Listener Greg in Nashville, Tennessee listening on Supertalk 99.7 WTN asked:
“Updating to Windows 10 on my son’s computer. He’s wondering if Steam and Roblox games are compatible. He has updated in the past and lost his ability to play those games.”
If you’re updating from Windows 8.1 nothing should change, it seems like almost every game that was working for 8.1 is working fine on Windows 10 – at least so far.
There are two things to consider though: 1) If you’re upgrading from Windows 7 some games may need patches like they did for Windows 8, and 2) most games seem to be ok, but that means nothing if the ones you want to run are not ok.
Windows 10 has been out for a little bit by now, and people seem to at least be giving it a try, so your best bet may be to search for specific games and see if they’re playing nice with the new version of Windows. If you come by our website, we’ll link you to a long list of games that have been tested under Windows 10 and seem to work just fine.
Some have reported that Steam works but that it had given them trouble before they reinstalled everything, so make sure your son knows that there may be an easy solution if his games don’t work immediately after installing.
Windows 10 certainly did have some rough spots with gaming in particular when it first launched. DirectX 12 caused issues for some games and, as we said, services like Steam needed some updates to work smoothly.
Mark Lautenschlager, our resident game nerd, reports that he’s been using Windows 10 on his gaming computer for quite a while now and everything seems fine, quite nice even. Steam works, all of his games seem to play without issues, and some of them even load more quickly and run with a higher frame rate (this could be because NVIDIA drivers work well on Windows 10, however).
The one issue that still seems to have issues is sound cards and drivers. Be sure you get the latest version of all your drivers: motherboard chipset, sound hardware, graphics card, etc. Sound card drivers that were not developed with Windows 10 in mind seem to have issues with distorted or even missing sounds.
As long as you update all your device drivers as well as your operating system, we would say that Windows 10 is ready for gaming prime time now.
Listener Michael in Anchorage, Alaska listening on KBYR 700 “Alaska Talks Here” asked:
“Is there a tablet with stylus that I could draw with that will convert to vector based with corel draw or adobe draw. I am not having much luck with graphic art on my corel draw and would like to freehand some basic art to convert to a vinyl cutter for heat applied material on garments.”
Michael, absolutely, there are tablet that can do that, but other than the iPad Pro, the tablets that do that kind of work are specific work tools. Don’t expect them to be “do it all tablets.”
Like we mentioned, the iPad Pro should do what you need it to, but it’s expensive and you’d need to also buy an Apple Pencil, and a design app. It will do it, but you’re going to have to sell an awful lot of t-shirts to cover the price. If you want to go cheaper you can look at one of the many Wacom tablets from the Intuos and Bamboos that need to be tethered to computers, to the Cintiq stand alone devices.
They are all very cool devices, but they are very different, what they call “pen tablets” are basically a big touchpad like device, while the “pen displays” look more like a tablet with their own screen.
You’ve probably noticed that we haven’t named any prices yet, that’s just because we want to give you a chance to sit down first.
The high price of graphic tablets
An iPad Pro starts at $800, the Apple Pencil to go along with it costs another $100. Expensive, right? Well… The 27” Wacom Cintiq 27QHD will make you $2800 poorer, and pens range from $70 to $100.
If you’re ok with going smaller, which you may be for garments, the cheapest 13” Cintiq “pen display” will cost you $800 with pens again ranging from $69 to $100.
If you’re willing to work on a computer, the much more basic, cheapest Intuos Draw will only cost you $69. Don’t expect to be able to get the same kind of work done on one of them, but if your designs are basic and you can manage to draw on a black slate on the table and trace your progress on a screen in front of your face, they’d save you a lot of money.
There are many intermediate versions that go well into the hundreds and low thousands, but it all depends on how much precision and what features you truly need.
Do you need a tablet?
And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Microsoft’s tablet/laptop hybrids, the Surface Pro and Surface Book. These devices feature styluses for drawing and they actually run Windows, so you wouldn’t have to convert anything. You could simply run Corel Draw right on that device! It can’t get any simpler than that.
The entry level Surface 3, which runs full Windows 10, lists at just $499 and can be found for less online. Although it is powered by just an Intel Atom quad-core processor, that is powerful enough for Corel Draw.
The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book devices are more powerful and as a result, also more expensive. But they are still no more expensive than the iPad Pro, with the Surface Pro 4 coming in around the same $800 to $900 range. (The Surface Book is more, but it’s really a laptop with a keyboard that can fold completely back to make it a tablet, so you’re going to pay extra for that.) But again, remember that you’d be running Windows right on that device, no need to export anything.