Looking for the best laptop tablet for ID & sketching...

Well, I’m about to finish up a year’s service through Americorp, and I’m getting an educational grant for a pretty decent amount. I decided I wanted to get myself a tablet laptop, so I was hoping if I could get some recommendations as to which I should purchase. I’m going to be using it primarily for sketching and things like that, and not too much for anything else. What do you guys use and what would you use if you could get one?

Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided.

what kind of sketching are you doing, what kind of apps? Photoshop is more intensive than, OneNote for example.
How concerned are you with colour reproduction etc?
Why tablet over cineteq?
I currently have a HP TM2 which is relatively cheap laptop but does everything I need it for. Has a Sperate GFX (with swithcing to intergrated) and a 1.3GHZ dual core processor which seems fast enough for everything so far. Means it can do 6 hours of work in one go which is more than enough for me. Size is nice at 11 inch diagonal but 1300x700 (or so) screen is too low resolution and I feel restricted, also viewing angles could be better. Is not flat at bottom but i find that handy as angles careen nicely in landscape and easier to rest feet in portrait. It uses a new WACOM capacitve touchscreen + pen tech. I find touch screen while sketching to be annoying but it can be useful. It only has 256 levels which I find a problem at times.
The high roller option everyone recommends if you have the money is x200 but personally as a long time tablet PC user i would rather have a tablet that can get battered and a proper computer somewhere else plus I will trade just about everything for smallness and battery life
There maybe some good slates (rather than convertible tablets) around which will suit your needs. Personally i would go for battery life and a good screen over power. Fujistu make some good slates that I think you may want to look at. You will also need to get a WACOM interface as those seem to be much better and can use standard comfortable WACOM pens.
Have had the following tablets
OQO Model 1 - battery life is not good enough for a long term sketch. Screen is just too small for a useful sketch up. The model 2s could have been near perfect for you requirements.
Toshiba M400 - Resolution was 1400x1050 which was a very large upgrade. However battery life of 3 hours never seemed good enough, always worrying after 2 hours if it will make it.

has anyone tried the Mac based tablet?

^ whoa, a modded macbook pro, huh? something tells me that a modded apple anything won’t be the easiest thing to maintain or the most guaranteed to perform. it’s interesting but i don’t think i have the money or technical skills to have a modded apple product.

as for specifics as to what i would use it for, good question. while i’m no slouch when it comes to computers, as i said, i’m not really all that tech-savvy either. here are the qualities i know i need in it…

  • needs to run sketchbook pro/photoshop and illustrator at the same time without any lag (processing power?)
  • i would like it to run fast in general, with no 5-minutes waits to boot up a program
  • i would like it to have a decent to great display, because let’s face it, if you’re working with colors/shades and tones, if you can’t discern them, then it will affect your work
  • things like internet access speed. dvd player, minesweeper and the like, aren’t a concern since i already have a netbook for those things so i guess i’m looking for performance and capability to run the programs and not a lot of the fluff
  • battery life would be a plus, although i can’t see myself whipping it out while i’m on the BART or anything like that…unless i’m trying to get mugged

i have a desktop at home with a wacom, and basically, i would like to be able to travel and be able to do some digital sketching as well. i considered a cintiq, but i really don’t know anything about it. does it have to be connected to a PC? how does it work? how do i upload a program like PS or sketchbook pro onto it? i mean, if it can function without a PC, then it’s something i will consider, but if it needs to be hooked up to a PC in order to even work, then it defeats the purpose i am looking for it to serve.

thanks again for all the help, core77 members.

I’d still use an old Toshiba Tecra M4 or M7

last fall I bought a 12" IBM x60 tablet for $500 on Ebay… it’s a duo, 2gb ram, integrated graphics, and uses a Wacom digitizer. I have to say, I’ve been very happy with it and carry it with me all the time when I commute on the train - the size is perfect for me. Recently I’ve seen other more recent models on Ebay for even cheaper

I’d say Duo processor, Wacom digitzer, 2Gb ram, Windows 7 should be your minimum setup… you want it to be peppy, strong enough to work with decent resolution images, and using Win7 has lots of handy tablet features. Extra perks you might want to look into would be better graphic cards, bigger screen, big hard drive, and faster processor

i’m looking at a customized HP TM2 [url] HP® Computer and Laptop Store | HP.com] . after leaving certain things out and including as much RAM and memory as was possible, it’s coming out to something around $2100. i hate throwing money around and i feel ridiculous mentioning that amount in such a nonchalant way (especially since i’m not even a professional designer yet), but honestly, i know how fast a computer can become obsolete, and i’m just trying to make it so it’s a purchase that, if i use strictly for design purposes, will last me more than a few years.

i’m a struggling graduate who’s been looking for an ‘in’ ever since 2006, and being that americorp has given me a relatively generous grant for my time volunteering, i just want to put it towards my career and goal. i apologize if it seems i’m flaunting or bragging…i just don’t want to blow what i’ve been given without doing any research, and you folks on core77 forums are the most knowledgeable contributors i could think of.

$500 or better, huh? geez, i’m glad i posted here, otherwise i feel i would have got taken with my newbie status.

The url to the HP TM2 doesn’t work.

To be honest, if it’s only for “on the go illustrations” and you have a real workstation at home, I think travisimos advice is very sound.
Have a look into that, and see if you can find something with preferebly 4gb ram, or atleast upgradeable to it. Ram upgrades are Very cost effective if you can do it by yourself, and makes a world of difference.

I don’t think you should have to do a bankjob to get what you are looking for.

btw, that modbook pro hasn’t been released yet, the one for sale is a regular macbook with the mod.

this is a UK link, but you can get the idea

I like it, but when I bought it I looked back on the old threads and there’s many other good options… Originally I almost bought a Compaq with the better graphics card that people were recommending. Some people also don’t like the IBM look, but its OK with me. There are some newer ones too, the X201 i7 processors or larger x41 that look pretty sweet …

i think i’m leaning towards your suggestion, travisimo. you and bngi bring up a great point…if it’s just for on-the-go digital sketching, then i shouldn’t have to break the bank. any suggestions on specs i should look for to get the best performance?

I’d probably recommend what I said before… Duo processor, Wacom digitzer, 2Gb ram, Windows 7 should be your minimum setup… you want it to be peppy, strong enough to work with decent resolution images, and using Win7 has lots of handy tablet features. Extra perks you might want to look into would be better graphic cards, bigger screen, big hard drive, and faster processor

If you can get a hold of a 12 in laptop, you might want to try it to make sure it’s big enough for you… it is a little on the smaller size. You might want to check the old threads too - this question gets asked a lot. And be careful buying on Ebay if you go that route - never been ripped off myself, but I know it happens

Edit - just to add, there is one limitation on the Thinkpad that I have found. The integrated graphics have trouble with the “mirror” and “elipse” templates in SBPro… it bogs down too much and I think it’s the lack of real graphics cards. If you’re ok drawing without software tools, you’ll be fine though