How to Pick the Perfect iPad for Drawing and Animation


For many artists, the iPad has become a must-have tool because of its excellent sketching apps, portable design, and high-quality display. With so many options, picking the iPad model that works best for illustrators can be challenging. 

The iPad has revolutionized digital art by providing a sleek and user-friendly interface for artists to create, edit, and showcase their work. If you’re an artist who works in drawings and animations, you probably use a program like Procreate. Understanding how to select the best iPad for Procreate and the drawings you enjoy is essential.

In this article, we’ll go over the most crucial factors to think about when choosing the best iPad for drawing and animations, and we’ll also provide some model recommendations to help you narrow down your search.

Display and Resolution

The iPad’s display quality is crucial for illustrators and other visual artists. In order to create work that is both detailed and vibrant, you will need a screen with a high resolution and accurate color representation. The minimum resolution for a Retina display should be 2048 x 1536 pixels. The iPad Pro models boast Liquid Retina and Liquid Retina XDR displays, offering even higher resolutions and a more extensive color gamut, making them an excellent choice for artists.

Stylus Compatibility

Artists who create drawings rely heavily on Apple Pencil compatibility because of the accuracy and pressure sensitivity it provides. Both the original Apple Pencil and the updated Apple Pencil 2 can be used with any of the latest iPad models. The new Apple Pencil has improved latency, wireless charging, and magnetic attachment for a more streamlined experience. The original iPad and iPad mini models are compatible with the original Apple Pencil, while the iPad Pro and iPad Air (version 4 and later) are compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Processing Power

When working with large files or intensive drawing programs, a processor that can keep up is essential. Artists will get the most out of the iPad Pro models with the newest M2 chip or the A12Z Bionic chip.  The A14 Bionic chip found in the iPad Air (4th gen. and later) is optimized for artistic productivity. For casual artists or those on a tight budget, the cheaper iPad and iPad mini models are a better option due to their lower price and less powerful processors.

Storage Capacity

In order to save your work and set up your drawing software, you’ll need a lot of space as a visual artist. It’s crucial to think about the iPad’s storage capacity before making a purchase. Use at least 128GB, though 256GB is preferable if you work with large files or multiple programs. Keep in mind that there is no way to add more storage to an iPad, so it’s important to buy one with enough space already installed.

Battery Life

Artists who want to work on their projects without being tethered to an outlet need devices with long battery lives. The average battery life of an iPad is around 10 hours, though this number can go up or down depending on how you use it. Since their batteries are larger and their processors are more powerful, iPad Pro models typically have longer battery lives than other tablets.


The iPad’s portability depends on the size and weight you select. The iPad mini is the most portable option, but its smaller screen makes it a poor choice for artists who need a lot of visual real estate. The iPad Air and the standard iPad both strike a nice balance between portability and display size. The iPad Pro models, and especially the 12.9-inch version, offer the most space for work, but they may be less convenient to carry around.

The Top Picks for Drawing Artists

The following are some suggestions for various types of drawing artists, depending on their individual requirements and tastes:

Our Top Pick: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (latest generation)

  • The iPad Pro 12.9-inch is the best option for working artists because of its powerful hardware, high-resolution screen, and large footprint. The M2 chip (or A12Z Bionic in older models), Liquid Retina XDR display, and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil make this the best option for professional illustrators and designers.

Recommended Mid-Range Option: iPad Air (4th generation and later)

  • The iPad Air is a great option for creatives in search of a device that strikes a good balance between performance, price, and portability.  The iPad Air 2 has most of the features needed by artists without breaking the bank, including the A14 Bionic chip, a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, and compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Recommended Budget Option: Base iPad (9th generation or later)

  • If you’re just starting out as an artist or are on a tight budget but still want a solid drawing experience, the iPad’s base model is an excellent choice. This model’s affordable price and respectable drawing experience are thanks to its A13 Bionic chip, 10.2″ Retina display, and support for the original Apple Pencil.

Recommended for Portability: iPad Mini (6th generation or later)

  • Artists who appreciate mobility and need a compact device for on-the-go sketching will find the iPad mini to be an excellent option. Despite its diminutive size, the iPad mini provides a high-quality drawing experience thanks to its 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display, powerful A15 Bionic chip, and compatibility with the Apple Pencil 2nd generation.

Finally, remember your priorities, such as display quality, processing power, portability, and affordability, when selecting the best iPad for your sketching needs. Each of the aforementioned suggestions caters to a particular type of artist, guaranteeing that there is an iPad model suitable for everyone.


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