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Best iPad for drawing & Best iPad for Procreate

Drawing on an iPad is a premium experience: have a look at our top picks for best ipad for Procreate best iPad for drawing more generally.

Updated: Nov 19, 2022 12:00 pm

To cut right to the chase, any product from the current iPad line up could be dubbed the best iPad for drawing, indeed they’re contenders for best drawing tablets of any brand. This is a testament to the quality of Apple’s tablets and is one of several reasons why Apple holds more than 50% of the tablet market share.

iPads are very versatile and much of that is due to the excellent app selection. Apps like Procreate, Affinity designer, and Illustration turn your iPad from a secondary media consumption device into a portable powerhouse for drawing and graphic design. It is surprising how well iPads have improved, and they are starting to give traditional graphics tablets from the likes of Wacom a run from their money.

Still, it can be hard to pick between all of them. As such, we’ll be taking a look at the best iPads for drawing and seeing how they compare stacked against each other.

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Are the new 2022 iPads good for drawing?

Despite the recent release of the new 10th generation iPad and iPad Pro 2022 version, we haven’t yet included these selections below as we believe they currently do not offer the best value for money if your focus is purely on an iPad for drawing / and iPad for Procreate. However, Black Friday iPad deals may change this, so do be sure to follow the link to the page and see if you can get one of the newer versions of the below iPads for an enticing discount.

Best iPad for drawing 2022: our top picks

Best iPads for drawing: things to consider

Choose carefully with storage

iPhones used to suffer badly from too little storage. That’s been largely fixed now, although we’d still like to see 128GB as the base storage option. If you’re looking for the best iPad for drawing, though, storage is a bigger issue.

This is because you’re going to want to store your art on the iPad itself. As such, you’re going to want 128GB as a minimum and ideally 256GB. 

Unfortunately, the base iPad, iPad Air, and iPad mini all start with 64GB of storage space. This is the only place where the Pro models make more sense. Both of the Pro models start at 128GB.

Of course, this is a non-issue if you can get by with 64GB. Remember that all of them have a Type-C port now apart from the base iPad. This means you can buy an external thunderbolt drive to store data on.

Multitasking still needs work on iPad OS

When shopping around for the best iPad for drawing, you need to ask yourself if multitasking is important. As we’ve seen recently with Samsung’s tablets, multitasking can help a lot in terms of productivity when it is done right. 

While Apple is proud of its sliding animations, split-screen support, and multi-tasking, it’s still not up to par. If you want to have the Safari and Notes app open at the same time, no problem. 

Want to watch a Youtube video, have Safari open for searching, and be able to write at the same time? Well, that gets clunky quick on an iPad. This is one of those areas where a desktop OS is much better.

On the flip side, an artist’s workflow could be simpler. If that’s the case, you could get by with limited multitasking. Just keep that in mind if you are thinking of replacing your laptop entirely.

As a designer’s best friend, the best iPad for drawing should come with an Apple Pencil out of the box, right? That would be the case if we weren’t talking about iPads. Apple loves to maximize profits and that means accessories like the Apple Pencil costs extra – quite a lot extra. 

None of the iPads come with the Apple Pencil. Furthermore, the base model iPad does not support the second-generation Pencil. You know, the one that attaches magnetically to the side of the iPad.

Of course, this is just another move to make you spend more money. The base iPad is excellent, as we’ll explore later. However, if you don’t want to deal with the inconvenience of charging it via the iPad’s lightning port, then you need to get one of the higher-end models.

Surprisingly, performance does not matter

Well, this is something you don’t hear every day. The best iPad for drawing should have the best performance, right? You don’t have to worry about that here as all the iPads we’ve looked at have excellent performance. The Pro versions come with the M1 chip, which is completely overkill for an iPad.

You get the A13 Bionic for the 9th Gen iPad, A14 Bionic for the iPad Air, and A15 Bionic with the iPad Mini. Don’t get us wrong, there are differences between all of them in terms of performance, especially when you throw the M1 into the mix.

However, it simply does not matter for most artists. The only realistic scenario where you’d care about performance is if you have a large amount of pages open in a drawing app. For 99% of users, that’s not the case. As such, even the base iPad is stellar in terms of performance.

Of course, this is only thanks to the excellent optimization and RAM management seen in iPad OS. Say what you will, but the experience is still impressive, even if it costs a premium. There’s a reason why iPads are so popular.

Best iPad for drawing, Procreate & others in 2022: Budget, professional, and for students

Apple iPad Air (5th Generation)

Apple iPad Air 5th Generation