Quick version: I need a new computer, and it’d be great if I could easily sketch on it, which would point to the Asus Eee Slate or other tablet, but it would be my only home computer, which would point to a convertible laptop (tablet PC). Which form factor would be best for both? And which model? Or should I go cheap and just get a laptop with a Wacom?
Background: I was about to buy a Wacom tablet (possibly just a Bamboo) for my aging laptop, though maybe considering an iPad or other tablet, then the laptop died a noisy death. So now that I have to buy the whole shebang I’m reconsidering what to buy. I don’t do any design work at home now, so my requirements for a home computer aren’t all that steep, but I’d like to be able to sketch for fun/practice very well on it and be able to edit my portfolio (probably the most demanding thing I’d do these days). And if somehow I do end up doing design work on it I’d at least like it to not be pathetic. So my basic requirements are:
- A full OS (likely Win7) since it will be my only computer
- Pressure sensitive touch input
- Enough RAM and processor speed to handle portfolio editing
- Not so pathetic that it couldn’t be used for mild design work in a couple years (including light CAD)
- A 12+ inch screen
So I’m trying to determine if I should get A) a regular notebook plus a Wacom Bamboo or Intuos B) a Win7 tablet with some decent muscle, or C) a tablet PC (Convertable Notebook/Tablet with the rotating screen, damn overuse of “tablet” makes things confusing), all of course limited to those with pressure sensitivity (though I’ve seen decent results from just an iPad 2 in the doodling thread, if I’m going to make this sort of investment I’d like to go all the way). Then of course I have to figure out which model from these categories. My thoughts so far:
A) A regular notebook plus a Wacom Bamboo or Intuos
This is the least enticing option for me, and would probably only go with it if the combined price was amazing. I know I could get more bang for the buck on the internals, and this is the least mysterious of the options (I’ve used an Intuos with a laptop), but the big drawback for me is I can’t see myself sitting on the couch or in bed sketching with it (or editing photos or whatever). And that seems like a big benefit of the other options.
B) A Win7 tablet with some decent muscle
I wasn’t thinking of this originally, but this discussion and other mentions got me thinking it could be a good option. Right now the only model that I’ve found to fit the bill is the Asus Eee Slate Ep121 (the one from the discussion, also here); if anyone knows any others I’d be interested.
I’m a little concerned that the stand setup for using the keyboard is a little unstable, but I guess if I need to do a lot of typing I’ll be at a desk/table anyway. Then I again I’m currently sitting on the couch typing this on a laptop. I guess I’m still a little unsure about going nearly all tablet for my home computing (looking down so much seems weird/bad), but feel free to sell me on it.
The attractive part to me is that it seems like it could be even a little more portable than the convertible tablet PCs, and a little easier to hold and to casually have on the coach, etc. But I don’t know if the Eee Slate is really slim and light enough to feel more like a sketch pad than a hot and heavy computer. It also has a tiny HD, but it’s fast since it’s solid state and I already have an external HD which can probably supplement it well enough. And no internal CD Drive, but I guess that may not be a big deal. Fwiw it also has a geeky coolness factor that I’m doing my best (unsuccessfully) to not be affected by, besides having great reviews.
C) A tablet PC (Convertable Notebook/Tablet with the rotating screen)
This is what I was originally thinking. I can probably get a more powerful computer with this option, and the keyboard use is certainly better. I also might be able to upgrade it in the future. I thought I’d be able to get better graphics as well, but it seems almost everything I look at just has Intel HD Graphics 3000. A real downside for me is the price, since they all seem to be around $1500 to $2000, while the Asus Eee Slate is only $1200. But assuming I could get a decent Convertable Tablet PC for that price, the big question for me is whether it’d really be convenient enough for me to pick up and sketch occasionally on the couch etc.
It can sometimes be a pain finding first, convertible tablets (they never have their own section), and second, ones with touch sensitivity (not really an option to select by, and how did “active digitizer” become the proper term for it?), but some options I’m looking at right now are:
Any recomendations on or additions to the above list?
Still, the biggest question is what form factor would be best for a combination 1) Sketching, 2) Graphics & Portfolio work 3) various internet browsing, everyday computer things, and 4) typing intesive work. Any help figuring this out would be appreciated.