Didn’t see this coming. The big trend at this year’s IFA (once you factor out the eight billion fitness bands and Bluetooth headphones, at least) is apparently drawing pads. Wacom, Lenovo and now a new version of the Slate from French startup ISKN are working hard to bring the pen and paper kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
Unlike Lenovo and Wacom’s offerings, the Slate 2 is focused on artists rather than list makers and note takers. The new version of the tablet builds upon what was already an ambitious offering. There are some hardware upgrades onboard — the new Slate is thinner and lighter than its predecessor at 7 mm and 380 grams, respectively.
Internal memory has been increased, as well, from 4 to 8GB, which should hold up to 800K drawings by the company’s count. There are also a couple of buttons up top that can be customized to perform different tasks, like swapping tools and switching between different drawing layers in the company’s proprietary editing software.
ISKN was also demoing some of the forthcoming software functionality for the new tablet, including, most impressively, a Studio Mode for Mac and PC that brings some rudimentary animation to the device, navigating through drawings in real-time and adding effects like blurring and layer depth.
It’s hard to say how useful that effect will actually be, but it’s a neat demo. That functionality is coming at the end of the year. The Slate 2 is slated for retail in October, with pre-orders opening this month. It’ll run $169.