AuthorTopic: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?  (Read 13151 times)

Offline Argyle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Futuristic beep boop.
    • argylebox
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/13899.htm
    • valsaurus
    • View Profile
    • ArgyleBox | Designs by Valouria Saurus (VERY OUTDATED)

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 06:29:23 pm
Brace yourself, this is a sizable post, but it's a celebration of the Motion Computing M1400 that I recently bought and have now completed 4 freelance contracts on as well as had many several nights of fun hotseat game entertainment.

I actually recently stumbled across the holy grail of what I've been wanting along these lines, and it only cost me $200, supports capacitive (pressure sensitivity) pen, 1024x768 screen resolution, handles Adobe CS3 (with the exception of the more video heavy applications) with relatively little slowdown, and can run anything that will run on Windows XP.

While I was drooling over the new ASUS EeeSlate that I saw on a commercial while listening to Pandora, I stumbled across a video of somebody comparing drawing on the iPad vs. a TabletPC from the Motion Computing product line. Needless to say, after they mentioned that you can find the things for around $150 on eBay a lot of the time these days, I spent a whole week eagle eying the internet to make sure it wasn't too good to be true as a functioning computer, but sure enough the thing is all that I wanted and more. Sprung for the Motion Computing M1400 model (here's the link to the exact auction lot that mine came from - sale ended but it'll give an idea about the specs I'm testifying about)



I was willing to settle... for CS2 or older if I needed to just so I had the option of opening Photoshop/Illustrator/Flash files and doing little things when I wasn't at a better computer. Already bought a backup battery and might even spring for an extra bit of memory.

I got lucky with the auction I found, because it's common to find old used versons of the motion computing things with scratched up screens, missing pens, missing batteries, no harddrives, etc. cus they are mostly found in lots from IT departments removing them from hospitals when they upgrade their systems because they're good for doing nursing charting. This model was near perfect other than some scuffmarks on the sides and the battery life would read fine until it got to 75% then it would jump down to say 5% and warn me to plug it in, so I bought a new extended battery for the model online for $30 and can now use it without a charge for about 3-4 hours straight and will retain charge for a good long while if I put it in standby mode while not using it.

I also bought a pack of 2 pens that were intended to be used with Fujitsu Lifebook model tabletPCs, but it functions just fine with the Motion Computing M1400.  The pen that goes with the M1400 only has one side button along with the pen nib whereas the Fujitsu pen has two side buttons as well as an eraser. Really wanted at least one more button than the default M1400 offered because I like having one side switch as a modifier key like Ctrl or Alt because I'm a fiend for eyedropper tool usage being really conveniently at hand in Photoshop or ProMotion.  Also, Wacom has an unofficial driver for use with TabletPCs that brings out the most of the pressure sensitivity capabilities of the pens - by default with the built-in drivers it doesn't detect pressure in photoshop, but it worked great once I added the Wacom driver.  The driver also lets you set a button to bring up a customizable menu that I can populate with any amount of shortcut keystrokes, application launches, macros, etc much the same way you program pens and side buttons for Wacom Intuos4/Cintiq buttons or radial dial.



The downside of the thing is that it gets hot very fast and there is no built-in keyboard.  But I just always have a cooling pad attached to it which is the exact same size of the machine, is really thin, and it has an option to become an angled propping stand which has really improved the neck pain I was getting from using it in my lap so much. And the keyboard thing isn't so bad because I found a superthin USB keyboard that's only 9 inches wide so it fits in the bag I hold the tablet/cooling pad in without any fuss at all. When I'm not in the mood to bother with a keyboard on my lap when using the tablet on the couch or in the car, I have a programmable knob called a Griffin PowerMate which gives me 6 application specific programmable keystrokes/macros/whatever actions that I can reassign on the fly.  And when I don't even want to be bothered with hooking that up, it's easy to bring up the on-screen keyboard/handwriting input box, and the buttons on the side of the tablet are programmable and they have a different profile for all 4 rotations that you can put the screen in (2 vertical and 2 horizontal) but I just like having them on the left hand side so I can use them with the hand that's not drawing.

I can only say good things about the addition of this device into my work-life as well as entertainment.  I have a desktop PC and a laptop that are both exponentially more powerful than this tablet - it only has 512MB of memory and like a 1.2Ghz processor afterall - but the ability to draw on-screen feels much more different, to me, than drawing with a tablet while you look at a monitor, and the ability to do it ANYWHERE means a million dollars to me.  I have a 2 year old that runs out of the room unexpectedly and has to be chased and a wife that I like sitting by whether it's in the bed or on the couch while I'm working.  The ability to be able to work on something that I can pick up and put down without hesitation has improved my mood while freelancing like 400%.  Before adding this to my toolset, it was even an ordeal to work with a mobile laptop because I had to bring the heavy thing with me along with the wacom tablet and the detachable cord for it, constantly be afraid of my thumbdrives snapping off in the bay since I had to keep my current workfiles with me for whatever station I was working from, get the charging cords, etc. and if I had to get up and down and move the whole setup from my lap or desk or whatever it just completely ruined the train of thought that was going on.  I just anchor the pen into the pen holder on this tablet and can walk around with it just as easily as a decently sized sketchpad (probably just as light, too).

The amount of work I can do on this, stress free, paid for itself easily 5-times over in the month that I've owned it. I'm going to spring to upgrade the RAM to its full potential, too.

Oh, and playing hotseat games or click adventures, heck... anything that's fun to play with a mouse... like Heroes of Might and Magic 2, World of Goo, Gazillionaire, Fallout 1&2, Ultima Online, yadda yadda, are really fun.  I play hotseat games with the wife all the time and let the baby draw pictures in Photoshop and I don't have to feel paranoid that they're tossing a $thousand piece of equipment around because it was hella cheap.  All around a win piece of machinery and the best investment I've ever made as a digital artist!  Get one, like no joke.  It's the best ever.

Offline Sergiotron

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 01:24:30 pm
Thanks for your generous reply!
Now I'm searching for devices like yours (windows based and resistive touch screen) in my country. Buy this tablets on eBay is a little risky from here.

I will post my favorites soon  ;D

Offline yrizoud

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #12 on: April 18, 2011, 01:48:28 pm
Thanks for the heads up, this looks like a very fine machine, costing like 2000$ when they were brand new.
I would never have thought of looking into refurbished "medical" material.

Offline Sergiotron

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 02:35:25 pm
Well, I think I have a (local) winner!
It's the ASUS Eee PC T101MT
http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_PC/Eee_PC_T101MT/#specifications

Processor: Intel Atom N450 (1667 MHz)
Screen: 10.1" Resistive (1024 x 600) LED
RAM: 2.0 GB (DDR2-667)
HDD: 320 GB (5400 rpm)
video: Intel GMA 3150

Price: 500 USD approx (here in Colombia)

Offline yrizoud

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 330
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #14 on: April 18, 2011, 05:00:13 pm
If pressure sensitivity is a criterion: Here's a link to Wacom's list of "partners".
http://www.wacom-components.com/english/partner/index.html

Offline blumunkee

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 03:49:14 am
I had a netbook with an Atom processor. I sent it back because the crappy Intel integrated graphics choke on 3D and 720p video. If you're just going to be doing 2D and don't mind crappy video quality, you should be able to get by just fine. If you do go with that ASUS, make sure you grab an extra gig of RAM, it'll make a big difference looks like it comes with the RAM maxed out at 2 GIGs.

Amazon says there are models that ship with the newer Atom 455. Compared to the 450, they use faster RAM (DDR3 vs DDR2).

Lenovo/IBM Thinkpads are considered the king of tablet PCs by many. You might be able to find something used on ebay with similar specs as a new Atom.

Looks like Lenovo has a netbook tablet as well, here.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 08:43:33 am by blumunkee »

Offline PypeBros

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1220
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Pixel Padawan
    • PypeBros
    • View Profile
    • Bilou Homebrew's Blog.

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #16 on: April 25, 2011, 06:40:52 am
wow. definitely, my little sprite editor for DS can't compete with such tools and requirements.

Offline Argyle

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 269
  • Karma: +1/-1
  • Futuristic beep boop.
    • argylebox
    • http://pixeljoint.com/p/13899.htm
    • valsaurus
    • View Profile
    • ArgyleBox | Designs by Valouria Saurus (VERY OUTDATED)

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #17 on: April 25, 2011, 05:02:58 pm
Lenovo/IBM Thinkpads are considered the king of tablet PCs by many. You might be able to find something used on ebay with similar specs as a new Atom.

Looks like Lenovo has a netbook tablet as well, here.

Not seeing anything about that being penabled/compatible with pen digitizers.  Touch screens just don't do it for me and multi-touch gestures don't mean much if you can't use a pen D:

Offline blumunkee

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #18 on: April 25, 2011, 06:55:31 pm
Ah, you may be right. Looking at some forums, it seems some/most models don't ship with a stylus. The specs say the screen is capacitive, but I don't know if it's a Wacom or not.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 07:05:06 pm by blumunkee »

Offline Froli

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Dragon Highlord
    • View Profile

Re: Any good MOBILE ways to sprite?

Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 05:37:30 pm
I've done some checking and this one seems to have some potentials.

ASUS EP121
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=946791
Ep121 vs cintiq
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAZg9bEPm1E