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Discussion Starter #1
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/product/WQ697UA%23ABA

I spent a few days digging up as much info on it as I could. From what I gather, and what may be important to us, it has a stylus so you can draw directly on the screen, but the stylus only has 256 levels of sensitivity. Possibly it will be good for inking, limited sketching and drawing, but certainly not coloring and air brushing. I've also gathered that it is not very powerful so I wouldn't expect to be putting Photoshop CS5 on it. Still, I'm intrigued by the possibilities of this machine. It's like a tiny bit of what the Cintiq offers, but you're also getting a fairly well spec'd notebook computer with 4-6 hours of battery life according to reviews from actual users/owners. At any rate, I've ordered one and I'll report my findings here. I'm looking forward to seeing what I might be able to do with it. If anyone else has any comments please let us know. It may be a good thing for our community...or maybe not. LOL Eventually though, I expect that a powerful beast like this will come out which will be all that the Cintiq is, and a great deal more.
 

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That looks pretty interesting for a travel laptop with drawing capabilities.
 

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I think these tablet PC's are more designed for handwriting and note taking rather than drawing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I'll find out soon. What I've read so far has said very little about it's ability for taking notes, etc. That much is merely understood like how a smartphone can of course make phone calls. LOL It's far more machine that mere note taking, yet it's far from something geared towards graphic artists. I've seen a video demonstration of this particular machine running Photoshop and doing some basic drawing. The levels of sensitivity of the pen is pathetic, so that I already know and I'm not wondering. The real question is one of performance. If I install something light weight and fast like Corel Photopaint, will I be able to get some fluid drawing going, or will I watch the cursor following my strokes around the screen. If that is the case, then I won't waste any time and just send it back. I should receive it on Monday so I'll post my findings Monday night, or Tuesday.
 

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So I've been playing around with this new notebook for about 4 hours. Some things about it actually surprised me by being better than I expected, and other things are not so good. Overall, I found that I could do a pretty good job drawing on the screen in Photoshop and Corel Photopaint X4. The problem is that in tablet form, you lose access to all of the typical key commands that you need for operating the program. Particularly zooming and panning. Another issue I had was that the eraser on the opposite end of the stylus was as likely to draw as it was to erase. I'm planning to spend a few more days practicing drawing with it and trying to work out the best possible way for me to draw on it and get things done.

One thing I did not expect was that it would be so hot. I read reviews that said that this thing was very cool and a lot better than the previous model. The way I see it, I didn't know laptops could get so hot. This thing is certainly unbearable for me, when I placed it on my lap and tried to draw on it. My other laptop is no problem to place it on my lap and surf the web. The heat was even radiating up through the keys which I never experienced on my other laptop. So that's a big problem.

Another issue is that in portrait mode, the monitor acquires a certain sheen, the way cheap monitors look when you view them from an angle, but not quite as bad. But it's bad enough that I would not want to draw on it. The black lines were like, "glowing" off the screen and it immediately began to bother my eyes. That is completely unacceptable. The monitor of course is also the standard cheap monitors commonly found on cheap pcs, but I found it to be usable when just using it in landscape mode and looking straight, or nearly straight at it.

The touch and multi-touch aspect of both the screen and the touch pad are hit and miss, lots and lots of misses. I sort of expected that, but I hoped things would be better.

The pressure sensitivity of the pen is surprisingly good in Photoshop and Photopaint.

At 4.7 pounds, it's much too heavy to try to cradle it in your arm while drawing on it. And of course, it would fry your arm.

The fan can certainly be heard, but it's not annoying like the surging fan on my Sony laptop.

I'm not sure about the battery life. I got less than 4 hours out of it today but I was installing applications and doing setups that may have put a heavier strain on the battery.

I'm going to keep it for a few more days and see if i can work out a workable way of drawing productively on the screen. If I can, the I'll probably still keep it because it will still be serving the purpose for which I bought it. If not, then I'm going to box it back up and send it back and wait for something higher quality to come along.
 

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LOL I'm disappointed that there seems to be little interest in this device. Well, don't say I didn't tell you so, but here's another installment of my continuing review.

Getting right to the main reason I bought this thing, (drawing), I'm seriously impressed. A lot of my fears have been put to rest. I wondered if it could handle a modern version of Photoshop and it's doing fine with CS4, 11 x 17 - 300dpi document. It makes nice smooth strokes, zooms and pans quickly. It's good. The pressure sensitivity, I worried would be absolute crap, but it turns out to be very good. Better than what I saw in the video tutorials earlier. A little bit of a struggle is the fact that it can't respond to both stylus and finger input at the same time. So, I'm drawing with my left hand, then I go to pan the screen with my right using the "two-finger" multi-touch technique and I must make sure that I lift the stylus far enough away from the screen or it simply fails. This inability is interestingly the same reason why I can rest my hand on the screen while I draw. This does not work perfectly though. Sometimes, it suddenly makes a fast long line to the side of my hand, and back to the stylus point as it accidentally access my hand touch via the capacitive touch layer, then back to the digitizer layer for the stylus. So I have to be mindful and careful of that happening.

Another important point I would like to mention is that the quality of the screen is an area which I don't believe HP should have been so cheap. It's the one thing that really has me uncertain. As a graphic artist, I'm constantly on all manner of angle while drawing, so looking at what I'm drawing can be troublesome when the quality of the screen is so poor. And rotating the machine to portrait, either by turning the machine sideways, or pressing the rotate screen button, the result is the same. The screen takes on the same kind of look as when you look at a cheap monitor on an angle. It does bother me, but I need to get through a 5 or 6 hour session of just drawing to decide if this is going to be a shop stopper or not.

So overall my drawing experience seems to be well worth the price of just under a thousand dollars that I paid for it. I bought the "quick ship" model if anyone is curious. It's the one that ships with the i-3 processor.

The machine itself is bog standard cheap pc manufacturing. I would like to criticize it the poor workmanship and quality of build, but I suppose these are the compromises necessary to keep the price down and deliver a product which is still usable.

I think I could recommend it for tryout, same as what I'm doing now since I can return it if I run into a show stopping problem.
 

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Thanks for the review..

they are nice gadgets, but for what it's worth, i think you're better off with a desktop/laptop that can do more..

good thing you can return it if you didn't like it.
 
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