Can a Tablet PC really replace a proper Wacom board?

Browsing this forum lightly I saw a post about how the Cintiq has 1024 levels of pressure, and a Tablet PC of a certain brand had 512…

I had no idea that Tablet PCs even had pressure levels! Do they have tilt sensitivity as well?

However, I’m of the opinion that nothing comes close to Wacom products when it comes to build quality, input quality and pen quality, so I strongly doubt that a Tablet PC can compete.

Has anyone here, with a similar opinion as me, been convinced to switch to one, and then been happy with the result?

(My main sketching application, though, is OpenCanvas, which I believe the developers claim only support Wacom anyway…)

PS. Do the Tablet PC pens have batteries, btw?

I just received my tablet pc yesterday and would like to offer my opinions so far. First, I now have used the following Wacom products: graphire, intuos3, cintiq, a wacom penabled tablet pc. I feel the cintiq was the best (for $2500, it better be!) but, its not portable. The intuous was way better than the graphire as far as the feel of sketching is concerned, but the graphire tablet was tolerable. The tablet pc doesn’t seem to have 512 levels of sensitivity, but I could be wrong. But, I get to sketch on the screen and that kind of makes up for it. It feels more “real” to sketch right on a surface with your linework under your pen/stylus. I hear that there are high performance drivers that can make the experience even better, so I am going to look for those. As far as tilt on the tablet, nope, nada, zilch. So far I like the tablet pc experience, but it does have its disadvantages against a tablet. but to be able to carry everything in one package that I can watch movies on, play games (Counter Strike Source anyone?) and sketch on it seems to be worth it. I hope that helps.

I had no idea that Tablet PCs even had pressure levels! Do they have tilt sensitivity as well?

-No pen tilt, but since I use Alias Sketchbook exclusively on my tablet that doesn’t effect me.

However, I’m of the opinion that nothing comes close to Wacom products when it comes to build quality, input quality and pen quality, so I strongly doubt that a Tablet PC can compete.

-Tablet PC’s that are Wacom penabled are using the same technology as the Graphires. So build quality can still be iffy (my 14" Toshiba is less than stellar, but thats because of weight tradeoffs)

Has anyone here, with a similar opinion as me, been convinced to switch to one, and then been happy with the result?

-I bought my tablet PC as a student and was very happy with it. It was much nicer being able to do sketches in Sketchbook Pro while I was on a plane, in an airport, in class, etc. The full time portability of the Tablet PC is it’s appeal. If I was planning on working at a desk full time I would’ve bought a Cintiq. I currently use the 21UX full time at work and haven’t gone back to my tablet PC in quite some time since I haven’t been travelling.

PS. Do the Tablet PC pens have batteries, btw?

-If your pen has a battery it’s not a Wacom product. Wacom products work through electromagnetic resonance, so there is no battery.

Nope, tablets don’t have tilt sens at all.

It’s weird, I think Wacom definitely have an opportunity to break into the portable computing market, and almost felt they were going to when they released the 12in. Even if they did something a little more ‘Motion Computing’ style (weakish but able to handle photoshop/sketchbook etc) but I suppose they must just make more money licencing out to Asus/Gateway etc.

I do agree with the build quality though, it is pretty good. I think my Intuos3 may be one of the nicest products I own actually.

The main reason I didn’t go Tablet PC was due to quality scepticism (Skinny raves about his, but his one is disc). Asus ones have been terrible build quality mixed with horrendous customer service but they’ve been the only ones I’ve seen with decent specs,i.e. capable of also doing vray renderings etc.

If you go to the Wacom website, they list the manufacturers they sell their technology to. Most of the tablet PC makers use Wacom technology. My Gateway has Wacom in it.

100% digital on my Gateway.

Shot at 2008-02-27

Shot at 2008-01-20

Aha, so Wacom does indeed license their technology to TabletPC manufacturers. I thought the Modbook was a one-off, but apparently not!

Thank you for your answers.

Now to investigate which the highest quality built TabletPC is…

Blaster, which model Gateway do you have? I just bought the C-141XL and it’s great. It has the best graphics card for a tablet pc and its only about $1400 for a 14 inch screen. Gateway FTW!

Have a look at…

http://www.wacom-components.com/english/partner/index.html

Contains all the tablet PCs containing Wacom Digitizers.

fatkid,

The gateway I have was around $1800. I opted for more ram to run Solidworks.

Jeff

Check out my coroflot site for more Sketchbook Pro work.

My Gateway C-141XL has a Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz processor, 3 gigs of RAM, and a 250 GIG HD. It also came with a discrete graphics card instead of the onboard video. It retails for only $1350, but they often have deals, especially if you call a salesperson at the end of the month. :smiley:

update

I installed the latest Vista drivers from the European Wacom site (US one doesn’t have it, go figure) and I now have complete control over the sensitivity of my stylus. It seems to be just like the Graphire tablet now. It was sweet to kick back on my couch and sketch on screen. I don’t know if I can go back to a regular tablet.

Thanks for the info Blaster. I love your stuff, nice and clean.

fatkid,

You got a nice deal!
Where can I get the wacom drivers?

Jeff

Blaster,

http://www.wacom-europe.com/int/downloads/driver/driver.asp?lang=en

You want to use the one very first on the list, as it is the latest release.

For some reason, they aren’t on the US Wacom site. I installed them and they seem to work great. I am using Vista (ugh, it came with the machine) and it keeps wanting to install a mouse, but I told it to ignore that. Everything else is grand. Just like any drivers, use at your own risk. If you crap up your machine, its not my fault (thats my disclaimer to all of those who may want to blame others for their own shortcomings) :smiley: