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pitchblack70

Can The Surface Or The Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad Be Used As A Replacement Cintiq?

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pitchblack70

Hi all -

 

Thanks for having this forum available!  I'm currently in the market for a graphics workstation (to run PS, Maya and Zbrush), and a Windows tablet for mobile use.  From what I've seen so far, a Lenovo desktop looks like a strong contender... and the Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad Pro or Surface Pro would be terrific for my other needs.  My problem: limited budget.  After all, Cintiqs run $1K minimum.  So paying another $1K for the tablet would be problematic...

 

Question is: can the Yoga Thinkpad or Surface Pro be hooked up to the workstation to be used as a replacement Cintiq when I'm at home?  Because if I can put it to dual use, that would be great....  I've actually emailed Lenovo, and they couldn't answer the question on their end.

 

Thanks in advance for any info. :D

 

--Janet (Pitch)

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SurfaceProArtist

Hi Janet. Glad you found us. Unfortunately, neither the Yoga nor the Surface Pro can be used this way. It is possible to use either with an external monitor, so you can start a project on the tablet and then continue working on it in desktop mode if you need a larger display.

 

I also use my Surface Pro with a Yiynova MVP22U at home so I can draw on the larger display and pan and zoom on the Surface Pro.

 

Based on your budget, a first generation Surface Pro (well under $1K) may be the way to go. Due to its larger storage and faster processor, the Thinkpad Yoga is the better choice for 3d.

 

Check out my blog, www.surfaceproartist.com, where I try to answer all of these types of questions.

 

Good luck!

Edited by surfaceproartist

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pitchblack70

Hey - thanks!  I'm reading through surfaceproartist.com, and finding info on models, etc that I didn't even know existed (for instance, I wasn't aware that there were legitimate tablet companies other than Wacom.)

 

Would a Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad (or the Surface Pro in a pinch) be able to work as my primary machine, at least at first?  Other than Zbrush, I'm looking to run PS, Maya, possibly Toonboom and maybe Corel draw.  (From what I've read so far, Mudbox doesn't work?)

 

Thx and cheers,

 

--Janet

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SurfaceProArtist

You're right about Mudbox. There are a few workarounds, but they're buggy on both machines, which use the same Intel graphics.

 

Everything else on your list runs very well on either the Surface Pro or Thinkpad Yoga. The couple of extra inches of screen room on the TPY makes a big difference with crowded interfaces.

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pitchblack70

Hey - thx again.  And sorry to monopolize everyone's time on this.  But a few more questions.  (If you don't mind!)  :)

 

  • I've seen on another site individuals who recommended the Lenovo X230T or the Fujitsu T901.  Are either of these (or other tablets) preferable, equivalent or less desirable than the TPY or MSP?
  • Any minimum RAM and HD storage space that you recommend? (I've checked out the software websites - just wanted to get the opinion of people actually 'in the field'
  • Re: setup...  Let me see if I understand.  I could purchase, say, a MSP or TPY, then buy a large screen monitor to plug into it for home use?  And technically, that's all I'd need for hardware?  (If so, that's great for the budget!!

 

Thanks in advance for all the help.  I'm really glad this site is here...

 

Cheers,

 

--J (Pitch)

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SurfaceProArtist

There are a couple of guys over at the TabletPCReview forums who are always flogging the Lenovo x230t along with several Fujitsu models. I've never used either but from what I can tell the Lenovo has been discontinued. Spec wise it's very similar to the Thinkpad Yoga, which is excellent but pricey ($1739).

 

The Fujitsus are ruggedized devices that are marketed toward specialized business users and are premium priced (+$2000).

 

The Surface Pro 1 with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage would be the minimum I would recommend. Mine ran everything I threw at it, although storage became tight because I've installed every graphics application I could find. The 8/256 configuration of the Surface Pro 2 is definitely preferable but it's really a matter of budget.

 

The ideal home art office/traveling setup would include a type cover, a docking station, a replacement stylus (the standard pen is ok, but not great), a wireless mouse and a pen display such as a 19- or 22-inch Yiynova. In the photo below, I have a bluetooth keyboard instead of the type cover.

 

photo.JPG?format=1000w

Edited by surfaceproartist

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pitchblack70

Thx!  BTW - still making the decision (taking my time to ensure that it's the right one.)  The latest option: Sony Vaio Flip 15.  Although I've yet to get a straight answer from SONY or the web as to whether the stylus is truly artist-friendly...

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SurfaceProArtist

I've got and have reviewed the Sony Flip 15A. It's great for Manga Studio, but you'll miss the additional pressure levels in most software. The N-Trig digitizer is only capable of 256 levels of pressure vs. 1024 on the Surface Pro and 2048 on the Cintiq. Older software that requires WinTab drivers may not recognize any pressure from the N-Trig pen.

 

The Flip is a little heavy, can run pretty loudly and has had other build issues. But if you're looking for a full laptop with graphics capabilities, it's a very nice option. http://surfaceproartist.com/blog/2013/11/12/sony-vaio-flip-15a-its-hard-not-to-like-this-size-screen

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pitchblack70

Wow - this is looking very nice... thanks!  Assuming the new drivers work well with Zbrush, I think this will be my choice.  (The bigger screen makes a difference for me in comparison to the Surface...  And Lenovo's customer service has me somewhat scared.)

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SurfaceProArtist

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to verify pressure sensitivity with ZBrush and the Flip's Wintab drivers. There's a new version that includes a 64-bit version that is supposed to be released soon. I'll try to remember to update this post when I can test it.

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