The graphic designer’s blog. Blog about new technologies orbiting around graphic design
The graphic designer’s blog
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    Hardware linked to graphic design

    May 18, 2013, 5:07 PM

    Gechic mobile monitorsIt’s a real revolution for all graphic designers who like traveling and want to be able to work on the road, such as me. I love traveling, but the problem is that you are limited in both weight and volume when you do that, because there’s a maximum weight I can physically carry, and because of the weight limitations of airplane companies. You can’t carry with you an external screen. But that’s a necessity for any true graphic designer, because one quickly becomes cluttered with the huge amount of tools that come with graphic design software such as Photoshop, and that’s even more true with video software such as After Effects. Especially when you have invested in a light and small computer for convenience. Although small, it can be very powerful, more than enough for motion graphics, customized in order to be the most efficient possible, with an SSD hard drive an 8 gigabytes of memory, but the 13 inch screen quickly becomes an issue.
    What about a tablet ? Basic tablets, Android or iOs powered, are not usable for graphic design by themselves, because of software and hardware limitations : not powerful enough, and touchscreens are not suitable for graphic design, you need either a stylus or a mouse. But what about using them as external screens for a laptop? Bad idea. There are software solutions for that, but they’re not suitable to graphic design as the tablet doesn’t work as a real screen, more like a second graphics card. That means it doesn’t use your graphics card’s graphic acceleration, a necessity for graphic design. Other than that the tablet is used as a server with these solutions, it’s a network system that enables connectivity with the computer. A USB2 network… That’s slow. Therefore you will have some lag on the display. Far from perfect.
    But that’s the past. (more…)

    May 17, 2013, 4:39 PM

    OS X on a PCAs stated previously, I’m a graphic designer, but I don’t like Macs. And I’ve got good reasons for that: why pay an expensive price for a product you can have, much cheaper, and more powerful, in the PC world? Especially when you see some expensive Macbook pros are sold around 1,800 euros, without a dedicated graphics card, just the integrated Intel chipset coming with Intel Core i microprocessors… Especially when, the PC world, often wrongly accused of copying Macs (whereas actually the copy is two way, actually even three way as both Microsoft and Apple copy from the Linux world, making user friendly innovative ideas in a system which is unfortunately not for being too difficult to use for everyday users and for not having the most popular software, Steve Jobs himself said a lot of good about copying other people’s work, saying somebody who just copied something was a bandit, but somebody who copied something to make something better out of it was a genius, which makes you wonder why while he was still alive he launched so many legal procedures against companies such as HTC or Samsung) is in fact becoming the most creative one, thanks to Windows 8: Even though I don’t consider that system as being a progress at all for normal computers, with a mouse and no touchscreen, it has the merit of trying to encourage a complete different way of conceiving computers themselves, with the hope that altogether new way will be more comfortable to people than the original concept which now dates from a few decades already, it enables having a real, full-fledged computer, in the shape of a tablet, instead of encouraging the use of multiple gadgets as Apple does with its iPad, because the iPad can be more comfortable to use for some things, but you still need a real laptop as its functions are limited, a waste of money. (more…)

    July 6, 2009, 7:18 PM

    Toshiba m750Well, I haven’t updated this website for a huge amount of time, first because of my work and then more recently because I was busy backpacking in Australia.
    A lot of people showing their interest on the outdated ticket I wrote about the advantages of Tablet PCs over graphic tablets, for drawing and graphic design, I decided to write an updated ticket covering 2009’s options. Unfortunately they are not very good, the choices have become more limited. Where you used to have different screen sizes you now only find 13.3 inches or less, with a standard resolution limited to 1,280×800. It is the same resolution as the Cintiq 12wx, Wacom’s solution for drawing directly on a screen, but that’s a very low resolution for complex graphic design software, which have a huge amount of drop-down menus and for which the number of available pixels is precious… Of course you can plug in a second screen, but the stylus only works on the laptop’s screen, therefore if you put your tool menus on the second screen you need to keep on switching between mouse / touch pad and stylus. And this is a very low amount of pixels when you know that the nowadays old and outdated Tablet PC, the Toshiba M200, had a 1,400×1,050 12 inch screen.

    January 24, 2008, 1:49 AM

    Wacom Cintiq 12wxIf you don’t know Wacom’s Cintiq range yet, that’s simple : it’s their top of the range graphic tablets, which have a screen, thus enabling you to draw directly on a screen as you would on paper. Because drawing on some empty surface, looking at the lines you’re creating on a computer screen which is not below your stylus is in no way natural, it isn’t “logical”, and unlike what I have read on the internet it has nothing to do with being used or not to computers. If you really like drawing you can never get used to this paradox, you learn to deal with it because you don’t have a better option. Being able to draw directly on the screen, on the other hand, is logical, natural, a huge comfort and a liberated gesture. And Wacom means a lot of advantages to make you feel closer to the real thing: pressure levels, precision, and quality… But the Cintiq range is not new. In which way is this product interesting? Because of its price! As a top of the range product, Cintiq tablets have always been overly expensive, and are therefore a luxury. It’s still the case, but it has become affordable. This smaller model than its counterparts (the screen is still 26 per 16 cm, all of it stylus enabled, of course, with a 1,280X800 resolution) is “only” worth 1,200 €.
    Is the alternate solution I’ve spoken about before here, a penabled Tablet PC (which means using Wacom technology) still worth it? More than ever: when new the cost is about the same, and it’s the same technology, but including an operating system, which seems to mean Wacom has a bigger price margin on products they sell themselve than on those they sell to third parties as components : a screen by itself should be way cheaper than a whole computer.
    Pros of a tablet PC : you can use it while travelling (laptop + cintiq, that would be very expensive, and bulky), and Tablet PCs often have a much better resolution (smaller pixels and bigger amount).
    The Cintiq 12wx still has advantages : it is not always easy to find out if a Tablet PC has Penabled technology, and not just a simple touch screen, or their own technology, they are not as powerful as desktop computers and the hardware cannot be upgraded unless buying a new one altogether, and there is no Mac Tablet PC whereas Cintiq works on both operating systems.
    Cintiq 12wx showcase

    August 11, 2007, 8:55 PM

    This video has been shared on many tech lovers websites, before people actually found that already existing technologies were used : a video projector, an ink-free stylus, and a work surface modified in order for react as if it were numerical paper. It’s impressive, especially for those who are more used on painting on big surfaces rather than a tiny computer screen, but there are a lot of drawbacks to such a system: the user’s shadow created by the projector on the work surface, the need of being in a dark room in order to see the image, the low resolution of video projectors, no pressure levels as on a real graphics tablet. This explain why this solution is not commercialized, especially considering the astronomical cost of a video projector. Especially when you have such a competitor as Wacom’s Cintiqs and Tablet PC with Penabled technology, which I’ve already spoken of in this blog.

    Website of the Maxell stylus used by this artist

    August 8, 2007, 6:50 AM

    EOS 350 DThere are many types of digital cameras, and people who are not used to them will quickly get lost in the different offerings. I therefore decided giving here some explanations to help potential buyers’ orienting their choices.

    The article being very long, it is not on this page. It describes different types of cameras, compact, bridge and SLR, their advantages and disadvantages.

    July 20, 2007, 1:52 AM

    Stylet CROSS executiveWhen you have a Tablet PC, you quicly notice the stylus you get with it is not as good as what Wacom makes, even though it uses their technology. At least that’s the case on Toshiba’s M200: Much too thin, the stylus doesn’t have a comfortable grip, it doesn’t have a rubber, doesn’t seem very precise, and where the heck are the pressure levels gone ? Penabled technology is supposed to have 512, but with this stylus it seems there are only… three. Fortunately, Wacom technology means you can get a spare stylus from wacom themselves, whichever brand is your laptop. But on their website, European prices are incredibly high, twice higher than the amount in dollars. And it’s not the kind of product you can easily find in a shop. Fortunately on this English website I found the Rolls of Tablet PC styluses with an affordable price. After buying extra memory it was a must-buy, and it’s still too expensive when you just bought yourself a new computer. But considering it enables you to have the equivalent of a Cintiq tablet without having to buy one…

    July 19, 2007, 11:44 PM

    Toshiba Portégé M200Some people could wonder why I have chosen such an image to illustrate my website.
    First with aesthetics in mind, a picture for my graphic identity seemed better than a drawing, and what represents more a graphic designer than drawing directly on a screen… It is a photoshopped picture, but the second reason to that is that I actually possess this Tablet PC. I used to be really attracted by Wacom’s top of the range Cintiq tablets, drawing directly on a screen seemed like a great idea to me, much more natural than drawing on an impersonal plastic board while watching the computer screen, much closer to the origins of graphic design: drawing on a paper with a pencil. But I was attracted like a car lover would be attracted by Ferraris, it was a dream I was never going to afford considering how pricy it was. The problem with graphic tablets is that, for graphic designers, as soon as you want a bigger than A5 tablet with pressure levels or with a screen there is only one worthy brand, Wacom. I only know of another brand which makes A4 tablets, incredibly cheap for that size, but when you try it out you realize it cannot be used professionally (faulty drivers, stylus with batteries). That was before discovering some Tablet PCs which because of competition need to have affordable prices, and are using Wacom technology. The same technology as in the tablets, Penabled.