Which iPad is Best for Drawing

If you’re an artist, I know you’re always looking for the best ways to show off your work. Most artists now use iPads for their work. They have really taken over the world of digital art.

With many different iPad models available on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which iPad is best for drawing and digital art.

Don’t worry, though; this detailed guide will break down the best options and help you make a smart choice.

When it comes to drawing on an iPad, the device you choose can significantly impact your experience. Factors such as screen size, processing power, and compatibility with the Apple Pencil can all affect your ability to create stunning digital art.

If you’re looking for the best iPad for drawing, especially with Procreate, you might find our guide on what is the best iPad for Procreate helpful.

Top iPad Recommendations for Drawing and Digital Art

ipad price

Considering all the factors we mentioned, here are our top iPad recommendations for digital art and drawing.

1. iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is by far the best iPad for drawing and digital art. Its powerful M2 chip allows for seamless multitasking and fluid drawing, even with the most demanding apps. With its Liquid Retina display, available in sizes of 11 and 12.9 inches, it boasts accurate and vibrant colors, ensuring professional-quality work.

2. iPad Air

The iPad Air is a powerful contender, offering an ideal balance between price and performance. It features a stunning 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, an M1 chip, and is compatible with the Apple Pencil 2nd generation, making it perfect for artists at any level.

3. iPad Mini

The iPad Mini’s (6th generation) compact form factor makes it excellent for artists who prioritize portability. Though the 8.3-inch display may seem limiting, the A15 Bionic chip and Apple Pencil 2nd generation compatibility make it a reliable choice for digital art.

4. iPad

The entry-level iPad is ideal for those on a tight budget without sacrificing drawing capabilities. It supports the Apple Pencil 1st generation and features a 10.2-inch or 10.9-inch retina display, making it a decent choice for amateur artists.

man happy with his ipad

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best iPad for Drawing

As you explore the world of iPads for drawing, there are several important factors to consider in order to find the perfect device for your needs.

Here, we will discuss the key elements that can influence your decision when choosing between the various models, such as the iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro:

  1. Display
  2. Performance
  3. Compatibility with Apple Pencil
  4. Portability and Design
  5. Price
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best iPad for Drawing

Display Size and Quality

The display of your Apple iPad is crucial when it comes to digital drawing and artwork. A larger screen allows more room to work on intricate details and navigate through your artwork with ease.

The iPad Mini, for example, offers a compact 8.3-inch display, whereas the iPad Air and iPad Pro have larger screens of 10.9 and 11/12.9 inches, respectively.

Most iPads come with Retina or Liquid Retina displays, ensuring the vibrancy and precision of colors. Ultimately, the best iPad for you will depend on your personal preferences and the level of detail required for your artwork.


The performance of your iPad is another critical factor to consider. A faster device will allow for smoother drawing, particularly when working with complex software or large files. In terms of performance, the iPad Pro is the top choice, thanks to its M2 chip.

Meanwhile, the iPad Air features a powerful A14 Bionic chip, and the iPad Mini comes with an A15 Bionic chip, both of which provide impressive responsiveness. The entry-level iPad also performs well, with an A13 Bionic chip.

Compatibility with Apple Pencil

When choosing an iPad for drawing, Apple Pencil support is vital, as it offers exceptional precision and responsiveness for artists.

Both the first and second generation Apple Pencils are designed to work seamlessly with iPads, but not all models support the same generation.

apple pencil 1 and 2

The first generation Apple Pencil offers impressive sensitivity and low latency, making it an excellent stylus for creating digital artwork. This version of the Apple Pencil is compatible with the following iPads:

  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th generation)
  • iPad (10th generation) *
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch

* You need the USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter to pair and charge the Apple Pencil with the iPad (10th generation).

The second generation Apple Pencil boasts enhanced features, such as magnetic attachment, wireless charging, a more ergonomic design, and double-tap gesture support. This version of the Apple Pencil is compatible with these iPads:

  • iPad mini (6th generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)

Knowing the Apple Pencil compatibility of each iPad is crucial when selecting the best model for drawing or digital art.

It’s also essential to consider whether the added features of the second generation Apple Pencil are important to you, as this might influence your decision between iPad models that support the first or second generation Apple Pencil.

Portability and Design

As an artist, you might prefer a device that is easy to carry around and work with on-the-go. In this case, the iPad Mini might be the best iPad for you. It’s lightweight and easy to handle, making it perfect for artists who want the flexibility to draw anywhere.

On the other hand, the iPad Air and iPad Pro, with their larger display sizes, could be ideal if portability isn’t a top priority.


Your budget will play a significant role in determining the ideal iPad model for your drawings and digital artwork. The entry-level iPad offers an affordable option, while the iPad Mini and iPad Air are moderately priced.

The iPad Pro, featuring cutting-edge technology and the highest performance, comes with a higher price tag. Compare your needs against your budget limitations to find the best iPad that suits your artistic endeavors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Which iPad is best for drawing and digital art?

ℹ️ A: The best iPad for drawing ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget. If you desire a powerful device with a top-tier display and performance, the iPad Pro is an excellent choice.

The iPad Air strikes a balance between price and performance, while the iPad Mini is ideal for those seeking portability. For artists with a tight budget, the entry-level iPad is a decent option.

Q: What are the key differences between the 1st and 2nd generation of Apple Pencil?

ℹ️ A: The 2nd generation Apple Pencil has a more ergonomic design, charges wirelessly, and supports magnetic attachment to your iPad. Additionally, it offers improved sensitivity and tilt support.

Q: Can I use other styluses besides the Apple Pencil?

ℹ️ A: Yes, there are various third-party styluses available. However, the Apple Pencil provides unparalleled precision and response, making it the preferred choice for most artists.

Q: Which iPad offers the best value for money for digital artists?

ℹ️ A: The iPad Air offers a perfect balance of price and performance, making it an excellent value for money for digital artists.

Q: Is the iPad Pro worth the price for drawing and digital art?

ℹ️ A: Yes, if you require a powerful device with a large display and advanced features, the iPad Pro is an excellent investment.

Q: Can iPads replace a desktop or laptop for digital art?

ℹ️ A: For many artists, iPads can substitute desktops or laptops. However, this depends on the complexity of your work and the software you use.

Q: What drawing apps do you recommend for iPad artists?

ℹ️ A: Procreate, Adobe Fresco, and Affinity Designer are all excellent choices for digital artists.

Q: Can I connect my iPad to an external display for drawing?

A: Yes, most iPads with USB-C ports can be connected to an external display for a larger workspace.

Q: Are there any drawing accessories you recommend for my iPad?

A: A matte screen protector, an adjustable stand, and drawing gloves are all useful accessories for iPad artists.

Q: How can I optimize my iPad settings for drawing?

ℹ️ A: Adjust display settings for optimal color accuracy, enable palm rejection, and personalize Apple Pencil settings for the best drawing experience.

Q: Can I use an iPad for 3D modeling and animation?

ℹ️ A: Yes, apps like Procreate and Blender are available for iPads, enabling 3D modeling and animation.

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