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[Request] [Jolla Tablet] Wacom digitizer (active-pen) support [answered]

asked 2014-11-19 15:06:01 +0300

MartinK gravatar image

updated 2015-01-16 14:25:16 +0300

eric gravatar image

While it is probably too late at this design stage for the Jolla tablet, it would be very nice if the tablet had a Wacom digitizer built-in. Unlike a normal capacitive touchscreen a active-pen digitizer is much more precise, providing much improved performance for digital drawing and other use cases that require precise pointer control and/or stylus tip pressure data.

See this guide for what the difference between a normal capacitive screen and a Wacom digitizer is.

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by eric
close date 2015-01-16 15:02:20.311144



Hard to implement at this price point. It would be more of a gimmick for myself but I sure hardcore artists would appreciate it.

Toxip ( 2014-11-19 21:50:52 +0300 )edit

Yeah - still actual Wacom LCD tablets being so batshit insane overpriced, any alternative is very welcome! :) BTW, I think I've read something about some of the Wacom patents expiring so it might now be possible to use this technology without paying insane money for patents to Wacom. That could bring the price penalty down if true. :)

MartinK ( 2014-11-19 22:04:10 +0300 )edit

12 Answers

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answered 2014-11-20 01:19:37 +0300

crystaldragon141 gravatar image

I love this idea but I would humbly suggest that the digitizer be a N-Trig instead of Wacom. There are various benefits to N-Trig for a tablet.

  1. Uses less power
  2. touch and digitizer are combined in one unit (N-Trig Duosense)
  3. N-Trig digitizer is MUCH thinner and thus does not suffer from parallax, also allows for closer mounting of the screen which always looks better
  4. N-Trig does not require calibration
  5. I believe the N-Trig is cheaper (possibly because it also integrates the multi-touch into one unit)
  6. N-Trig does not have any issues with stylus drift

Now don't get me wrong I'm not anyone's fanboy especially not N-Trigs.

However many new devices have chosen the N-Trig.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Acer R7-572 (second generation, I own this and love it)

I believe the Galaxy Note's use Wacom.

I will attest to the awesomeness of taking notes with a stylus. I use my Acer R7 all the time and there is no replacement for being able to literally write on the screen with an active stylus.

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Interesting, thanks for all the details! :) While I have some general idea how the pen tablet technology works, I don't have much idea about the various implementations from various vendors available on the market, so I've just named Wacom, the long time "default" pen tablet vendor. :)

MartinK ( 2014-11-20 01:40:54 +0300 )edit

My experience of NTrig on linux (I own a Vaio Duo) is rather demotivating: Yes, the digitizer itself works, but mandatory features like palm rejection or the extra buttons on the stylus don't. I believe Wacom is more widely supported.

acrylschaf ( 2014-11-20 09:38:41 +0300 )edit

Have you downloaded the latest drivers from N-Trig? I thought mine were up to date when I got my R7 but they weren't. Palm rejection and buttons work great after the driver was installed. In fact N-Trig has released a WinTab driver so it's now fully backwards compatible.

crystaldragon141 ( 2014-11-21 22:44:37 +0300 )edit

I currently have a tablet that uses an N-Trig stylus (Fujitsu Stylistic Q550). And I'm actually quite disappointed in it. For the first two years it worked nicely, but then the tip got bent due to use, and it started behaving erratically. There was a replacement tip, which worked for another half year and then started misbehaving again. The only thing to do was to buy a new one (each pen is customised for a particular tablet model). Which cost me around $80. And it again worked for around half a year and now it's erratic... again. Maybe it's just luck or something, but personally I don't think I want to bother with N-Trig ever again.

GreatEmerald ( 2014-11-29 00:08:33 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-11-19 19:01:45 +0300

acrylschaf gravatar image

Indeed, an active stylus would lift the Jolla tablet from a decent entertainer to a true life companion. As a student I do use this feature on my convertible PC every day, but would prefer a small&light device like the Jolla tablet. There are even some tablet PCs in the price range of the Jolla tablet like the Tegra Note (~150EUR) or the VivoTab Note (~199EUR) that offer an active stylus.

I know this feature would need a lot of customization on the software side – anyway, it would be fantastic not to limit the hardware on the current state of Sailfish OS. For me the Jolla tablet seems like the first truly open tablet PC which can be used with any operating system I like. I’d love to see the Jolla tablet breaking the boundaries of current open-source computing – up to now active styli have been limited to proprietary systems.

My suggestion: Make the Jolla tablet digitizer-ready and offer the stylus as accessory later on. I guess that would increase the number of pre-orders even more…

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I'm pretty sure, that Tegra Note doesn't have active stylus. It's regular capacitive stylus with rubbery end, the pressure applied is calculated by the processor (based on the size of rubbery end actually touching the screen).

darkestmin ( 2014-11-19 20:39:40 +0300 )edit

Oh yes, you're right - I should have looked more into the details... well, then I guess, this is technology for higher priced devices... :(

acrylschaf ( 2014-11-19 23:03:56 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-11-19 16:38:39 +0300

ZeeLobby gravatar image

This would be amazing. If smoothly implemented this could be the number 1 note taking tablet in the world. It would also help differentiate Jolla OS from other OSes that have implemented it somewhat poorly. Having it baked into the OS would be awesome!

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answered 2014-12-03 23:12:55 +0300

tjh gravatar image

I wouldn't mind paying 400 (hopefully less though..) for an actually useful device instead of 200 for a YouTube-toy. After getting used to the pixel-accurate stylus of N900 I feel like hands tied behind me when using capacitive screens, wouldn't consider a tablet without a stylus. Or thought so, until the Jolla Tablet was announced and I couldn't help myself.. Still VERY much hope that there will be a stylus; as much as I want to support Jolla, I'd hate to have another dust collector.

The Jolla Tablet will be the one to be able to run desktop apps like LibreOffice, GIMP, whatever, but those would be close to useless without an accurate stylus. And I like to desing/develop/plan stuff by drawing all the time, so a tablet I'd be carrying with me will have to have a stylus. And my children, like all children apparently, like to draw, and cannot draw too accurately without a stylus.

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since you mentioned N900's stylus and gimp, have you ever run GIMP / OpenOffice in N900? debian LXDE ? ... what an experience ... I miss my n900 sooooo much... That was a serius device, and still I don't think any newer device achieved even close to this perfection... And the drawing part of n900 amazing...

nas ( 2015-02-23 14:30:32 +0300 )edit

Are you aware of the Neo900?

pisco ( 2015-03-03 01:40:15 +0300 )edit

GIMP I didn't find that usable, might have improved later. OpenOffice was pretty OK, the spreadsheet I did use, was decades better than anything on Android now years later (no competition really without real keyboard and accurate stylus), just a tad slow compared to GNumeric.

I do know about Neo900, happy to see it's still alive-ish, I'll definitely want one. Still, 8 vs 3.5 inch screen for those desktop applications would do quite a difference.

Apparently I'll need a Neo900 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (the next revision), maybe there will be Sailfish for that eventually. Hmm, I guess my (realistic-ish) dream device would be a Neo900 with maybe 6" resistive (or Wacom, whatever) FHD screen. Or Neo900 as it is plus a tablet with the same hardware except 8.4" screen, whom I need to kill?

tjh ( 2015-03-03 22:29:06 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-11-22 07:40:10 +0300

Nantunest gravatar image

Add wacom digitalizer, even optional and I would get one by the price of two!!

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answered 2014-11-20 10:48:06 +0300

standart gravatar image

Anykind of active digitalizer would be great.

maybe the INTUOS® CREATIVE STYLUS 2 is an possible alternative?

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You probably don't want that because they rely on on bluetooth. I've heard that they can be pretty laggy. Besides it is only compatible with iOS. It seems like it's apples way of attempting to cover up the fact that their sexy iPads STILL don't have true digitizer support.

crystaldragon141 ( 2014-11-21 22:50:10 +0300 )edit

Hi, do anyone know about hex3 stylus. They use Bluetooth to. And aimed to ipads.

Molarqy ( 2014-12-04 22:07:52 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-11-21 12:27:22 +0300

I'mSailing gravatar image

I think the price wouldn't be the issue with it. Atleast i wouldn't mind paying more for it. If you ever used an active digitizer you don't want to move back.

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answered 2014-11-24 09:04:29 +0300

Mrks gravatar image

I have already paid for the early sailor edition of Jolla tablet as well and I would be more than happy to pay some extra for the stylus (although wouldn't mind it being included to the package ;)). I had hoped that I would be able to use the tablet for my studies and the added stylus would only make it even better candidate to replace my 17,5" laptop that has a batterylife of one hour.

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answered 2014-11-24 23:00:24 +0300

Ch4se gravatar image

Active pen support would be wonderful.

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answered 2014-12-15 03:15:17 +0300

sidv gravatar image

Maybe mimicking what iOS does is a reasonable compromise. It seems that there is a load of high-quality "semi-active" styluses out there (Wacom, Precision Touch, ...) where the positioning seems to be done via "passive" features (i.e., just using the tip as a tip) and the pressure sensitivity and other more advanced features (like handball recognition) is done via Bluetooth 4. Now I haven't yet been able to establish if there is some special iOS API for Bluetooth being exploited or not. Given that these companies all advertise that no typical Bluetooth pairing is necessary with iOS, I strongly suspect there is some special stuff going on. However, it seems to be a worthwhile compromise as it "only" requires software (well, and Bluetooth).

Therefore, I would like to propose that maybe Jolla could get into contact with a stylus maker (the amount of up-votes this and similar topics have received plus the fact that these styluses are the more expensive kind should make for a valid business case) and implement the necessary Bluetooth hooks in order to get "official" stylus support for the tab w/o the need to revamp hardware (maybe one could sell such stylus through the shop for Jolla to reclaim their development costs?).

This would also add yet another distinguishing feature compared to the army of Android tabs where only the high-end Samsung ones provide active stylus support.

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Asked: 2014-11-19 15:06:01 +0300

Seen: 3,191 times

Last updated: Jan 16 '15