Have you been thinking about getting an iPad for drawing? In this article we’ll be exploring the ways that both experienced and novice digital artists can benefit from the iPad’s features. Plus, we’ll be reviewing the best iPad for drawing.
If you’re an experienced artist, you’ll be pleased to know that the iPad Pro 2021 is the latest and greatest model, offering a larger screen and improved performance over its predecessor. For those of you who are new to the world of digital art, we recommend the iPad Air 5th gen, which is a more affordable option that still offers great features for drawing and painting. Read on for a more thorough analysis.
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iPad Pro 2021
Specs: M1 chip, 8 core CPU, up to 2TB of storage and 16GB of RAM, 4k video recording
Display: 11″ or 12.9″ Liquid Retina display, 2732×2048-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)
Price: from $799
The iPad Pro 2021 is the latest model from Apple, and it’s perfect for experienced artists who are looking for a high-performance device.
The M1 chip offers 8 cores of processing power, making the fastest iPads on the market. The 16GB of RAM makes using demanding apps like Photoshop and Illustrator feel smooth running and responsive. This rivals the performance of many laptops.
It also comes with up to 2TB of storage, so you can save all of your artwork on the device. The 11″ or 12.9″ Liquid Retina display is perfect for drawing and painting, and the iPad Pro 2021 also supports the Apple Pencil 2nd gen, which offers improved pressure sensitivity and palm rejection.
The 12.9″ display is the largest of all the Apple iPad displays and it makes for an excellent canvas space! The colour accuracy is impeccable and the screen brightness goes up to 1,600 nits at its peak, for HDR content. This will enable to see your drawings in all light conditions and see colours with their full vibrancy. This is useful for colour sensitive work, like creating artworks for print. The low screen reflective quality offers an advantage for those who like to work outdoors when creating their digital art.
OVerall, the iPad Pro isn’t just the best iPad for drawing, it’s one of the best and most versatile drawing tablets. Use it to create beautiful artworks, to create designs for print, to run your website, answer emails and update your social media accounts.
iPad Air 5th gen
Specs: M1 chip, 8 core CPU, up to 64GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, 4k video recording
Display: 10.9″ Liquid Retina display
Price: from $499
The iPad Air 5th gen is a great option for those who are new to digital art. It’s more affordable than the iPad Pro, but it still offers great features for drawing and painting.
This iPad is more lightweight, smaller and more portable than the iPad Pro. It’s also significantly cheaper. With 8GB of RAM, apps will feel more smooth running on the iPad Pro, but for the majority of use cases, you won’t notice a difference.
The Liquid Retina display has near perfect colour accuracy and is extremely bright, making it great for drawing and painting. It is compatible with the Apple Pencil 2nd generation, but not the Apple Pencil 1st Generation, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on using an older model of the Pencil.
The iPad Air records in 4k, so if you’re recording your art process, or taking some videos to promote on social media, you’ll be able to do so in crisp quality.
The iPad Air 5th generation offers numerous great features, with excellent processing power and a display that will allow you to see subtleties in colours and all the finest details. However, if you want a larger display and a more efficient drawing experience, the iPad Pro might be the best option.
iPad Mini 2021
Specs: up to 256GB storage, A15 Bionic chip with 64‑bit architecture, 6-core CPU, 5-core graphics, 4k video, 4GB RAM
Display: 8.3″ Liquid Retina display, 2266×1488 resolution at 326 pixels per inch, True Tone display, 500 nits of brightness
Price: from $329
The iPad mini 2021 is a smaller, more affordable option from Apple. It’s perfect for those who want a lightweight and portable device that they can take with them on the go. It’s got a smaller screen than both the Pro and the Air, but it’s large enough to create detailed drawings. Plus, the display has a high pixel density, which is perfect for rendering those tiny details.
It has a A15 Bionic chip with 64‑bit architecture, 6-core CPU and 5-core graphics for excellent performance, and 4k video recording. It also has a 8.3″ Liquid Retina display, 2266×1488 resolution at 326 pixels per inch, True Tone display and 500 nits of brightness. The pixel density is much higher than other tablets on the market, however not as high as some other drawing tables with screens, such as the Wacom Cintiq Pro.
The iPad mini is compatible with the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, but not the 1st generation. It’s a great option for those who want a more affordable tablet, but don’t necessarily need all the features of the iPad Pro.
To optimise your digital art process, make sure to also get a drawing stand for your iPad! Our review highlights the best stands for digital artists who want a stable mount for their devices.
Specs: Up to 256GB of storage, A13 Bionic chip with 64‑bit architecture, 1080p HD video recording, 3GB RAM
Display: 10.2″ Liquid Retina display, 2160×1620-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), True Tone display, 500 nits brightness
Price: from $329
The iPad 2021 is the newest iPad from Apple. It’s a popular and affordable tablet.
The resolution of the display is slightly lower than the Mini, however it’s still a retina display so the difference is marginal. The iPad 2021 is compatible with the 1st generation Apple Pencil, but not the 1st generation.
Compared to the previous generation of the iPad, this offers a whopping 20% boost in performance. It’s also around 6x faster than popular Android Tablets.
With 3GB of RAM, it’s the lowest on the list. If you want a more powerful device, the Mini or the Air would be better options. The Mini is the closest in price range, however you would have to compromise the size of the display
This iPad records in 1080p HD, which means you don’t get 4k video recording like you would with the Pro, Mini or Air. So if you need a device to create ultra high definition videos, choose one of the other options.
Overall, this is the cheapest iPad that also has a large sized display. It works perfectly running drawing apps such as Procreate or Photoshop. For beginners or artists who want a large retina display at a low price, but don’t need the specifications of the Pro model, this would be the best choice.
Which is the best iPad for drawing?
The iPad Pro is the best iPad for drawing, followed by the iPad Air 5th gen, and then the iPad mini 2021. Each iPad has its own set of features that make it better or worse for drawing, so it really depends on your needs as an artist. If you need the absolute best performance and display quality, go for the Pro. If you want a more affordable option with a smaller screen, go for the mini. The classic iPad is the most popular and best compromise between screen size and affordability, however, there are some features that you will not get, such as 4k video and slightly slower processing speeds.
Why are iPads great for artists?
iPads are great for artists because they offer a large and high-resolution display, excellent performance, and portability. They also have a wide range of art apps. If you’re looking for an all-in-one device that can handle your art needs, an iPad is a great choice.
Drawing with apps like Photoshop and Procreate with the Apple pencil simulates a real life drawing experience. Due to the low latency of the iPad, there’s no perceptible delay between drawing and the line appearing on the screen. Compared to other drawing tablets, the performance is especially good in this regard.
Another reason that iPads make an excellent choice of drawing tablets for artists is the pressure sensitivity. The sensitivity is better than most Android tablets. That said, drawing tablets like Wacom, which are dedicated drawing tablets without chips, that connect to a computer instead of operating as a stand alone device, tend to have more levels of pressure sensitivity.
Overall, if you’re looking for a portable, versatile tablet with a screen, that will allow you to create beautiful artworks, the iPad is a perfect choice.
What are the best drawing apps for artists?
The best drawing apps for artists include Procreate, Photoshop, Adobe Fresco, and Autodesk Sketchbook.
Photoshop is an excellent choice for those who love drawing. Draw straight on the screen with the brush tool, get a brush set to simulate drawing with a range of media, from charcoal to oil paints. Or create your own custom brushes. Use the app to retouch photos or create beautiful artworks.
Procreate is another great choice for artists, as it was made for use with the iPad. There are hundreds of different brushes available on the app and available to download from sites like Creative Market.
The only downside to the iPad, is that not all digital art software programs are compatible. If you need to use software for animation, 3D modelling, or free digital art software, your best bet is to use your computer to run the software and get a drawing tablet like a Wacom that is compatible with your device.
The most affordable iPad for drawing
The most affordable iPads are the iPad Mini and the original iPad. Both had new releases in 2021. If you want a device with a large screen size, compatible with the Apple Pencil 1st generation, then the original iPad would be a great bet. However, if you want a device with slightly better performance, the ability to film in 4k and one that is compatible with the Apple Pencil 2nd generation, the iPad Mini would be a better choice if you don’t mind the smaller screen size.
The other option is getting a older model of the iPad. Again, the older models will have slightly worse performance and features, but they will be much cheaper. You can buy them refurbished from Amazon.