I'm running into issues with my current laptop (an old Macbook Pro Retina) while trying to screen record graphic design tutorials so its time for an upgrade.

I don't do much video work beyond the screen recording but might want to and even Photoshop and Illustrator now has some features that utilizes the GPU so a discreet graphics card is preferred. I have a Wacom Intuos Pro that I always use when I'm at home and sometimes travel with. I'm in the market and was going to buy a new monitor for myself but its on the back burner for the moment. Probably later this year or by April of next year (Tax Return) I'll be getting a new monitor for myself to use when at home with a Wide Gamut Color Accurate Display.

My main concerns are color accuracy, brightness, contrast, and enough specs to screen record tutorials on. Since I don't currently own a tablet I decided a 2 in 1 would be really nice to have.

I'll be using it for Digital Painting, Retouching, Sketching, Tethered Photography. At home I can still plug it into my Intuos Pro if need be and once I get the monitor I'd plug it into that as well when at home.

My research:

Lenovo Yoga P40

Pros: nVidia graphics card, good price, Wacom AES with 2048 pressure levels.

Cons: I've not been able to get an answer from Lenovo regarding colors. What little I could find has said it only covers about 65% of the sRGB spectrum though I've seen other reports claiming 75% and still some saying 95%. I don't know what's accurate. Also the Graphics Card included is not one listed on the Adobe website.

Lenovo X1 Yoga

Pros: Good price, Wacom AES with 2048 pressure levels, OLED

Cons: Integrated graphics and again not sure about how much of the spectrum it covers

Microsoft Surface Book

Pros: PixelSense Display, nVidia Graphics Card

Cons: for i7 much more expensive than Lenovo, n-Trig instead of Wacom with only 1024 pressure levels, not a lot of information on what that nVidia graphics card actually is

What 2 in 1 might you recommend? One of the above? Something I missed? Also if anyone knows any model at all that has Wacom AES that stores display I'd love to hear - the X1 and P40 are too high end for retailers so I have no way to feel them first.

Update: I wasn't clear in my original post. I travel, a lot. I'm gone for weeks at a time and want a mobile solution so I can be gone even more of the year. This has me in places with little to no internet frequently.

It seems people also are trying to just give me the cheapest option. Money isn't my biggest concern. Convenience however is a big one so please don't say, well if money is no option buy a desktop, a Cintiq, and a laptop. I'm looking for a single device that can fit the vast majority of my needs.

My primary concerns with the aforementioned is I don't know their displays or graphics cards at all. The M500M for example in the Lenovo P40 Yoga seems to be a lower level nVidia card and its not on the Adobe website so I don't know if it will meet my expectations or if I'm wasting money. Likewise the nVidia in the Surface Book is a custom nVidia that I can't find any information out about.

  • Note: Most 2-in-1s tend to have not too much computation power. If you don't need a mobile setup you may want to get a desktop graphics card and an eGPU docking station and use Thunderbolt 3.
    – SEJPM
    Jul 29, 2016 at 17:30
  • @SEJPM huh? I don't know what your comment means. What's an eGPU docking station?
    – Ryan
    Jul 29, 2016 at 17:36
  • Let's start with the basics - is there a reason it should be a mobile device, or can it be a desktop?
    – Adam Wykes
    Jul 29, 2016 at 18:37
  • @AdamWykes I'm confused - is that not clear in the question title and description? Not being rude, really asking cause if 2-in-1 doesn't sufficiently mean that please let me know so I can find a better term. But it should be mobile.
    – Ryan
    Jul 29, 2016 at 19:47
  • 1
    @Ryan an eGPU docking station is a docking station which you connect to your laptop using the (new) Thunderbolt 3 interface and which will run a user-chosen desktop-grade GPU externally from your laptop. This is nice for your insofar that you can use a Quadro card then which will have official support for pro applications (like Photoshop and Illustrator?)
    – SEJPM
    Jul 29, 2016 at 22:57

1 Answer 1


I'm going to recommend the Lenovo Yoga P40. After looking at some other stuff from Dell that also offers wacom-style input, I was unable to really get a feel for whether or not certain models supported wacom input or not, so I can't recommend them. Some users appear to have gotten excellent results out of ~800 machines from Dell, but again - I can't be certain which exact model to recommend.

The Yoga is the only reasonably priced, reasonably powerful option on your list. It will be a very powerful machine, is upgradeable, and does satisfy the wacom requirement. While its GPU may not yet be listed by Adobe, I have good confidence that it will work well with Adobe, since it is a professional-tier chip.

The M500M is a mobile chip, so of course it doesn't have all the power you might expect from a standard desktop solution, but it is a midrange professional card and would represent a big step up from your current i5 integrated graphics. Here's how it compares to the primary graphics solutions in your other two options:

The 940M represents the approximate GPU of the Surface Book as evaluated by Cnet

The color issue I was also unable to resolve.

The only other advice I can offer is to look into OBS when recording with your Lenovo. It can use the Nvidia encoder built into the M500M to make streaming a breeze.

  • When you say Cheap Tablet with Wacom to remote desktop into I'm guessing you mean some sort of Droid tablet?
    – Ryan
    Jul 29, 2016 at 21:24
  • it doesn't matter what the OS is so long as it has wacom and wifi.
    – Adam Wykes
    Jul 29, 2016 at 21:25
  • How would that allow me to run Photoshop and Illustrator on the go?
    – Ryan
    Jul 29, 2016 at 23:21
  • 1
    The tablet displays the desktop display on its screen while the desktop does the processing work. There is a certain amount of latency involved, but good RDP solutions like splashtop and team viewer minimize this.
    – Adam Wykes
    Jul 29, 2016 at 23:26
  • Right, but that's only useful when I'm at home. I travel for weeks at a time throughout much of the year.
    – Ryan
    Jul 30, 2016 at 12:51

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