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Competitors are: Wacom Cintiq, Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and up, Lenovo Thinkpad, iPad

I find it interesting that there are now portable tablets in the market for artists. What’s great is that they can also be used for Youtube and watching shows/movies, browsing the web and studying (Word documents, spreadsheets and such), not just for drawing.

Here’s a list of artist apps.


Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2 (or NotePro 10.1 2014 edition) for £324 at PC World

This tablet is aimed at producers rather than consumers. It is designed for work rather than entertainment. In terms of artists, I think this is great and cheaper than alternative graphics tablets with screens. It includes an S-pen and uses Wacom technology. It is responsive and you can get a good amount of drawing done with the battery life.

Pros:

-Good screen, front and back cameras and battery life

-Micro SD slot

-USB 3.0 for faster charging and transfers

-Wacom technology and 1024 pressure sensitivity

-Wireless S-pen that doesn’t need batteries and has a dedicated silo in the tablet and replaceable nibs (£3 from eBay for nibs, £14 S-pen sold by Amazon)

-Portability, does not need to connect to a computer

Cons:

-Large and heavy if you’re using it out and about on trains and such, I recommend using it on a table

-It can get warm and oily and that can affect the stylus (it begins to feel like it drags), I recommend using a glove with the index and middle fingers cut off and also a screen protector

-Android system instead of Windows 8, meaning no photoshop

-S-pen is small, thin and fragile, there is no eraser at the top

 

Recommended Additions

-Drawing apps: Clover Paint, Infinite Painter, Artflow, Autodesk Sketchbook

-Other apps: Google Docs, Google Drive, Dropbox

-360 Rotating Case, under £10, you can use it at different angles and rotate it to portrait or landscape

-Case with keyboard built in

-Adjustable stand, £15

-S-pen holder or larger S-pen

-There’s also the app Remote PC which lets you wireless link/control your PC with your tablet, I will say that it lagged when I tried and Photoshop and SAI didn’t work, it didn’t let me draw strokes

-Screen protector

-SmudgeGuard glove or typical glove with fingers cut off


Notes

The packaging for the Galaxy NotePro is a bit cheap and flimsy. The tablet is on the top and the screen is only protected by one layer of thin paper and a screen protector. I just feel like the tablet could be damaged in transit.

I also feel like Samsung should have added an S-pen holder, just a typical cheap plastic holder for those that want the pen to be bigger, artists in particular but also anyone that will use the pen to write notes such as students and businessmen. The S-pen should have an eraser at the top.

Personally, I get motion sickness using graphics tablets like the Wacom Intuos and such so this is great for me.

 

**The prices I’ve put on here are approximates

**Please tell me if there is anything wrong or more info can be added


Surprisingly the best drawing apps are, in my opinion, the least known. All of these can use customisable brushes, multiple layers and layer mode options. I recommend Clover Paint or Artflow for illustrators and Infinite Painter or Autodesk Sketchbook for designers.

Note that once you purchase an app, you can get a refund within 2 hours. You can only get refunds once per app, unless you contact relevant suppliers. So you might be able to use this to trial the apps.

Here’s my post about a budget tablet to use these apps with (Samsung Galaxy NotePro 12.2).

1) Clover Paint (£5 for app and £12 for docking features)

It does look unattractive but don’t let that put you off. In my opinion, the tablet extension is not worth an extra £12 but if you can afford it and want the docking features, it’s fine. This app seems to have an active, responsive developer which makes it easy to contact them. I’ve heard from a youtuber that you can request features and it was granted in their case. It’s more suitable for illustrators.

Pros:

-highly customisable

-large range of features including stabiliser, select and transform

-30k+ x 30k+ pixel canvas (although it lags when I tested the maximum size) and expanding canvas as you draw feature

-You can use it with a keyboard and set shortcuts such as Ctrl-Z for undo

Cons:

-unattractive and initially confusing interface

-expensive (about £5 for app and another £12 for tablet/docking features)

-no text features

-transform only works on the entire layer (you have to cut and paste a region to transform a selection)

 

2) Artflow (£5 for more brushes and ability to save as .psd)

The clear button seems a bit risky as it’s easy to press and there is not a warning but if it is accidently pressed, you can use the undo button. It’s more suitable for illustrators.

Pros:

-large range of features including compass

-free (option for £5 full version for more brushes and ability to save as .psd although the free version is good)

Conss:

-no selection feature

-no text feature

 

3) Infinite Painter (£5 for perspective guides, selection tool and other features)

There is a noticeable lag/unresponsiveness when drawing sometimes. It’s more for designers.

Pros:

-large range of features including perspective guides, selection and transform tool

-good interface

Cons:

-lags

-the touch customisation is not ideal (either fully touch mode or fully pen mode)

-canvas size limit of about 2500 x 2500 pixels

-no text features

 

4) Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (£3 for blend, selection and other features)

This is very popular but in my opinion, not as good as the others. If you’re an illustrator I recommend Artflow instead. It’s more for designers.

Pros:

-large range of features including compass

-nice interface

-text feature

Cons:

-no transform tool

 

**The prices I’ve put on here are approximates

**Please tell me if there is anything wrong or more info can be added

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