N-Trig Pulls a Rodney Dangerfield

One of my biggest disappointments over the past year has been with Dell’s Latitude XT and its N-Trig digitizer. There have been many improvements over the past several months with regards to the driver issues, but it goes without saying Dell and N-Trig certainly stumbled coming out of the gate. As a result, I’ve become quite hesitant in recommending any product with an N-Trig digitizer, like Dell’s Latitude XT and HP’s tx2, until I sense that things have become more stable. Hopefully Windows 7 will change things in that regard.

Loren Heiny, a well respected Tablet PC blogger and Microsoft MVP, has experienced similar problems to mine, and has noticed that N-Trig’s digitizer is not pressure sensitive compatible with PhotoShop. As a result, N-Trig is not gaining any respect among cartoonists and artists who rely upon PhotoShop as the industry standard in graphic design. Loren’s got a great write-up on his research and comes away with the opinion that N-Trig is not going to address this issue with a driver update. He believes the community should come together and write an   open source driver, and until such a driver is released, encourages us all to educate the graphic design community regarding the Latitude XT, HP tx2, and N-Trig’s digitizer:


So where do we go from here? My guess is no one is going to step up and help. That’s just a guess. They would have done so by now if they were willing. Without that, I’m wondering if there’s something that we can do as a community. I have no idea if it’s even feasible, but is there a driver we could write? Is there a way we could convince Adobe and the others to better support the Tablet API? What do you think?

In the meantime, we really need to spread the word that for illustrators, cartoonists, graphic artists that use Photoshop and similar apps and need pressure sensitivity, Tablets like the HP Tx2 and the Dell Latitude, which both use the N-Trig digitizer, is not what you should get for a Tablet. Instead, look into a Wacom based Tablet PC, like one from Lenovo, Toshiba, TabletKiosk, Motion, etc.