Are you just using your iPad for watching movies, streaming videos, or capturing pictures? If so, there is a whole lot that you’re missing out on. Nowadays, professionals also use iPads for their work, even including artists, designers, and illustrators.
The Apple iPad’s user-friendly features have been updated a lot throughout its technological evolution. However, out of all such exciting upgrades, the ease of drawing is an excellent appeal for artists looking to adjust to this digital world.
An iPad paired with Apple Pencil is a combo that can help these individuals unravel their creativity and create neat masterpieces.
So whether you’re a professional artist or like to draw out of boredom, an iPad is a versatile and portable option to create digital illustrations no matter where you are. With the Apple Pencil, you’ve got more comfort in drawing whatever you want without using your fingers.
Fortunately, all new iPads now support the Apple Pencil. But, the real question to ask is, “Which iPads are good for drawing?” Simply, all of the newer models. However, they don’t have the same features.
This guide has listed down some of the best iPads for drawing to help you choose the best. Also, don’t forget to check out the buying guide at the end!
Table of Contents
7 Best iPads for Digital Drawings
Although all new iPads are great for digital drawings, you should know the specifications of the best models to choose one according to your requirements.
In one line – the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2021 is undoubtedly the best iPad for drawing! It features an M1 chip, an improved display, and impressive storage of 2TB; simply everything an all-in-one tablet should have.
This new version’s design is no different from the previous versions; however, the screen has become the best it can ever be. The new iPad Pro 12.9inch display has modern Mini LED technology or Liquid Retina XDR, consisting of more than 10,000 LEDs across the back of the screen.
This provides you with a super-crisp visual experience that makes the iPad screen look like a digital canvas.
The M1 chip smoothens the tablet’s performance to a whole new level. Besides, it comes in two types of RAM: 8GB, 128, 256, and 512GB storage variations, and 16GB, which comes with 8 or 16GB RAM only. So, if you need to do loads of drawing work daily, you need to go for the highest memory.
The Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2021 is compatible with Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, which is the best of its kind right now on the market for artists and designers.
All in all, this iPad is fantastic for digital drawings, but not for everyone. Well, this doesn’t make it any less good, as the tablet is still an excellent choice for all digital creators. But, it’s not that portable and affordable for everyone.
So, if you’re tight on budget and still want a high-performing iPad, you have other options too. Otherwise, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2021 is the one for you.
- Enhanced Mini LED screen
- High-performing CPU
- Additional 10MP Ultra Wide cameras
- Connectivity with Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular
- 5G capability
- Studio-quality microphones
- It doesn’t support multiple monitor function
Like iPad Pro 12.9 inch, the iPad Pro 11 inch also comes with a fast M1 chip and 8GB and 16GB RAM. This model was also designed with the needs of professional artists in mind.
Apart from size, both models also differ in the display compartment. The 12.9-inch one has a Liquid Retina XDR, while the 11-inch iPad Pro has just a Liquid Retina display. Of course, this difference is reflected in both displays, but honestly, the 11-inch screen is no less in performance.
The Apple iPad Pro 11-inch 2021 display comes with a P3 wide color, an anti-reflective coating, and features like True Tone and ProMotion technology.
Unlike the 12.9-inch one, this model is also more portable and lightweight, making it convenient to create art. Despite being a little smaller than its brother, the screen is sufficient to be a canvas.
Overall, if you’re looking for a portable iPad, the 11-inch one is the best you can get. But, again, if you want to invest in a larger screen, the 12.9-inch might be better for you.
- Portable and lightweight
- Features ProMotion and Face ID
- Compatible with Apple Pencil 2
- Has A12Z Bionic chip
- Supports Wi-Fi 6
- It has a smaller screen
If iPad Pro didn’t impress you, the Apple iPad Air 4 might hit you right on the spot. In 2020 September, Apple updated the iPad Air with a fourth-generation model that made its design more like the iPad Pro.
The iPad Air now features a 10.9-inch display and a design that wraps the edges around the display. The screen has got a little larger than the previous versions, as there is no Home button. Moreover, the Touch ID sensor is now integrated at the top, which is something new in the Apple models.
The overall design has become sleeker and more modern than before, and more convenient for creators and artists to work on. Not to forget the brand-new A14 Bionic chip that makes the device unbelievably fast.
If you’re a fan of colors and don’t like typical blacks and whites, the Air 4 comes in silver, space grey, green, sky blue, and rose gold.
What’s more, the Air 4 is now compatible with the Apple Pencil 2 and a new Magic keyboard with a trackpad for easy drawing.
- A reasonable large screen for drawing
- Supports Apple Pencil 2 and Magic keyboard
- It contains an A14 Bionic chip
- It comes in 5 fun colors
- Features no ProMotion display and no Face ID
Have you just started drawing? If so, the Apple iPad 9th Generation 2021 is all you need to kickstart your journey as an artist. Apple updated the 9th Generation in September 2021, and we have not been happier than ever.
The iPad 9th generation now includes several advanced features, such as an A13 Bionic chip, True Tone, and an improved front-facing camera with Center Stage mode.
Apart from that, you’ll also get a 10.2-inch Retina display with 500 nits of brightness. It is also compatible with Apple Pencil 1, which is a plus point for artists.
However, it does lack some advanced features. For instance, it doesn’t have an anti-reflective coating, a laminated structure, and Wide color support. Still, it is an easy-to-use option for beginner artists to start creating masterpieces.
In a nutshell, the iPad 9th generation is worthy of its prices due to its improved performance than the previous version. Its design may look a little out-of-date, but if you want an affordable iPad for drawing, look nowhere else.
The iPad 9th generation is a tablet for everyone, and believe us, you’ll enjoy it a lot while drawing on it.
- Offers connectivity with Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Cellular
- It has an A13 Bionic chip
- Come with the True Tone feature
- It offers an improved front-facing camera with Center Stage mode
- Supports Apple Pencil 1 only
Like its older brother, the Apple iPad 8th generation 2020 is also a great, affordable choice for newbie artists. Although this particular model has an older A12 Bionic chip, it’s still high-performing enough to help you get started.
This iPad’s 10.2-inch LCD Retina display produces unbelievably sharp graphics to give you a deeper insight into your drawings. Despite having a smaller screen, the iPad 8th Generation still offers plenty of space for you to draw freely.
The only thing that may spoil your mood is that it’s only compatible with Apple Pencil 1.
Yet, you’re getting a top tool to sketch and draw without any disruption. What you’ll love the most about this iPad is its improved tilt and pressure sensitivity and palm rejection feature.
So, if you’re looking for an affordable and up-to-date iPad, the 8th generation can be a perfect option for you.
- Very affordable
- It has a reasonable storage limit of 128GB
- Supports Smart keyboard
- Features an 8MP back camera and 1.2MP FaceTime HD front camera
- It comes with improved Stereo speakers
- Has limited base storage of just 32GB
- Only compatible with Apple Pencil 1
If you tend to be constantly on the go, the iPad Mini 2019 will be your companion no matter where you head towards. It’s compact, small, and pretty easy to carry around the town.
Of course, the Mini has a smaller display, but its bright and sharp graphics make it a strong contender on this list. The detailing makes your pictures, drawings, and sketches look straight from reality. In addition, this comes at a relatively affordable price, making it a great catch.
Apple claims that the iPad Mini 2019 is up to three times quicker than the Mini 4, and the device proved so. This means you can run as many editing or drawing apps as you want without worrying about lagging or other issues.
Moreover, the tablet also has an impressive battery life of up to 10 hours.
Still, the 7.9-inch screen might be a bummer for some people. You’re looking at the Mini, no?
- It comes with True Tone and comprehensive color features
- Has A12 Bionic chip
- It has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- 8MP back camera and a 7MP FaceTime HD front camera
- Small and lightweight
- Only supports Apple Pencil 1
A little bigger than its previous version, the Apple iPad Mini 2021 has an 8.3-inch screen with a Liquid Retina display for crisp graphics. If the 7.9-inch screen of the iPad Mini 2019 didn’t please you much, we are sure that this updated version will do it.
It comes with an upgraded A15 Bionic chip with Neural Engine that ensures its quick performance and fast processing. In addition to that, this model also comes with True Tone and Wide Color features, which is not new as the 2019 one also has them.
More so, the iPad Mini 2021 also comes with a Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay support. This means you can use as many apps as you want.
It is compatible with Apple Pencil 2 for comfortable drawing and has a battery life of 10 hours.
An easy-to-carry, updated iPad with the perfect screen size for drawing – what else do you want?
- It comes with Touch ID for secure authentication
- Supports Apple Pay
- It has a 12MP Wide back camera and 12MP Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage
- Available in fun colors, such as purple, space grey, starlight, and pink.
- Supports Wi-Fi 6
- It has a battery life of 10 hours
- A bit expensive
Buying Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying an iPad for Drawing
If you’ve made up your mind about a particular iPad model, that’s just not it. You still have many things to watch out for before buying an iPad, including:
The Apple Pencil isn’t just a simple pencil. Its tip has tilt and pressure sensitivity that works seamlessly on iPads. You can also switch the tools of this pencil via double-tapping it. It stays attached to the side of your iPad and charges all along; however, you can also charge it with a Lightning cable.
The Apple Pencil comes in two generations today. Although both properties are the same, the 2nd generation has some advantages. For example, it is more lightweight, shorter, and less glossy than the 1st generation.
So, if you’re fine with investing more, you should go for the Apple Pencil 2nd generation. But keep in mind that it only works with iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (1st and 2nd generation), and iPad Air (4th generation).
Drawing on more enormous canvases is easier and more comfortable than doing smaller ones. If you also believe the same, the iPad Pro and IPad Air should be your ideal choice (size-wise).
The iPad Pro 4th generation comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, while the iPad Air has a 9.74 x 7-inch size and is only .24 inches thick.
The iPad 8th generation has the same size and ratio as the iPad Air: 9.8 x 6.8 inches, but slightly thicker at .29 inches.
If you want a portable yet high-performing option, you know the iPad Mini is the most portable option with a 7.9 inches size.
Memory and storage are two different things, so never confuse them with each other. When your device has significant memory, it works smoothly with larger drawing apps. Moreover, more memory allows you to create multiple layers on your artwork.
So, if you need to work on complex art projects with an extensive color palette and multiple layers, you also need to consider your iPads memory.
However, if you draw just out of boredom occasionally, you can go for an iPad with an adequate amount of memory.
Similar to memory, more storage also means improved performance. For example, most drawing or photoshop apps, like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Procreate, require more storage. Currently, the Procreate requires around 30GB of storage for your device.
So, evaluate your storage limit and see if your app’s size will be enough for it or not. Of course, to stay on the safe side, it’s always better to get an iPad with 256GB and spend your whole life tension-freely.
No one wants their device to die right in the middle of creating art. And that’s why you need to consider the iPad’s battery life before buying it.
The good thing is that all iPads come with good battery life. According to Apple, if you use your iPad to surf the browser, it will last for about 10 hours on a single charge.
So obviously, when you will be using larger battery-consuming apps, your iPads battery will probably last a little less. But still, the battery life will be enough to complete a drawing.
Generally, an iPad gives you about 6-7 hours of drawing.
For artists, the LTE feature doesn’t have much importance. Although an internet connection is necessary when drawing outside, you can quickly get it via your mobile’s hotspot.
So, if you don’t require an internet connection at all, you can save some dollars and get one with no LTE. However, no one is holding you back if you still want it!
Retina Display and Processor Chip
Luckily, all newer iPad versions have a Retina display that keeps the pixels together to give you a crisp, clear, and smooth image.
So you can zoom in on your drawings without any pixelation issues and sketch freely.
On the other hand, all iPad models also have built-in Apple proprietary chips, such as A10, A12, or A14. These chips ensure smooth multitasking between apps and increased battery life. This means you can use and switch between as many apps as you want without worrying about lagging and low battery.
Whether an IPad has A10, A12, or A14 Bionic chip, they all work great for drawings and sketchings.
All newer iPad models are great for drawings. However, they all differ in a few features, such as the processor chip, display, screen size, memory, and storage. So, if you are looking for a portable yet affordable option, you can go for the iPad Mini. Otherwise, feel free to buy any chance you think will fit your needs best!
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