Wacom plans to build a mobile tablet for artists, designers

Wacom makes graphics tablets which you can plug into a computer draw detailed images using a pressure-sensitive pen. The company’s technology has also been used in a number of tablets and other devices, adding support for pressure-sensitive writing and drawing.

Now Wacom is preparing to launch its own tablet, aimed at creative folks who want a tablet that can be used for artwork on the go.

Wacom Cintiq graphics tablet

Wacom Cintiq graphics tablet

The company unveiled plans for the new mobile tablet on its Facebook page, and says it should launch this summer.

The tablet will have an HD display, support for multi-touch input, and a “real pressure-sensitive professional pen.”

Wacom isn’t saying much more at the moment, so we don’t know if the tablet will have an ARM-based chip or an x86 processor, or if it will run Android, Windows, or something else.

But my money’s on a Windows 8 tablet with an x86 processor that can handle Photoshop and other industry-standard graphics apps.

Wacom’s tablet wouldn’t be the first mobile tablet with those features — the Microsoft Surface Pro can effectively be used as a mobile graphics tablet which also happens to be able to run office apps, games, and pretty much anything else you can run on a Windows PC.

In fact, Penny Arcade’s, Mike Krahulik recently tested the Surface Pro as a graphics tablet and described his experience using it to draw the comic strip while he was away from his primary PC. He liked it.

It’ll be interested to see what Wacom brings to the tablet to improve the experience with its own tablet, be it a better display, more advance pen features, a better price, or something else entirely.

via Engadget

  • Guest

    wacom, or go home.

  • jm2c

    It will be interesting to see if it’s a Windows 8 Pro tablet. I would think it will be, due to all the software that graphic artists use and since OSX isn’t licensed. I got a Surface Pro and the pen with Sketchbook Pro is pretty nice. I appreciate being able to see the line where I’m drawing instead of having the disconnect between the tablet and screen.

  • Jorj_X_McKie

    Right…. running this on Android makes no sense–Industry std apps don’t run on it. It has to be Windows and Wintab pen drivers, or bunch of newly developed stuff, which makes little sense either. My guess is Samsung will make the hardware and put a Wacom logo on it, but that might seriously compete with its Note and ATIV lines. Also impacted is the viability of using something like the upcoming Lenovo LT1423p external monitor (with Wacom pen) as a ‘poor man’s Cintiq’. If the drivers are available on release allowing Photoshop use, that would be a much cheaper alternative ($350-450). Very interesting to see where this all leads.

    • CyberGusa

      Well, keep in mind that the Cintiq line has up to now been primarily just a touch screen LCD with active digitizer and specialized controls that’s used with a PC…

      So even with Android, it could be that it can still be used as a monitor when docked for a PC and Android can be just when using it as a tablet. Similar to the AIO system Asus showcased not too long ago.

      Only if it’s intended to be its own complete system would it be sure to be Windows with x86 hardware… but it’ll be very pricey if that’s the case…

      While WACOM usually has drivers that work for Photoshop, it’s just many companies that include active digitizers with their systems don’t use the WACOM drivers by default… I know WACOM has already started developing drivers for Windows 8, just not sure if it’s out of beta yet but if not it shouldn’t be much longer before it is…

    • buzz86us

      I wouldn’t call it a poor mans cintiq… I think that mobile monitor would really put the kibosh on the already released graphic slates who would buy one of those when these cost about $50 less and include a full lcd?

      • Jorj_X_McKie

        That’s a cool idea… you’re referring to the thumbdrive type PC, right? Might make a nice portable Linux tablet as well. I never could get the stylus working when I had Ubuntu on my old convertible, but it would be sweet to get that working on something like this so we could draw with GIMP.

  • http://jakkrobbit.tumblr.com/ Jakkrobbit

    I imagine it will be running Windows 8 at least. If it’s going to be a tablet meant for artists, it has to support programs like Sketchbook Pro, Painter, and Photoshop. Running it on Android wouldn’t do professional artists any good. I’m just glad they’re getting in the market, though. We need some tablets that really cater to artists. The Surface Pro is pretty good, though.