What kind of tablet are pros using?

This is more of a curiosity, but I was wondering what professional graphics designers/artists are using now that tablet pcs have been much more common and powerful in the passed few years than they were in the past.

So, straight forward: are lots of artists still using tablets, or has there been a switch to tablet pcs?

Whatever the answer is, what model(s) are common/prevalent in your experience?


I have used both tablets and tablet PCs; for ease of reading I’ll break the two out into separate paragraphs:

1) Tablet PCs: I’ve used both the HP TC1100 and TC4400s; both running windows XP tablet edition. The TC1100 was a complete nightmare – the GPU was way underpowered (if you wanted to project video you had to choose between the on-tablet display or the external display) and the CPU crawled. The TC4400 was much better, but still suffered from performance limitations (this was using Photoshop / Illustrator CS2) and size restrictions. The one nice thing about it was that you could draw directly on the screen (something you have to spend a lot more money on is you want to be able to do with a WACOM tablet). I will occasionally use the 4400 if I’m throwing something together and don’t feel like dragging my macbook out of its case but don’t really use that for much graphics work.

I have also dropped the latest version of Ubuntu on an old TC1100; this version has support for the pen but I don’t know if there’s support for pressure-sensitivity.

2) USB Tablet: I use an Intuos 4 medium-sized tablet for Illustrator / Photoshop (CS5) and, once I got used to it, can’t imagine using anything else. The definition is much better than anything I can get from a mouse, the actions seem more natural, and I can choose different nibs for a different feel (pencil vs. pen vs. brush). With a nice long USB cable I can lean back and work (I rarely use the hotkeys on the side so I still have to lean forward to hit hotkeys but it’s a fair trade in my opinion). It also means that I can use a more powerful computer (with my preferred OS) and have more working area than on the tablet PCs.

Long story short, I’d personally recommend a USB tablet like the Intuos 4 (the Intuos 4 has higher definition, larger sizes and more pressure sensitivity than the Bamboo) over a tablet PC any day. You get more accuracy (touch sensitivity and higher definition), better ergonomics (not hunched over a crappy little 13″ screen) and much better performance (don’t like the way it’s working on your laptop? Plug it into your desktop.).

Source : Link , Question Author : Steven Evers , Answer Author : lawndartcatcher

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