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  • 4 Post By pablomanila
  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Best tablet for an artist?

    I will give you a little background about what I need. The college I graduated from started free classes on Sundays for Alumni for life drawing classes. For me the only way to benefit it to work digitally. I have a laptop and a Wacom tablet but the laptop is fried. It's a MacBook pro OG and has many issues. I work on a Mac Pro daily at work and iMac at home. But for sketching on the go purposes I would like a mobile tablet.

    What I need:
    10 inch screen size
    Pressure sensitivity
    Good drawing app selection

    Options that I can afford:
    Note 10.1 (2013)
    Note 10.1 (2014) refurbished
    Microsoft Surface Pro (refurb)

    I can't afford the Note 12.2 and I think the 10 in screen will be plenty. I can't afford the Surface 2. I think the original pro will suffice.

    -I know there is Wacom tech in the note 10.1 but I have heard of it lagging when drawing
    -I like the idea of the Surface Pro and having the whole Windows desktop OS at my disposal.
    -I have heard the Surface doesn't have palm rejection do you guys think this is an issue?
    -Android has Sketchbook pro, Microsoft only has the Sketchbook express app. What isn't available in express?
    -I heard the pressure sensitivity doesn't work on many apps and programs on the Surface Pro
    -the thin stylus on the Note 10.1 models concerns me a bit. I like a fatter digitizer.
    -I know the older model of the Note 10.1 is on an older version of Android but when it comes to drawing is there much different in the 2014 model, worth the extra cash?

    If I have more questions I will add them.

    I know this is Android Central but please try to be objective. I am trying to get the best artists tablet for my money. If you have had any or all of these devices and especially if you are an artist I would love your input.

    ಠ益ಠ
    ಠ益ಠ
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    I have a Note 10.1 2014 and an ipad 4, and I tried two Surface Pros that both bought and returned and had a Note 8.0 tablet that I bought and exchanged when I saw the 2014 coming out. And I have a 12" Cintiq I've used for ages, so I know how a decent Wacom screen should feel.

    So based on my own experience and research (and please, get more opinions) here's what I can tell you...

    The iPad has, hands down, the best mobile art app. It's called Procreate and if you want to work in a painterly way (or think you could) then it's absolutely worth trying out. I can't even begin to tell you how great it is. If you want the "Cintiq" experience of drawing accurately on the screen though, the iPad isn't going to give you that, even with whatever $100 stylus is currently the buzz.

    The Note 2014 is much better than the 8.0 and (I'd assume) the older Note tablet because it does have an amazing screen. The 10.1 is actually the same resolution as the 12.2 Pro so for the extra real estate you're not getting more pixels. There are some adequate apps-- Artflow is good, Layerpaint HD is decent, Cloverpaint is real weird and has the most counterintuitive UI I've ever seen but seems like it could be good if you make yourself learn it. Sketchbook works as it should, it's OK. After using Procreate for a while it's real tough to use anything Android though, the apps just feel clunky and unfinished and there's a slight but noticeable lag to everything. Still the Wacom pen works and works well and if you're primarily doing a lot of line work (and don't expect to use it as your digital art tool) I'd recommend it.

    The Surface... I did everything I could to calibrate that thing and it was never good enough to be useful as an artist tool, for me. I tried EVERY suggestion I could find on the internet on two different tablets. Some jumpiness in the corner is natural on a Wacom screen but on the Surface there was a slight drift that started in the center and got worse further towards the edge. And that's on the calibration that worked best. This is on two tablets, so I don't think I had just one bad screen. Maybe there's new drivers or solutions now, maybe I had two units from an early run, but if you are thinking of buying this I'd seriously recommend trying it for a few days first.

    Also keep in mind, the best art programs for Windows aren't made for tablet use. The idea of using Photoshop anywhere is great but there's a huge difference between loading a quick iPad app and jumping in, and navigating though Windows and the tons of Photoshop options and tools. It wasn't very inspiring to me, but I'm looking for an "instant on" sketchpad/ art pad I can just whip out and use, not the Windows laptop experience with updates and security issues etc etc.

    There IS a Samsung tablet, the ATIV 700, with similar specs, a better screen, and the "S Pen", which of course is just a wacom like the Surface has but I suspect it has Samsung's own drivers and if so it could be much more accurate than the Surface. I'd check this out as an option too.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    Quote Originally Posted by GingerX1 View Post
    I have a Note 10.1 2014 and an ipad 4, and I tried two Surface Pros that both bought and returned and had a Note 8.0 tablet that I bought and exchanged when I saw the 2014 coming out. And I have a 12" Cintiq I've used for ages, so I know how a decent Wacom screen should feel.

    So based on my own experience and research (and please, get more opinions) here's what I can tell you...

    The iPad has, hands down, the best mobile art app. It's called Procreate and if you want to work in a painterly way (or think you could) then it's absolutely worth trying out. I can't even begin to tell you how great it is. If you want the "Cintiq" experience of drawing accurately on the screen though, the iPad isn't going to give you that, even with whatever $100 stylus is currently the buzz.

    The Note 2014 is much better than the 8.0 and (I'd assume) the older Note tablet because it does have an amazing screen. The 10.1 is actually the same resolution as the 12.2 Pro so for the extra real estate you're not getting more pixels. There are some adequate apps-- Artflow is good, Layerpaint HD is decent, Cloverpaint is real weird and has the most counterintuitive UI I've ever seen but seems like it could be good if you make yourself learn it. Sketchbook works as it should, it's OK. After using Procreate for a while it's real tough to use anything Android though, the apps just feel clunky and unfinished and there's a slight but noticeable lag to everything. Still the Wacom pen works and works well and if you're primarily doing a lot of line work (and don't expect to use it as your digital art tool) I'd recommend it.

    The Surface... I did everything I could to calibrate that thing and it was never good enough to be useful as an artist tool, for me. I tried EVERY suggestion I could find on the internet on two different tablets. Some jumpiness in the corner is natural on a Wacom screen but on the Surface there was a slight drift that started in the center and got worse further towards the edge. And that's on the calibration that worked best. This is on two tablets, so I don't think I had just one bad screen. Maybe there's new drivers or solutions now, maybe I had two units from an early run, but if you are thinking of buying this I'd seriously recommend trying it for a few days first.

    Also keep in mind, the best art programs for Windows aren't made for tablet use. The idea of using Photoshop anywhere is great but there's a huge difference between loading a quick iPad app and jumping in, and navigating though Windows and the tons of Photoshop options and tools. It wasn't very inspiring to me, but I'm looking for an "instant on" sketchpad/ art pad I can just whip out and use, not the Windows laptop experience with updates and security issues etc etc.

    There IS a Samsung tablet, the ATIV 700, with similar specs, a better screen, and the "S Pen", which of course is just a wacom like the Surface has but I suspect it has Samsung's own drivers and if so it could be much more accurate than the Surface. I'd check this out as an option too.
    The ATIV is a bit out of my price range, but it is definitely a good option for art on the go. I will not dismiss the iPad and I will do some more research. I just could never get over the fact that is did not have pressure sensitivity. I always felt like I was finger painting or drawing with a fat crayon. I couldn't get past the all the styluses I tried were too big covered the fine details I was trying to make. I will look into this Procreate app.

    I also posted this in the WPC forums and they claim a lot of the issues with the digitizer being laggy and issues with palm rejection have long since been resolved. Also the issues with pressure sensitivity not working in programs like PS has also been resolved.

    Personally I don't sketch in photoshop, I do not like it at all. I use photoshop occasionally but it is usually for final touches. I actually am a vector artist by trade so I am more comfortable sketching in Illustrator (love the new blob tool) or flash. I picked up an old copy of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2011 and I really enjoy using that now. Supposedly the full program (not app version) of Sketchbook Pro will work on the Surface Pro, so I am going to look into that because that UI seems like it could transition to tablet use very well.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    The person at WPC shared this video of the Surface Pro. It is pretty compelling for what I need it to do.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    Went with the Surface Pro. Got a good deal for Factory Refurbished with 1 year warranty on ebay. Added a surface keyboard for only $30 all free shipping.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    The Note 10.1 2014 is a great mobile workstation for the digital artist. My favorite app is Sketchbook Ink. Here are samples of my works:





    Sent from my SM-P605 using Tapatalk
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    Quote Originally Posted by pablomanila View Post
    The Note 10.1 2014 is a great mobile workstation for the digital artist. My favorite app is Sketchbook Ink. Here are samples of my works:
    Wow!

    ~best phone in the known Galaxy~
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    ^ Thanks.

    Sent from my SM-P605 using Tapatalk
  9. #9  
    jumphour's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    Quote Originally Posted by pablomanila View Post
    The Note 10.1 2014 is a great mobile workstation for the digital artist. My favorite app is Sketchbook Ink. Here are samples of my works:
    Sent from my SM-P605 using Tapatalk
    Wow, awesome. I have Sketchbook Pro, but I hate the zooming when I rest my palm on the screen (I'm a lefty, and it's hard to avoid). Haven't tried Ink yet. I've been using ArtFlow, which has the least problems for me so far with the palm thing. And I'm still reading up on what to do about the stylus tip offset on the screen.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Best tablet for an artist?

    Quote Originally Posted by jumphour View Post
    Wow, awesome. I have Sketchbook Pro, but I hate the zooming when I rest my palm on the screen (I'm a lefty, and it's hard to avoid). Haven't tried Ink yet. I've been using ArtFlow, which has the least problems for me so far with the palm thing. And I'm still reading up on what to do about the stylus tip offset on the screen.
    It seems to me that you dont know how palm rejection works, this used to happen to me all the time, but its simple, palm rejection is activated once the stylus tip is near the screen,when the circle appears. You just have to get used to reach the screen with the stylus first. Hope it helps

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