Best options for portable sketching tablet


Jri

Jri

Member
#1
Hi all,

I'm wanting to get myself an iPad and an Apple Pencil so I can work on digital illustrations without needing to be in my office.

I'm just looking for advice, has anyone tried this setup? I've had a play around with Adobe Sketch and Adobe Draw just using my finger on my tiny iPhone (which has a pressure sensitive screen) and even then, on such basic hardware, they seem like relatively impressive apps.

Ideally I'd be going down the Cintiq route if they A) weren't so damned pricey and B) were a little bit more portable. I've never tried one either, so don't know the Cintiq market or how they compare to the alternative of an iPad + Apple Pencil rig.

Since I'd like to keep costs down, what are the general options in terms of second hand/reconditioned iPads? I've had a quick google, but am pretty out of touch in terms of which iPads are obsolete/compatible/overpriced for what you get.

I haven't put this in the Apple forum as I'm open to third party tablets if the practicality/price is right.

Thanks,

Jri
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#2
I've tried both the Cintiq and the iPad Pro/Apple Pencil and this is just my personal opinion.

Cintiq

A company I was working at gave me one and a pretty high end Macbook Pro to work on their projects.
I didn't get on with this at all as I was using Illustrator on the most part and it doesn't work well with that apart from using the brush and pencil tool.
They're very expensive, bulky and heavy and you really need a dedicated work space for it to live as the cables to power it and to connect to your computer are also quite hefty.
It also needs to run along side your computer and isn't totally stand alone so even if you have a laptop, this takes up some space.
When I used it it really made the fans on the Mac blow to a worrying and annoying extent.
I also found that the UI displayed very small and it was hard to see the menu and the toolbox but that may have been my fault not setting the display properly.
After a day or two it got put into a cupboard until I gave it back to the company as I didn't use it.
I honestly imagined I'd be able to sit on the sofa and draw away with it on my lap but it isn't the case.
I honestly preferred the cheap little Wacom Bamboo that I'd used before.

The other tablet the company bought was used with Photoshop in a fine art capacity by an artist in a dedicated work space
and they got on with it a lot better that I but both Cintiq's have now been traded in to buy iPad Pros.

If I'd have spent all that money on a Cintiq, I'd have been totally gutted. :(

Ipad Pro and Apple Pencil

I had a go on one of these when I took the Cintiq back to the same company.

I was totally blown away!
It worked like I wanted the Cintiq to work.

It's was exactly like a digital sketchbook using Procreate but with every drawing/painting tool and medium imaginable.
Completely portable and super responsive and I totally fell in love with it to the point where I now NEED one.
We even hooked it up to the bluetooth projector and I was drawing on the office wall. :D

On the most part I work in vectors and I didn't have a go on the light version of Illustrator for the iPad but I know they've made full version of Affinity Designer for the iPad that has rave reviews and I'm tempted to ditch my MacBook Pro and Illustrator and move over to that.

You don't need the iPad Pro now as the 2018 iPad supports the Apple Pencil and is quite a bit cheaper and pretty much as good as long as you can live without four speakers and put up with just the two. ;)
Procreate is $10 and Affinity Designer is about $20 and are total bargains.
Plus it has all the other features of the iPad and isn't just a dedicated drawing tool like the Cintiq.

Only downside I can think of is that the Apple Pencil has a limited battery life but I'm told that it's super quick to charge, like in a few minutes.

I know there are other Android tablets but I've not tried any of those so I can't comment on them.

My advice would be to try the Cintiq first before spending around £1200 on one.
It may work for you as some people love them but go to a shop that sells iPads and have a go on one of those and I don't think you'll be disappointed like I was with the Cintiq.

If you want something that's completely portable and put the fun back into drawing then go for the iPad or a tablet.

If you want to be chained to your (very big) desk then go for the Cintiq.
 
Jri

Jri

Member
#5
Yes! I use a little Bamboo graphics tablet at the moment and it's fantastic for the price. Love that little thing, but I want something I can chill on the couch with too.

Smith
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#6
I only skimmed the Wacom Mobilestudio but I'm not sure if it has all the other features of a tablet such as internet, e-mail, other apps like Netflix and shit.
Also, I'm not sure how it runs the design app's but for those prices I'd expect all the whistles and bells.

On the iPad, you can get a keyboard that doubles as a case and stores your Apple Pencil but there is a difference in how the iPad and iPad Pro connect to them.
I think the Pro plugs in and the iPad 2018 is Bluetooth.

I can't remember exactly, but I think I costed the iPad 2018 128GB, Pencil and keyboard up at around £600(ish).
 
Levi

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
#7
I'd not seen them but look at those prices! :oops:
I never said they were cheap and also why I'd pick a surface pro, the stylus isn't too bad imo and they're considerably cheaper... they look nicer too imo.

I only skimmed the Wacom Mobilestudio but I'm not sure if it has all the other features of a tablet such as internet, e-mail, other apps like Netflix and shit.
Also, I'm not sure how it runs the design app's but for those prices I'd expect all the whistles and bells.
It's running windows when in standalone mode, when it's being used like a display it's whatever OS is on the host pc. It can be used in two modes which is partly why it's so expensive, not that I agree it's worth that much.
 
Jri

Jri

Member
#8
On the iPad, you can get a keyboard that doubles as a case and stores your Apple Pencil but there is a difference in how the iPad and iPad Pro connect to them.
I think the Pro plugs in and the iPad 2018 is Bluetooth.
What do the filetypes do the apps export? AI's and PSD's presumably, and do the interact well with desktop PC's/Macs?
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#9
I never said they were cheap and also why I'd pick a surface pro, the stylus isn't too bad imo and they're considerably cheaper... they look nicer too imo.


It's running windows when in standalone mode, when it's being used like a display it's whatever OS is on the host pc. It can be used in two modes which is partly why it's so expensive, not that I agree it's worth that much.

Ahh, right. So, it's a stand alone tablet/PC that can link to another machine to use as a tablet linked to the device?
That's not such a big bang for the bucks really?

I would't be against using something like an android tablet or a Surface Pro but they so seem quite expensive.
It's just that I've only used the iPad so don't have any experience of Android so can't comment.
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#10
What do the filetypes do the apps export? AI's and PSD's presumably, and do the interact well with desktop PC's/Macs?
I'm not quite sure but it's worth looking into.

I know a guy who works on both MacBook Pro and iPad and switches between them so he can use the Apple Pencil and he's never complained.
I'll ask him when I see him as I'm considering the iPad too.

I think Affinity on the iPad exports in quite a few file types so you can work on them on your computer too.

I can't imagine there being any issues with connecting an iPad to another machine.
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#11
...also, Affinity has vector and pixel personas but I'm not sure how the drawing tools are on the iPad with things like pressure sensitivity and such.
I think a quick search would shed some light as there have been quite a few reviews written.
 
Levi

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Ahh, right. So, it's a stand alone tablet/PC that can link to another machine to use as a tablet linked to the device?
That's not such a big bang for the bucks really?

I would't be against using something like an android tablet or a Surface Pro but they so seem quite expensive.
It's just that I've only used the iPad so don't have any experience of Android so can't comment.
I wouldn't personally go android and the reason I'd pick a full windows device is purely because I can rull full programs, even the 'full version' of adobe photoshop on iPad pro doesn't look like it has half the features of the full version, not to mention even the best iPad Pro has a tiny amount of ram when you think about it.

Actually if you can get a surface pro when it's on deal (black friday had some cracking deals for the i5 8GB 250GB ssd model for example) it's not actually that expensive all things considered, it's maybe a little more than I think it's worth at the normal price though.
 
K

KPrinceArt

Member
#13
I've always worked off of slablets lol. My good ol Intuos L has lasted me 5 years, never had to replace the pen or anything. I do enjoy having a dedicated workspace, and something large to work on. I find that smaller tablets cramp my hand up like crazy. I also like that it's practically invincible and easy to clean. I can put stuff on top of it when I'm not using it, and it does feel natural to me. I'm also not looking down while I draw so it's better posture.

My fiancee has a Surface, maybe I should put procreate on it just to give it a try. I have Clip Studio, though, I wonder if that would work with the stylus??
 
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