Best iPad for Graphic Design

When it comes to acquiring an Apple iPad, graphic artists have a few options. Choosing and shopping for the best iPad is like being a kid in a sweet shop, as there are many options. Apple’s iPads have gotten updated fully across the board, and doodling on them has gone from just being a fun curiosity to one of the best digital art activities available.

iPads have gotten power boosts in many locations, but not everyone can afford the most updated technology. Still, an earlier iPad can be a wonderful budget-friendly drawing pad. To help you find the best one available for your personal needs, we created a detailed list comparing all the possible options in the market.

Current iPads range for graphic design.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Along with the matching second-gen Apple Pencil, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro (updated in October, 2022) will help you create second-to-none art pieces, vector projects, and much more. The amount of space to work with depends on your budget opportunities, varying from 128GB to 2TB. Its large size allows having a detailed look at different elements of your design products, promising a fantastic view and excellent experience. If you wish to compare more than two different models, you can also use Apple’s comparison tool for a more in-depth technical overview.

Pros

Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the company's largest, most current, and most functional tablet with an all-screen design and the newest Apple M2 chip with 64-bit architecture. The Pro features enabled by iPadOS16 include the new multitasking experience with the Stage Manager and Reference Mode to match the color requirements for all the design specialists.

This iPad has a Liquid Retina XDR, the industry-leading color precision display that results in clean, deformation-free margins. When you add in True Tone, which regulates the brightness levels automatically to make the display appear more natural, it is evident that this is the ideal option for creators, artists, and designers.

This iPad also has up to 2TB of capacity and up to 16Gb RAM, which is extremely useful for heavy design projects.

Cons

  • Quite expensive, costs as much as some MacBooks.
  • 11.05 inches long and 8.46 inches wide, so can be too large to carry with you all the time.

Cost

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is Apple's most expensive tablet at present, costing somewhere between $1,099 to $2,399 depending on specifications.

The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro for graphic design October 2022.

The 11-inch iPad Pro

There is a fourth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro (updated in October, 2022) if one likes plenty about the 12.9-inch iPad Pro except for its size. Paired with the Apple pencil will make a great toolkit for inspiration-on-the-go without losing any of the quality in graphics.

Pros

The specifications of this tablet are identical to those of the top pick, but it has a smaller area. It has a lightning-fast Apple M2 chip with 64-bit architecture and Neural Engine.

Though the 11-inch iPad Pro is a downgrade in size it offers a significant discount, and this model’s Liquid Retina display is still impressive, with P3 wide color range, True Tone, ProMotion, and an anti-reflective layer.

The compact size of this iPad may entice users who value portability over screen size and desire an iPad they can take with them everywhere they go. The model saves all the Pro features, including Stage Manager and Reference Mode from its bigger brother. The battery life on this iPad is also quite excellent, so one should be able to rely on it for a full day of use before needing to recharge.

Cons

  • Still quite expensive.
  • Smaller screen.

Cost

The 11-inch iPad Pro is pricey, ranging from $799 to $2,099.

The new 11-inch iPad Pro for graphic design October 2022.

The iPad Air

Generally, the iPad Air (Spring 2022) is the greatest all-purpose iPad. It includes support for the second-generation Apple Pencil and many of the same capabilities as the iPad Pro series, but at a lower price. Being the latest Apple update, not only does it please the user, but also stands out as an eye-candy, providing the designer with impeccably stylish gismo.

Pros

The iPad Air (Spring 2022) is space gray, pink, purple, blue and starlight, featuring 64GB or 256Gb internal memory. Apple M1 chip with a 64-bit design and a Neural Engine gets found within. It is one of the most advanced and useful tablets ever created. Moreover, it has the finest display. The 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display features advanced technologies like True Tone, P3 wide color, and an antireflective coating. The screen resolution is 2360 by 1640-pixel at 264 pixels per inch. Every of these updated display characteristics can make the designer purr from pleasure while working.

Cons

It is important to note that the 60Hz screen reaction rate is exactly half as much as the iPad Pro’s 120Hz when it comes to drawing. Because of the difference in sensitivity, one might notice a difference if they sketch quickly, but so far, there are no complaints heard or reported by artists.

Cost

The iPad Air’s price ranges from $599 to $899.

The new iPad Air 2022 for graphic design Spring 2022.

The iPad Mini

The smallest option iPad mini has an edge to edge 8.3-inch screen and weighs barely 0.65-0.66 pounds. This option contains an A15 processor, a True Tone display, and the first-generation Apple Pencil 2 compatibility. It comes with a storage capacity of 64GB and 256GB. If you only start your designer career, need to combine several vocations at the moment or are a student working a part-time job—it’s perfect for you.

Pros

  • Fits in a pocket, but still supports Apple Pencil 2

Cons

  • For its size, it is quite pricey
  • There is no support for smart connectors

Cost

The price range of the iPad mini is between $499 and $799.

The iPad mini for graphic design.

The iPad 10.9

The iPad will always be known by its distinct name. The standard iPad, which will always get referred to as the first iPad, is currently in its tenth iteration updated in October, 2022. The perfect on-a-budget solution for anyone who wants to try out designing without being a hundred percent sure it will become the vocation of a lifetime. And if you were hungry for more colors—there are the four new gorgeous finishes!

Pros

The iPad has a 10.9-inch display and up to 256Gb internal memory and is cheaper compared to the iPad Air. Touch ID, compatibility with the first-generation Apple Pencil, and the Smart Keyboard are all included. You can find an A14 Bionic chip on board for longer productivity hours than before.

It has an updated Liquid Retina display along with True Tone technology to make your designer work even more comfortable.

Cons

  • Only the first-generation Apple pencil is supported.
  • This iPad doesn't support the Stage Manager feature.

Cost

The iPad 10.2’s price ranges from $449 to $749.

The new iPad 10.9 for graphic design October 2022.

Conclusion

With an iPad, users have the freedom to design wherever they choose. It is lightweight, the battery lasts a long time, and the screen resolution is ideal for art and design. Why should artists get an iPad? Mainly because of its functionality.

Users can design and create using an iPhone, but not as conveniently, as it has a small screen and cannot pair with the Apple Pencil. But since the possibility of syncing the work on all Apple devices is important to many designers, Amadine offers a version for iPhone as well.

Choosing an iPad for design should be considered as a long-term investment, so you have to thoroughly weigh up all available options and decide which of them will meet your specific needs best. A new iPad 10.9 may be purchased for as low as $449 and would be a perfect budget option, while the most powerful iPad Pro with Apple Pencil 2 with M2 chip will cost $2,528 and will let you make the best of the latest Apple developments for creatives.

The design of the article was created by Olha Voronova.
Revised in December 2022

Have an iPad and wish to start designing? Amandine for iPad and iPhone is here with the free download!