Okay... I'm wondering. How many guys here that have the Galaxy Note 10.1 are professional artists or designers? How much are you actually able to accomplish with the Note 10.1? I've been really tempted by the 10.1 '14 but I just don't know if it's "pro" level or if it's purely a "hobby" level device. I really like the concept behind the Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid but the price of it REALLY scares me. Being that it's designed BY Wacom and it being able to be used as a tablet with my Mac AND be usable by it's self really appeals. I'm just wondering what others think. You guys having Note 10.1 might have a better idea of if you think it's good enough or not. Are any of you thinking about moving "up" to the Companion Hybrid (or heaven help ya the Windows 8 based Companion ... brrrr...YUCK)
Re: Galaxy Note 10.1 vs Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid
I have a Note 10.1 which I just replaced(about a week ago) with an Ativ 700t running Windows 8. The Note is fine for sketching and doing roughs but that's about it. The apps available on Android are too basic. Now with my Ativ I am using Photoshop CS6 and couldn't be happier. I got mine refurbished on Ebay for $550, and it has similar specs to the Surface Pro 2 but with an 11.6" screen.
The problem with the Hybrid it that for me it fails on several levels. First it is too small for it to be a primary workstation, as when connected to a computer. 13" is fine on the go but at home it's way to small. Plus a slightly above average monitor which would be larger, and would also have better color accuracy and contrast levels(even the standard Cintiq line has this issue, although they have improved a little over the years).
On the go it only runs Android which then you are using only the limited Android apps. And lastly is price. It's way to expensive for what it is.
Here are the top painting apps for Android if your still leaning towards the Hybrid.
LayerPaint, LayerPaint HD(more suited for tablets), Cloverpaint, Artflow, and Sketchbook Pro. I also used PS Touch only because it had some color, and contrast adjustments that none the others did, but it is mainly for photos. There is also the app which comes with the Hybrid but I have never used it.
If anything would go for the Companion(not Hybrid) starting at $1999. It is also overpriced also but the at least specs are better than other most tablets in the same price range.
I was also looking at the Companion, Surface Pro 2, Asus Vivotab, and the Fugitsu T902. There are a lot of reviews by artists of all of the tabs I just mentioned on Youtube. I found them very useful.
After using the Note which I got primarily to paint on the go, I consider it a digital sketchbook. I was able to only go through the beginning stages of an illustration before I had to transfer it to my desktop. Plus even that took longer because of the workflow that I use I was missing to many tools that I normally use. All the mobile platforms(android, iOS, windows RT) are only good for playing games, checking email, web surfing, and very light productivity.
Also after using the Ativ I find it the perfect size at 11.6". At 10" I found the Note to be a little cramped(the menus take a bit of the screen). I used to think that 13" is the perfect size(used to have a 13" laptop with a wacom tablet) but after using the Ativ I find that it is the largest size that I can use while holding the tablet without any support, such as resting on your knee or table. Even the difference between the Note and the Avit is pretty big. With the Note I was able to hold it by the edge while sketching. With the Ativ I have to support it from underneath because it it to heavy to hold by the edge for an extended period. Both Wacoms are very heavy and thick, you would need to rest it on something every time you wanted to use it, even for something as simple as web browsing. It would be comparable to holding a full laptop with one hand, just something to keep in mind. Just today I was working on an illustration while standing in line.
I just noticed your a Mac user. I guess you might have to wait till Apple comes out with a full tablet. I'm guessing that will happen in about 2yrs.
You may be fine with the Note depending on your workflow and the complexity of your work. Here's a link to my gallery to show you what type of illustration that I do.
If you have any more question feel free to ask. It took me a while to decide which tablet to get and I regret buying the Note, a little. It's a very good tablet, it just didn't fill the need I had.
By the way I have the 2012 Note 10.1.
Re: Galaxy Note 10.1 vs Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid
Thanks Ray. I am forced at my current job to use Windows and I absolutely LOATHE it. The workflow on Mac, FOR ME, is just so much smoother and design friendly that I'll NEVER purchase a windows machine for myself. If they happen to find a way to Hackintosh a Companion or a Surface Pro and keep the full functionality of the digitzer, I'd be tempted. Modbooks are just WAY too expensive (the "Licensed" Macbook pro/Wacom tablet conversions). In the beta hands on reviews I've seen, it looks like Wacom is shipping the hybrid with some really powerful illustration software that has been maximized for it. I guess what it will probably come down to is seeing what people think when it actually hits.
You have some incredible work on your Deviant site! I am ashamed to say that's what I thought I would be doing but I got lazy and stuck in standard "Graphic Design" (Layout, packaging, catalogs, etc...) and slacked off on my illustration and now I'm trying to get back to my "first love". I'm slowly building my style back up and building my freelance design work back towards illustration and away from layout stuff. That's one reason I'm really wanting to get a serious "on the go" option for the illustration work. I am more of a cartoony (for now) and Line art illustrator but I really want to get something that is more full-blown going.
Is any of the work on your site done, start to finish, on you Note? If so, which ones? What is the maximum size you can do on the Note (pixels size)? How well do they cross over to Photoshop? Do they maintain layers? (all the standard types of questions)
On a side note, are all your illustrations on the Deviant site completely digitally rendered? What are you using? Painter pro? Sketchbook Pro? Photoshop? What is your "go to" color illustration software?
Re: Galaxy Note 10.1 vs Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid
You're better of than me. I graduated with BA in Illustration in 2000, went into retail, and didn't touch a pencil or brush until around 2010. I had to teach myself to paint all over again on the computer. Right now I'm just doing commissions to build up my portfolio and get my skills up to where they need to be.
None of the pieces are done completely on the Note. I only had the Note for about a year. I was only able to sketch ideas, thumbnails, color roughs, and maybe the very beginning stages of the actual illustration. I mainly used my Note to get the basic composition worked out in a couple of my latest paintings.
Theoretically I could do an illustration from start to finish solely on the Note, but it would be an uphill battle all the way.
First I find that the sensitivity as far as light pressure is not accurate. A couple of the Android apps have settings to adjust pressure, but it doesn't compare to a Wacom driver. It's not the hardware, its the software, so maybe they will fix this in time. Android painting apps are missing too many of the basic tools and features that I use regularly. I would have to switch between several apps constantly to get to the tools I need, and even then some of them just aren't available at all. It could be that I am spoiled with using Corel Painter and Photoshop on my computer. Both of those programs are packed with options.
There is no real limitation as to size with some of the apps, except PS Touch which has a limit of 3000x4000, but I have not tested the limits on the other apps. With some of the apps you can open and save as layer .psds with layers intact and would have no problem switching back and forth between your desktop and the tablet.
Its funny but PS Touch by Adobe is one of the few apps that can not open .psds with layers intact. You can only save as .psd or open a flattened .psd(layers flattened). Go figure.
There is some brush and tool switching lag when using large images on all the apps. Also the image refresh is also laggy on large images. I don't remember the limitations of the number of layers but each app was different.
I use Photoshop exclusively. I used to use Corel Painter and actually prefer it's brush engine over Photoshop, but Painter is too unstable. It crashes constantly and some of it's features don't always work the way that they are supposed to. Plus it's very heavy on system resources so you'll need a fast machine to keep it running well. I made the switch to Photoshop about 2 yrs ago but am hoping that someday Corel will be able to fix Painter. Besides the fact that Adobe has decided to go with a subscription based software, I'm very happy with only using Photoshop CS6. It has all the tools I need in one package.
With my workflow I use the transform/warp tool a lot, as well as cut, copy and paste. It helps to quickly move and resize elements of the painting around to get the best composition. I also need to be able to adjust color, saturation, and brightness/contrast, of a particular selection or layer. I also use a lot of photo textures so I need different blending modes for the layers. For me there is no Android app that does all of these functions, and some are functions not available at all. So it would take me a lot longer to make changes that would normally be quick.
If line work is especially important to you style, Sketchbook Pro is probably your best bet on Android. I think it has the best brush responsiveness by far. LayerPaint HD has the best UI(similar to Paint Tool Sai). PS Touch is the only app which you can adjust(color, brightness, etc.) of a particular selection or layer. All the other apps can adjust only the entire image. Clover Paint has got potential but the UI is too much of pain to set up.
Having said all that, I think the Note 10.1 is the one of best tablets with a mobile operating system(android,iOS, windows RT)for drawing.
Forgot to mention that any tablet using a Wacom digitizer can also use some of the older Wacom pens. Here is a link to which pens can be used (only the ones in the first grouping can be used)
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