Great review KenoLeon!
I have a previous version of that (the X60T) which works really well for day to day sketches.
Now for a few updates:
I went to the BETT show last week, which was exceptionally useful for seeking out and trying sketching gear. Here is what I found out:
In addition to the 230 (which KenoLeon just reviewed) and the Thinkpad 2, Lenovo are bringing out another tablet with a wacom penabled stylus. The Helix tablet runs full windows 8 pro with a core i7 processor (I think). I managed to get my hands on it and have a go. First thoughts: Although the tablet looks great, the keyboard joining mechanism is MASSIVELY
over engineered. There are prongs all over the place, catches and flaps that fold onto the back. It felt light enough in my hands, but I would be immediately worried that these would snap or break in regular use.
The keypad section though does have some use - unlike a lot of other keypad add ons, it includes an extra battery (the bloke on the stand said it brought it up to 18 hours battery life - not sure how accurate that it) and additional ports.
Unlike most of the computers on the stands, the Helix had sketchbook installed on the demo unit. This is where I found the problem. Although the stylus is small, it is still quite comfortable to use, but the accuracy was way off
. Similar to the review of the thinkpad 2, the digitiser was about 2-3mm out when sketching, and despite going to the very depths of the settings of the device, I couldn't change or recalibrate it. This for me is a deal breaker - I am looking for the tablet for purely sketching, and this coupled with the clunky mechanism and hinge rule it out.
Typically, the MS stand didn't have any Surface Pros to show, but they did have some info on it. The stylus definitely is wacom, and is pressure sensitive. If the price point is low enough, this could be really good. The reviews http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/02/microsoft-surface-pro/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=Netvibes
of the pro came out today, and the stylus actually looks pretty neat - much bigger than the likes of the lenovo or the samsung.
We have talked before about the ATIV Smart PC - I managed to have a real play around with the Pro version. This for me looks like the best choice out there. There is a noticeable weight difference between it and the standard Smart PC, but it still feels light enough to hold and sketch on comfortably. The stylus (S Pen) is again made by wacom (and seems to be getting a lot of support, hence samsung buying big shares in wacom last week), and is contained really nicely in the back of the tablet. If the stylus does seem to be a bug bare in terms of size, I took out my lenovo stylus from my x60t (which is quite a bulky pen) and it worked perfectly on it - a good solution if you want a different feel when you sketch.
The machine was fast
. The pro version has full windows and a core i5 processor, which makes it easily capable of running SBP and even CAD with some efficiency. I may see if I can trial one for a few weeks, or even just buy one outright. At £900 it is also one of the cheapest options out there.
Help all that helps!