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A Look at Tablet PCs for Digital Artists

After Microsoft permanently withdrew from the smartphone market in 2017, it marked the end of Windows Mobile OS. This decision turned out to be an excellent move. Microsoft concentrated a significant portion of their nigh-infinite resources on improving Windows 10 instead, eventually turning it into a better, more refined Operating System. They did release a slightly watered-down version of Windows 10 in 2017 initially, calling it Windows 10 S.

However, the Windows 10 S OS was soon discontinued, as Windows S became a proverbial “Windows Lite” mode, built into the main Windows Operating System. Windows S is still there in Windows 11 as well, but most modern tablet PCs are more than powerful enough to run the Windows without any issues. Before we get into more details about what an artist’s tablet PC is, it is important to define the tablet PC as we understand the category in 2022.

What is a Tablet PC?

There are three requirements that a device must meet to qualify as a tablet PC. These would be as follows:

  1. It must be a Windows 10/11 device to even be called a PC.
  2. It must have a touchscreen.
  3. It must either be a tablet (slate form), or a 2-in-1 laptop that can be folded/detached to be used as a tablet.

What is an Artist’s Tablet PC?

In addition to meeting all three main requirements mentioned in the previous point, a digital artist’s tablet must also meet the following requirements:

  • The tablet PC must have a pressure-sensitive, high-resolution display.
  • The display must have support for pressure-sensitive digital pens, aka styluses.
  • The internals must be sufficient to run the latest modelling, drawing, editing, and designing applications with relative ease.

Dedicated Drawing Tablet Vs Tablet PC for Artists

Although they may sound synonymous, there is a big difference between dedicated drawing tablets and tablet PCs designed for artists. For example, if we look at the Lenovo drawing laptops like the Yoga 9i or the ThinkPad Flex, they are also fully-fledged 2-in-1 PCs with powerful internal hardware. They meet all requirements detailed in the earlier points, making them some of the most complete, portable computers that a digital artist can own without breaking the bank.

Dedicated drawing tablets from manufacturers such as Wacom and Huion have come a long way from their early days, but they are not comparable to a tablet PC as standalone devices. Note that a high-quality drawing tablet like the Kamvas Pro 16 is going to be better for drawing with higher pressure sensitivity and calibrated colour accuracy, but for the most part, it is an advanced, touchscreen monitor. Just like any other monitor, most drawing tablets cannot function unless they are connected to a Windows/macOS device. Therefore, you will need to buy your computer and your drawing tablet separately.

Most professional digital artists will have a canvas-sized drawing tablet at home, but it’s not something that you can carry along with you everywhere. Given how much more portable, multifunctional, flexible, and powerful artist’s PCs are, they just offer considerably better value for money. The bottom line is that you will probably need both at some point, but it’s better to invest in a tablet/2-in-1 PC than a touchscreen monitor.

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