Size Matters – Artist

When it comes to sketching on a Tablet PC size probably matters. With the recent announcement of the Toshiba Tecra M4, the most compelling new specification (for me) was the screen resolution / size. (1400 x1050 on a 14” screen).  There are lots of other interesting differences (physical size, weight, video processor, cpu, optical drive), but for today I will focus on screen resolution / size matters.


I have both:



  • M200 (12.1 inch screen 1400 x 1050 resolution)
  • TC1100 (10.4 inch screen 1024 x 768 resolution)
  • and I find that for sketching I will use either one, but if I want to do something more detailed, I will gravitate towards the M200.

When contemplating the Toshiba Tecra M4 I got thinking this way (see chart at the end of this article)



  • The M200 screen is about 1.25 inches smaller in each dimension, than a piece of 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
  • The M4 will be about the size of a piece of 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
  • A more general comparison is that the M4 will have about same Pixels per Inch (125) as a 10.4 inch screen with a resolution of  1024 768 (123.3), but you will have nearly 1.87 times as many pixels on the screen (math not shown in the table is 1400 x 1050 / 1024 x 768 = 1.87)

Because I started sketching on Tablet PCs, I have no experience working on a larger medium. I would be lost on a larger canvas.


I tend to work in a small area in the middle of the screen with small illustrations (max  1024 x 768) .  I doubt that I would  find much value in the larger screen on the M4. But that’s me, and the way I learned to draw. If you learned on paper or are used to working with tools or materials that are larger you may have a different view of this.


My point is that you might want to do the physical exercise of creating the real-life simulation. Then consider what you are drawing, and the target media. My sketches end up as illustrations in web pages so all of this is working fine for me on the M200 screen. But what I prefer is a relatively compact form factor.


I’ve looked at the Toshiba R10, and it seems to be about the same size as is predicted for the M4. Given the amount of time I spend carting my Tablet PCs with me, I doubt that I would be happy about the weight and size. I have ready access to optical drives on my network, so I can’t say that I’ve ever missed having one built-in.


So that’s some food for thought.


Here’s the chart.















































































































































































By Size then Resolution

Diagonal (I)


Width (I)


Height (I)


Width (P)


Height (P)


Pix/Inch


           8.4


              6.7


           5.0


800


600


     119.0


           8.4


              6.7


           5.0


1024


768


     152.8


         10.4


              8.3


           6.2


1024


768


     123.3


         12.1


              9.7


           7.3


1024


768


     105.8


         12.1


              9.7


           7.3


1400


1050


     144.6


         14.0


            11.2


           8.4


1024


768


       91.4


         14.0


            11.2


           8.4


1400


1050


     125.0


         15.0


            12.0


           9.0


1024


768


       85.3


         15.0


            12.0


           9.0


1400


1050


     116.7


         15.0


            12.0


           9.0


1600


1200


     133.3

By Resolution then Size

 Width (P) 


 Height (P) 


 Pix/Inch 


 Diagonal (I) 


 Width (I) 


 Height (I) 


800


600


      119.0


            8.4


              6.7


         5.0


1024


768


      152.8


            8.4


              6.7


         5.0


1024


768


      123.3


          10.4


              8.3


         6.2


1024


768


      105.8


          12.1


              9.7


         7.3


1024


768


        91.4


          14.0


           11.2


         8.4


1024


768


        85.3


          15.0


           12.0


         9.0


1400


1050


      144.6


          12.1


              9.7


         7.3


1400


1050


      125.0


          14.0


           11.2


         8.4


1400


1050


      116.7


          15.0


           12.0


         9.0


1600


1200


      133.3


          15.0


           12.0


         9.0


If you found this interesting, you might like:


High Resolution Screens and Tablet PCs

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