Tablet PCs for ID

Does anyone have any experience with designing on a Tablet PC? I’m a full-time freelancer and I’m looking for a solution so I’m be able to sketch & send out concepts (via WiFi) from anywhere (wired coffehouses, parks, etc.).

I’m looking to go Slate config rather than Convertible so I can have a bluetooth keyboard for hitting hot-keys & adding text in Photoshop, etc. without wrangling with the screen to access keys.

I’m on the verge of buying a Motion M1400 but thought I’d put out the feelers to see if there are any better options.

Any advice or recommendations on different tablets?

No, I was interested also when the slates hit the market. After researching, I decided I couldn’t live with the poor battery performance, but I’m sure that’s changed for the better.

Also, not all tablets use the pressure-sensitive WACOM digitizers, so be sure to look for that.

The one you’re looking at has PC Mag’s editors choice, so I’d say that’s a good bet.

Alias was showing off Sketchbook Pro at the IDSA national conference on a slate, but I don’t recall which one.

i read something about a mismatch between pen and screen. not sure what that means. might be time lag. or physical offset.

does Alias recommend a slate? maybe on their site? seems they might. worth checking out.

Acer Travelmate 300

1.6 or 1.7 processor
1 gig of Ram

60-80 Gig Hard Drive

Pressure sensative screen.

We run three of them at my office. Works great with Sketchbook Pro. 3-4 of us do not use paper anymore. We do concept sketches and full renderings on it.

It also does a good job running SolidWorks for us.
It is also blue tooth.

[quote=“optimistic”]Thanks for the head’s up!

I recently downloaded Sketchbook Pro and - no offense - I hated it. Sure, it’s a lot cheaper than Photoshop, but it can’t compare as being a full-service visualization tool. I found Sketchbook so limiting that I would never consider making a purchase - no matter how much $$$. The total disregard of the “right click” makes it unusable to Windows owners - it must have been designed by people using Macs (again, no offense).

It’s literally like losing the opposable thumb we’ve evolved so hard for…[/quote]

SB Pro is not a PS copy, and it is not intended to be. It is very similar to drawing on paper, with the addition of layers. If you are worried about a right click, then you are not using it correctly. It is designed to by used on a tablet, not with a mouse. If you are using a mouse, stay with PS. SB Pro is for people that can draw and are comfy with hand sketching and illustration.

True, true. As I mentioned, I still don’t have a tablet yet, so your points are well taken.

What I was looking more for out of SB were some of the features I use when adding color to hand sketches in PS, like different layer modes. I use things like Multiply, Overlay, Vivid Light, etc. all of the time and would miss them in SB. Plus things like adding text, Scanning in thumbnails to sketch over (which I do all of the time) aren’t in SB… but I guess I’m comparing apples to oranges…

Anyway, I guess this is a discussion for another thread…

you might consider a future release of SBPro.

Can SB Pro trace to vector? I can imagine doing some quick sketches and the translating that to lines for import into a 3D modeler.

Lately, I find that sketching a number of versions and then modeling in Rhino takes more time than just starting in 3D and making the same number of changes along the way.


Bill Buxton was the man behind much of the pen-based innovation that went into th Sketchbook Pro UI. As mentioned, it’s not very good with a mouse, but that’s a good thing–too many applications compromise.

ykh–the disconnect you refer to has to do with the “parallax” gap between the top glass surface and the actual screen.

@purplepeopledesign - cant really discuss. but i’m pushing for a better path between 2D and 3D modeling.

@cg - parallax i understand. not sure but think some complaints were on time lag. can understand that too. big brushes and fast sketching dont always work. some tablets might have memory issues causing action-reaction mismatch.