It seems like forever since I decided to test the viability of the iPad as a sketch and paint tool, using a Pogo stylus. My concerns were never really wiped away, even after Wacom released a pretty nice capacitive stylus. We held out until the iPad 2 before finally purchasing one, and I have to admit as a consumer device it pretty much rocked my world. As a productivity tool? Not so much. The Wacom stylus was, and probably still is, the best stylus for it. But the fact remains that the capacitive surface just doesn’t lend itself to a stylus that can recreate the true feeling of drawing on a tablet such as a Cintiq. Eventually I gave up trying to be a whizz with the iPad and stuck to pencil and paper.

Then I saw the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the horizon.

The Galaxy Note is the closest I believe we can currently get to a portable wacom tablet. The S-Pen is (so I believe) made by Wacom, and has 1024 pressure levels. Unlike the capacitive stylus, it doesn’t need a big fat crayon sized nib, and is akin to holding a small (approx 2/3 average length) pencil. Unlike the iPad…

.. it ‘just works’.

Apologies in advance for the cheesy video:

I’ve had the Note 10.1 for a couple of weeks, and although I haven’t used it as much as I’d like (time time) I can say this: I love it. Sketchbook Pro works so well on this thing, although there is some debate about the speed of updates for the Android version of SBP they did recently add pressure sensitivity support and a few other features. But sadly it still lags behind the iPad version for the moment. Unfortunately there is no option to create a hi res canvas, despite the fact that the Note 10.1 has more RAM, a faster processor and expandable memory than the iPad 2 (which does have a hi res option) I live in hope that they will update this now there are more tablets on the market.

Below is one of my first stabs at rough sketching in Sketchbook Pro, a quick and dirty version of my Guild Wars 2 main without bothering to hook up any reference images.

Asura Sketch

Sketchbook Pro for Android – Pencil tool and a custom brush

Galaxy Note 10.1

Mmmmm gadget porn…

So… it was expensive, but no more than an iPad. Will I use it? Hell yeh!

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