IF YOU HAD A CHOICE: tablet pc or cintiq???

wireless keyboard, slate tablet that sounds like a hot setup koosh! how well does it deal with processor/graphics hungry programs?

sketchbook is cool because it is really easy to pick up, no learning curve, painter is sketchbook on steriods…

bluesky, since you have both, what would you say are the cintiqs main advantages?

The only bad thing (and this could be a painter problem) is that painter will occasionally quit without warning. It’s taught me to save often. But I generally work on an 8.5 X 11 canvas at 150 dpi, so my machine never really bogs down.

Occasionally I have tried to render something huge in PS, and I have to wait for the computer to ‘catch up’ after each stroke. (like 11X17" at 300 DPI)
If you do a lot of stuff like this (and aren’t very patient), probably the cintiq with a screamin fast computer would serve you better :wink:

Yep, I use my Toshiba m200 as my main computer. I use it for everything from sketching to 3D modeling. The cause of the color inaccuracy is the viewing angeles. They are very narrow, so the colors shift a lot as you move your head/eyes in front of the screen. Apparently Motion has much better viewing angles, but I’ve never seen one in person.

So, if you do go the Tablet route, you need to have a desktop LCD ( I have a 21" Dell) to double-check the colors on (& you need the size for 3D modeling). I’d recommend getting a port replicator (I do) so you can just snap the tablet in and instantly have a connection to your LCD, backup hard drives, etc.

Personally, I love the size of the tablet for drawing. I always sketched on 8.5x11 before, so it was an easy switch for me. I do love the fact that I don’t burn through 1-2 reams of paper a week like I used to.

If I wasn’t an independent designer & did all of my work at one desk, I’d probably go with the Cintiq myself (although I’ve never used one). Personally, I enjoy the freedom of the tablet & like the size.

There are definitely some drawbacks to Tablet PCs that will be ironed out after another gen or 2 of products… they’re already starting to get there.

Oh, and I use SBP for all sketching, too. But, I do use it in tadem with Photoshop quite a bit, especiallty fotr renderings.

The cause of the color inaccuracy is the viewing angeles. They are very narrow, so the colors shift a lot as you move your head/eyes in front of the screen.

that does not sound too good. man it is a tough choice…the portability is such an attractive feature and the cintiq is just sexy at 21" and with all the dodads. right now i am of the mindset of doing everything i can to get both, despite being a broke student with no real job prospects…at least i would have some fun toys to play with…

thanks for your opinions guys

After more and more thought, I think I’d have to switch my preference to the tablet pc. I’m understanding the portability benefit a lot these days. Can you connect it so you can have a dual monitor deal where you can draw on the tablet and use a bigger external monitor for color proofs at the same time?

I’ve seen in some of the photo manipulation forums that dual monitor with a Wacom are a bit problematic. I’m guessing that a tablet pc with a second monitor would give similar issues.

The thing I want to know is what people think of the cheaper alternatives like the Aiptek tablets, Navinote notpad digitizer or the EZ-Canvas monitor digitizer. Anybody using one of those?


i am sure there are some work around for dual monitor setups for the cintiq and the tablet pcs…

well they are cheaper for a reason…honestly it is not that those other brands are all that bad (actually most of them from what i have read are really bad) it is just that wacoms are that good, you will not have as many problems with getting/finding/updating drivers. for now there just is no one doing it as good as wacom…

oh, i have never heard og the navinote or e-z canvas and the navinote digitiziers, cool ideas but i really do not see them being all that useful…

I’m a senior designer at a well known ID consultancy in NYC. I’ve had the 21" cintiq at work for about 4 months now and I can say that everythng short of 3d data goes much faster on the cintiq. I would estimate that sketching and rendering takes 1/3 to 1/2 the time of paper and scanning. I pretty much don’t use paper anymore except for brainstorming with other people on my team. Sketchbook Pro is my preference over Painter. The physical rotation of the cintiq has a lot to do with that though. Another guy in my office who uses a “blind” Wacom prefers Painter because you can virtually rotate the page. I also love the pen flick UI in Sketchbook Pro. I run it off a Dell laptop configured for heavy CAD use. Alias Solidworks run very smooth. I have yet to experince a time when I really needed to do a “send out” sketch on the road. Usually a black sketchbook is enough to record the idea for later. The tablet pcs are nice conversation starters and the sketch area is reasonable, but they are limiting in terms of cad usage.

my 2 cents

In the end the Wacoms are manufactured in China… which begs the question of which factory is the actual OEM. I’m sure Wacom goes to great length to keep the OEM top secret. If the mfg that makes the Wacoms also makes the Aipteks or Adessos, then the underlying technology will be the same.

It’s like buying a Viewsonic monitor… many designers seem to swear by them, yet they do not have any better technology than the CRT factory in China that supplies NEC or Sony. Once again it comes to brand identity, which we all know is often manufactured.

The Navinote is similar to an e-Beam but on a smaller scale. It occurs to me that if it can be “calibrated” to a monitor, then it would be possible to add one to a large 30" LCD or an Alienware notebook, creating a less expensive and more powerful alternative to a Cintiq or tablet PC.

Looks like I might have to take a chance on one.

Wacom actually doesn’t own the patent on the cintiq technology, they license it from the original inventor. I think apple just bought the license as well, I wonder why…

awwww $#!+ a G5 tablet powerbook would just be too hot

errr- if you look at the back of your Wacom- it says Made in Japan. Wacom is a Japanese company as well.

tangent information- on with the discussion

Wacom…don’t have one but considering it, hence the question re: comparisons. As much as I believe in design… brand is only part of the equation.

Made in Japan, eh? That could explain the cost.

Any way… I googled around and the technology is based on variable capacitance through an inductive circuit. IOW, something similar to RFID but with a much lower range and and higher resolution. I wouldn’t doubt that a few small changes to the circuitry, firmware or sensor grid would be enough to give a similar effect without infringing any patents, an easy thing for any electronics company, like Legend.

The reason I question Wacom at all is because other technologies abound, like the active ultrasonics used by Mimio. Or the stuff developed at MIT, including scanning laser rangefinding and so-called tap tracking.


im jsut going to say that i have owned my wacom for about 3 days now and i cant stop using it. I have only been sketching and rendering into photoshop and this thing is amazing. It was difficult for the first hour getting used to the actual drawing on a tablet but wow…

All i can say is that it has exceeded my expectations so far. I have talked around some and decided wacom was the only way to go, i want this thing forever anyways. I disconnected my mouse and only use the pen now for everything, love it love it love it.

i picked up a tablet pc yesterday…the deal was too good to pass up (R15 toshiba $999 at circuit city), though not at all a desktop replacement but definitely is better than what I was using previously, only been using it a couple hours now but it is just about the coolest thing in the world thought the lack of tilt & maximum level of sensitivity would toe an issue, it is not even all that noticeable…who needs a cintiq!!!

My Wacom says made in Taiwan. Maybe the cintiqs are made in japan.
I have a question to the tablet users. From all the pix I’ve seen, it looks like they all will cover the keyboard when flat so you have no access to any key commands?!?!
That would suck. Do they have programmable buttons that you could assign commands to, looks like some of them have extra buttons on the bezel.

true they do cover they keyboard, but i plan to set a wireless setup to alleviate that problemrot sure if the buttons are programmable yet…

after using it a for awhile, i freaking LOVE this thing I am reconsidering this one for the more powerful options. the cintig now seems like it might be overkill

Wow Junglebrodda!! $999 is a great deal! I saw you posted some sketches up too. Looks like your tablet skills are great already! Glad it all worked out for you.

Don’t know how good some are, but if you look on toshibas site, they start at $850.

Dang that is cheap, maybe I should pick one up for personal use at home, just for sketching, I mean its cheaper than a cintiq and portable, just have to recognize it will be separate from the desk system. Hmmmm, it is a tax write off!