Used Tablet PC
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: An Artist's Tablet PC Discoveries

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA, USA.
    Posts
    1,372
    Blog Entries
    27

    Default An Artist's Tablet PC Discoveries


    From Desired to Acquired…A Hobby Cartoonist's Tablet PC Discoveries

    By TedRx



    Purpose

    As someone who spent hours upon hours researching the use of Tablet PCs for Art creation, specifically a Newspaper style Comic Strip, I realized there was precious little information available ...even in the vastness of Cyber-space.

    So I made a promise to myself that once I had gotten my Tablet Pc, I would , before emerging myself into the comic strip again, first give an account of the experience and post it on the site that I found to be, by far, the best forum for the Tablet PC Artist... Tablet PC Buzz. Com

    Mind you, I may only be a Hobby Cartoonist, but I think any artist from novice to seasoned professional will find something of value from this post.

    I make no claims to be a Tablet Pc expert, quite the opposite, but what I intend this posting to be is a decent launching point for all of you who have enough of a desire to start looking at the Tablet PC... a launching point that I never stumbled upon.





    The Tablet Pc Basics


    The Tablet Pc is a Pc which means ....

    The Tablet Pc is a Pc which means .... it is a Windows based system. So let’s just get this part out of the way, if you are mortally or morally opposed to Windows Os like XP or Vista, the Tablet Pc very likely is not for you. But please feel free to keep on reading, and who knows by the end YOU may actually be tempted to call a truce with Windows and try the Tablet Pc for yourself... especially if you are an artist or a writer.

    The Tablet Pc is a Pc which means .... it is a Windows based complete and fully functional Personal Computer. However due to its design objectives it usually does not support the latest, greatest, State-of-the-art processor, RAM and Hard drive capacity, but it is still a fully functional device that can handle most user’s needs.

    The Tablet Pc is a Pc which means .... it is a Windows based complete and fully functional Personal Computer, just in a "tablet" form factor. There are some distinct differences between a Tablet form factor and the more traditional desktop or laptop that you may be using now. These differences fall into three categories, Positives, Negatives and Neutral differences. And it is very subjective which category YOU would put the individual differences in. But since I am the writer of this post, I will put my own spin on it and hopefully still give you enough information to see how they would be for yourself




    The Tablet Pc comes in two basic configurations, Slate and Convertible

    A Slate (my preference) comes as a single-unit flat piece with no affixed keyboard, although a keyboard can be attached and some manufactures have come up with some ingenious configurations for keyboard attachment.





    A Convertible comes with screen and keyboard in two pieces attached by way of a hinge, initially looking much like a traditional Laptop but with one big difference... the hinge system allows the screen to twist at least 180° and close back down leaving the keyboard hidden and the screen exposed which converts it into the Tablet form factor, hence the designation of Convertible.



    Toshiba M200





    Tablet Pc differences...

    Currently the latest, greatest Tablet PCs still have many areas of difference when compared to the offering of its cousins' (the Laptop and Desktop) latest, greatest models.

    • Processing Power lags behind medium and high-end systems of both Laptops and Desktops of the same Generation. However if the current trends continue, even a lower level performing processor of future generations will be more than adequate to handle all but the most advanced software capabilities, thereby decreasing, or eliminating, practical Processor Power deficiencies. For now , maxing the RAM to 1 Gb or more seems to compensate well.

    • Screen size and perceived viewing quality of Tablet Pcs also lags behind. Screen size is usually sacrificed for increased portability, as it is a general rule that with larger screens comes more weight . This difference in not really as bad as the specs make it look. Why? Because a 12.1" Tablet Pc seems as big as a 14" or 15" Laptop and a 17" Desktop due to the fact that as you go from Desktop to Laptop to Tablet PC, you get closer to the screen. This results in the Various sizes occupying the same amount of viewing real estate in your total field of sight. And as far as perceived viewing quality, it suffers in part due to the fact that most Laptops & Desktops screens are viewed while being at mostly 90° to the light source of wherever you are stationed, be they incandescent, florescent, LED or skylights. Whereas a Tablet PC is usually viewed directly under the light source, leading to an increase in glare and washout. Currently there are advancements in both screen size and quality of viewing that will, eventually, trickle down and help to decrease, or eliminate, screen deficiencies .

    Another screen issue is resolution. Resolution determines how much information can be viewed on the screen. For example, if you have a 14", 12.1" and a 10.4" screen and they are all set to a resolution of 1024 x 768 , then they will all show the same amount of information , it's just that the smaller screen shows the pixel smaller so it looks tiny. This would be just like taking an image and reducing it on a copier machine. you still have the same image just smaller. As a result, it is a good suggestion to set you current Laptop or Desktop screen to the resolution setting of any Tablet you are considering purchasing and then run your usual applications to see if that resolution is acceptable. My M 1400 has the 1024x768 which is better that my Desktop's 800x600 and equal to my Laptop, so I had no issues, but for those of you desiring more, the M 200 Convertible does have a higher setting of 1400x 1050, which accounts for one of the reasons it seems to be the most popular Tablets among artist.

    Also, many Tablet Artist use a separate monitor, CRT or High Quality LCD, to verify color registration and quality. Apparently if your work is very color sensitive, the typical Tablet LCD is not quite up to the task. This does not prohibit Digital Artist from creating on the Tablet, for ON-THE-GO convenience, as many do the heavy lifting and toting on the Tablet and then use the other monitor for quality checks and edits at the end stage.




    Yes … This is a gratuitous plug for the Eisner Award Winning book Ex Machina by my pal Tony Harris, but it also serves a perspective purpose.

    Since I never could find any height and width measurements, only the diagonal ….
    for your information a 12.1" screen is 7-1/4" x 9-11/16" in dimension. Very similar to a printed Comic book page. The comic is slightly taller but thinner than my 12.1” screen which is the blue area in the picture. Also, an aside, that is the legal pad portfolio case I use to carry my Tablet Pc under the Tablet, and a 11” x 14” Bristol board pad under the portfolio case. There will be more pictures at the end but *Hopefully* this will give you a little perspective on the screen and Tablet Pc size for now.


    Also, screen texture is another important issue, unfortunately I have only used one Tablet so I can only speak from its use. My Tablet Pc has a smooth surface with no "tooth" to it. Many who have tested various Tablets recommend the M 200 and Techra M4. Apparently they have a feel very much like the revered Cintiq. However I must say that even though my Tablet has a glass-like smooth surface, it is easy to adjust to.

    • Another difference is in heat issues. Many Tablet Pcs do not come with even the most basic fan to assist with cooling. As a result the temps on them can increase quicker than its cousins... which only adds to decreased processor performance power. This only serves to further accentuate the initial Processor Power gap.


    As a part of heat issues is Perceived Heat. Just as people notice Laptop heat more than Desktop heat because they are closer to, and in more direct contact with, their Laptop than their Desktop, so much more are they in proximity with their Tablet Pc. And on a Tablet PC this is two fold because not only do many people carry Tablet Pcs in their arms or place in their laps, but the users also are in direct contact with the unit as they rest their hand on it to write on the screen.



    Cradling can heat-up the Forearm and Writing or Drawing can heat up the hand


    And from my limited experience, it is noticeable , but acceptable. Hopefully as technology moves to SSD (solid state drives working off of the same "non - moving parts" technology of SD memory cards employed by many Digital Cameras) replacing the current HDD (hard disk drives / moving parts standards of most computers) the amount of heat produced will drop noticeably. Also, as processors and heat dissipating materials advance, the heat issues of ALL computers should go away altogether . Until then the Targus Cool Pad is a good solution as it is good for 12.1" or smaller Tablets. It does add to what you have to carry but it does not add to the footprint.

    • Next is the trademark feature of Tablet Pcs, the ability to interface with the computer sans keyboard and mouse. Most people will probably still desire a keyboard option, such is the reason I would speculate that Convertibles are more abundant than Slates. However, in less than one week , this user found no need, or want, for a Keyboard. That said , most users will want the Keyboard . But even with Slates , you are not prohibited from keyboarding as external USB Keyboards are always an option. And is given in some clever packaging choices such as the M1300 and M 1400 models Keyboard Screen Cover, or the HP "Hybrid" TC1100.

    This brings me to the most amazing feature of the Tablet Pc... the TIPS interface. It simply has to witnessed in action to be believed!

    TIPS is the Windows XP Tablet PC program has three options, keyboard on screen, a letter-by-letter/space-by-space handwriting to text entry line, and lastly (and my favorite) the free form handwriting converted to text option. (see Image above). the only way I can explain it is either MAGIC or reverse-engineered alien technology. It is *spooky* good. Also, if you mess up a word, be it in penmanship or word choice, all you need do is scribble through it and it is erased.



    Look at how bad my Handwriting is, and yet TIPS still converts it correctly to text.

    The text is previewed below each handwriting line so that you can check before it is input as text to your working field.



    • Journal and Ink are another unique feature on Tablet Pcs as a part of the Windows XP Tablet Pc Edition. Basically it opens up to look like a legal pad when held in portrait mode (can be done in landscape but looks more natural in portrait). Once open, you can just start writing away. This is done in Ink, Microsoft’s name for the technology of a realistic inkpen result from the stylus interface. You can then convert the Ink to text if you wish, or you can do as most people do and leave it in Ink.

    If you are a writer who likes to create in long hand first, Journal could be a way to save a lot of time in typing in your manuscript, since in theory you can take the manuscript and with a few functions have it converted into text without having to type the whole thing in from scratch. Unfortunately, this is the only thing we have done in Journal at my house…



    <center>This portrait of me was done by my lovely wife</center>


    There also is a program called One Note that allows for notes to be hand written digitally in your computer documents … but I don’t have it to comment on, but there is a lot of information on the various forums.


    • The last major difference I will cover is the absence of a built in Optical Drove on most Tablet PCs. An Optical Drive is a CD or DVD drive. At first this sounds like a MAJOR disadvantage , however I disagree. In most instances an easy workaround is available by allowing the Tablet access to your existing Laptop's or Desktop's drive via Networking. You can load all your programs in this manner by inserting the disk in the primary computer's drive, cancelling out of the auto-run then accessing the drive and opening the files up on the Tablet. Next double click on the setup.exe file and like magic the program loads on your Tablet. However as Digital Distribution by way of Internet downloads increases, this will be less and less necessary for getting new programs onto your Tablet. If you use your drive to copy or transfer files, you can use the Network option especially as Wi-Fi and Wi-Max become the Norm. Or better yet, in most cases you can just use a USB Flash Jump drive stick to get the job done. And for small files, email is even an option. My prediction is that eventually Optical Drives will go away on all computers all together. Until then, it you cannot Network or have to have a drive with you on the run, you can choose one of the heavier Tablets that have a built in drive or get an external USB Optical Drive.




    Is the Tablet PC the Future of Personal Computers?

    Anyone who starts to do any serious researching into the Tablet PC can't help but ask themselves if it is (for good or bad) the Future of Personal Computers. Well, as trends in computers continue, it would be hard to argue that the future of Personal Computers doesn't look like the Tablets of Today. As Hard Disk Drives give way to Solid State Drive , as Optical Drives become less necessary , as processing power further outpaces software needs, as materials advance , as battery-life extends, as touch screen technology improves, it is hard to believe that computers won't become lighter, thinner, absent of Hard Disk and Optical Drives and more and more like the Tablets of today. The Biggest issue I see will be how people in the future want to interface. If people gravitate to direct screen entry the Tablet form factor will eventually take over, probably in the dominant Convertible model which would allow for all input options to remain on the table. The only thing that I can think of' that would challenge the Tablet's emergence would be if someone perfects the Virtual Reality type interface ... sounds crazy but crazier things have happened.






    The Tablet PC for the Digital Artist


    Tablet PC vs Cintiq

    Ok, let's get this out of the way right now... a Tablet Pc is NOT a Cintiq ! ... Likewise, a Cintiq is NOT a Tablet PC either.



    The Cintiq

    A Cintiq is a product offered from Wacom - the make of most Tablet PCs digitizer screen technology - that is a dedicated digital art screen device. Think of it as a LCD screen pad that you can draw directly on via digitizer technology. The device depends on an attached computer to run the program and processes you are interfacing with. At first glance the Tablet PC may seen obviously superior since is has similar abilities in a complete Pc in a compact integrated unit. However, there are many things about the Cintiq that are vastly superior. In the end, it is, for me, a tit for tat situation.

    Here’s a link to a brief endorsement by Scott McCloud on the Cintiq (second review on page)

    http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001467.php

    So even though they are both direct screen interfaces with many similarities there are distinct detailed differences. And the best Thread I have read on this topic is at this Link….

    http://www.tabletpcbuzz.com/forum/to...TOPIC_ID=35477



    After reading that Thread (many times ) along with other discussions on the topic of Tablet PC vs Cintiq , I have come away with the following points:

    • If you are currently using a mouse for your interface with your digital art programs, Both Cintiq & Tablet PC are a Major step up.

    • If you are currently using a Graphire Wacom Tablet, Both are a major step up as The Tablet PC offers the same sensitivity, the Cintiq offers greater sensitivity and Both offer direct to screen interface.

    • If you are currently using an Intous, the Cintiq has same sensitivity with advantage of direct to screen interface but may lack rotational abilities, so it would *probably* be a step up. The Tablet has less sensitivity and the only way to know if that will matter for sure is go buy a used or new Graphire and see if it's lower sensitivity is ok. If Not then the Tablet PC will be a No-go for you. HOWEVER, if you can live with no rotation and lower sensitivity then the Tablet PC maybe for you.

    • If you are currently using a Cintiq and are wondering about the Tablet PC then it gets real tricky, but there are people who have gone from Cintiq primarily to Tablet PC primarily, while keeping the Cintiq for more intensive parts of the work process.

    The Cintiq has the advantages of not being attached permanently to the computer that is powering it , can be moved from one computer to another, Larger screen work space, generally high resolution, longer Life Cycle, works with Apple Computers, and it is probably better if your workspace is a fixed workstation with ample space and you have a good budget fund.

    The Tablet Pc has the advantage of lower cost if purchased used (like mine) , smaller footprint of a "one tool to rule them all" device , and your workspace is wherever you want it for at least 1-2 hrs on battery and indefinitely if you are near an outlet. The disadvantage of a Tablet PC is the lower processing power (still good enough for me) , little upgrading beyond RAM, and if any part fails ...it is dead.

    The Last point I would like to make is that as technology increases the Tablet PC should eventually be equal or superior in every way... but that is probably years away. Until then, if being on the go is of utmost importance , or you have a limited budget, try the Tablet PC (used) ...but if you work at a fixed workstation and have a higher budget, then try the Cintiq.




    Efficiency Vs Productivity

    Although most who look at the Tablet PC look for increase in Efficiency by cutting out steps in their established work process, I however feel the REAL key is in increased Productivity.

    Let's address Efficiency first by using my own work process as an example. Before the Tablet Pc, I would start with pencil roughs, from there I would go to finished pencils, then inks, then a trip to Kinko’s to reduce it down to a size my scanner could accept, next I would have to import to Photo Paint and clean up the artifacts left over from the scanning process, then make computer borders , fix any issues will the inks, then color , then letter and lastly put on the credits info. All the while, I experimented with using a light box in between the pencil roughs, finished pencils and inks. This process involved working at one location for physical drawing & inking, another for image reduction, another for scanning, and another for the Digital work.

    Now with the Tablet PC I no longer need but one device and one location. This results in increased Efficiency, because it takes less time now to get the same strip done. So far, I figure it cuts my actual time in half. Also, with the Tablet PC I can now work both vertically and horizontally on the strip. Which means I can work on all panels in a strip one phase at a time, OR... I can develop a single panel from rough to completion independent of the other panels , however the creative mood strikes me. I don't know about you I but since I am the entire production team, this alone is a very nice ability.

    Ok , Let's wait a minute, you may be asking yourself - "Isn't that just a function of going all digital , Not going to a Tablet PC?" . . . Well, Yes and No. The Efficiency is a result of all-digital, but for me, I could not have gone all-digital without the Tablet Pc. I had tried to go all digital before with my Graphire tablet but it just didn't feel "Natural" with my hand and pen one place (the Graphire) and the results on another (the screen). So for me, and perhaps many of you, it will take the “directly on the screen” interface to take the total Digital plunge.

    This leads me to the increase of Productivity, which is where the rubber meets the road for me. Whereas Efficiency is in the time it takes to do a single strip, Productivity is about how many Strips I can make over a given amount of time. For example, going all digital at my desktop might increase Efficiency , but due to the fixed workstation location, the amount of strips I do in a month might actually decrease if I can't get to the workstation but a fixed number of hours in that month.

    Before all digital, I could do the pencil & inks remotely and then 1/3 to 1/2 of the work was done before I got to the computer. So if monthly I only have 16 hours of computer time, that time is spent on only 1/2 to 2/3 of the process. But if I go all digital, at a fixed workstation, in those same 16 hours of Desktop time in a month , I have to now do 100% my strip production work. This is where the Tablet PC really shines for those of you , like me, who do your art in various locations. With the portability afforded by the Tablet's all-in-one form factor and small footprint, I can now create, with all the benefits of Digital, in all the places that I could previously with just a pencil and pad of paper.



    So ultimately it is the Portability of the Tablet PC that turns the increase of the All Digital Efficiency into an actual increase in Productivity , which means I can make more strips per month, which is any Hobby Cartoonist desired goal.

    Now for those of you who don't want to go All Digital, or must do some work at your more powerful more capable fixed workstation Computer (perhaps with your Intous or Cintiq) , a used Tablet Pc for $400 to $650 may still be a worth while addition to your arsenal of tools as you can, at the very least, use it for some basic, or foundational, portable All Digital, Direct to Screen interface work. Who knows, you may end up doing what many Artist have and actually go to doing *most* of your work on the Tablet PC after purchasing it only for specialized work.

    The BIGGEST draw back of going All Digital on a Tablet PC is NO ORIGINAL ART WORK TO SELL. But for those of us who do our work as a hobby , this is not a big issue.




    Direct to Screen Interface

    There is NO substitute for having your art being created on the surface and at the point where you hand and art tool are making contact. This is not to say that there aren't any very talented and professionally successful people using a Graphire, Intous or even *gasp* a Mouse. But for most of us, a stylus to the screen interface is so much more intuitive.

    The biggest issue for most with direct to screen interfacing is getting, and keeping, the stylus calibrated. Calibration is the process of making the point where you perceive the stylus tip to be touching the screen to matchup with where the cursor or pen tool is affecting change on the display. Sometimes it can be temperamental and requiring re-calibration , this is especially true when going from Landscape to Portrait modes and back. Also, the calibration, at best, can float as you go from the middle of the screen to the far corners. So at first this sounds awful, but it is far easier to mange than a Winsor & Newton Series # 7 Sable Hair inker’s brush. If you can work with that, or a Nib pen, you can deal with the calibration float issue. After all, every art tool, be it physical or digital, requires a certain amount of Finessing or Finagling around, and the Tablet Pc is No Different.

    Fellow TabletPcBuzz posters, ShogMaster and Chad Essley have both addressed the issue of taming the tip far better than I ever could, so search out their post if you need more information. But for my 2 Cents, I am doing fine without anything more than re-calibration as needed.




    Sketchbook Pro vs The Pixels of PhotoShop & Photo Paint

    Ok this part is for those of you already doing work Digitally in either PhotoShop or Photo Paint. I don't know about you, but I HATE the pixilation of the work within the program. Often times I have to save the file and then view the image with Windows Fax Viewer option to see what the image "Really" looks like. This is annoying.

    Also, the pencil tool in Photo has never really convinced me that it is an acceptable substitute for what a physical pencil will do.

    Enter Sketch Book Pro !

    Originally by Alias, now offered through Auto Desk (who bought out Alias), Sketch Book Pro is Nothing less than amazing. It creates in a "what you see is what you get" mode that is like a breath of fresh air after the stale stagnation of Photo's pixilation. Also it offers a true digital pencil that is a worthy replacement for the physical one.

    Sketch Book Pro is not without its own limitations as I can't see it as a total production program. . . . yet. But for the drawing part of the process, it is wonderful. It comes with the ability to work in layers, but it doesn't have customizable color palettes but still some degree of coloring is capable. So far, I can see doing the majority of my strip creation in Sketch Book, even most of the coloring , with Photo as back-up to do the few but essential things not possible in Sketch Book. Once you get your Tablet, you must download the 15 day trial and find out for yourself. I'm betting if you try it seriously for more than a day you will buy it even before the 15 days are up. Here is my first test drawing on my tablet Pc done in Sketch Book Pro …


    “Emi Falling”
    In
    SketchBook Pro



    Digital Pencils



    Digital inks



    Digital Color
    (colored under Inks layer)

    FYI – This is my comic strip’s version of daughter Emilee & her stuffed bear Freddie
    on an adventure in space … that’s why there are two suns.


    Even on my limited Tablet PC Project budget, I found Sketch Book Pro a must. So much so that I have indefinitely postponed my Ram upgrade in exchange for the Sketch Book Pro purchase. Once again it was all about the increase in Productivity from Sketch Book Pro versus the Efficiency of the RAM upgrade. And once again Productivity wins out.

    This discussion would not be complete with out a mention of Art Rage. Art Rage is a far more economical program that is similar in many ways. Also if you like working in digital paint that looks allot like oils, you have got to try it out. The Best Comparison between the two programs is at this link...

    http://www.cartoonmonkey.com/mt2/200...he_review.html


    However since I am more geared toward pencil & ink pen , as well as flat & gradient colors, I went with Sketch Book. But if you are into digital Paint, Art Rage is a must for you.





    My Tablet Pc

    What I wanted with a Tablet PC…

    I wanted from a Tablet PC was a "one tool to rule them all".
    I wanted a fully functioning computer capable of running all the software programs I already had.
    I wanted a Digital Art Production Studio that I could hold in one hand,
    and take with me anywhere I wanted to go.
    I wanted a device to take my Audio & Video shows on the go with me.
    I wanted a Digital Bible with Parallel Capabilities.
    I wanted a computer that didn't LOOK like a computer . . . i.e. - Stealth factor
    I wanted to be able to access my email and have Wi-Fi to Surf the Web.
    AND
    I wanted it all for under $500!

    Sounds impossible I know , but that never stopped me before.

    Resources

    Well as most of you have found out, there are very few mentions of Tablets in print resources and not much more on the Web. The Best resource I found was in the Threads on Forums on the Internet, especially at TabletPcBuzz.Com . And as this article is a general overview, I highly suggest using the SEARCH function on the forums sites for info on a specific issue , and even starting your own thread if you need to.

    Also, CNET and GottaBeMobile.com are good sites , especially since they have video reviews. And I would be remised it I didn't direct you over to Chad Essley at Cartoon Monkey, be it at CartoonMonKey.com or CartoonMonkey.Net ...and especially check out his Slate Shoot Out when it becomes available again.

    For me, I spent hours and hours reading every single thread on the topic of Tablet PC Art , even the ones that were over 4 years old. They were all of value. Next I started my own thread and actively solicited people with experience with Tablets for Art to reply. Eventually the Threat became like a Blog of my day by day (sometimes minute by minute) account of wanting and getting my Tablet. And at some point I thought it best to just write this article instead of doing many more update post.

    But for the full account of this extremely valuable resource for me simply link here....

    http://www.tabletpcbuzz.com/forum/to...TOPIC_ID=36341

    So after reading as much as possible and starting my Thread, I decided to go Ebaying .


    EBAY & USED TABLET PCs

    Please Please Please , take some time and search EBay for Tablet Pcs, they are a plenty!

    And if there isn't a model you are looking for, or a seller reputable enough to gamble on,
    come back weekly and eventually there will be.

    But as always, Buyer Beware!

    My Choice

    After much research, Ebaying , and question posting I settled on the Motion M 1400.

    Why?

    Well first of all it is one of very few Slates on the used market.
    Also, It is less than 1" thick and under 4 lbs , and with Wi-Fi.

    Secondly, a fellow Buzz poster told me in an email that I should just get an inexpensive used slate instead of waiting on the budget for a new Tablet, that way I could go ahead and get my Tablet PC feet wet and see if I liked the Slate form factor , all the while not risking a large sum of money. That's when I came up will the $500 budget.

    Finally, Chad Essley's Slate Shoot Out concluded with a point that even after reviewing three new slates, his M1400 was still state-of-the-art. Wow, what a statement! And from someone in the Tablet Pc Art trenches on a daily basis. No greater endorsement could be made.

    So the only thing left was to find one at the right price from a good seller.

    Eventually I found a M 1400 slate for $422 plus shipping. According to the seller it didn't have speakers, but for the price, I couldn't complain, and head phones were an acceptable addition to my total portability set-up. The Model spec-d out at 20 Gb Hard Drive and 512 Mb RAM, an acceptable amount of each since I could upgrade the RAM and I had a Desktop with 160 Gb Hard Drive for Archiving. There was an included USB Motion keyboard , but not as the Keyboard in the cover option... just an external keyboard if needed. Also, as with most used computers there were no restore disk.


    What I got...

    Well, it shipped in less than 3 days and was packaged very professionally, it even had a spare stylus with replacement nibs. The battery was even fully charged and the system was ready to go... sorta. Upon startup I noticed no Wi-Fi and the finger print reader was inactive too. Once I looked at the System info I stumbled upon my greatest problem... the system said it was a M 1300, when the system was physical market on the bottom as a M 1400.

    0h well, I thought, I'd just do a work around mainly to get Wi-Fi going. After getting a Wi-Fi card that still wouldn't work, I stumbled upon the *Real* problem... Missing drivers. It turns out that my system was restored with a M 1300 disk, therefore I had no drivers for the wireless, or other things as I would find out.

    Well once I downloaded all the available latest M 1400 drivers, not only did the wireless work, but so did the speakers and DASHBOARD too. (DASHBOARD is a MOTION program for tweaking some things on the Tablet). After I was all set , I still wanted a set of M1400 restore disk, so on a whim, I called Motion and they actually sent me a full set of M1400 recovery disk for any future need... FREE of Charge.

    Also, I didn't get a hard screen cover, but John (proud own of the 'Buzz site) hooked me up with one, and it has been indispensable. So if you don't have a hard cover, get one. Thanks Again, John!


    My setup...

    After many hours of more research and set-up, I finally have everything like I wanted it.

    I have TiVo-to-Go for taking my shows on the go.
    2 tips though-
    • First, since transfers from your TiVo to Tablet takes almost as long to download as the show is long in viewing, set up the transfers to happen while you are not using the tablet for anything else, like when you are sleeping.
    • Second, if you are missing the necessary Codec(s), download K-lyte... it fixed my problem.




    Tivo-to-Go
    Runs in Windows Media Player window over my Corel Art Program (or Sketch Book Pro).
    This way I can Watch Tv shows while I work.

    Unfortunately, the strip I am working on in the screen shot was drawn
    (before my Tablet Pc) the old fashioned way,
    Scanned in, then colored and lettered in Photo Paint.
    It is of Freddie and Emi on another adventure
    … with oldest daughter Lauren in last cut-off panel


    I have e-Sword as my digital parallel Bible. It is free and has many English translations available, and also has other still copyrighted versions available for a reasonable price. Also, it has dictionaries, maps, commentaries and other resources available. The interface is Old School Windows 95/98 but that is un-noticeable once you get into using it. It is Simple and Flexible, just what I needed.



    e-Sword
    An example of the Parallel Bible set up.

    I can run all my programs just as well on my Tablet as on my Desktop or Laptop, even CorelDraw Suite X3 which contains my Photo Paint program. It may take a little longer for processing the images , such as doing conversion from Grayscale to RGB or CMYK , or saving the file , or apply a large effect. For me this is still manageable as I am still more productive with this lower powered Tablet when compared to my Desktop or Laptop.

    I have added Sketch Book Pro to my arsenal of art tools. Even with the weaker Tablet processor, I find no lag time with drawing in Sketch Book , another plus.

    Also, I now have a Computer that doesn't LOOK like a computer. Most everyone I have showed it to have no idea what it is until I start it up and show them firsthand.

    And for my Stealth factor, I bought a $10 Wal-Mart brown pleather portfolio case. The case is sized to carry a legal pad around in. Even with the hard screen cover attached, the Tablet fits snugly in the case.






    My Tablet Pc Experience


    This experience has been fantastic!

    Ever since I bought my first computer (the Sinclair 1000 bought out of a Science Digest ad) in the early 80's, I have been looking for a Tablet Pc... I just didn't know it till now.

    It really is One Tool to rule them all.

    And the most unexpected pleasant part of the Tablet PC experience has been the interaction with other posters on The Forums and personal e-mails. Special thanks to all who posted on my thread ... and especially Billzilla who posted my images for me!
    (Hey 'Zilla , I Hope you are enjoying your new Used M 1400).


    Q & A speedround:

    Did I get what I originally wanted from a Tablet Pc?
    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Was I happy with my Slate choice?
    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Would I have been as satisfied with a Convertible?
    Probably not... BUT I think 95% or more of users would want to get the Convertible.

    Would I buy used again?
    In a heartbeat! ... and when this Tablet gets to the point of diminishing return I will !

    What is my battery life?
    1.5 to 2.5 hours which is plenty of Cord-free time for me.

    What has been the worst part?
    The Drivers issue... thankfully resolved.

    Does the Tablet improve my personal art creation experience?
    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    What has been the hardest part?
    Taking the time to write this article instead of jumping into the strip creation,
    but hopefully it will give all of you who have read this far a
    decent launching point for your own Tablet PC experience.

    Does the Tablet increase my strip productivity yet?
    Only time will Really tell but so far I think so.

    What is the Reaction of Others?
    Everyone has been very impressed once they see it in action.


    What did I do with it the First Day I got it?
    I handed it over to my 9 year old daughter Emilee and she made these pictures using Corel Photo-Paint ...






    And my Brand-New Desktop Wallpaper ….




    Proof that every one will gravitate to it if only given the chance.







    Gallery with Comments


    All I need for my Comic Strip …
    And no, it’s not the Drawing Pad,
    it’s UNDER it …



    Pictured above is my Tablet Pc in its portfolio case
    compared to a 11”x 14” Bristol Board pad





    My M1400 & Portfolio Case




    For reference that is a piece of stock computer paper in picture above



    And the 11” x 14” Bristol Pad with the Tablet Pc again



    Comparison

    My Tablet Pc and My 14” widescreen Laptop with Graphire Tablet




    and…


    Notice the NICE hard cover provided by John at TabletPcBuzz



    Notice the view angle !!!
    So far I have had no problems with color shift while drawing



    Last but not least…


    My ENTIRE Digital Art Studio




    Mission Accomplished!!!


    Best wishes to you on your Tablet Pc Journey …
    and don’t be a stranger …
    post your experience and art SOMEWHERE on the web,
    so others can see and learn from YOUR discoveries,


    Thanks!

    TedRx

    January 19, 2008
    Last edited by TedRx; 04-26-2009 at 01:51 PM.
    John Hill
    TabletPCBuzz, Owner/Editor

    Allegiance Tablet PC Experts, CEO
    ALLTP Website
    ALLTP Tablet PC Store


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    , Rochester, New York, USA.
    Posts
    1,128

    Default

    TedRx,

    A superb review easily one of the best balanced ever posted here, having making daily visits here since 2003 running!

    I am acclimating currently to my third tablet bought here two weeks ago, the legendary HP TC1100. Fortunately, even four years old, it's a superb experience with countless nuance differences from my venerable Motion M1300 slate, sorting those out then verbalizing details takes time, as you know.

    I can say without hesitation already, the TC1100 as artist's slate tablet, now also commonly found used around $400-600 won't disappoint. It runs Vista very well, with careful tuning. I'll add comments and deep details to thread soon.

    TabletPCBuzz is THE world's premiere resource for used tablet buyers to find and give invaluable information still relevant for such small, unique and passionate group.

    Here's elegant, professional, exceptionally well-made, all real leather, full zip-around protection folio case made by Samsonite that M1200-1400's just fit inside (with cover) as if was custom designed. It's no longer product line active, but still found here for just $20:

    http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...lio-x-x-Black/

    One can even cut bottom slot where legal pad slips into and substitute cover inside tabs facing upwards to snap the slate onto so acting as locking dock. The folio left inside is all soft and won't scratch LCD zipped up, by leaving pockets empty besides papers. Perfect compact case, not padded bulk style. Folio case slips into better protection suited for the serious traveling.
    100% Old School tablet setup:

    Sahara i440D - 4GB/500GB/7200 - Vista screams!
    HP TC1100 1.2 - 2GB/160GB/5400 - Vista - portrait - primary computer.
    HP TC1100 1.2 - 2GB/160GB/5400 - Vista - primary work computer.
    HP TC1100 1.0 - 2GB/60GB/7200 - XP - laptop - partner's primary computer.
    Acer 303xmi 1.6 - 2GB/100GB/7200 - Vista - laptop - work computer.
    Motion M1300 1.0 - 2GB/60GB/7200 - Vista - semi-retired (needs repair).
    Motion M1300 - for parts.
    Motion M1400VA - awaiting resurrection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Macon, Ga, USA.
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Thanks BmHome1 ... I appreciate the info and the kind words!

    Update...SketchBook I ordered is on Backorder from supplier,
    BUT
    even in limiter mode (after trial ran out) it is amazing how SketchBook works.

    My friend Edward sent me a Jpeg of a panel he pencilled and for fun I "inked" it using the pencil mode, and I was very surprised at how well it turned out. It is so nice to have that "what you see is what you get" mode and the undo button so if you don't like the stroke you made, just undo and try again. For someone who has little inking experience, the Undo saftey net made the experince FUN and the result very acceptable.

    Unfortunately since it was in Limited mode, the inks are in the same layer as the pencils, rendering it only an exercise and not something that could be used for coloring later ... but as soon as I get the full version, I will do more.

    TedRx
    GoDawgs!

    www.AdventuresOnTheHighFrontier.com
    (coming 2009)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Macon, Ga, USA.
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Update -

    After a month with sketch book pro and my Tablet Pc,
    I could not be happier!

    I am able to produce the best looking strips I could have even imagined
    I was capable of making

    once I get about 10 done, I'll post so it maybe a month or so...

    Once again, the Tablet is doing all I ever hoped and dreamed it would!
    TedRx
    GoDawgs!

    www.AdventuresOnTheHighFrontier.com
    (coming 2009)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Macon, Ga, USA.
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Shogmaster has a great video putting to rest the question of the Cintiq's seemily superior pressure sensitivity versus the Tablet Pc's seemingly inferior sensitivity.

    click and be educated ....

    http://www.tabletpcbuzz.com/forum/to...TOPIC_ID=36836

    Thanks Shogmaster !
    TedRx
    GoDawgs!

    www.AdventuresOnTheHighFrontier.com
    (coming 2009)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    , Rochester, New York, USA.
    Posts
    1,128

    Default

    Here is list of Wacom tablet pc digitizer stylus compatibilities borrowed from another resource:


    100% Old School tablet setup:

    Sahara i440D - 4GB/500GB/7200 - Vista screams!
    HP TC1100 1.2 - 2GB/160GB/5400 - Vista - portrait - primary computer.
    HP TC1100 1.2 - 2GB/160GB/5400 - Vista - primary work computer.
    HP TC1100 1.0 - 2GB/60GB/7200 - XP - laptop - partner's primary computer.
    Acer 303xmi 1.6 - 2GB/100GB/7200 - Vista - laptop - work computer.
    Motion M1300 1.0 - 2GB/60GB/7200 - Vista - semi-retired (needs repair).
    Motion M1300 - for parts.
    Motion M1400VA - awaiting resurrection.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Macon, Ga, USA.
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Ok Gang,

    I have done #10 strips on the Tablet so far and here they are...

    The basic plot so far is my family living as the first civilians on the moon at Moon Base III. Then the Aliens called Wonktons attack and are fought off. Next the Pope shows up in his space ship the Virgin Mary Galactic (a joint venture between the Vatican and Richard Branson). After a brief 'miscomunication ' and some locust let loose... The Pope and I have called a truce and the Pope is about to tell us WHY he really has come to visit . . .












    Currently I am working on strip #11 , getting my Website going (hope to have full blown by Fall 2008) and writing up a big huge Work Process post for another thread here at the Buzz's Artist section...

    And I am still Lovin' the Tablet PC!


    TedRx
    GoDawgs!

    www.AdventuresOnTheHighFrontier.com
    (coming 2009)

  8. Cool A hobby cartoonist's Tablet PC Discoveries

    HI

    Wonderful info guys....The list of apps looks great.....

    staffingpower dot com



    sentersoftech

  9. Default

    notebook tablet PC has been so fun to use for drawing and sketching...not so practical as a cintique with large paintings as it gets sluggish and is annoying setting up keyboard shortcuts without a keyboard,
    But meh.
    Worth it.

  10. Default

    I want to thank everyone for their opinions and information. I was seriously looking at a Cintiq and had no idea that a tablet PC could be such an effective solution for digital art. I am now a happy owner of a used M1400. Using it with Manga Studio and Sketchbook has got me interestested in cartooning again.

Similar Threads

  1. A hobby cartoonist's Tablet PC Discoveries
    By alltp in forum General Tablet PC Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-24-2008, 06:38 PM
  2. One hobby of mine is digital photography. On my
    By ra_naes in forum General Tablet PC Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-01-2004, 01:43 PM
  3. Can anyone help me!!! I need a hobby or past
    By Mecanik in forum General Tablet PC Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-04-2004, 02:21 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •