AuthorTopic: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist  (Read 13293 times)

Offline Vagrant

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Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

on: November 24, 2013, 02:15:09 pm
Hey everyone.

I became a vagabond world traveler only a mere year or two ago; my new lifestyle has me flying and moving often, with only a 26 litre backpack as home (Bold move but worth it). This year I went across northern Norway, then to the British countryside, to land in Spain, and finish off in Morocco for new years. Life is good, for I made the right choices.

However, my old 3.3 kg laptop (HP Pavilion Dv4) is becoming annoying to carry around everywhere, not to mention a tad outdated. But it's clearly a vital piece of equipment seeing as I need it to work on pixel art commissions/jobs, which pay for my now permanent travel life.

Right now, im working with mouse pad alone. Had to leave my old Bamboo tablet as it was too heavy. Both the laptop, electricity cords and the tablet went up to 5 awful kilos.


I got the money now though, and I've been thinking what would be the best combination to have, and im open to all suggestions and ideas on lightweight high-end tablets or laptops.

So far here's what I like.

------------------------------------



http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/laptops/375829/asus-zenbook-prime-ux31a

Asus Zenbook Prime
Pros: 1.4 Kg, Linux compatible
Around 7-9 hours of battery life.

It's beautiful. If I go for this one it would have to be pixelling on the mouse pad as usual, or acquire a small, lightweight drawing tablet to go with it. But that means more weight.




And then there's this thing, which I saw just today.


https://store.wacom.com/us/en/product/DTHW1300L?

Cintiq Companion Tablet
1.7 Kg
Around 5-6 battery life.

It's got impressive stats, it's basically a computer, and it's a Cintiq, dammit. I haven't researched the weight or durability yet, but it looks so convenient and useful, I don't know what to think anymore. Is this what love at first sight feels like?

Cons: Fking Windows 8


Anyone here leading a life of adventure willing to offer some good advice? Even so, have you any ever given a thought to pixelling on the go? Im all open to suggestions. :D

I've heard about pixel art on Android tablets or smartphones, but honestly, that sounds just petty in comparison. Not interested in those.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 03:23:19 pm by Vagrant »

Offline Crow

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 04:00:27 pm
Cons: Fking Windows 8

Why is that a con?
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Offline Vagrant

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 07:45:59 pm
If I put my personal preferences and feelings aside (Like the religion of supporting open source.), bad past experiences with it and the inevitable planned obsolescence bit, I don't think it should be a problem at all, actually.
As long as it runs Graphics Gale, Gimp, Blender, and others in that bunch, it should do.

Other than price or any other factor, both  the Intuos and the Zenbook are similar in weight (1.5kg-1.7kg), and their battery life is relatively around the 6 hours. The Zenbook would require a small tablet on the side, which means more clutter and weight, so the Intuos right now looks like the mandatory way to go.

I wonder if there's any other options out there.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 07:49:21 pm by Vagrant »

Offline Crow

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 07:50:14 pm
I can't really comment on your hardware options, but I can tell you that Windows makes good use of batteries. Almost always, you'll find that your battery life will longer using Windows compared to Linux. And Windows 8 is not as bad as many people say, so you'd be fine with that.
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Offline Kasumi

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 08:19:57 pm
My problem with Windows 8 that is a valid complaint is that it doesn't agree with wacom bamboo tablets. I tap, have to move the pen around 5 to 8 pixels for it to actually register anything. This means I can't place two pixels next to each other. I can place one, or a line of five when Windows finally decides I've dragged the pen for a long enough. Same for scrollbars, have to tap and drag a long while. The scroll bar snaps into place instead of smoothly moving.

Here's a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFEznOz-4c4

Imagine if that happened while trying to DRAW! GIMP (probably a few other art programs) seems to have overcome it, but all standard OS things are still crippled by this, as well as software that doesn't specifically program around it. Intuos tablets used to do it too, but they have since gotten updated drivers that allow one to disable "Windows Ink". Bamboo users are stuck. I've found a fix I haven't tried, which is a program that basically simulates a mouse click when the tablet touches down, which seems to interfere with whatever stupidness windows is doing and lets the tablet work as expected.

Anyway, I would assume the Cintiq thing wouldn't have that problem, (Then again, I assumed my bamboo would work fine...) and would also assume you could run linux fine on it. When I run linux on my Windows 8 computer,  my bamboo tablet works fine except the pressure values are off which doesn't matter much for pixel art. It's probably a thing I could tweak, but I don't mess too much with Linux.

I have many other problems with Windows 8, but I guess most of the others could be said to be, "Baawww, it's not the same." and are offtopic.
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Offline Crow

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 08:50:30 pm
That move threshold sounds familiar, and I believe it's present in Windows 7 as well. Shouldn't have anything to do with Wacom's drivers, and can be disabled/bypassed by killing Windows' "Tablet PC Input Service".
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Offline Kasumi

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 10:30:49 pm
It is present in Windows 7 as well. It can be killed in Windows 7. Windows 8 is a different animal. It's not a thing I tried once and casually decided didn't work. I looked for a while for a suitable solution. Perhaps some easy solution has come since I last searched, but there was no way to do anything about it when I first searched, and only the simulate click program the second time. There are registry edits that make things SLIGHTLY better, but no way I've found to disable it outright.

But as far as I know, it's only for Bamboo. Intuos used to have the same problems, but wacom added an option in its own control panel to ignore "Windows Ink." What magic this option does that can't be done with registry edits/similar, I couldn't tell you.
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Offline tim

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #7 on: November 25, 2013, 04:16:04 am
Yeah it is incredibly annoying and that's why I'm working on a Mac at home when clients are not asking me to work in their office like 90% of the time. Overall it's a lot more reliable, especially with video. Things simply work. I don't need updates, different softwares for 32 & 64 bits, drivers or updates for exFAT like I did today for Windows XP. The computer behavior is always predictable.

Anyway : it seems there are some solutions : http://superuser.com/questions/49465/disable-cursor-ring-for-tablet-in-windows-7-8
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 04:22:22 am by tim »
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Offline Gamer36

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #8 on: November 25, 2013, 04:33:09 am
I found a thread online, and it seem that someone was able to boot the tablet into Linux. http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/292341-wacom-cintiq-companion/ I don't understand much of anything about how you boot up Linux on a computer, so I might be completely wrong, but it's worth checking out.
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Offline Vagrant

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Re: Suitable Trinkets for the World-traveling Pixel Artist

Reply #9 on: November 30, 2013, 09:48:37 am
I think they actually mean Mac OS?


So far, and after watching some reviews on Youtube, I really, really, REALLY want to acquire one of these fine Cintiq Companion specimens. 

The last straw was the concept art offers I've been getting lately, and here I am, tablet-less.

I figured it might just run a Virtualbox with Linux on it when im desperate, but even so, there will be plenty of experimenting when I actually get it. I saw other tablets, but it just doesn't match this one.