Is The iPad Pro Good For Art? The short answer is, yes! The iPad Pro comes w/ a range of accessories & apps that make digital art easy & convenient, as well as the business side of art, like scanning documents, sending emails, website analytics, 4k recording, editing photos, etc.
Because of this, it’s currently the only thing I use to make digital art.
I’ve owned the Cintiq Pro, Intuos Pro, & various other popular drawing tablets. Although each model has its strengths, I find the iPad Pro to be the most convenient to use.
So let’s get into why it’s the only thing I use to create art.
If you’d like to skip to a specific section of this post, feel free to use the table of contents below to do so.
1. Features & Apps
As mentioned in the intro, the iPad Pro comes with various art & business apps. Some of my favorite apps are Procreate, Google Analytics, Notepad, Microsoft Excel, & Adobe Scan.
As a general rule, there’s pretty much an app for everything I need, even animation. I like to think of my iPad Pro as a Swiss Army Knife for my Art Business.
I will say that it does take a couple of days to get used to the user interface of some of the apps, but they’re very intuitive once you get the hang of it.
And what’s great about the drawing & business apps is that you can get a lot of quality work done efficiently, even though they’re slightly limited compared to their desktop counterparts.
In fact, I’m writing this post via my iPad Pro right now!
I’m actually in the process of writing a detailed post about the different ways I use my iPad Pro. Until then, here’s a list of great free/paid apps I use:
Micro Soft Excell
Every app for the iPad Pro is designed specifically for IOS devices. Why is this important? Well, other screen tablets use programs like Photoshop, which are not designed w/ screen tablets in mind. Below is an example of me drawing in Photoshop on my Cintiq Pro.
When drawing in photoshop on the Cintiq Pro, the layers & features are too small to access easily w/ touch. See the video below.
I love my Cintiq Pro but it cost me $1600 & it’s not even travel-friendly. Also, using photoshop on it is just not ideal. It’s not exactly optimized like procreate.
It’s difficult to put it into words but the iPad Pro is designed better– it’s easy to use and easy to navigate. See the video below where I display how easy it is to click & select layers & brushes in Procreate.
3. Drawing Coordination
Drawing coordination is the coordination utilized when you’re looking at what you’re drawing. One thing I like about the iPad Pro is that you’re drawing directly onto the screen, reinforcing natural drawing coordination.
This is in contrast to graphic tablets, which force you to stare at a screen while your hand is drawing in your blindspot.
Quick disclaimer: natural drawing coordination isn’t exclusive to the iPad Pro, but to all screen tablets.
If you want to create digital art exclusively, drawing coordination won’t be a huge deal & you’d probably be better off w/ a graphics tablet since they’re a lot cheaper.
I wrote a post about the most affordable drawing tablets out right now; hit the button below to check it out.
But if you’re like me & you spend half your time drawing traditionally, you’re not going to want your drawing coordination to diminish.
As an artist/entrepreneur, convenience is a luxury. The idea of being able to work on the go is a MASSIVE selling point for me.
I can’t speak for other artists, but I like that my iPad Pro fits into every backpack I own & has a 10-hour battery life without using my external battery.
Also, I can’t forget to mention the “Find My iPad” feature.
God forbid you to lose your iPad Pro, or it’s stolen, all hope is not lost.
You can find it with the “Find My iPad” feature using the cloud service if you don’t have access to a network provider or general wifi.
Last but not least, the new Apple Pencil comes with the ability to magnetically pair w/ your iPad Pro.
This means it sticks to your iPad magnetically so you no longer need a pencil holder.
This cuts down iPad Pro and Apple Pencil pairing time.
Most importantly for the convenience factor, it charges magnetically. No more annoying adapters or having to charge your pencil separately from your iPad Pro!
5. Best Touch Screen
It’s the best touch screen of any drawing tablet I’ve used.
Thi isn’t much of a surprise as Apple has been designing touch screens for a lot longer than Wacom, Huion or any of the other drawing tablet companies.
If you’d like to see the difference in drawing with the Cintiq Pro vs. drawing with the iPad pro, check the videos above. The Cintiq lags slightly & the iPad Pro’s touch is smooth.
The touch, zooming, multitouch, dragging, smudge, tapping is all accurate w/ zero lag. Unless your fingers are oily then obviously, your touch is compromised.
The iPad Pro is actually pretty affordable in comparison to most high-end screen drawing tablets. Not to mention it has computing power.
For example, Wacom’s “Cintiq Pro” is considered by most to be one of the best screen tablets out right now. Its price ranges from $799-$3.4k.
Yet the Cintiq Pro is not portable, nor can it be used without being connected to a computer & electrical outlet. Wacom does offer other portable screen tablets with computing capabilities; these prices start at $2k.
The iPad Pro’s price range is $700-$2k, so already you’re saving money on a device that can do way more than it’s competitors.
However, it is important to bring up the fact that Wacom’s calibration & Stylus are lightyears ahead of Apple. That said, I’d still pick my iPad Pro over my Cintiq Pro any day.
You can get your hands on one for as low as $400. See my post on How I Saved $619.01 On My iPad Pro for more on this topic.
The latest iPad Pro has better performance than 80% of laptops out right now. This is due to its powerful GPU. Previously Apple’s iPad GPU chips were outsourced. The 2018 iPad Pro is the first iPad to have Apple’s very own GPU chip.
In fact, Zone of Tech released a video where he compared the performance of the iPad Pro 2018 to the Macbook 2018 & they’re incredibly close. The Macbook obviously one but the iPad Pro was a close second.
His video was great but there were some inaccuracies, like his knowledge of drawing apps, or his statement about the available keyboards for the iPad Pro.
He criticized the lack of tactile keys in the Logi tech keyboard.
However, he didn’t discuss the Brydge iPad keyboard, which basically turns your iPad Pro into a limited Mac Book.
That said, his video was great at illustrating the performance capabilities of the iPad Pro.
On that topic, I’ll be posting a review of Brydge’s iPad Pro keyboard so keep an eye out for that.
The iPad Pro has more accessories than any other drawing tablet on the market currently. Some of the accessories include the Apple Pencil, AirPods, multiple keyboards, paper textured screen covers, & more.
It’s not the main reason why the iPad Pro is good for art, but it is nice to invest in a product that comes w/ tons of accessories.
I find Apple’s accessories often expand the capabilities of its products.
For example, my Brydge keyboard allows me to turn my iPad Pro into a Macbook-esque product. Before having the keyboard, typing on my iPad was inconvenient and inaccurate at times.
Nowadays, I can type a post, or send an email conveniently wherever I go. It also helps that I can use my iPhone as a hotspot so my iPad Pro has service for any network-required actions/activities.
Final Thoughts / Cons
The iPad Pro is a near-perfect fit for the modern artist. However, it does have its flaws, and I dedicated an entire article to discuss some of it– I covered this topic in iPad Pro Cons.
Still, the iPad Pro’s many features/apps, overall intuitiveness, convenience/versatility, and performance make it pretty hard to beat as a great tool to make digital art.
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