The best new tech products for designers in 2019

The best new tech products for designers in 2019

A yr can really feel like a lifetime in the world of tech. In 2018 alone, conventional desktop PCs noticed their dominance examined by the superlative energy of pill computer systems, whereas second-generation enter units took interplay with digital canvases to a new degree. Screens reached connectivity and determination heights to accommodate surges in graphics energy and improvements in the AR and VR area opened up novel but CPU-intensive avenues for creativity.

However with all this happening, what has been the standout tech for artistic professionals in the final 12 months? Whether or not you need to improve your set-up with a game-changing accent, or purpose to take your creativity in a new course solely with a new workstation, maintain studying to seek out out what acquired our consideration available on the market in 2018.

iPad Pro 2018

01. Apple iPad Professional (2018)

Apple’s most full pill thus far

Beautiful design and show

Blazingly quick efficiency

Software program but to catch up

Apple’s newest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Professional fashions have adopted the signature slim-bezel design of the corporate’s flagship smartphones, with beautiful outcomes. Each tablets function crisp edge-to-edge shows twinned with an built-in TrueDepth digital camera, enabling Face ID authentication in lieu of a house button (plus there is no notch).

However that is not all. Because of Apple’s A12X Bionic processor, these fashions are additionally stunningly quick, capable of attain speeds that would go away many PCs behind. Moreover, Apple has had the foresight to exchange the Lightning Port with USB-C, which opens the system to a world of artistic connectivity, together with 4K/5K shows, cameras, and extra.

OWC 14-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock

02. OWC 14-Port Thunderbolt Three Dock

Wealth of connections

85 watts of energy output


If Thunderbolt Three is the way forward for connectivity, OWC has ensured that its new dock for Home windows and Mac will not be crushed relating to the sheer variety of connections a single cable can carry.

The slim field weighs just one.2 kilos, however by some means OWC has packed in 2x Thunderbolt Three ports, 5x USB-A ports (2x quicker charging), 1x USB-C Gen 2 port, a microSD card slot, an SD card slot, digital audio output, 1x Mini DisplayPort, S/PDIF output, Three.5mm audio ports, and Gigabit Ethernet.

It is able to connecting as much as 5 further Thunderbolt units, together with two 4K shows or one 5K show, and with 85 watts of output, it may possibly even energy a 15-inch MacBook Professional.

Samsung C34J791

03. Samsung C34J791 Curved LCD Monitor

A viewing expertise that envelopes you

Large horizontal workspace

Thunderbolt Three connectivity

Not an IPS panel

Curved TVs have a doubtful rationale, however curved screens like this one from Samsung are a special matter solely, in the best way they envelope the viewer in their workspace. Samsung’s C34J791 can also be the primary curved monitor to incorporate Thunderbolt Three connectivity alongside the standard USB, DisplayPort and HDMI inputs, so you possibly can plug absolutely anything into it.

The monitor’s 3440 x 1440 decision and 16:9 facet is a boon for productiveness and artistic duties that require a number of home windows open on the similar time, whereas the three,000:1 distinction ratio and 300 cd/m² brightness score guarantee crisp consistency throughout the Vertical Alignment (VA) panel. Mix that with a 100Hz refresh fee and a 4ms response time, and it is also prepared for demanding movement graphics purposes. 

Apple Pencil 2

04. Apple Pencil 2

The good companion to an iPad Professional

New gesture help

Magnetic charging perform

Solely works with new iPad Professional

Apple’s newest stylus is smaller and lighter than the unique Apple Pencil, however not with out new options. The redesign is partly because of the choice to drop the Lightning connector in favour a magnetic perform that permits the Pencil to snap well onto the highest of new the iPad Professional fashions for pairing, charging, and storage.

One other benefit of the new snap-on perform is that the Pencil now has a flat aspect the place it connects, so the stylus is much less more likely to roll off the desk. Lastly, new gestures have additionally been added – for instance, customers can now change between app instruments with a fast double faucet.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

05. Microsoft Floor Studio 2

Create a dual-monitor workstation

Tremendous quick SSDs

Pleasant touchscreen show

Legacy USB ports could also be a turnoff

The unique Floor Studio raised the eyebrows of many Mac-using artistic professionals in 2016, and Microsoft seems to be bent on changing as many Apple followers as it could with this follow-up mannequin of its all-in-one artistic PC. 

It appears the identical on the surface, however up to date inner elements and a brighter, larger distinction 28-inch show make for a a lot better general expertise. The Studio 2 may be configured to incorporate as much as GeForce GTX 1070 graphics with 8GB GDDR5 reminiscence, as much as 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and as a lot as 2TB of solid-state storage. The solely disappointment is the marginally underwhelming seventh-generation Intel Core i7 cellular processor.

Wacom Cintiq Pro 32

06. Wacom Cintiq Professional 32

Wacom’s largest display but

Impeccable show

Optionally available Flex Arm stand

Certainly not low cost

Wacom has super-sized its well-liked Cintiq Professional for creatives wanting for the most important potential high-definition pen show.  This new 32-inch model just lately acquired the distinguished Pink Dot Award for product design, and with the size of the workspace on supply, it is easy to see why.

The show’s 4K decision boasts 98 % Adobe RGB color accuracy and help for a billion colors to ship a true-to-life expertise, whereas the etched glass floor – mixed with new Professional Pen 2 know-how – ensures the pen-on-screen expertise has additionally been improved.

Blackmagic eGPU Pro

07. Blackmagic eGPU Professional

Speed up your Mac’s graphics

Vega graphics efficiency

Further ports hub

No further GPU choices

With the introduction of Thunderbolt Three, Apple opened up the Mac to a new world of connectivity, together with the power to speed up graphics efficiency with highly effective exterior GPUs. Designed in collaboration with Apple, this second-generation Blackmagic eGPU unit guarantees to offer the additional oomph wanted to spice up professional artistic software program like DaVinci Resolve and VR modifying apps. 

The case homes an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card providing 22 occasions the graphics efficiency of a 13-inch MacBook Professional, and is nicely protected by a singular thermal cooling system that is designed to completely stability the airflow and dissipate warmth effectively. It additionally boasts its personal veritable hub of outputs, together with 2x TB3 ports, 1x HDMI port, 1x DisplayPort with help for 5K shows, and 4 USB Three.1 connections.

HTC Vive

08. HTC Vive Professional

Excessive-resolution output

Broad FoV


Whereas artistic instruments like Gravity Sketch are serving to to open up the world of digital actuality to designers, VR headsets just like the Vive Professional are permitting them to entry their creations in even richer element. The premium Vive not solely has built-in headphones and outputs a greater image than the usual mannequin, its motion-tracking base station sensors have a wider visual field, letting customers create as much as a 20-by-20 foot VR area in which to expertise their tasks.

LG 34WK95U

09. LG 34-inch 5K2K UltraWide Thunderbolt Three Show

Thunderbolt Three

IPS panel

Ambient mild sensor

Not true 5K

This Thunderbolt Three show will not be a real 5K show (it solely has 5K decision on the horizontal x-axis), however coming from a 4K or lesser decision show, it is nonetheless a implausible improve. 

The LG 34WK95U boasts a crystal clear nano IPS panel and a large 21:9 facet ratio with a local decision of 5120 by 2160. It additionally options enhanced large color help, because of 98 % protection of the DCI-P3 color area, and a most brightness of 450 nits.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

10. Microsoft Floor Professional 6

The best two-in-one PC but

All-day battery

Similar nice display

Further ports hub

Not an enormous replace

Microsoft has constructed on its dominance of the two-in-one PC market with this sixth-generation Floor, which encompasses a slick black end and an enormous increase in battery life over the earlier mannequin to make sure it may deal with a full day’s work. 

The Intel Eighth-gen quad-core processor inside offers loads of horsepower for demanding design work, and its vivid 12.Three-inch 2,736 x 1,824 decision show make colors look nice. It won’t be a revolutionary replace, however the Floor Professional 6 continues to be the best 2-in-1 PC you should purchase.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

11. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Digital camera 4K

Excessive top quality video

Top quality 4K video seize

Good connectivity choices

No viewfinder

Not pocket-size

Blackmagic specialises in moveable cinema cameras, and when you’d wrestle to get this one in your pocket, it is nonetheless a particularly compact unit, being no greater than an ordinary SLR. It is able to capturing each RAW and ProRes HQ in 4K DCI 60P, and the physique options a number of helpful connections together with headphone and three.5mm audio jacks, USB-C for an SSD, a HDMI 1.four port, and a Mini XLR with Phantom energy.

The digital camera does not have a viewfinder, however there is a five-inch 1080p touchscreen on the again for sizing up your video, which might be captured at as much as a powerful 120 frames per second. You additionally get the complete model of DaVinci Resolve Studio 15 included in the worth.

Logitech MX Vertical

12. Logitech MX Vertical

Turning the mouse on its head

USB-C charging

Ergonomic design

Dynamic DPI choice

Will not go well with everybody

If repetitive pressure damage has blighted your artistic tasks, Logitech’s newest mouse might be the answer. It sits at a 57-degree angle off the desk for an virtually vertical mouse orientation.

The ergonomic design of the MX Vertical is supposed to scale back muscular exercise and pressure by as much as 10 % in comparison with a typical mouse, whereas its sensor helps as much as four,000 DPI, making small actions extra correct. A button on prime of the MX Vertical enables you to modify DPI on the fly, and the mouse additionally helps Logitech’s Movement software program, making it easy to make use of it with a number of units.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1

13. Lenovo ThinkPad P1

A succesful MacBook various

Unbelievable 4K display

Skinny but succesful

Fast cost function

Graphics energy barely missing

Creatives wanting for a well-designed workstation-class laptop computer will discover tons to understand in the P1, Lenovo’s thinnest-and-lightest ever ThinkPad. The modern darkish oil-resistant chassis homes Thunderbolt Three ports, a big glass trackpad and a 4K touchscreen show with 10-bit color and 100 % Adobe RGB output. 

The internals are simply as spectacular, with choices together with Intel Xeon quad- and six-core processors and as much as 64GB of RAM. Regardless of that energy beneath the hood, the P1 runs at a quiet 40dB, so you need to be capable of hear the built-in Alexa voice assistant simply high quality.

14. Microsoft Floor Dial (for Floor Professional four)

SP4 help for Microsoft’s artistic puck

Helps Photoshop and Illustrator

Lowered worth since preliminary launch

Some apps solely help primary features

The Floor Professional four was launched again in October 2015 and has been outmoded by the Floor Professional, which presents help for the Floor Dial proper out of the field. Microsoft has lengthy promised the sooner pill PC would ultimately help the Floor Dial. That was virtually a yr in the past, so this replace is certainly value shouting about. For £76, now SP4 house owners can lastly dial into the onscreen artistic motion, controlling radial menus and choosing features extra intuitively.

StarTech Thunderbolt 3 Mini Docking Stations

15. StarTech Thunderbolt Three Mini Docking Stations

Create a dual-monitor workstation

Small and utterly bus-powered

Gigabit Ethernet included

Legacy USB ports could also be a turnoff

Trying to marry a monitor or two to a model new Apple Mac? Then contemplate certainly one of StarTech’s freshly launched bus-powered Thunderbolt Three Mini Docking Stations with further Ethernet and USB connectivity. 

The twin HDMI dock helps two HDMI screens operating in 4K decision, whereas the DisplayPort model can energy two 4K DisplayPort screens or one 5K monitor. Better of all, there isn’t any want for a separate energy twine as a result of the included Thunderbolt Three cable provides all of the cost your screens want. 

16. HP Chromebook x2

Chrome OS will get the pill remedy

Clamshell-like keyboard attachment

Decently powered specs

Chrome OS comparatively unproven on a pill

HP has introduced the very best spec pill PC available on the market to run Google’s Chrome OS, which now helps Android variations of a number of Adobe artistic apps. For $600, the Chromebook x2 comes with a 12.Three-inch 2400×1600 show and a bundled keyboard cowl and pen stylus. That pits it squarely towards Apple’s iPad Professional, however at a worth level that is extra forgiving on the pockets. 

The Chromebook x2 gives 10.5 hours of battery life, sports activities a Kaby Lake Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), 32GB of storage, stereo audio system and each entrance and rear cameras. There’s additionally two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD slot thrown in.

17. Wacom Intuos Pen pill

Entry-level choices get new upgraded fashions

Stylus storage compartment

Optionally available Bluetooth connectivity

Decidedly newbie targeted

One other entry for Wacom, after it refreshed its Intuos Pen pill vary, meant for newcomers pursuing digital illustration earlier than they transfer on to the corporate’s costlier Intuos Professional and Cintiq fashions (see above). 

The new small- ($99) and medium-sized ($199) Wacom tablets are lighter to hold and have a smaller footprint than their predecessors, however the lively pill space hasn’t modified, measuring 6 by Three.7 inches and eight.5 by 5.Three inches, respectively. 

The strain sensitivity additionally boasts an improved four,096 ranges when used with the new Wacom Pen 4K stylus, which is claimed to have a extra ergonomic design, a barely elevated weight and a greater grip than the sooner mannequin.

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