My iMac is dying. Slowly. Painfully. And it’s trying to take me down with it. It won’t go without a fight. It likes to freeze when I’m working and the worst part is that regardless how many times I’d saved what I was working on, it won’t save the progress I’ve made since I opened the program. For instance: Say I opened Photoshop and started working at 10 am. I save every 15 minutes, like clockwork. The computer freezes at 1 pm. Everything I’d done since 10 am when I opened the program is gone. I had to start not just saving, but closing and re-opening Photoshop every single time. Ugh.
After literally a year and a half of agonizing over which computer system, what type, what I needed, etc, I decided on either a powerhouse laptop workstations such as a Lenovo ThinkPad or Asus ROG, or a Wacom Companion. We purchased the Companion and it was immediately not a good fit for me. While I only use a tiny space on my Intuos to draw on, I am looking up at a very large Dell monitor. The small Companion screen was difficult for me and I didn’t like that all I could see was my massive manhands on the screen. So, back it went.
Finally, I clicked “Confirm Purchase” on this beast:
I chose a laptop that will also function as my main workstation, using a dual monitor setup (this Dell monitor), but that I can also take with me when I travel to conventions. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and I approve. The colors seem great and the speed is awesome. I loathe Windows 8.1. It seems to try too hard to be a tablet type operating system, using “apps” that are stupid and make me want to punch Windows in the face.
But that isn’t the machine’s fault.
Once I had this in my possession, one suspicion I had regarding using a laptop to work in Photoshop was confirmed: The position I had to sit in order to use keyboard hotkeys (my favesies) was very uncomfortable. I did some research and discovered gaming keypads. I was intrigued. Being that I have an Amazon Prime account that includes free shipping and easily returnable everything for any reason whatsoever, I decided to give this thing a go.
I set it all up and started programming the keys using the super easy user interface.
I don’t say this about technology often, but I am in love with this thing. My hand is so comfortable and it really helps relieve the stress that gets put on my upper shoulders. My hotkey hand and drawing hand are level and even, rather than staggered as they were before when I had the keyboard behind the Intuos and had to reach all the way up to it to click keys.
Accurate representation of my feelings toward this gaming keypad for use in digital painting:
TL;DR: Asus ROG G750JZ-DS71 17.3″ Gaming Laptop: 2 thumbs up
Dual monitor set up using Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24″ Screen LED-lit Monitor: 2 thumbs up
Logitech G13 Gaming Keypad: 2 thumbs and 2 big toes up
If you’re considering a new workstation, I hope this helps.