News: Toshiba’s inexpensive Windows tablets now have a pen option


With CES in full swing, lot’s of interesting tech tidbits for us artists are surfaces, so here’s something interesting… Toshiba has just updated their cheap tablets to support pen input!

What does that mean? Well, you can now get a cheap Windows 8.1 tablet for under $500 and run full blown Sketchbook pro on it to draw to your hearts content. Now, of course that does NOT mean that you’ll likely be running Flash, Photoshop or any other processor intensive app on it’s tiny little Atom processor, but it does allow you to have a modern tablet that you can doodle with and not forgo a full interface by having to work around iOS’s refusal to include pen input or Android’s hit and miss implementation of the same. Now of course, whether the digitizer is powerful enough to handle real time pen input remains to be seem but it seems plausible since it it will have pressure sensitivity.

From Engadget’s site:

Though they are indeed inexpensive, they allow for pressure-sensitive pen input, something you’ll rarely see on a device in this price class. The two tablets come in 8- and 10-inch sizes, and will sell for $350 and $400 when they go on sale next week. For the money, you get a Wacom-made pen, with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. To put that in perspective, Microsoft’s own Surface 2 costs $449 and doesn’t have a pen option.

What’s also interesting to note here is Toshiba’s including three useful apps the third of which I find extremely useful. The first one  is called TruCapture allows you to scan newspaper clippings and other printed text using the tablet’s 8-megapixel camera, and then automatically brightens and straightens them. In addition, the app uses character recognition, allowing you to search for keywords later, as well as export raw text to Toshiba’s “TruNote” app which is the second app they’re releasing with this tablet. You can write, draw, doodle and clip anything in and out of this app, which could be cool for research etc.

The third app called TruRecorder, I find the most interesting. It can recognize different voices in a conversation, and then break up the recording according to who’s speaking, complete with color-coded labels for each person. From there, you can play back individual voices, or specific combinations of people. Anyone wanting to record their dialog for a short or animatic will instantly recognize the value of that!

The fact that tablet companies are finally seeing people would like stylus input but not pay $1500 for what really is about as useful as a sheet of paper is both encouraging and exciting. here’s to many more clever art related gadgets in 2015!


You can read the whole Engadget article here.

News: Apple’s Next Hit Will Be a Surface Pro 3 Clone?


Bloomberg is reporting that Apple’s next big product will be a tablet with a stylus something Mac artists have been salivating over for many years. They point to a number of factors, one being the success of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 as well as Samsung’s stylus pen line such as the Note 2, Note 4 Note 10.1 as well as the Note Pro 12.

Samsung debuted its first, much maligned and hugely successful Galaxy Note — the first phone with a bigger-than-5-inch screen — in September, 2011. For two years afterwards, Apple was content to present incremental improvements to the iPhone. Compared with the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5s just added a fingerprint sensor and an improved camera (plus a few other features that most consumers didn’t care about).

Meanwhile Apple carefully observed the “phablet” market, watched other handset makers follow Samsung’s example and erode its market share, and experimented with ways to make a big phone easier to navigate one-handed. It struck just when Samsung started posting lower profits, because of the increased competitive pressure.

This time it isn’t a Samsung product Apple is watching, but Microsoft’s Surface Pro.

Another article from back in January over at Business Week states that Apple has filed for patents using a stylus in conjunction with a tablet. Interesting!


I think it would be in Apple’s best interest to create a product like this considering their biggest announcement this season was a higher resolution screen and some thinner iPads. Bleh. An Apple tablet with a stylus would blow the doors off of the Mac line and it’s likely set everyone into a fever pitch about styluses something us artists would love to see happen. What do you think? Would you like to see Apple finally come out with a Tablet?