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Laptops for Artists -- why doesn't anyone actually go in this direction?

edited March 2013 in Technology
So I've been hunting for my "golden apple" of laptop ownership for the past couple of years. Ever since the Cintiq came out (which I desperately saved my money for) and the tablet market grew, I felt like it would be a natural evolution in the laptop/tablet world. The tablet surface would come with pens, be pressure sensitive, and would provide a portable, on-the-go sketchpad for the artist and wannabe-artist like myself.
I imagined myself hauling my laptop bag through the park, finding a nice bench to sit on, and whipping out the laptop, twirling it about to the tablet side, and opening Photoshop to sketch that nice fat pigeon pooping on the statue of Abraham Lincoln.
In the current market I've researched the Sony VAIO Duo 11 Ultrabook, which apparently has touted itself as a "laptop tablet for artists," and comes with ArtRage (which I'm unfamiliar with). Reviews of the laptop admitted that there is no pressure sensitivity recognition in Photoshop, and Sony blames Adobe for this, while Adobe apparently blames Sony, and no one has any intentions of changing any drivers.
It makes me want to bash my head against the wall. I understand that, perhaps, they envision the artist market as a very small niche; if any serious artist groups need, they will purchase more high-powered machines and Cintiqs of their own. The thing is, the Cintiq is the opposite of portable and (at least for me) the resolution is such that I have to change the resolution from my computer whenever I want to use the Cintiq. I have to completely ignore my stretched monitor display and focus only on the Cintiq, and then when I want to see a bigger reference, change my resolution back to my preferred one. It's a pain.


  • The tablet variants of the Lenovo X230 are equipped with an IPS screen and a Wacom digitizer, for what it's worth. They're basically mobile design studios, built for architects and engineers, but will probably work just fine for your needs. They're ultraportable, VERY powerful, and the battery life is immense; also, they have the benefit of being almost entirely user-serviceable.

    Do your due diligence, but that's what I'd go with if I was in the either/or camp for a Cintiq or a tablet laptop.
  • I think the Surface Pro would be neat to check out. I've only tried out a Wacom a couple times and I started to get the hang of it but drawing directly on the screen would help tremendously I think.
  • The Surface Pro definitely seems to have good points. I appreciate Gabe for uploading his review. That was really helpful.
  • I've only had a brief experience with it, but the Samsung Galaxy series run Sketchbook Pro with wacom digitizers. Playing with it was a fun and tempting experience.
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