Samsung Galaxy Note

edited December 2013 in The Toolbox
I got an early Christmas present that I really like.  My friend Vincent bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, but decided he'd rather have the latest full-size iPad, so he gave the Galaxy to me.  It's an 8" touch-screen Android tablet, but instead of kludging together a blunt stylus via Bluetooth, it uses an actual Wacom digitizer behind the screen for the same kind of pressure-sensitive stylus as a Surface or other Tablet PC. 

The biggest negative about the device is that it's Android.  Nothing against that in principle, but it rules out standard Win/OSX apps.  On the other hand, there's a Galaxy-Note optimized version of AutoDesk's SketchBook app for $5.  It supports multiple layers, different brushes, etc. and would've been considered a top-notch drawing program in 1990.  It draws with finger input, right up until you remove the stylus from its slot, and then it's pen-only for drawing (you can still zoom, etc. with your fingers), so you don't have to worry about making marks by resting your hand on the screen.  There are people doing finished work using it, but I see it more as a sketching tool.

And that's why the second-biggest negative about it doesn't bother me: the screen size.  There's also a 10" model, but it wouldn't be easy to shove into a coat pocket.  This is something I can keep with me all the time, because it's as thin and light as a drawing tablet should be, about the same thickness as my iPhone.  The stylus is similarly small, which is another reason I see it as a sketching device.  The responsiveness is good, with only a little lag noticeable.

One of the nice things about working with my Thinkpad tablet and my home Mac is that they synch via Dropbox, so I can work on the same files on either one. I can't do that with this, but it's pretty easy to export a sketch to Dropbox as a PNG or PSD, which I can then import into Manga Studio and develop it from there.  Going the other way is also possible, but less useful.

Since I already have a portable that I can take places where I know I'll have some drawing time, I'm not sure this will become part of my regular workflow.  But since I can take it with me even if I don't expect I'll have time to work on stuff, it should help to keep me more productive.



  • Very cool! I like Samsung's mobile devices quite a bit.
  • That's a good score.  And the screen size is fine.  If anything you can easily draw one panel at a time.
  • That's how I'm thinking I might use it: work out a page layout on a larger screen, then use this in spare minutes during the day to sketch out individual panels, which I'd either tighten up or trace in Manga Studio.  This afternoon I used it to map out a family portrait of the Endless for the Nude 52.  I also gave it to my protegé Zlatan to play with, and he seems to like it (unlike most computers) so maybe I can wean him from pencil and paper.
  • edited January 2014
    A couple follow-up comments:

    My Galaxy Note came with a 2-year credit for 48GB of Dropbox space that the original owner never signed up to use (he's got a 100GB account that isn't full), which I've added to my account.  Not really of much use by the Galaxy, but it's handy to be able to store everything I'm working on (including all the finished Tales) for easy access on either of my computers, even when I'm away from home with the laptop.  But I'm trying not to get too used to it, because I'm not going to start paying for it when it expires.

    Samsung is coming out with a new line of "Pro" tablets that includes 8", 10", and now 12" versions.  The 8" is still the best one for me, but if I wasn't already using a Windows tablet for portable drawing, and if I could work within the limitations of the apps available for Android, a Galaxy Note 12 would be pretty appealing.  The first-look comments are criticizing it for being heavy, but that's comparing it to a 10" tablet: it's lighter than an MS Surface and way lighter than my 12" laptop.  As more powerful Android devices like this become available, the apps will start to take advantage of them ... but I don't expect to see Manga Studio for Android or iOS any time soon.
  • Yeah, the tool chain is what keeps me from really considering one of these. It would be great for sketching and what not but I don't see easily doing production viable work on it. What sort of export does sketchpad pro etc. do? Can you output high res tiffs or anything?
  • edited January 2014
    SketchBook supports up to 2560x2560, and can export to PNG, JPG, or PSD (including layers), so you can do it without losing any quality.  Exporting to Dropbox is probably the most practical way to get them to a real computer, though you could do it to a Micro SD card or mail them to yourself instead.
  • @JasonAQuest Oh wow, didn't realize it would export to PSD - that's kind of awesome! 
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