FAQ

The Best iPad For Drawing in 2019 + 8 Cheap Alternatives

I often share drawings I made w/ different iPads here, & on IG. One question I get often get after posting my drawings is what iPad is the best for drawing?

Currently, the Best iPad For Drawing is the 3rd Gen iPad Pro 11″ & 12.9″. These models have the best resolution, can be used w/ the new 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, have ProMotion, a more advanced processor, 10-hour battery life, & w/ Apples fast charge they can be charged faster than any other iPad.

In this post, I’ll do my best provide more detail on why the 3rd Gen iPad Pro models are the best for drawing. Because the 3rd gen iPad Pros are so expensive I’ll share some more affordable iPads that are compatible w/ the Apple Pencil.

1. Why the 3rd Gen iPad Pro Models Are The Best

The 3rd Gen iPad Pro models saw many welcomed editions. Some of these editions were the new Apple Pencil, A12X Bionic chip, a smaller overall size, USB-C connection, resolution, ProMotion, & Fast Charge.

2nd Gen Apple Pencil

The 2nd Gen Apple Pencil’s key features are the fact that it draws smoother than the previous Apple Pencil & has a shortcut for changing brushes. This short cut is accessible by tapping the flat side of the Pencil & is actually very easy to use. 

The 2nd generation Apple Pencil no longer needs to be charged separately, in fact, it charges when magnetically attached to your iPad Pro.

Because of this, my Apple Pencil has never died on me while working, which is something that happened consistently w/ my older-gen iPad Pro. 

If I’m not using it to draw I just place it on the magnetic strip while I finish a task. Previously you would have to charge via cable or plugging it into the iPad Pro, & you couldn’t draw when it was charging. 

The magnetism also means you no longer need accessories to keep it attached to your iPad because it sticks through magnetism to the iPad Pro.

It also comes w/ a flat side allowing for easier grip which comes in handy when drawing for long periods of time. 

A12X Bionic processor

The new iPad Pro outperforms most Core i7-powered laptops.

I can slightly see a difference in loading apps but it’s minuscule. One thing the new chip does help w/ is saving 4k time-lapse videos of drawings made in  Procreate. As well as editing them in your photo app. Older iPad Pro models would get couldn’t really support the 4k recording & I noticed a severe lag when trying to edit the time-lapse video w/ my 2nd gen iPad Pro. 

The faster GPU is not only better than the tablet competition but also allows the iPad Pro to reach higher performance than most laptops available now.

GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit, it’s essentially a chip that renders images, animations, and video for your screen. The better your GPU the easier it is to draw, watching a movie,  edit videos, & editing images on your iPad. 

Size

The 3rd iPad Pro models are actually smaller than previous models. & in this case, less is more.

For example the previous 12.9″ iPad Pros had a screen size of 12.9″ & overall size of  12″ x 8.6& the new iPad 12.9″ has a screen size of 12.9″ & an overall size of 11″ x 8.5″.

So basically you’re getting the same great screen size but a smaller overall tablet that is easier to travel with. 

The tablet is also slightly thinner. People have complained about how easily it bends but I find if you’re not intentionally trying to bend it you won’t have that problem.

USB-C Connection  

 

The addition of USB-C connection means that you can now connect your iPad to a DSLR camera, external storage & a monitor.

I like to hook my iPad up to my Canon after taking photos & edit or use the photo as reference for drawing in Procreate.

Below is a split-screen of a photograph I took & drawing of that photograph in Procreate.

The monitor will basically mirror your iPad allowing you to draw on a larger screen. 

Resolution

Resolution is important when drawing because good resolution allows you to maintain quality when zooming in. Conversely, low resolution makes images pixelated when zooming in. 

The 3rd Gen iPad Pro resolution is  2388 x 1668 for the 11″ & 2732 x 2048 for the 12.9″. The 3rd gen iPad Pro’s have the best resolution of any iPad.

To be fair the more recent ones come close. 

ProMotion

A feature only included w/ the iPad Pro series. 

ProMotion allows for fluid brushstrokes, scrolling, greater responsiveness, and smoother motion. It’s subtle but when drawing you’ll notice the animation of your lines flow smoother & less laggy. 

Fast Charge

Another feature exclusive to the iPad Pro. Fast charge allows you to use a Macbook Pro charger to charge your iPad Pro to full power in 2-3 hours. 

So why is this important? Well if you purchase an iPad for drawing you’re most likely going to want a drawing tablet that is portable. The iPad Pro comes w/ a 10-hour battery life & being able to charge it quickly saves you time.

Previously you would have to wait 5-6 hours to get it to 100%. Meaning you’d have to carry a charger w/ you or even worse wait till it’s finished charging to leave your home. 

If portability isn’t important to you,  you’re probably better off buying a Wacom on sale. If that’s the case I cover all the current Wacom tablets on sale here. 

The video below is from Zollo tech & demonstrates how to use fast charge on an iPad Pro. 

iPad Pro 3rd Gen Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 2nd Gen Apple Pencil 
  • Magnetically Charges Apple Pencil
  • Great Resolution
  • Smaller than previous models, but both models have a large screen. 
  • ProMotion
  • Fast Charge allows iPad Pro to charge in 2-3 hours
  • Viewing/Editing 4k time-lapse videos work smoother than other iPads. 

Cons

2. Other iPads You Can Draw With

Although the iPad Pro 11″ & 12.9″ are the current best, I understand they’re pretty pricey, so in this section, I’ll share some info on every iPad that has compatibility w/ the Apple Pencil.

I’m only focusing on iPads that have compatibility w/ the Apple Pencil because it’s very difficult to create artwork on an iPad without it. 

We’ll be discussing the Battery Life, Charging time, & Price of each tablet.

Battery Life

Charge Time

Price & Screen Size

Model Price Stylus Screen Size
iPad 6th gen
280-380
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
9.7"
iPad Pro 9.7” 1st gen
$280-$900
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
9.7"
iPad 7th gen
$329-$429
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
10.2"
iPad Pro 10.5” 2nd gen
$345-$800
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
10.5"
iPad Pro 12.9” 1st gen
$349-$900
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
12.9"
iPad Pro 12.9” 2nd gen
$365-$900
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
12.9"
iPad Mini 5th gen
$399-$549
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
7.9"
iPad Air 3rd gen
$499-$649
$99.00 (Apple Pencil 1st Gen)
10.5"

3. Related Questions

1. What size iPad pro for photo editing?

Choose a 3rd Gen iPad Pro that fits whatever bag you plan on traveling w/. The 11″ is the safest bet because it will fit into most bags & is cheaper while still relatively close in size to the 12.9″

2. What is the best iPad for Procreate?

The  3rd Gen iPad Pro 11″ or 12.9″ is best for Procreate or drawing due to better resolution than previous iPads, a more advanced processor, a 10-hour battery life, & w/ Apples fast charge they can be charger than any other iPad.

3. What is the best tablet for drawing?

  • iPad Pro 3rd Gen 11″ & 12.9″
  • The New Wacom Intuos Pro Small or Medium
  • Wacom Cintiq Pro 13″, 16″24″
  • Wacom Cintiq 16″

4. What are some drawing apps that can be used w/ the iPad?

  • Procreate
  • Art Set 4
  • Adobe Illustrator Draw. …
  • Affinity Designer
  • Zen brush 2

5. What’s the best iPad for artists?

The best iPad for artists in 2019 is the 3rd Generation iPad Pro 11″ & 12.9″, because of there superior resolution, compatibility w/ the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, A12X Bionic Processor, ProMotion, smaller overall size while maintaining a large screen, & the ability to charge to full power in 2-3 hours using fast charge. 

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