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Need advice: IPad for drawing?


Hello guys,

hope this fits here, I wasn't sure where else to post this.

Anyways, with Ipad pro becoming more and more popular I assume some of you might use one too. -And Ill be needing some help with.

Currently I have a cintiq and a normal graphic tablet, but I travel a lot and art is one of my main income sources, so its proving to be a problem when I travel - I travel a lot, for example like right now being stuck in a different country thanks to corona. And I dont have any other way but to share atm a PC so I have limited time to draw.

Thats why I decided to get an Ipad Pro for drawing, but I never owned an Apple product or for that matter a normal Tablet thats not a graphic tablet.
So I am not exactly sure which one to get. I need some help with this....

Which is the better of them? The 2018 or the 2020 version?
Do I have to get one with more space or can I purchase a memory card later if needed?
Which size would you recommend? 11` or 12`9?

Of course I would prefer to get it as cheap as possible but in the end its expensive anyways so I prefer spending more instead of regretting later on.

Thank you for your time,
I would really appreciate a few replies


Princess Bunny ♥
Hi! I also use a cintiq 24" (previously I used intuos and bamboo for years) to work and I have an ipad pro 2019 12.9" which was quite expensive but totally worth it.

I can't tell you if the new one is better, but I suppose it is so if you can afford it, go for it! I also had ipad (not pro) from 2018 and it was amazing as well, I fall in love with it and it was my very first ipad... but I had the small 9" version. I changed to the new one because I got a grant from the government for being a freelancer and I had to spend the grant on tools for my job, that's the only reason I now have the expensive one, but even the other one was really really good.

I suppose the size might depend on how much you wish to spend on it... the smallest 9" is already good, it's like drawing on a sketchbook.

And you can't expand the memory card so you better get the one with more space if you're going to use it for regular work. It's 500GB is more than enough.


TFed Ex-Knight
Greetings! I'm no artist, but I'm currently learning on a non-pro iPad so I have a little experience and a little knowledge to shed light on what you need to know.

To your questions: the 2020 version is "better". The issue with that is defining "better". Sure, better specs, higher end camera, and so on grace the 2020 iPad pro, but do you care about those things? I'm using the bottom of the line iPad and I'm never like "damn, I wish I had a bigger/better iPad". The thing works like a dream. Of course, I'm also on the much lower end of art quality so there's that. Here's a site that tells you the differences: https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/ipad-pro-2020-vs-ipad-pro-2018/ If you actually care about any of these differences, you can take them into consideration.

There is no space expansion on iPads. If you wanna store all your art on it, you're gonna have to buy the model with the amount of space you need. No memory card shenanigans.

Size? I'm a little like Yoda: "size matters not". I've never felt cramped on my iPad which is smaller than both Pro models you're considering.

Whichever model you get, I suspect you'll find it worth the purchase. Good luck!


Local Bizartist
Hey there,

Long post incoming.
TLDR: I love my Ipad, I went for the newest biggest, bestest, because I want it to have some longevity to it, but you probably don't need to get the biggest bestest.
Great if you work on canvas sizes less than 7k by 7k pixels.
I'd recommend it personally.

I was in a similar position to you, in that I was on a wacom, it didn't travel well (and to be honest, I fricking hated wacom and photoshop together they do not work together... for me anyway haha)
Previously I'd been hunting for a tablet that I could just carry around with me, had a samsung that just did not have the power I needed for drawing, so eventually caved and bought the top of the range newest Ipad pro.

I regret nothing, I love it to piece, I've never had an apple product because I hate apple, I still do, but grudgingly I have to admit they have been the best, smoothest user interface I have ever used, I haven't had a single complaint about using the drawing software really and it's only lost work when I've been an idiot and let it run out of battery mid drawing, but, it saves so regularly, I barely lost anything at all.

So I'll give you a run down:
  • So easy to carry around, light weight considering its size, great for drawing anywhere, no massive backpack required for gaming quality laptop and wacom tablet just to be able to run photoshop and wacom tablet.
  • Apple pencil is AMAZING (and a must if you are going to draw on it I would say) the tilt feels very natural, the pressure sensitivity is great, no noticable lag between pen tip and line, very accurate positioning.
  • Procreate and Art studio pro very nice software, work seemlessly with ipad and apple pencil, art studio has excellent blending brush modes, procreate has brilliant tilt brushes (great for sketching but procreate doesn't blend well, I do like its light effects brushes however and its good for flat colour pieces)
  • Very smooth work flow allowed by apple and its drawing software, once you learn all the gestures and such, it really reduces any time wastage.
  • Best user interface I've ever experienced, so smooth, so little irritates me about it.
  • Fairly easy to print from, talks to my printer quite well.
  • Price, holy heck, I spent a lot on this beasty. Do you need top of the line, biggest storage, etc? Probably not, but I have a lot of buyers regret from the past NOT buying the top of the line item and going for the lesser versions of things, so for my own sanity, I went for the best, because I still look at my wacom tablet with regret even now.
  • Layers vs canvas size - you are limited on layers, if you work in GIANT canvas sizes, I work at about 6k by 4k px and I'm limited to about 7 lightly drawn on layers, if you have a lot going on in each layer, you can start experiencing slow down. On a 1270 by 1270 px canvas I have nearly 40 layers of hidden sketches with no slow down at all. But if you need giant canvas sizes with 100s of layers, an Ipad may not be the way forward for you. It will physically limit the number of layers you have with the canvas size you choose.
  • Stupid charging cable, they got round the fines for having a unique charging cable by double ending a standard cable end and having a specialised plug instead so you STILL have to fork out big moneys for a new charger if you lose it. This is still apple, they still SUCK.
  • Highly thief-able item, it's easy to grab, and also probably highly sought after, back up your work regularly and make sure you're all signed up with the tracking options available. Every Ipad cover I've seen has a stupid hole in it to show the damn apple logo. So, easy to spot as a high price item. Bare that in mind. I'm making a back panel for my case to hide what it is.
  • Doesn't print colours well, no real way that I've found so far to make sure that it has a colour profile that the printer can read correctly to get the best likeness for colours. There may be a way but I'm dumb and haven't found it yet :D
  • Has to plug in to non apple products to transfer files, bugs me a little, its got the capacity to do wireless stuff but they've chosen to limit that to apple products only so far as I can tell.... damn you... apple...
Not sure if pro or con?:
  • Battery life is preeetttyy good, I get probably a good 3 or 4 hours of heavy arting out of it before I start thinking I should probably plug it in, with my daily normal usage of it, I only really charge it every night or keep it plugged in if I'm doing a serious long drawing session.
  • Backs up to apple cloud thingy, my apple cloud thingy is now full... so a bit useless to me but you can pay to en-biggen your storage space there.
  • Apparently works very well with other apple products, utterly useless for me :D I have no other apple products.
This tablet has genuinely seen huge leaps and bounds in my comfort, workflow and over all happiness at work, purely because its removed all the cumbersome weight and cables and faff of setting up laptop, tablet and all that stuff. As well as removing all the glitches, driver issues and general user interface problems of photoshop and wacom tablets. I can sit where ever I like, with who ever I like, and just work in comfort and snuggle up in a comfy chair with a cat and a hot chocolate or go sit somewhere beautiful in nature rather than being pinned to a desk.

I wouldn't say its 100% necessary or the best thing if you work large and on many layers, as it does have its processing limitations but over all, it's worked perfectly for me as I work semi large, and usually with only about 3 or 4 layers.

I WOULD say, its probably currently, one of the best light weight tablets on the market for its price for art, you COULD go for one of wacoms mobile studios but the price point is significantly more, but they work more like a standard computer/tablet set up with out the hefty computer set up, although I've heard they are fairly heavy and do need to be plugged in

Ultimately, when you can, maybe drop into an apple store and try one out, see if you can find someone that lets you try out a wacom mobile studio pro or what ever.

You wont really know if its for you until you try it out

I still hate apple ;) even if I love my ipad.


I use my iPad 2017 I got on amazon with my 1st gen Apple Pencil and it feels almost like I’m writing on paper. I got a good deal on it for 400 dollars and the apple pen for 100. I hear the newer version have better multitasking features and processing power, but the one I have performs excellently for a good price. I’ve also heard you can expand the storage through some sort of dongle adapter for usb storage or something.