A friend recently asked my opinion on whether she should plunk dow the cash for a Cintiq or get a Tablet PC instead (which is cheaper). I figured some might make use of the info so I have reposted in below.
I guess it all depends on what you want to do with the device digitally. The transformer is an Android device if I’m not mistaken so I don’t think it would do you much good since you can’t use a stylus. If you need to use ToonBoom software (IE.: Storyboard Pro) and don’t want to spend the $2000 for a Cintiq your best bet is still Asus but it’s the Asus EP121 which I have and it works very well. It’s also touchscreen which you an toggle on and off depending on what you need it for. The only caveat to it is that the screen is only 12″ but it will run Storyboard Pro very well and it’s probably worth buying for that reason alone. The EP 121 has an i5 processor which is fast as hell and works nicely with Photoshop, Maya, Flash, Toonboom Animate and Storyboard Pro and of course Sketchbook Pro which is the smallest fingerprint of them all. IF you don’t necessarily NEED Storyboard Pro there is another option in the form of the Motion Computing LE1600 which you can get for about $300 on eBay. Nice huh? It works very well with Sketchbook Pro which is a decent alternative to Photoshop for storyboards. If you just want to go ‘digital’ then I would say get one of those. The only thing you need to remember with the LE1600 is that you need to make sure you get a Centrino processor and NOT a Celeron. For $500 you could even get the LE1700 which is faster and takes up to 4gb of memory. Some of them are even touch screen.
The Cintiq is honestly the best way to go for doing storyboards simply because of the size of the screen but a smaller device is completely useable and I have done dozens of boards on a 12″ screen. You also sacrifice performance with a tablet vs the Cintiq but even then it’s really about what software you need to use to get the job done. Some studios like WB and Nick use Photoshop which Sketchbook Pro will fill in for as a lightweight substitute (and also is able to save in .psd format) but then other studios like Disney requires Toonboom and because it uses vectors it needs a decent graphics card and processors to do the math and calculate the strokes you’re creating.
So there, I’ve just complicated it for you further! :-)
But really it’s kinda simple.. to recap:
If you are going to only use Photoshop then you can easily get an LE1600 or and LE1700 but if you need to use Storyboard Pro then your options are either a CIntiq or an Asus EP121.
I hope this helps!