Because of its high-quality display, portability, and excellent sketching programs, the iPad has become an indispensable tool for many artists. With so many possibilities, deciding which iPad model is best suited for drawing artists can be difficult.
The iPad has transformed the realm of digital art by giving artists a smooth and easy platform for creating, editing, and displaying their work. If you are a drawing artist, you most likely use an app such as Procreate to create your drawings. Understanding how to select the best iPad for Procreate and your drawing inspirations is crucial.
In this post, we will go over the most important elements to consider when selecting the best iPad for drawing, as well as some recommendations of various models to help you make an informed decision.
Display and Resolution
One of the most critical factors for drawing artists is the quality of the iPad’s display. A high-resolution screen with accurate color representation is essential for creating detailed and vibrant artwork. Look for a Retina display with a resolution of at least 2048 x 1536 pixels. The iPad Pro models boast Liquid Retina and Liquid Retina XDR displays, offering even higher resolutions and a more extensive color gamut, making them an excellent choice for artists.
Apple Pencil compatibility is crucial for drawing artists, as it provides the precision and pressure sensitivity required for creating intricate and detailed artwork. All current iPad models are compatible with either the first or second-generation Apple Pencil. The second-generation Apple Pencil offers a more seamless experience with wireless charging, magnetic attachment, and improved latency. The iPad Pro and the iPad Air (4th generation and later) are compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil, while the base iPad and iPad mini models work with the first-generation Apple Pencil.
A powerful processor is essential for running resource-intensive drawing applications and handling large files without lag. The iPad Pro models, equipped with the latest M2 chip or the A12Z Bionic chip, offer the best performance for drawing artists. The iPad Air (4th generation and later) comes with the A14 Bionic chip, which provides excellent performance for most drawing tasks. The base iPad and iPad mini models are more affordable but have less powerful processors, making them better suited for casual artists or those on a tight budget.
As a drawing artist, you’ll need ample storage space to save your artwork and install drawing applications. It is essential to consider the storage capacity of the iPad you plan to purchase. Ideally, go for a minimum of 128GB, although 256GB or more is recommended if you work with large files or multiple applications. Remember that iPads do not have expandable storage, so it’s best to invest in a model with sufficient storage from the start.
Long battery life is crucial for artists who want to work on their projects without being tied to a power outlet. Most iPad models offer up to 10 hours of battery life, but this can vary depending on the tasks you perform. The iPad Pro models tend to have the best battery life due to their larger batteries and efficient processors.
The size and weight of the iPad you choose will impact its portability. The iPad mini is the most portable option but has a smaller screen, making it less suitable for artists who require ample screen space. The base iPad and iPad Air offer a good balance between portability and screen size. The iPad Pro models, especially the 12.9-inch version, provide the largest workspace but may be less portable due to their size and weight.
The Top Picks for Drawing Artists
Here are some recommendations for different types of drawing artists, based on their needs and preferences:
Best Overall: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (latest generation)
- The iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the top choice for professional artists who prioritize performance, display quality, and ample screen real estate. With the M2 chip (or A12Z Bionic in older models), Liquid Retina XDR display, and compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil, this model offers the best features for serious drawing artists.
Best Mid-Range Option: iPad Air (4th generation and later)
- The iPad Air is an excellent choice for artists looking for a balance between power, affordability, and portability. With the A14 Bionic chip, a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, and compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil, the iPad Air offers most of the features required for drawing artists without breaking the bank.
Best Budget Option: Base iPad (9th generation or later)
- The base iPad is perfect for casual artists or those on a tight budget who still want a decent drawing experience. With an A13 Bionic chip, a 10.2-inch Retina display, and compatibility with the first-generation Apple Pencil, this model offers a satisfactory drawing experience at an affordable price.
Best for Portability: iPad Mini (6th generation or later)
- The iPad mini is ideal for artists who value portability and need a compact device for on-the-go sketching. With an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display, A15 Bionic chip, and compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil, the iPad mini offers a solid drawing experience in a small package.
Finally, when choosing the finest iPad for your sketching needs, keep your priorities in mind, such as display quality, processing power, portability, and affordability. Each of the aforementioned suggestions caters to a particular type of artist, guaranteeing that there is an iPad model suitable for everyone.