An iPad is a great tool for any artist who works digitally. These tablets are portable while still powerful, and no iPad exemplifies this as the 201.98-inch iPad Pro, which offers the largest iPad screen available, as well as power surpassing many PC laptops.
Best Overall: iPad Pro 2018 (12.9 inches)
If you want the best iPad for artists in 2019, you'll want the latest generation of the iPad Pro of 12.9 inches. It can get expensive (like, expensive MacBook Pro), but what you get is Apple's most powerful tablet ever made, with great display, sleek new design, face ID support and more.
Let's start with the size of the screen. The iPad Pro's 12.9-inch screen is a great screen size for your art, whether you're drawing, painting or editing photos, which still allows you to be mobile. The new Liquid Retina display on the iPad Pro delivers marvelous color accuracy and is now evenly spaced from the edges of the device. It is also a ProMotion monitor, which means it will run at up to 120Hz. This is great when working with Apple Pencil; your strokes appear on the screen almost instantly, like a real piece of paper, and rendering more fluidly than on other iPads. But ProMotion is more than running at 120Hz. This also means that the display will be adjusted dynamically based on the content of the screen. You'll experience a faster update when you're working on a part and a slower update when you pause to watch a movie or TV show.
When it comes to power, the iPad Pro is truly an impressive machine. The Bionic A12X includes an eight-core processor, with four high-performance cores (compared to the A12's two) and four high-efficiency cores. The power offered by the A12X rivals that of many laptops for the PC, while offering the same 10-hour battery life as we expect from iPads.
To design applications such as Procreate or photo editors like Pixelmator Photo, this extra power can be invaluable for smoother painting or drawing experiences, or applying photo edits faster. Each of your apps, and they will be on something like the iPad Air, will be even better on the iPad Pro.
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro combines stunning power and a great, beautiful screen in a first-rate mobile art tool.
This is also the first iPad to add Face ID support. I think Face ID is fast enough to unlock my iPad as soon as I turn the screen on. At this point, it's not really something I think about, compared to the Touch ID, in which you have to think, even a little, whenever you use it. Everything from unlocking my iPad to authenticating site details is best with Facial ID.
The iPad Pro 2018 has some very important updates to the Apple Pencil experience compared to the iPad Air and the previous iPad Pros. The latest iPad Pro works only with the new second-generation Apple Pencil, which attaches magnetically to one side of the iPad. This point of attachment also serves as an inductive charging slot for the Pencil so that you can carry it with you and charge it at the same time without having to put it outside the charging port of the iPad Pro itself.
Using the Pencil is basically the same experience as other iPads. The Pencil recognizes things like inclination and pressure applied at the tip and supports rejection of the palm. It has a new matte finish, which feels better than the shiny finish of the first Pencil. The Apple Pencil also has a small area of gestures on its flat side, which you can tap twice to quickly switch between the two latest tools.
Now, the size of the iPad Pro may not be for everyone. For many, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro may simply be too large to be completely practical. Of course, I would take an even bigger iPad, but for each one of them. If you want an iPad not as your primary artistic tool, but as an add-on to your Mac or something similar, a smaller size might be perfect for you. The same goes for if you need to fit into slightly smaller purses. The recent redesign may have knocked over the overall footprint of the iPad Pro by 12.9 inches, but it's still a great tablet.
The biggest attack on the iPad Pro of 12.9 inches is the price. IPad Pros have always been more expensive than non-Pro, but with almost $ 1,000, the iPad Pro of 2018 is the most expensive so far. It's another $ 130 when you play the Pencil. It's absolutely the biggest and best iPad screen you can get and it has a lot of power behind it, but just be aware that you're going to spend a lot of money on that screen and that power.
But if you can spend the money, and want the absolute best tablet you can get for your art, the iPad Pro of 12.9 inches is the one to get.
- Expansive 12.9-inch display
- Magnetically mounts and carries the Apple Pencil
- Facial identification
- Apple's Most Powerful Tablet
- Size may be too much for some
iPad Pro 2018 (12.9 inches)
The best tablet Apple has ever made is great for artists.
The latest revision of the iPad Pro of 12.9 inches is a stylish and powerful tablet that enhances the overall iPad experience with features such as Face ID. It also enhances artists' experiences by specifically putting PC power into their favorite art applications and ensuring that your Apple Pencil is always with you, loaded and ready to use.
Best Alternative: iPad Pro 2018 (11 inches)
Honestly, there is not much to be said about the iPad Pro 2018 11-inch that I have not yet said about its larger counterpart. I divide them into two entrances because, when it comes to artistic endeavors, their size really makes them two different products.
One of the great advantages of the 11-inch iPad Pro on the 12.9-inch model and the 10.5-inch Air iPad is that while the Pro's 12.9-inch body underwent a significant size review on its new design, the 11 inch model did not. What this means is that the 11-inch iPad Pro is roughly the same physical size as the 10.5-inch model with a half-inch larger screen. This may not seem like much, but when the screens are about a foot in size, half an inch adds up more than you might think. 11 inches is still a decent size for drawing, photos and any other artistic activity. I still prefer the larger screen than 12.9 inches, but you may be willing to make that exchange.
What's great is that it's pretty much the only compromise. Despite the difference in size, the 11-inch model shares the 10-hour battery life of the larger 12-inch Pro. It also has the same system on an A12X chip, so it has the same power for all your favorite applications. Has a promotion view, with the same pixel density. It's really just a smaller, slightly cheaper version of the same tablet, but for many, that size difference will be enough to push them in one direction or another.
While I always used the larger screen, if the size and portability of this iPad Pro make it more attractive than its bigger brother, it is an excellent and powerful choice.
- As powerful as the 12.9-inch Pro
- Smaller and lighter than 12.9 inches Pro
- Facial identification
- Still a bit pricey
- Some may want a larger view
iPad Pro 2018 (11 inches)
Everything great about the iPad Pro of 12.9 inches, but smaller.
Just a smaller version of the powerful iPad Pro of 12.9 inches in a smaller package, although the size will make a difference for many people. Particularly great for artists who are always on the move.
Write a Review iPad Air 2019
The latest generation of the iPad Air is in line between the iPad mini 2019 and the lower-priced iPad 2018 and the largest screen space of the iPad Pro's 2018 line. At 10.5 inches, the iPad Air offers a decent screen for drawing and painting, as well as an excellent portal to inspect and edit your photos. It is lighter and portable than the iPad Pro, without being much heavier than the smaller mini iPad.
The iPad Air also has something that will certainly be very important for a wide variety of artists: Apple Pencil support. Of course, it's the first generation Pencil, and yes, you have to plug it in the Lightning port of the iPad or the included Lightning adapter to charge it, but now you do not have to go high or low to get Pencils. support on iPad. The iPad Air 2019 sits comfortably near the top without starting at $ 800.
With the iPad Air, you get a machine with an excellent balance of screen size, power and price.
The latest generation of the iPad Air has a good power behind it. While the system-on-a-chip A12 does not match the A12X found in the iPad Pros, it's far better than the three-year A10 on the iPad of 2018. And it has enough power for your favorite art apps, from drawing to photo editing. This will be, for many, the perfect mobile artistic platform.
The air also has a True Tone laminate display. A laminated monitor combines the touch screen layer of your iPad and the LCD display layer in one piece, leaving no gap between the two. This is important because you will have a better overall quality display than a non-laminated monitor, producing better images with a more vibrant color gamut. True Tone is great because it adapts the screen temperature to the light of your current room, making the screen appear more like it is being lit by the room. It's not overpowering, but if you find this disruptive to your artistic workflow, it's easy to turn off Control Center.
So why is the Air 2019 iPad the best value, not the best overall? Most importantly, it comes down to screen size, design, and feature set. The iPad Air uses the same external design (less a few speaker grids) than the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. This is not bad but still uses the Touch ID instead of the latest facial ID sensor found in the new iPad Pros. This may be useful for some, but in the months I started using Face ID, whenever I need to use a device with the Touch ID, I feel like I'm taking a step back. Also, having USB-C in iPad Pro means you do not need to use Apple-approved USB-C accessories, such as SD card readers, with your iPad. With the iPad Air, you still need accessories that work with the proprietary Lightning connector.
Aesthetics can be important, and the iPad Air uses an iPad design that has been with us since the original iPad Air in 2013. The new iPad Pros, with their flat sizes and end-to-end displays, offer a more uniform appearance and offer screens larger in smaller bodies than they were able in the past.
Speaking of screen size, this is another factor that keeps the iPad Air from being the best. Although 10.5 inches is a great screen size for a mobile product, 11- and 12-inch screens offer noticeably more screen space for any type of artist and, speaking from experience, there is a noticeable difference between drawing in a 10.5-inch screen and drawing in a 12.9-inch. Especially when you're working at a desk where weight is not so important, you'll probably want all the screen space you can get.
Still, for many, the iPad Air 2019 will be a great choice, especially if you want to save some money.
- A great balance of price and power
- Reasonably large screen
- Apple Pencil Holder
- Excellent display
- Only supports first generation pencils
- The screen may be too small for some
iPad Air 2019
A great balance of power, size and price.
The iPad Air 2019 is a compelling product for artists looking for a new and powerful tablet, with support for Pencil and the vast library of iOS apps, but without the price of the current iPad Pro. With a great 10.5-inch screen, Pencil and Smart Keyboard support, the iPad Air occupies a comfortable middle position on Apple's tablet line.
Best small tablet: iPad mini 2019
As the 11-inch iPad Pro is for the 12.9-inch model, the same holds true for the 2019 iPad mini for the iPad Air 2019. It's basically a smaller and slightly less expensive version of the iPad Air, although less the Smart Connector . So there is no smart keyboard. But despite this omission, in all other respects, the iPad mini is a smaller version of the iPad Air: it has the same system on an A12 chip, a laminated monitor and Apple Pencil support.
For those looking to sketch on the move, the iPad mini is a great choice, although I prefer the larger screen space of the iPad Air to sit for a long session of drawing, painting or photo editing. The mini iPad is great for anyone who uses a larger device such as an iPad Pro or even a Mac as their main artistic tool, and wants or needs a tablet to increase the mobility of their workflow.
- Compact and lightweight
- As powerful as the iPad Air
- Apple Pencil Holder
- Great price
- The screen is too small for many artists
- Only supports the first generation Apple Pencil
The 2018 iPad Pro of 12.9 inches is an excellent and powerful tablet that is great for any type of art you create. Your large screen should give you enough space for your work, while its size should not stop you from taking it wherever you need to go.
While other iPads may be more portable or less expensive, they do not combine with the overall experience of using the 12.9-inch iPad Pro for a creative venture.
Credits – The team that worked on this guide
Joseph Keller is a senior writer for iMore. An Apple user for more than a decade and a half, he spends his time learning the details of iOS and MacOS, always finding ways to make the most of his iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Lory Gil is a Renaissance woman, writing news, reviews and guides on how to do for iMore. She also imagines herself a bit like a rock star in her town and spends a lot of time reading comic books. If she is not typing on your keyboard, you can probably find her in Disneyland or watch Star Wars (or both).
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