Asus Eee Slate

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Y_M
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Y_M polycounter lvl 7
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Slate-EP121-1A010M-12-1-Inch-Tablet/dp/B004HKIIFI"]Is it too good to be true? That's what I want to know.[/ame]

I've wanted a slate PC since the dawn of time (incidentally time only started a few years ago ;) ) but they've never seemed that great. The ipad resparked my interest in tablets, I've played with a few ipads in the apple stores but they really are just a scaled up iphone and ultimately, a toy.

I've wanted something I could take with me when I leave my room, which isn't very often! I hate the idea of having a portable computer that can't do everything my desktop can, even if it isn't quite as quick, but this thing has a wacom digitizer and should be able to run photoshop well enough. Plus it will let me take lecture notes digitally instead of on paper which is a huge plus.

It'd be great to be able to spend the downtime at Uni working in Hammer(source sdk) or painting a texture instead of bumming around not doing much. It'd also allow me to join my housemates when they have group work sessions in the lounge with the TV on. They all have laptops and all I have is my desktop :(

Any of you wise ol' owls think this would be a bad buy?

Replies

  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    It was odd, we had a thread on this before, but it was deleted somehow.

    As far as the slate, an unofficial site posted specs and apparently it only has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. If that's true, it's not enough.
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 7
    Isn't the pressure measured by the pen? Surely I can just use the pen from my Graphire tablet that has at least 512 levels.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    aesir wrote: »
    It was odd, we had a thread on this before, but it was deleted somehow.

    As far as the slate, an unofficial site posted specs and apparently it only has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. If that's true, it's not enough.

    If its only 256 that pretty much kills it for me.
  • EarthQuake
    I've never used the cheaper wacoms with 512, but is there really that huge of a differencce? I mean with 256 levels of pressure, you still have a device that is accurate to less than 0.5%(asuming 0-100& opacity or whatever). Does anyone really need something more accurate than that, or am I missing the point? More than likely, you app is rounding off to the nearest whole number % when you use pressure sensitivity anyway.
  • Xenobond
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    Xenobond polycounter lvl 11
    Err, I don't even see where it mentions if it uses Wacom tech, or not.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    we have almost a whole studio with bamboo's and older/cheaper wacoms (very few intuos), and the art the guys do here is just kickass!
  • Krypteia
    http://ep121.wordpress.com/

    Unofficial blog about the slate - full specs, unboxing, demo vids, etc. Links are on the right.

    The 256 levels of pressure sensitivity is true - and it does use Wacom technology.

    Here's a video of Shogmaster taking the slate for a spin with some drawing action, etc:

    [ame]
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    EarthQuake wrote: »
    I've never used the cheaper wacoms with 512, but is there really that huge of a differencce? I mean with 256 levels of pressure, you still have a device that is accurate to less than 0.5%(asuming 0-100& opacity or whatever). Does anyone really need something more accurate than that, or am I missing the point? More than likely, you app is rounding off to the nearest whole number % when you use pressure sensitivity anyway.

    probably more noticeable with color mixing.

    We need a guinea pig!
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    WANT WANT WANT WANT, oh did I mention I want this?

    I'm putting $100 in savings every month for this.
  • Michael Knubben
    Y_M: it doesn't work that way.

    Nevertheless, 256 levels of pressure would kill it for you guys, really? You're bigger prima donnas than I thought!

    I've personally been hoping for a device like this, and from what I've seen this looks quite lovely.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    MightyPea wrote: »
    Y_M: it doesn't work that way.

    Nevertheless, 256 levels of pressure would kill it for you guys, really? You're bigger prima donnas than I thought!

    I've personally been hoping for a device like this, and from what I've seen this looks quite lovely.


    If 256 is so good, why did Wacom bother with upgrading? Also if 256 is so good, why can you see segmentation if not diffused with greyscales?
  • bounchfx
    lag would kill it for me much more than 256 sensitivity. I'd like to see it running in photoshop with someone painting on a moderately sized canvas
  • poopinmymouth
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    poopinmymouth polycounter lvl 12
    oXYnary wrote: »
    If 256 is so good, why did Wacom bother with upgrading? Also if 256 is so good, why can you see segmentation if not diffused with greyscales?

    I had an older tablet pc with wacom 256 level tech. The lag is what killed it for me, but the pressure levels I didn't even notice. Wacom could easily be increasing the tech for that small 2% improvement and for bullet point reasons to buy a new tablet. I never saw or noticed stair stepping when I was using it. The main problem is if they have fixed the lag issues. If I plugged a real wacom into the tablet USB it was lag-free, but the built in one was too laggy for smooth use.
  • eld
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    eld polycounter lvl 11
    I had an older tablet pc with wacom 256 level tech. The lag is what killed it for me, but the pressure levels I didn't even notice. Wacom could easily be increasing the tech for that small 2% improvement and for bullet point reasons to buy a new tablet. I never saw or noticed stair stepping when I was using it. The main problem is if they have fixed the lag issues. If I plugged a real wacom into the tablet USB it was lag-free, but the built in one was too laggy for smooth use.

    Isn't this an issue with the cintiqs too?
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 12
    I don't notice lag on my cintiq. Maybe I'm just used to it. But it seems very snappy.

    I'm really interested in the Asus MeMo (Android 3.0 with a pressure sensitive stylus).

    http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/37788/asus-eee-memo-hands-on-review
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    eld wrote: »
    Isn't this an issue with the cintiqs too?

    I haven't noticed any lag on my Cintiq, the pressure curves need adjusting though.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    So then it sounds like not to worry about the 256. That being the case. Do we know the "generation" of wacom tech being used? I.E. The lag issue. Im thinking the multitouch makes things even more complicated (like those of us that draw with wrists on surface).

    Also since it uses the built in Intel GPU on the CPU. Do we have any real world results? I assume the built in GPU is slightly better than the Intel HD GPU on chipsets... Slightly. As in Im still thinking this wont be much good other than for Photoshop or Zbrush.

    Cant forget heat.
  • krisCrash
    I upgraded from 256 pressure levels to 1024 (graphire2 -> intuos3) and I didn't notice it. Plus photoshop interpolates the remaining levels, I am positive of that. The pen looks pretty meh compared to the friendly, heavier rubber grip pens.

    Lag might be a really huge issue though, and you may not know unless you try the product :( because it depends on your drawing speed and method... but can the thing run photoshop properly already? If it lives up to the system requirements for PS that might solve any lag. Graphire2 didn't lag for me, being an "old tech" tablet, I don't think the lag is in the tablet itself. If that makes sense?

    Ok, final concern, if it uses Volito's pen type, stay away. I wore out 2 in a year, the pen innards are horrible (I don't mean the nib, it just stopped responding properly) - whereas my Graphire2 pen was fine and could be kept functional with normal care/cleaning. But the graphire series is no more, so who knows what is inside that?
  • Krypteia
    I don't know what "generation" - it's a Wacom EM digitizer.

    I know the tablet has palm rejecting technology that activates when the pen is close to the screen - so you should be able to rest your hand on it and draw. The question of course being how sensitive that is and all that. The idea of being able to draw with one hand and pan the canvas, etc. with the other is a pretty nice one though. :-)

    Apparently you can use any Wacom "penabled" pen with the slate - that might free up some options.

    It does come with a leather folio case - so at least any heat might not be a problem with regards to sitting on your lap, etc.
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 7
    The pen in the video krypteia posted doesn't look like a Volito, look at the rubber end. It looks like any of the old graphire pens.

    I think it may be because she picked up a large watercolour brush but there's some hefty lag in this video
    [ame]

    this guy tries out more of artrage's features and it seems to lag a little for him, not a huge amount more than my graphire does with my desktop (he spends a lot of time doing not much painting)
    [ame]

    Looks like it does have a bit of lag :(

    The fact it does come with the case and a keyboard is a massive 1up from the ipad, haven't seen any videos of it in the case though I wonder if the edges of the screen will be harder to get to when it's in the case.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    Y_M wrote: »
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIEXXLW8SRs

    Looks like it does have a bit of lag :(

    The fact it does come with the case and a keyboard is a massive 1up from the ipad, haven't seen any videos of it in the case though I wonder if the edges of the screen will be harder to get to when it's in the case.


    Hmm it seems to get worse the more he works with it. Which in that case I wonder if that may be ram related? Is that the 4 gig or 2gig version? Remember the GPU also will share the main memory so that could be in effect as well.

    Edit: Also was that with the Turbo mode turned on in the bios? Normally the CPU runs at 1.3, but can "jump up" to 1.8 if needed with turbo boost turned on. The Graphics, normally 166mhz, will jump to 500mhz.
  • bounchfx
    either way, this is great news because more than likely they will have better ones coming eventually :)
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 7
    oXYnary wrote: »
    Hmm it seems to get worse the more he works with it. Which in that case I wonder if that may be ram related? Is that the 4 gig or 2gig version? Remember the GPU also will share the main memory so that could be in effect as well.

    Edit: Also was that with the Turbo mode turned on in the bios? Normally the CPU runs at 1.3, but can "jump up" to 1.8 if needed with turbo boost turned on. The Graphics, normally 166mhz, will jump to 500mhz.

    ahhh technical talk! I am always amazed by how little I understand about computers.

    I didn't know there was a 2gig version, I've only ever seen 4gig of ram. As for the rest of it, beats me.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    bounchfx wrote: »
    either way, this is great news because more than likely they will have better ones coming eventually :)

    only if this one sells well
  • bounchfx
    aesir wrote: »
    only if this one sells well

    I thought this at first... but then I figured that, no, even if this doesnt sell well, the technology is going to keep progressing and we will, without a doubt, wind up with more powerful tablets that still retain the wacom pen support.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    well yea, for sure. We were always going to end up with a thin computer with excellent pen input and power. Just a question of who makes it and how long it takes.
  • D4V1DC
    Thanks for posting this awesome news, I feel It kind of renders cintiq's useless, my opinion. I've only seen in person one cintiq in action and actually used It as well maybe someone will do a comparison video.
    I don't got nothing fancy at the moment but I am still interested in purchasing one with better response times never-the-less.

    I like how Samsung attached their keyboard to the screen:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSqpYhQ4Mx4&feature=channel
    in 1:02 seconds.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir greentooth
    this will be cool for photoshop and stuff, but could it handle zbrush at all?

    the reason i wanted to pick up a cintiq was so that i could sculpt with it, and if i can get an entire pc that i can sculpt with in my lap... well fuck yes.
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 7
    this will be cool for photoshop and stuff, but could it handle zbrush at all?

    pixologic give the 'recommended' specs for zbrush 4 as Win XP SP2 - Win 7, Pentium D or newer with optional multithreading or hyperthreading, 4GB of RAM

    I can never keep up with what processor is better than what, but I'm pretty sure an i5 is better than a pentium D. So looks like it should be able to handle zbrush.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    The newest zbrush and mudbox require top of the line computers. Older versions, especially older versions of mudbox, work very well with low specs (as long as you don't subdivide shitloads)
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
    $!nz wrote: »
    Thanks for posting this awesome news, It feel It kind of renders cintiq's useless, my opinion.

    This is a smaller tablet that's tied to it's hardware, a cintiq would outlive it.
  • Xenobond
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    Xenobond polycounter lvl 11
    I can see in the first video that Windows ink/garbage was being used while she was writing in her diary. I'm pretty sure there is still a conflict between the MS ink software and the wacom services/drivers. This could easily be the cause of the mega lag shown.

    As for the 2nd one, I couldn't really see the ink ripples that appear when you click on the surface. The performance did seem to be a lot better, though.
  • Y_M
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    Y_M polycounter lvl 7
    Cintiq vs eee slate vid:

    [ame]


    But now I face a new problem. They've released in the states but haven't even mentioned a UK release date.

    :( !
  • tacit math
    always personal preference of course but for me so long as the lag remains on these things. indeed the fact there's still a pen > screen > cursor relationship at all. they'll just be wildly expensive novelties
  • bounchfx
    he didn't show sketchbook pro... and why was he using the other pen if supposedly the intuous 3 pen works with the digitizer? :\

    love that this device is out however I think I'll wait for the second or third iteration to be safe.

    so.. one more year

    8-)
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    Tacit : if you have the chance I strongly recommend you try the Cintiq - and if possible, over a two weeks period of time. It truly is a game changer, but it does take a little while getting used to it. (I had to keep a regular Intuos nearby for a while as there was a few things I wasn't confortable performing on the Tique)

    As for tablets like this Eee, they are cool and the pen+touch is a great thing (IF the touch response is good, wich doesn't seem to be the case). For serious PS work one still needs a keyboard tho, or at least some kind of shortcut pad/interface, I think. I personally dont really believe in digital art 'on the go' - even a laptop+tablet at the coffee shop feels cumbersome compared to ... a neat little sketchbook and a ballpoint pen.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    It seemed like there was some lag on that compared to the cintiq. Odd that he didn't mention it.

    Of course I get some too on my intuos. I guess I need to play with it to see if I like it...


    pior: don't you think that a tablet would make it portable though? A laptop and wacom is cumbersome, but this thing fits entirely in your lap.

    I do worry about the lack of keyboard buttons when I'm doing that though. I like my shift and alt and control keys...
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    aesir wrote: »
    It seemed like there was some lag on that compared to the cintiq. Odd that he didn't mention it.

    Of course I get some too on my intuos. I guess I need to play with it to see if I like it...


    pior: don't you think that a tablet would make it portable though? A laptop and wacom is cumbersome, but this thing fits entirely in your lap.

    I do worry about the lack of keyboard buttons when I'm doing that though. I like my shift and alt and control keys...

    They are coming out with a detachable keyboard for it.

    I also question the lag difference as he made no mention but there seemed to be some more with the tablet. ALso would like to see in say Zbrush.

    Edit:

    Here.

    [ame]

    So there is a noticable lag when working with larger brushes.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    Hmm that zoomed in part at the end had noticeable lag too even with the tiny brush. Makes me a bit more unsure. I still might not care though...

    to oxy: yea, I know about the keyboard, but if I was using it portably or in my lap, I'd rather not have a keyboard at all. My favorite part about the idea of a tablet is just the simplicity of it.
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 12
    Saw this on Uncrate and it kinda fit into the same category. I thought some people on here would dig it.

    http://www.noteslate.com/

    Not bad for $100 for what it is. Too bad it doesn't ship till summer.
  • Jeremy Wright
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    In my opinion such reviews/comparaison videos are interesting but also pretty useless. I keep hearing about 'lag' issues on certain devices (Cintiq, tablets...) but most of the time these remarks come from people watching video reviews or from reviewers not being artists themselves - and not from actual users.

    The catch is that no one paints with super fast strokes like that, it's just not a real-life context.

    (The grey Cintiq has no input lag whatsoever. I cannot talk about the recent black model since I never tried it for a long amount of time)

    Regarding the Eee : I'd love to see some real video examples showing a real painting started from scratch, instead of scribbling tests. I mean sure, it seems to handle Photoshop just fine, but isn't Photoshop a real pain in the ass without keyboard shortcuts ? A big Cintiq will always be paired with a keyboard, so, what kind of alternative solution could possible make up for this lack of input device on a slate ?

    Also I'd love to hear about pressure curves behavior. The way the curve behaves is more important than pressure sensitivity.

    BTW I personally gave up on Photoshop on my tabletPC and now only use Sketchbook on it, since it was always designed with limited pen input in mind. I think it would be nice to see an Apple touchpad plugged in the Eee to determine if it could improve document navigation, for instance. Also, a slate tablet should work beautifully with FunkyBar (unfortunately my tabletPC is not powerful enough for that, but in theory it should help ...)

    Can the Eee do multitouch, to zoom and pan using pinching and swiping gestures ?

    Interesting times!!

    Hey Aesir, forgot to get back to you : Yeah I think it is indeed nice and portable, as a matter of fact I sometimes carry my tablet in my backpack to use as a sketchbook at work or on the go. I am just saying that for serious photoshop work, a slate form factor just doesn't work well, and does require the addition of a keyboard - and in that case, a laptop with a small bamboo just seems more appropriate. I guess I am just trying to say that, someone getting an Eee tablet in hope of using Photoshop on it is likely going to be disappointed. I am more curious to hear of other solutions - maybe a new, innovative sketching app coming out relying on pen and touch at the same time, or some smarter UI designs, avoiding the need for browsing and typing a file name to save a painting, for instance.

    Simplicity is indeed a key factor, you are totally right - but unfortunately almost all programs running on Win are designed to be used with a keyboard and a dual button mouse. As a matter of fact, a very interesting task would be to design the ultimate tablet painting app. It would require a very simple UI, easy incremental saving, an easily expanded canvas surface, innovative zooming controls, and so on. Anyone ? hehe
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    Hey everyone, I bought it, and then returned it a week and a half later.


    REVIEW TIME!!!


    It's a lovely piece of machinery. Sleek, and doesn't heat up all that much. Super quiet. Battery lasted around 3:45. The pressure sensitivity, while not as great as my intuos, still served my needs just fine. It's a speedy little computer, and while there was a bit of movement lag, I didn't consider it a problem. It's probably faster than my aging desktop at home.

    The pen that comes with it has no buttons and it fucking sucks trying to do work without buttons, so I bought a 10 dollar replacement that has buttons and works with the tablet. While being the exact same size as the old stylus, this one didn't fit in the spring loaded holder for it. No biggie though.

    When you buy it, it comes with art rage, and it works well enough, but I'm not a fan of that particular program, so I installed paint tool SAI, photoshop, and the demo of autodesk sketchbook. None of them had working pressure sensitivity. I tried updating drivers for both windows tablet/multitouch control as well as from wacom. Various combos. No luck. In some cases things were made worse. I then downloaded the fujitsu tablet drivers on a suggestion from the net. They worked great. Fantastic. All set now (except for paint tool SAI which I never got pressure for, but screw that prog)

    I set up some custom UIs so I could easily work without a keyboard. I got a workflow which, while slightly slower, still worked great for sketching and painting (which is all I bought it for)

    If everything had worked at this point, I would have kept it and been happy. Unfortunately, I got the blue screen of the death repeatedly. It happened once before I even changed drivers, but seemed to happen more frequently afterwords. It seemed to happen really frequently while on battery power. Considering that the touch controls don't work for windows recovery, this forces you to plug in a USB mouse so click through the menus. Kills you if you're not working at home or the office.

    Anyways, it kept happening so much, that I returned it.

    I think the windows 7 tablet/multitouch drivers and software are just too shitty right now to run a tablet computer with proper pressure sensitivity. Maybe it's because wacom is just behind the curve. I don't really know.

    All I can say, is that this piece of hardware is really close, but not just there yet.
  • ScoobyDoofus
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    ScoobyDoofus Polycount Sponsor
    One of our concept guys in my pod at work picked this up and has been playing with it. Its pretty slick! I cant speak to any real issues he's had with it besides an inability to install & run photoshop 5.0. CS5 runs, albeit just a little laggy for my taste. If I had a spare 1,000$ I might pick something like this up.
  • Jeremy-S
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    Jeremy-S polycounter lvl 10
    I got an le1600 from motion computing. It's slow hardware wise, 1.5gb ram, 1.3 ghz single cpu. I got windows 7, Photoshop cs4, and zbrush 4 on it. All of which work just fine.

    The only problems I've had are setting up shorcuts with the buttons on the side, since apparently you can't assign the SHIFT key to a button alone, it's gotta be SHIFT+* to do anything. But I can put SHIFT on the right click on the pen.

    It's got 256 pressure sensitivity, but I use a Bamboo for my work anyway, and it's never bothered me. The lag is minimal as well.

    So far Zbrush 4 runs fine, I've had no slow down, or problems with memory related issues. Someone said you need a really good pc for the current versions of ZB and MB, but this tablet is old, and outdated, and it runs Photoshop and ZB 4 just fine. I wouldn't try MB on it, but that doesn't run right on any pc I've installed it on. WAY too laggy at higher polycounts.

    On this Asus slate, the only things I saw that would be annoying are the lack of any kind of button setup for shortcuts, and with a touchscreed, wouldn't your hand touching it while painting/sculpting mess up whatever you're doing?

    For now I'm cool with my le1600. After that will upgrade to the le1700. After that, guess I'll have to wait and see what happens with the "slate as art tablet" movement
  • BeatKitano
    Tablet pc... most of the time worthless for outdoor work (glossy screens are cooool :x), battery draining in 2-4h hours, heat, and awkward/painful work position with keyboard or not enough button syndrom in tablet mode.

    And I own one, now it's used as a third screen on my desktop machine... As long as we need tons of keys/buttons to be efficient in 3d apps, those things are worthless.
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    Tablet as third screen ? How did you do that ? I heard of server apps doing that, but it all seemed a bit convoluted...
  • Bigjohn
    I also wonder, they do have Sketchbook Pro for the iPad. But is there any kind of pressure sensitivity pen for the iPad? It seems like a no-brainer that these new tablets will have that.

    What about the new Android3 tablets? Anyone have any input on those?
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 12
    None are slated to have pressure sensitivity. Only a few of us need it. Android 3 is ann improvement, but i0s still better.

    Ipad 2 has biggest gpu.
  • Rwolf
    Also picked one up, so far so good. Although it BSOD when stupid office 2010 bundled w/ it requested updates... (took a good day to setup everything)

    Took me awhile to find the fujitsu drivers to make the pressure sensitive work on all programs I used.

    Battery is crap, but enough to get 1-3 good sketch sessions in.

    Sucks to hear about the BSOD's Aesir. Hopefully mine won't crap out like that. But that first BSOD I mentioned has me worried a lil.
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