March 01, 2013

Exciting hints from Wacom

From their Facebook page:

We’ve heard you shouting out loud for a Wacom mobile tablet for creative uses. Well… we’re listening. We’ve read your email and spoken to many about an on-the-go dream device. It will come. This summer. We’re working 24/7 on it. And yes, it has a real pressure-sensitive professional pen, smooth multi-touch, an HD display, and other valuable features that you haven’t seen in other tablets.

Hmm… Truly stylus-savvy tablet hardware that could run in mobile-optimized mode while on the go, then plug into a keyboard & run full Photoshop? That would be kinda epic, no? (Note: I’m out of this particular loop these days, so I’m just saying what I personally would love–which seems in line with many of the comments on the post.)

TechCrunch adds a little more detail.

[Via Jerry Harris & Scott Valentine]

PS–John Gruber made an interesting comment the other day: “How ironic would it be if the iPad becomes the dominant mass market computer and the Surface becomes the one for artists?”

Posted by John Nack at 12:56 PM on March 01, 2013

Comments

  • John Stevenson — 1:55 PM on March 01, 2013

    Should this not have been possible from the get-go with the Surface Pro? – as per: http://tinyurl.com/awxr4nr
    Just wonderin’ …

  • Kai — 2:42 PM on March 01, 2013

    Yep, this is (mostly) possible with the Surface Pro.
    At least one professional artist is mightily impressed with it:
    http://penny-arcade.com/2013/02/25/the-ms-surface-pro
    (I promise there is no profanity in that penny arcade poat)

    There are some issues with Photoshop on the Surface, but Sketchbook Pro works beautifully by all accounts.

    This is a very interesting time to be watching things like this unfurl. I’ve lusted over a Cintiq for years, but now such technology is now almost in my grasp…

  • John Stevenson — 6:52 AM on March 02, 2013

    … so, then, does anyone know whether the microSD memory which can be added to the Surface Pro can be made to be the scratch drive for Photoshop?
    … and, then, is there truth to the project wherein Wacom is actually fixing the driver for the Surface pen (so that it will work with pressure sensitivity in Photoshop)
    … but, then, that’ll all set the bar quite high for Wacom’s tablet

  • Dragos — 8:11 AM on March 02, 2013

    The main problem I have with a Surface Pro or any other competing Windows tablet is that they lack hardware buttons. And when working in Photoshop or any other content-creation software we need Ctrl, Shift, Alt and so on.
    A tablet (made by Wacom or anyone else) with the assortment of hardware buttons that a Cintiq or Intuos have (4-8 external buttons, fully configurable, scrolling surface etc) would be excellent.

    • John Stevenson — 9:54 AM on March 02, 2013

      The Surface Pro has the prior (RT version) on-screen keyboard: http://tinyurl.com/a3x66lp Can be activated with the pen (but, don’t see an Alt key there though).

      • Dragos — 10:19 AM on March 02, 2013

        There are various utilities (ArtDock etc) that allow you to have on-screen toolbars with keys and shortcuts on a tablet. And none is even close to the convenience, speed and non-intrusiveness of having the hardware buttons on a Cintiq/Intuos.

        • John Stevenson — 11:27 AM on March 02, 2013

          What about the alpha-numeric inputs – Select > Modify, or (even) Edit > Transform, Transform Selection, etc. ? (For me, Select without easy access to Shift or Alt would be problematic …)

    • Speed — 1:45 PM on March 02, 2013

      The Surface Pro has a full keyboard (either the type cover or touch cover) that can be detached or folded out of the way when not in use. It’s a beautiful thing.

      • John Stevenson — 3:03 PM on March 02, 2013

        That’s so. But the speculation is however that the forthcoming Wacom tablet could be used alone – no keyboard at all; just a touch screen and a stylus and some (a few) buttons. Maybe the Surface Pro could run Photoshop like this – that is without a physical or on-screen keyboard – with the addition of a few Tablet-user Scripts and/or Actions …?? and use of the pen.

  • Jerry Harris — 5:27 AM on March 04, 2013

    We are all ears on any feature requests our customers might have in regards to becoming more tablet friendly!

    • John Stevenson — 6:36 PM on March 04, 2013

      Well, the consensus here appears to be that it should be better in features set and no worse in overall performance than a Surface Pro + Photoshop CS6.

    • Jerry Harris — 7:31 AM on March 07, 2013

      I should clarify my statement to say x86 win8 tablets such as the surface pro, or Samsung slate 7, etc.

      I would add the “delete” key to the list of things MIA when using a computer sans tablet.

  • Claudius — 11:23 AM on March 06, 2013

    I don’t get the short-term memory of computer users these days. There were tablets before the iPad, and they _had_ touch. And they _had_ (wacom) pen input (and you even could rest your hands on the screen while you were using the pen).

    I owned a Lenovo X60t and i am now writing this on a Lenovo X220t. Yes, they are windows-based, and yes, the screens do leave something to be desired. But portability- and performance-wise they are great devices.

    • Claudius — 11:26 AM on March 06, 2013

      what i’m trying to say is, they were awesome for photoshop even back then. Yes, they are more in the 1.5kg area than in the 0.5kg area, but it’s overall a better product for serious work.

      (i don’t think by any stretch that they are a substitute for post-iPad Tablets, but then again i don’t see myself doing any kind of work on Tablets instead of Tablet-PCs.)

      • Dragos — 6:33 AM on March 07, 2013

        I own a X220T as well. An excellent machine, but it perfectly illustrates what I wrote above: it’s very inconvenient to do proper Photoshop work because it lacks hardware buttons when in tablet mode. So Alt-shift drag or any other combinations are hard to achieve and require software utilities which are awkward.

  • andrew — 7:39 AM on May 17, 2013

    I’m thinking it’s beyond time to look for a tablet that is capable of running photoshop well- It’s been 4 years since we were hoping that the iPad would come out and run OSX and provide cheaper, mobile alternative to Wacom’s overpriced high priced tablets and yet, here we still are. The Samsung galaxy S Note came close with a wacom digitizer and multi-touch, but it doesn’t come close to running the necessary software. And none of them so far have shown the necessary willingness to put buttons on things to get us a tablet that works for painting.

    Instead, I think it’s time to start looking at which software will replace Photoshop as something that works well on mobile devices AND on the desktop. Adobe has tried a few times and their mobile offerings have been lame to say the best. Photoshop is never going to run well on a mobile platform because it’s been developed on a certain architecture, with a certain method of working for 25 years. Even on a Cintiq, with all its buttons and multiple scroll bars, I found myself needing a keyboard and contorting into these awkward positions to use both.

    I’m a windows fan boy at heart and have been for a long time but honestly, I think Apple is closer to having a full operating system with a UI that works in a mobile environment with Mountain Lion than Microsoft is with Windows 8. Their offerings in their app store like Pixelmator and Acorn have a better chance of providing photoshop capability on a touch UI, than Adobe has of making a satisfying mobile likeness of photoshop, or Wacom does of making a tablet that can make up for missing a keyboard.

    I’m not holding my breath. I did for the iPad, then for the eepad, the Adam, the Galaxy S Note, bought one of each and was thoroughly disappointed each time.

  • Augustine — 9:43 AM on August 09, 2013

    Hello everyone,

    Interesting posts, I am fairly new to Wacom/Cintiq tablets and the use of adobe products. I am in school for illustration and I already have the CS6 Master Suite, but thought I could use a tablet. How does one know which one to buy? I will be using it mostly for illustrations and logos, do not know yet if I will be using it for anything else. Also does the Wacom/Cintiq tablet work with the CS6 Master Suite.

    • Claudius — 7:46 AM on August 12, 2013

      Personally, i stick to the “cheap” line (owner of the very small fist bamboo and a more recent larger one). But then again, i just use that as part of my hobby, not very professionally.

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