The return of the digitizer (UPDATED)

UPDATE: I had to add a lot more devices to the list because this was written before a lot of the devices were put on display in trade shows.  

    When people think of a stylus most think of a resistive screen tablet or a really old smart phone. Most think that the capacitive stylus is a good equal to the active digitizer or the N-trig system. It is very hard to explain the accuracy of the digitizer system. There are two major ones that power different variations of tablets and “phablets.” In the tablet section the first digitized tablet was the HTC Flyer with the Scribe pen. It was all around a great tablet, but not marketed very good. The scribe pen was based on a N-Trig system which is a lot better that the capacitive for sure, but is slower than the WACOM system. The next major device that was not a WACOM made tablet like the boogie board (these are tabs without real OSes) was the Samsung Series 7 slate which was the official Windows 8 DP tablet that was huge and featured a WACOM active digitizer and horrible battery life and a overall forgettable experience. Combined with a really bad rear 3.2 mp camera and a huge unwieldy 1366×768 it was nothing to write home about. Of course do you think that artists want to carry a 12.1 inch tablet (Samsung Series 7 or Asus Ep/Bp 121) with paltry screen resolution and bad rear cameras which force them to use a dSLR or comparable mega zoom which makes them carry a lot of stuff. Or do you think with new advancements in active digitizer design’s since then will they go for a 10.6 inch or even a large but super thin 11.6 inch design that offers better rear camera’s and Super IPS + displays with full HD displays that also cost less?  Some trade offs are power in some like the Asus tablet 810 others are size like the Asus transformer book. The best solution is another Windows 8 official tablet the Surface Pro. Even though it is coming out a full 3 months later than the Surface RT it will be powered by an Intel core i5 Ivy Bridge and will start with a 64GB SSD. It will be a pretty svelte device at only 13.6mm which is a tad bit thicker than the MBA, but consider having a 10 finger multi touch screen and an active digitizer layer that features some pretty nice stuff like an eraser, or when you are writing and you put your finger on the screen it will stop writing and move the page or zoom in and out with your finger. Now we know a lot of the answers about the Surface pro because it is available. With a starting price of $999 it is not very cheap but packing an intel core i5 ivy bridge throttled CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 5 hours of battery life it makes up for the price.

      Another potential in the high powered, large, WACOM packing tablet sector is the Asus Transformer book series. This one is very diverse in options with a 11.6, 13, and 14 inch variations all with 4GB RAM and a front 2MP Full HD webcam and a rear 5MP camera which is good for taking concept pictures, but with a 14 inch it might be a bit hard to steady it. These unlike the Surface Pro like the Android Transformer series have a detachable keyboard, but unknown to us if it adds extra battery life or not. What is very unique in an ultrabook is the 14 inch will come with an optical drive for making DVDs and Cd’s or just watching a movie. The thin factor is hard to beat and intel core innards (some report all three ivy bridge 3,5,7 will be available) is very powerful for Photoshop, Autodesk, and other tasks. Also a Full HD screen is a big plus with a Super IPS + panel too it makes for some stiff competition. 

     Another Asus make is the middle of the road priced Asus tablet 810 from the Eee PC family. There are a couple of things that make it a budget tablet that still feels like a premium device. The first is the Intel Atom processor. Even though they have come very far in producing an overall better product it is still a budget processor. The tablet runs on a Clover field chip 1.86 GHz dual core CPU with 4 hyper threads. It does come with a Super IPS + panel to help with glare issues, but that budget price makes it a 1366×768 lack luster screen resolution. After that the budget seams stop and the beauty of a premium product shows. An 8.7 mm thin design is thinner than the Ipad 2 or 3 and it still manages to fit in a mini HDMI port, headphone, and docking ports in the tablet itself. Like it’s more expensive brothers and sisters it has a removable docking station that boosts the battery life from 8 hours to 16+ hours. Also a separate charging port and 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports abide in the rear of the dock. The WACOM digitizer and docking station come included which really makes this a steal if it is $599  but sadly they priced it at a whopping $799 without the dock.

      All in all the active digitizer market is not dead it is still alive among professional people like photographers and artists. I think the digitizer is a great addition to the Windows Journal since digitizers have palm rejection built in. The Android tablet space does have some N-trig friends from Samsung like the Galaxy Note “phablet” and the Galaxy Note 10.1 inch tablet that both feature the S-Pen.

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  • Anonymous

    You mention a WACOM digitizer for the Asus transformer book. This is the first report of that that I see. Do you have any official source for the information?

    Thanks!

    • Yes the Transformer book with Ivy bridge innards? That was told in a video by an associate of Asus. Also in some of the pictures of the tablet/computer it had the Digitizer.

  • Anonymous

    You mention a WACOM digitizer for the Asus transformer book. This is the first report of that that I see. Do you have any official source for the information?

    Thanks!

    • Yes the Transformer book with Ivy bridge innards? That was told in a video by an associate of Asus. Also in some of the pictures of the tablet/computer it had the Digitizer.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe the Transformer Book tablets are going to have a digitizer unfortunately, just the VivoTab TF810 at this point. The Taichi uses the N-TRIG solution. I see no information about the Transformer Books having a digitizer anywhere else on the web and it’s almost November. The first full Win 8 tablet that has a Wacom digitizer, SD card slot, 128gb+ SDD, an i5 or i7 processor, dockable keyboard that extends battery life is going to have my money provided everything is good quality and decent battery life (6+ on tablet alone, 10+ with keyboard).

    • i realize this and now I have to update the list. i did see them getting digitizer though i think optional. there are a lot more tabs (thinkpad tab 2, samsung series 5 slate, series 7 slate, etc) so I have to update the list. thanks for the information on the taichi though.

    • @Ezekiel Carsella: hi, if like you said before that there is a video in which Asus said the Transformer Book *can work with* an active digitizer then I think it can. Because I just emailed Asus the other day, asking for confirmation on active digitizer support with “full sensitivity” (that was my exact wording), they answered “Yes”. Note that I do realise from watching lots of the hands-on of the Transformer Book that it *does NOT come with an active digitizer*, so knowing that, I only ask them if it “supports” the active digitizer at all, and they said yes it does.

      After that I asked them, since that is the case (active digitizer supported but not included) would they be planning to sell it through their own store as an accessory. They replied saying that they are considering that route, but nothing about the availability of such a pen has been confirmed by them as of yet. But at least they confirm that the Transformer Book does support one.

      I was a bit wary of the responses I got: they responded my questions alright, but there are also other stuffs included in the email that I got that sounds more or less like a pre-formatted response (at the top and bottom of the email). So I can’t really tell if they did actually read my email carefully before responding or not. But if you have indeed seen a video saying that the Transformer Book does support active digitizer then there is a very good chance that the information is genuine and consistent.

      I don’t mind buying the pen separately, so I don’t have any issue with it not including one, but the critical question that will drive my purchase decision is whether it supports one at all.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t believe the Transformer Book tablets are going to have a digitizer unfortunately, just the VivoTab TF810 at this point. The Taichi uses the N-TRIG solution. I see no information about the Transformer Books having a digitizer anywhere else on the web and it’s almost November. The first full Win 8 tablet that has a Wacom digitizer, SD card slot, 128gb+ SDD, an i5 or i7 processor, dockable keyboard that extends battery life is going to have my money provided everything is good quality and decent battery life (6+ on tablet alone, 10+ with keyboard).

    • i realize this and now I have to update the list. i did see them getting digitizer though i think optional. there are a lot more tabs (thinkpad tab 2, samsung series 5 slate, series 7 slate, etc) so I have to update the list. thanks for the information on the taichi though.

    • @Ezekiel Carsella: hi, if like you said before that there is a video in which Asus said the Transformer Book *can work with* an active digitizer then I think it can. Because I just emailed Asus the other day, asking for confirmation on active digitizer support with “full sensitivity” (that was my exact wording), they answered “Yes”. Note that I do realise from watching lots of the hands-on of the Transformer Book that it *does NOT come with an active digitizer*, so knowing that, I only ask them if it “supports” the active digitizer at all, and they said yes it does.

      After that I asked them, since that is the case (active digitizer supported but not included) would they be planning to sell it through their own store as an accessory. They replied saying that they are considering that route, but nothing about the availability of such a pen has been confirmed by them as of yet. But at least they confirm that the Transformer Book does support one.

      I was a bit wary of the responses I got: they responded my questions alright, but there are also other stuffs included in the email that I got that sounds more or less like a pre-formatted response (at the top and bottom of the email). So I can’t really tell if they did actually read my email carefully before responding or not. But if you have indeed seen a video saying that the Transformer Book does support active digitizer then there is a very good chance that the information is genuine and consistent.

      I don’t mind buying the pen separately, so I don’t have any issue with it not including one, but the critical question that will drive my purchase decision is whether it supports one at all.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, after the Thinkpad Tablet (android version) I bought, I don’t know if I’ll get another Lenovo tablet again. Win 8 may be different, but support for Android by Lenovo was very poor, very few updates. I also believe the Thinkpad tablet 2 uses N-Trig which is inferior to the Wacom digitizer. The Samsungs seem ‘ok’, but reviews have said the weight is unbalanced when using the keyboard dock, and the dock doesn’t provide extra battery life either… It’s like they just want us to wait for something better, lol.

    At this point it seems like I’ll be waiting for the Surface Pro, or something similar with a Wacom digitizer.

    • it doesnt? on their website it says it does. and the thinkpad tab 2 does use Wacom i can officially tell you that. is said so on microsoft store listing and their website. and updates are handled via OS not exactly OEM. and Android devices are not known for their good updates 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, after the Thinkpad Tablet (android version) I bought, I don’t know if I’ll get another Lenovo tablet again. Win 8 may be different, but support for Android by Lenovo was very poor, very few updates. I also believe the Thinkpad tablet 2 uses N-Trig which is inferior to the Wacom digitizer. The Samsungs seem ‘ok’, but reviews have said the weight is unbalanced when using the keyboard dock, and the dock doesn’t provide extra battery life either… It’s like they just want us to wait for something better, lol.

    At this point it seems like I’ll be waiting for the Surface Pro, or something similar with a Wacom digitizer.

    • it doesnt? on their website it says it does. and the thinkpad tab 2 does use Wacom i can officially tell you that. is said so on microsoft store listing and their website. and updates are handled via OS not exactly OEM. and Android devices are not known for their good updates 🙂