurbished (and loaded) very cheaply from hp.com.
    The XGA (1024x768) screen res is the only drawback I can think of. And no optical drive. Otherwise, the battery life is great, the cursor response is quick, and it's small and light.
    I have used the Toshibas and found that the cursor had an incessant lag behind the stylus, which drove me crazy.
    And I agree that an external tablet is a must for precision work (I have an Intuos3, too).
    I'm happy to answer any tablet questions--just PM me.

    Good luck,
    David

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. The TC4400 looks like a good deal, I wish they would offer a bit more resolution though.

    So today I ended up taking the plunge and ordered a tablet PC. I ended up going with the Fujitsu t4220 for the following reasons:

    * SXGA+ screen resolution
    * Stylus is clearly visible (so I don't forget it), it's also easy to access and won't accidentally pop out and get caught on a backpack/book bag.
    * Built in optical drive (which can double as an extra battery expansion bay for a total of 6-7 usable hours)
    * Seems to be built pretty solidly (Lenovo's X61 tablet w/ SXGA+ screen has had a large number of reports of the bezel coming unglued after very little use)
    * Faster than the ULV processor models (t2010, R400, 2710p) which I think will be an asset when running more demanding apps or working with high resolution images and graphics.

    Once I receive it, I'll probably post something on the forums showing how it works with ArtRage, etc. for anyone else who might be asking the same questions as me.

    @PVIllustration: So you're connecting the tablet to your monitor and cloning the display for final touching? Seems like that could be really useful...

    If all goes well with the tablet, I'll likely pick up an Intuos3 at some point in the next several months for working with detailed vectors.

  5. #5
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    Out of curiosity, are there any Wacom pens will work with a Tablet PC? I've heard mixed reports on this..

  6. #6
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    congrats on your choice. I have heard many good things about the T4220. Only thing that got me away from it was a few reports on a 'frosty' look on the screen. But I'm sure it will do you good.

    Yes there are wacom pens that should work with most tablet pc's. What you should look for is the pen that compatible with the old cintiq screens. The new ones won't work. I have a pen at home and it works great with the TC4400. As long as the tabletpc is wacom enabled those pens should work. I got mine of ebay for about $30+shipping. Well worth it.

    Hooking my tablet to secondary screen through a docking station was easy peasy.
    Only thing that was a bit dodgy was getting the TC4400 to recoqnize that I'm using an intous3 for the input, and not the tablet screen itself. I downloaded a driver (thanks djmez) from wacom europe and it seems to run along side the tabletpc driver just fine.
    The only issue still not resolved is the fact that to use the buttons on the intuos pen I have to make the pen connect to the intous itself. Thus letting the pen hover and pressing the buttons is not enough. Guess that it has something to do with the tablePC's not using induction technology, but only pressure sensitivity. And the TC4400 doesn't see the intuos3 as what it is, but more like a second tabletpc screen. I honestly don't know if I can get around this, but it's not that big of a deal really.

    cheers,
    Peter
    Lead Concept Artist - NDS Denmark
    Illustrator
    www.petervillumsen.com

  7. #7
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    I think the frosty screen was only for the units with the outdoor screen coating. The reviews I looked at said the display was one of the best, I guess I'll find out. =]

    Thanks for the tip on pens. I found a page on Wacom's site which lists some of the compatible pens. www . wacom . com/tabletpc/accessories.cfm

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