Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

Wacom Full Circle... Well, Sort Of


Recommended Posts

This is an advice posting, but I'll try to make the journey to the question a little diverting.


I'm a casual scribbler. I love drawing; love comic books, but I've never derived an income, it's always just something I've done to have fun.


I spend most of my time in IT in one form or another. I have some graphic design experience (studied it 20 years ago)... Purchased my first Wacom tablet for some crazy amount of money, but I could never get past the cognitive dissonance of drawing on a surface while watching the screen somewhere else.


At one point I owned a Cintiq 12x? the little one... I replaced it with a first gen iPad, because I can't sit for long periods at a desk (busted spine) and I don't like being tethered in general.


I fell in love with Adobe Ideas. Being able to freehand vectors (Macromedia! Woo!) and apply lighting effects via semi-transparent layers: Awesome.   


Then I repaced the iPad with an iPad 2 for the additional grunt and cameras (Facetime my folks).


Until the ipad 2, I drew with a stubby Wacom bamboo stylus. The end of the first gen iPad started a journey of disappointment as I went on to purchase and become disillusioned with around 15 different styluses.


A combination of no palm rejection and no decent Initial Activation Force (IAF - a term that describes a problem I've always had but couldn't articulate)... At the end of the iPad 2 era, I was mostly happy with a Maglus.


Then along came the iPad Air. The change in display tech (in the Air) made all my existing iPad styli mostly useless, including the Maglus.


So I splurged on a battery-powered Evernote(branded) Bluetooth fine point stylus... And spent the next 12 months getting angry at it (because it was mechanically faulty and I didn't gather up the guts to confirm/replace it).


Eventually I did, and the replacement is okay... But in the meantime I picked up an Apex - no Bluetooth, still no pressure sensitivity...  But all I cared about was IAF and having a non-stubby tip. If I'm writing notes in a meeting or just mucking around, I want every contact between pen and display to register, not some: It's irritating to have to 'rewrite' letters because the hardware didn't register the strike-though on a 't'.


I gave up drawing on the iPad air. I still co-draw stuff with my 4 year old daughter, but we mainly use our fingers (Artrage+finger painting = fun).    


Then this year, I was looking for a cheap windows 8 tablet to install Steam, so I could stream/play PC games on the couch while my wife watches bad TV.


I picked up an Ausus VivoTab Note 8 (32Gig) for $200 on Amazon, funnily enough, because it has Wacom tech in it. 'Turns out I really like scribbling in OneNote. The lines look lovely and it seems like you have an infinite canvas size(?) - you just keep drawing and scrolling.


I purchased a $40 copy of Manga Studio, because I miss layers.


When the Wacom tech works, its... Fantastic. I don't mind the little stylus; a couple of days a week I catch the train to work (cycle most of the time) and I can knock out a few quick sketches.


I'd forgotten how much joy I derive from it.


But then: On the AVN8, the stylus goes nuts along one corner, and every now and then a 3cm area on the stylus will 'go dead' - usually fixed by a restart of the device - but annoying when it happens. I've read enough forum posts to know that there's no such thing a working AVN8, just varying levels of not working, so replacing it isn't really an option.


My question:

Do I spurgle on a SP3? Sight unseen, Do you think I'll get annoyed by the increased IAF required?


Do I go look for a SP2? Do I run the risk of getting one with dodgy Wacom tech in it - Until the AVN8, I didn't know there was dodgy Wacom tech- is there another Manufacturer I should consider? My requirements are:


be a capable Steam Home streaming client

be light (relatively)

Not have a resolution so high and a screen so small that I can't make out anything

have 6+ hours battery life

Not be crazy expensive

has inking tech that will register fine touches (see: fast notetaking)

not have dodgy corners or dead spots, temporary or permanent

Have nice (Agnes Nutter nice I mean) software.


Please note that my life doesn't depend on a perfect solution, I do fine as a low level Database administrator. I just like drawing (even more than playing videogames I finally realise)


Thanks btw for existing, Surface pro artist. The recent stuff about the N-trig hub software is very informative.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you'll be very happy with the Surface Pro 3 and Manga Studio/OneNote. Despite the higher IAF of N-Trig vs. Wacom, the former isn't subject to the issues you saw in your AVTN8's digitizer. And if you adjust your pen pressure curve in MS5, you will barely notice the difference.  If money is an issue and you can find a Surface Pro 2, I'd recommend it as well for casual art, but it's pretty clunky as a tablet, especially compared to the iPad Air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made it to a store, but it was a failure due to a): The device not being charged initially( so I browsed the DVD section for 5 minutes waiting for it to be so), only to hit B): The pen wouldn't work.


The SP3 generated a message stating the pen setup was incomplete and that it needed to connect to the Internet. The store attendant said that none of the windows machines in the store were allowed to connect to the Internet... So my trip was over.


Trip wasn't a total bust: picked up a copy of Justified (season one) as a birthday gift for a friend, and the baby strapped to my chest enjoyed the adventure... A bit bummed out though as opportunities for these kind of exercusions are rare.


There's one other store I know that sells them; getting there is going to be tough. Maybe next weekend. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So my story ends on a downer. I've been to three stores (Jbhifi in the perth cbd, one in Midland and a Harvey Norman in west perth). None had working pens, which is to say the AAAA battery was dead and staff were either unwilling or unable to replace them. A Harvey Norman rep told me the 'batteries drain really quickly'. Is that true? I know AAAA batteries aren't off the shelf items in western Australia, but if you're goin to the trouble of giving the surface pros a prominent display in your store, is it crazy to think they'd be covered for batteries? Sheesh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very odd. Perhaps the batteries drain quickly in a retail environment, but the pen I started using in June is still going strong on its original battery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps. I read somewhere N-trig pen life is generally anywhere between 9-12 months (which is amazing). It's a shame there's no Microsoft store in Western Australia, but it's understandable given the spread-out population distribution (and comparatively small size).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woo! Managed to find a store near one of my office locations that had working pens... Mostly. None of them had working OneNote buttons, but the pens registered on the screens.


Drawing was interesting/great. I had no problems with the initial activation force. To get max line darkness I had to press hard enough to distort the screen, but that should be sorted with the new surface hub software. Increased screen real estate was lovely.


I'm sold, basically. But my experience today did leave me with some questions. For starters, the i3 model seemed fine. In fact, the i5 model had some weird pen activity where it was registering strokes even though the pen was a cm away from the screen. The i5 screen also seemed... Lines in OneNote seemed fuzzier(?) I know, it sounds odd, but the i3 and i7 just seemed to have a sharper line work.


It's a toss up then, between the i3 and i5. I think I need to hunt around these forums a bit. I suspect someone has probably checked to see how well various drawing apps run on each model...


So it's either the i3, and I get a SD card for whatever extra stuff I need, or it's the 256 i5 (and I hope the line fizziness was just trick of the light). The i3 is about two thirds the cost of the i5, which is a factor I value.


I've also read that the i5 and i7 more closely resemble the i3 under sustained load due to thermal management constraints. I need to find out if an i3 with a Intel 4200 gpu and 4gigs of ram is going to have any trouble with drawing programs that offer layer support.


I'd give anything for a windows 8.1 copy of Adobe ideas... If OneNote had layers and layer transparency... That'd be something special.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • Dave
      By Dave
      Apple iPad (4th Generation) 9.7" Tablet with Wi-Fi - (Your Choice: Color & Capacity)
    • Guest
      By Guest
      Regardless of whether you have built your WHS or it arrived all in one piece there are certain steps you should take to get up and running with Windows Home Server.  This is not a step by step guide to installation.  They are all different.  This is more like Cliff Notes.  It's the stuff you need to know before you get started and some tips and tricks before, during, and after installation.  I will publish a check list or a cheat sheet list to go along with this podcast.
      News Items mentioned on the show
      The Home Server Show's new writers
      Home Build section - send yours in with photos
      Listen to the show for a freebie.
      Backing up your Mac with the new HP Mediasmart Server
      Feed Changes
      Thank you to all who submitted a fun quote for the last two shows.
      Dan Reynolds of Proxure (keepvault.com)
      George C.  Krom
      Diehard - homeservershow.com
      Phil Churchill MSWHS.com
      Jesse P.
      Jonas Svenson - Microsoft
      Andrew Edney UsingWindowsHomeServer.com
      Clive S.
      Donavon West - HomeServerHacks.com
      Ethan K.
      Jim C.
      Terry Walsh - WeGotServed.co.uk
      Ken Warren - Hejustpostsalot
      Alexander Kent kentdome.com
      Chris L. Lux - homeservershow.com
      Brian Binnerup - mymovies.dk
      Sam Wood - tentaclesoftware.com
      J. Ortiz - pixelconceptonline.com
      Follow the Podcast on Twitter!
      Don't forget to vote for the Home Server Show at Podcast Alley.
      My Blog at thedigitallifestyle.com
      [iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes(MP3).
      [Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast in the Zune Marketplace.
      [Mp3] Download the Podcast in MP3.
      [RSS] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.
      [blog RSS] Add the Blog feed to your RSS aggregator.
    • Guest
      By Guest
      Today's show is a follow up to the Before you Build show.  It's a short show this week.
      News and Links mentioned in the podcast
      Microsoft's New Server, Foundation
      HP Upline is calling it quits.  Did we kill it?
      Windows Home Server February Update
      Add-In:  Update to WHS Outlook
      Norco SS-500 Hot Swap Backplane Review
      What should we do with a VIA A2000?
      Acer's EasyStore H340 Windows Home Server

      Windows Home Server Drive Balancer Utility

      Quick & Easy Windows Home Server OS Backup and Restore. | 4Hak3rs

      How to run HP Upline inside your Windows Home Server Console
      Leave me a voicemail with Skype! Click me to call HomeServerShow.com
      Follow the Podcast on Twitter!
      Don't forget to vote for the Home Server Show at Podcast Alley.
      My Blog at thedigitallifestyle.com
      [iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast in iTunes(MP3).
      [Zune] Subscribe to the Podcast in the Zune Marketplace.
      [Mp3] Download the Podcast in MP3.
      [RSS] Add the Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator.
      [blog RSS] Add the Blog feed to your RSS aggregator.
    • ultimusrex
      By ultimusrex
      Hey everyone. First of all, I'm unsure if this is the best place for this thread, so admins, feel free to move it, if necessary.   As I am just starting (or trying to get started) setting up a smart home/home automation system, and I am a huge technophile, it has always been a dream of mine to have a cool (and useful) central touchscreen control panel in my house. As I was dreaming up future plans for my smart home, I revisited this concept. At first it was a fleeting and fanciful dream, since there is no way that, on our budget, I am going to waste an expensive tablet computer to act as a mostly dedicated wall-mounted control panel. But then my eyes got wide, along with my grin, as I remembered the likes of www.gearbest.com -- with a huge selection of relatively dirt cheap off-brand smart phones and tablets. So now I've been thinking very seriously about this possibility and searching for a good tablet at a good price, as well as some nice wall-mount hardware.   So I'm wondering what you all think about the DIY touchscreen control panel for the smart home. Do any of you already have something implemented? I am trying to compile a list of possible uses for such a device, to make it as useful (and cool) as possible. If you have any ideas, or know any good apps for this purpose, please include them in a reply. The ultimate version of this idea would be to have a tablet eventually in most rooms of the house, maybe a larger, slightly more expensive one near the home entry, and smaller, cheaper satellite devices throughout. I personally would prefer an Android tablet for this, but if you have any ideas for an iPad (or Windows), please share those, too.   Here are some of my own ideas: Home Automation Control Center -- most likely using the mobile app for whichever smart home ecosystem you have decided to go with in your home Weather Station -- Lately I've been really happy with an Android app called "Weather Timeline" that I think would look good and work well Music Player -- I don't think this would work very well if you're a big audiophile, but using the tablet's bluetooth, you could connect it to bluetooth speakers in the room or a bluetooth receiver in your media center and play Pandora, Spotify, or whatever over them, or find a more robust whole-home music system that has an tablet app available for control. Video Phone -- using Skype, Google Hangouts, or whatever. Motion Sensor/Security Cam -- I know there are ways, with combinations of apps and the likes of Tasker, to have the built-in (front-facing) camera watch for motion then start recording or broadcasting when it sees something. Intercom -- if you have tablets mounted in multiple rooms and don't feel like shouting across the house to your spouse or children, you could "call" them on the tablet network. I know there has to be some walkie-talkie-type apps available, or there's always Google Hangouts with voice calls and video calls. Note/Message Center -- you could keep a notepad or sticky notes widget, or an audio note app, on the home screen so you can leave memos to your family, manage your shopping list, etc. Household Calendar -- using Google Calendar (or whatever app/service your household uses), you could keep track of everybody's agenda. Security System Control Center -- Currently, we have an ADT system, but once our contract is up, I'm hoping to cancel them and set up a self-managed system and use a mounted tablet for controlling and activating it.  
      I'm sure I'll think of some other ways to use a wall-mounted tablet, and I'll try to add them to this list as they come to me (or as I add them to my own mounted tablet).
    • Truxi
      By Truxi
      Hi there, newbie here.  Just got myself a Surface Pro 2, and I'm looking to put some software on it.  I bought a copy of Manga Studio Ex 4.0 awhile back, but it's on disk.  Is there a way for me to install it?  Preferably without having to buy another piece of hardware?
      I tried putting the disc contents on a jump drive, and that seemed to work, but after I put in my serial number, it told me it couldn't do things until I put the disc in.

  • Create New...