The Best iPad for Drawing

What is the best iPad for drawing? Due to their powerful features and sleek design, many artists are opting for iPads over Android tablets, Windows tablets, or even dedicated drawing tablet devices.

However, choosing the best ones can be confusing if you do not know what to look for in them. Apart from the reliable features, iPads come with both a screen and a computer and can work without a computer. This gives them an advantage as multipurpose devices, unlike traditional drawing tablets with a screen.

The processing power of the M1 and M2 chips, plus their large RAM, are unmatched in the industry. They allow artists to easily multi-task without issues.

Additionally, a unique liquid retina display technology and very high above-full HD screen resolution provide a unique, clear, and crisp display that is unmatched in the industry.

When it comes to pencils, Apple Pencils 1 and 2 are perfect for drawing. However, they are not originally made for drawing but are multipurpose pens that can be used for note-taking or even animation. Check out our Apple Pencil 1 vs. Apple Pencil 2 comparison to better understand them.

A good iPad for art will easily work as efficiently as a laptop for drawing due to its powerful features

What is the best iPad for drawing?

  1. iPad Pro 12.9Best iPad for Drawing—Best Overall
  2. iPad Mini: The Best Cheap iPad for Drawing
  3. iPad Air 4: the best budget iPad for drawing
  4. iPad Pro 12.9 2019: The Best Large Screen
  5. Apple iPad 10.9-inch: An Affordable iPad for Drawing

iPad Pro 12.9: Best iPad for Drawing—Best Overall

  • Screen size: 12.9-inch
  • Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels
  • Processor: Apple M2 chip
  • RAM: 8 GB and 16 GB options
  • Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
  • Pen: Apple Pencil 2

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2022 is one of a kind. It has topped most lists; it is featured in most of our reviews, and this one is no different.

The Apple iPad Pro comes with a large 12.9-inch screen size and 2048 x 2732 pixels of resolution with a liquid retina display that makes it clear and bright.

When it comes to processing power, 8 GB and 16 GB RAM options plus an Apple M2 chip processor work well with all drawing software on the market, including Procreate and Illustrator.

It is compatible with the Apple Pencil second generation, just like many new iPads. You will, however, have to buy the pen separately, as it does not come with the iPad. A separate Apple Pencil 2, plus the iPad Pro’s premium price, makes it expensive.

Pros

  • Perfect Display
  • Powerful performance
  • Storage options up to 2TB
  • Compatible with Apple Pencil 2

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Apple Pencil comes separately

iPad Mini: The Best Cheap iPad for Drawing

The small, 8.3-inch iPad Mini is the best portable option. Despite having a small screen, the tablet packs powerful features that will work smoothly without any lag.

This is made possible by a powerful A15 bionic processor chip. Storage space is still low at 64 GB and 256 GB options. The resolution is, however, low at 1488 x 2266 pixels, but better than the full HD resolution found on many premium Samsung tablets.

One stand-out feature of the iPad Mini is its portability and compatibility with the modern Apple Pencil 2.

Pros

  • Compatible with Apple Pencil 2
  • Good Processor
  • High-resolution screen

Cons

  • Small Screen
  • Small Storage space

iPad Air 4: best budget iPad for drawing

If you are a professional creative looking for a good tablet on a budget, then look no further because the iPad released the fourth generation iPad Air, which is suitable for drawing and also budget-friendly.

The iPad Air packs a 12.9-inch liquid retina display with a resolution of 2732×2048 and a true tone, which is great for digital drawing. The tablet also has a fully laminated display panel. It also features a wide P3 color range.

It has the new Apple support, and it snaps onto the side to charge and pair the same way as the Pro.

Inside, the iPad Air has a newer, five-nanometer A14 bionic chip instead of the A12z currently in the Pro. So sometimes you can expect similar or better benchmark numbers, and despite its lower 4 gigabytes of RAM, it will perform great. The iPad Air also has a 60-hertz refresh rate, which is pretty great for drawing.

Pros

  • High-resolution screen
  • Large display
  • Supports Apple Pencil 2

Cons

  • Lacks M1 chip

iPad Pro 12.9 (2019): Best Large Screen

We are talking all things iPad, and you could probably loop this up with the 2018 iPad Pro as well because they are pretty similar.

While the iPad Pro 12.9 is a slightly older version, it is still a capable device and a viable option on the market.

The iPad has a 12.9-inch screen and thinner bezels that make it look sleek and stylish.

It’s still an LCD panel, but it still has a high resolution of 2848 by 1536, and the 120-hertz display makes it perfect for drawing and bringing out the fine details when you are working on it.

Additionally, it has detailed color accuracy and plenty of brightness, and while the screen is prone to glare, it utilizes Apple’s True Tone technology to optimize the color temperatures depending on the lighting conditions.

The iPad uses the second-generation Apple Pencil. In terms of response and latency, it is the same as the first generation, and it’s a bit more comfortable to use when drawing. It also charges wirelessly. The pencil is a great option to have for note-taking and drawing.

When it comes to speed, the iPad Pro is on the next level of performance with its Mi chip, which is enough to handle the drawing software for creative professionals.

It comes with 4 GB of RAM, and other versions have 6 GB of RAM with a storage capacity of 1 terabyte, which is pretty amazing overall.

Pros

  • Excellent price point
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Only supports Apple Pencil 1
  • Pretty basic tablet

Apple iPad 10.9-inch: An Affordable iPad for Drawing

  • Screen: 10.9-inch 
  • Resolution: 2360 x 1640 pixels
  • Pen: Apple Pencil 1
  • Storage: 64 GB, 256 GB

If you are on a budget but still need a sleek and powerful iPad, then the Apple 10.9-inch iPad (2022) is our best budget pick.

It will work perfectly as a drawing tablet with Illustrator, Procreate, Photoshop, or any other drawing application you use.

Despite being okay, you will have to forgo the Apple Pencil Second generation because it only works with Apple Pencil 1.

Additionally, the screen size is slightly smaller at 10.9 inches, and the resolution is far lower than the iPad Pro at 2360 x 1640 pixels.

You will comfortably draw despite these shortcomings. One problem, however, is the 64 GB and 256 GB storage options, which are small, especially if you save source files.

Pros

  • Affordable Price
  • Good resolution for drawing
  • Powerful Processor

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low storage
  • Only compatible with Apple Pencil 1

How do I choose the best iPad for drawing?

iPads are generally premium-level devices, and most of them will run drawing applications without problems. This therefore means that most of the preferences of artists will be based on their own.

There are, however, some basic features that will ensure the best user experience for digital artists.

Screen size and resolution

Choose a large screen with high resolution. Most artists find a bigger screen more comfortable for drawing work. If you, however, need a tablet that you can carry around, you need to choose slightly smaller, more portable options.

Price

iPads are relatively expensive compared to other tablets. They also come with fewer accessories, like Apple pencils or Magic keyboards, on purchase. When you choose iPads, you will have to spend a little more than you would on normal tablets.

Pencil Compatibility

Apple Pencils 1 and 2 cannot be used interchangeably. Make sure you check which pencil is compatible with the iPad you intend to buy. iPads that are compatible with Apple Pencil 2 are more preferable.

Processing Power

To determine how powerful your iPad will be, consider the processor and RAM inside. The M2 chip processor on new iPad models is the most powerful, followed by the M1 and then older versions.

The larger the RAM memory, the faster and easier it will be to multitask on your iPad. For drawing, 4 GB of RAM is recommended. However, most iPads will come with an 8 GB option, which will be good enough for both drawing and video editing.

  1. What iPads are best for drawing?

    The iPad Pro 12.9-inch with an M2 processor chip is the best iPad for drawing that you can buy. It features premium-level features, including a large 12.9-inch screen and a 2048 x 2732-pixel resolution. It runs on a powerful M2 chip processor and has 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM options.

    If you are on a budget, we recommend the smaller but compact iPad Air 4.

  2. Which iPad is budget-friendly?

    The Apple iPad Air is the most budget-friendly iPad that you can buy. It features a great display with a high refresh rate and good resolution. Its powerful processor is great for drawing and other professional tasks.

denis maina kamau

Written by: Denis Maina

I am an experienced and skilled graphic designer with a strong focus on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. He specializes in creating a wide range of design materials, such as digital art, business cards, stationery, logos, flyers, posters, banner ads, brochures, PSD templates, and other graphics.

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