Samsung Slate 7 Review for Digital Art Purposes

So back in 2011 I had a Axiotron Modbook, which is a Apple Macbook 13inch with a Wacom digitizer and screen built in to a tablet with full pressure sensitivity, and it was great for digital art purposes.  I also had a Wacom Cintiq 12".  After a pay cut at work, I ended up selling both and just using my small cheapest and smallest version of the Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet.  While it worked, I missed being able to have a digital sketchbook on the go.  I had tried the Motion Computer Slate Tablet PC's, and they are good and have pressure sensitivity and all, but the hardware is outdated and limited in way such as 2 GB of ram max. While the Wacom Cintiq 12" is great, there is a big box and cables you have to hook up to your laptop, so its bulky.  So searching for other tablet pc's, I almost bought the Asus EEE Slate, however the Samsung Slate 7 had better hardware and much better battery life.  So I went with the 64gb SSD Version instead of the 128GB SSD, as I got a refurbished one for $799.99 total shipped, compared to $1,100-1,200 for the 128 gb.  As it has USB to add a external hard drive if needed.  All in all I am very happy, it runs Windows 7 64 bit, and Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS6, Painter 12, Sketchbook Pro, and Zbrush R4 fantastic, with no lag until you get up to the crazy big brushes, however this happens on the best of PC's.  It runs the Intel i5 Sandy Bridge CPU, and has 4gb DDR3 Ram so its very fast.  It performs better then my Macbook as the hardware is much better.  The Screen in great, nice and bright, and good colors.  The feeling of drawing on the "Gorilla Glass" is smooth, but good.  All software I listed above of course has full pressure sensitivity as it is a Wacom Digitizer inside.  All in all for the digital artist on the go, its a fantastic choice.  Especially being only 2 pounds and 1/2 inch thick.  Some people complained about the aspect ration of the screen, however I find that its actually great as it allows you to have all your panels and docks to the sides while still using the center for your canvas.  If your looking for a digital sketchbook, or all around professional workstation, give the Samsung Slate a shot.  An artist who's work I really admire, Daarken, uses the Asus EEE Slate, which is almost identical, just a slower CPU then the Samsung Slate, uses  it for all his professional work he said, and if you have seen his commissioned work, and its good enough for him, then its good enough for me!  Now I can work from books while relaxing on the couch, or I can bring it to life drawing classes, or to the park, whatever.  I really am happy with it, and greatly recommend it to anyone looking for a tablet/slate for digital art work.  Also it runs Maya 2013 and Mudbox great as well.  For sheer entertainment purposes, watching youtube, movies, blogging, etc. its great too.

On a side note, instead of using a bluetooth keyboard, I found a little script that utilizes Auto Hot Key, called ArtDock.  Google it and download it. Its a great little overlay with all your favorite programs like Photoshop, Painter, Sketchbook Pro, Zbrush, and more, and has all the features like Undo, Zoom, and Brush Resize, and so on, and sits to the left of the screen.  You can use touch with your thumb to press the keys while making the workflow 99% like using a keyboard and tablet.  It also has a nice feature that hides the dock when you move your tablet stylus near it, if your going to draw on the canvas or select a random tool not on the script menu.  Anyways, go out and buy one and see for yourself!

Beginning Anew

So basically after trying for years to figure out what I want to do in life, I think I finally found something that inspires me and gives me that hope for a future that doesn't involve being miserable at work every day. Concept art and Illustration. I really want to get into concept art one day, maybe animation, maybe freelance illustration. Anyways I decided to start this as
1. a commitment to myself to try to keep a daily sketchbook, rather digital or traditional, and
2. to show my journey and hopefully inspire others who are beginning to draw and take classes in the graphic design and art fields.  I am currently working as a Sales Manager, and just landed a job as an electrician apprentice, awaiting my start date.  I hope this is just a means to an end, albiet a good trade, I really just hope that I can end up doing something I love. Anyways I hope that I can keep up with this sketchbook project as I am really busy and cannot find the time to do what I want a lot, but I will do my best. I will also try to keep some links posted that I continue to find that help me out a lot, and review some of the dvd's and books that I read and use. Currently I work with a lot of The Gnomon Workshop dvd's and am reading, Andrew Loomis, Vilppu Drawing Manual and DvDs, as well as Sheldons Art Academy videos and Books (Vilppu's Student), Robert Hale's books Drawing Lessons and Anatomy Lessons from the great masters, Masterclass in Figure Drawing, and some of the other 30-40 books I have to inspire me and keep my practice routine different once in a while. Anyways, I hope to get back into the flow of things full force now as this is the third time I have made this commitment to myself and ended up getting caught up in life, or loosing my apartment due to salary cuts at work, or whatever the reason being.