Which iPad is best for Procreate

Which iPad is Best for Procreate? [Buyers Guide] 2021

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There are 4+ iPad devices all capable of advanced drawing apps, but which iPad is best for Procreate?

The best iPad for Procreate is the iPad Pro due to its large screen size, which is always preferred when drawing digitally. Additional benefits when choosing the iPad Pro for Procreate is the increased storage, better camera, and face ID recognition. These are features the iPad Air lacks beyond Procreate.

When deciding between the iPad Pro and the iPad Air for Procreate, you should know that the iPad Air works well when the artist is on a budget and is okay with a slightly smaller display size. Procreate users that plan to also perform heavy video editing may want to consider the iPad Pro because of it’s slightly stronger processor & graphics compared to the iPad Air.

The iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPad, and the iPad Pro have pros and cons, making only one tablet the best choice for Procreate. So which iPad should you get for Procreate?

Is the iPad Air advised?

As a digital artist professional myself, I personally use Procreate with the iPad Air and Apple pencil 2; it satisfies all my requirements for digital art (and some).

Related: What is the best stylus for Procreate?

This article provides a complete overview of the best iPad for Procreate and which is the best overall.

Best iPad for Procreate – At a glance

The following are iPads you should consider as they all work well with Procreate. Each has their own pros and cons as discussed in this post.

  1. iPad Pro: Overall Best iPad for Procreate (Digital artwork)
  2. iPad Air: Best Portable iPad for procreate users (Pro artwork)
  3. iPad (Standard): Best budget iPad for Procreate
  4. iPad Mini: Best beginner iPad for Procreate

Which iPads are most compatible with Procreate?

The majority of newer iPad models are compatible with Procreate (iPad Air, iPad Pro, iPad Mini, iPad)

iPad for Procreate best comparison chart

The screen size and RAM are the two most important factors to consider when choosing the best iPad for Procreate. Procreate Chart below.

iPad model (Procreate)Display sizeRam
iPad Pro (2nd & 4th gen)11″ or 12.9″ (best for Procreate)6GB
iPad Air (4th gen)10.9 (good size for Procreate)4GB
iPad (8th gen)10.2″ (average)3GB
iPad mini 47.9 (small)3GB

Important:

iPad models with more ram (like the iPad Pro), allow digital artists to handle using more layers in Procreate while also listening to music, browsing multiple browser tabs, and procreate at the same time.

On the iPad Pro you will experience slightly less lag, but this is only noticeable if you are running multiple apps in addition to Procreate (simultaneously).

Which stylus works best for Procreate? For stylus accuracy, it is near impossible to beat the Apple Pencil for Procreate. Particularly because the pressure sensitivity is incompatible on nearly all third-party, non-apple pencils/stylus. See more on this: best Stylus for Procreate.

Each iPad has its pros and cons for Procreate… the following will help you discover which iPad is best for Procreate.

4 Best iPads for Procreate

1. iPad Pro: Overall Best iPad for Procreate (digital artwork)

iPad Pro Overall Best iPad for Procreate (digital artwork)

Who it’s for: For serious digital artists creating pro-level artwork. If you plan to run Procreate along with multiple internet browser tabs and music software, then the iPad Pro is for you.

Why iPad Pro so good for Procreate: It has a larger screen size (11 or 12.9”), more RAM, storage and faceID, allowing for the most smooth, convenient, experience for a Procreate user on iPad.

The iPad Pro’s processor (A14 Bionic) and RAM (6GB) on the iPad Pro is the fastest amongst any iPad. This means you can utilize slightly more layers when drawing or painting on Procreate. It also has the best storage capacity (512GB and 1TB)

This will also allow you to play music as well as browse the web in addition to Procreate (all at the same time). Sure, you can also accomplish this on the Air, but you might experience some occasional lag if you really over-do it.

Should I get the Pro or Air?

The main advantage of the iPad Pro 12.9 inch for Procreate is that the screen is roughly the same size as a piece of paper. Artists looking for the most true, paper like experience (as well as the least amount of lag possible), will want to choose the iPad Pro. 

Regarding a screen protector for Procreate, matte glass protectors will work best. I highly recommend a basic drawing tablet stand (Amazon) for elevating the iPad when drawing on procreate. 

Overall, the best iPad for Procreate is the iPad Pro, but if you’re on a budget there are certainly some reliable alternatives.

2. iPad Air: Best Portable iPad for procreate users (Pro artwork)

iPad Air Best Portable iPad for procreate users (Pro artwork)

Who it’s for: The iPad Air for Procreate is best for digital artists that want a thin, portable option. 

Why the iPad Air is so good for Procreate: It’s almost as strong as the iPad Pro and has a good screen size for artists. It’s fantastic for those who use their iPad mostly for drawing and not running additional software simultaneously.

The iPad air is the best tablet for Procreate for those in search of a casual and sleek alternative to the Pro model. This is because it’s highly compatible and powerful enough to run the Procreate App for beginner & professional artwork.

Important

Unless you plan to run multiple browser tabs, music and other creative apps at the same time as Procreate, then the iPad Air will fit the requirements just fine for Procreate without rouble. Even if you are running some extra applications, the iPad Air should still work fairly lag-free. 

The iPad Air works seamless with Procreate on its 10.9 large display, A12 Bionic chip and 4GB of RAM. This specs make it strong enough to create advanced level artwork, yet affordable at the same time.

Related: Best iPad Air Stylus for Drawing and Note Taking

If you’re looking for the best portable Procreate iPad to create top-tier artwork and value affordability, then the air will work just fine as a cheaper alternative to the Pro model.

3. iPad (Standard): Best budget iPad for Procreate (under $400)

iPad (Standard) Best budget iPad for Procreate (under 400)

The standard iPad is the best affordable iPad for Procreate due to it’s slight step down in terms of speed compared to the iPad Pro(3GB RAM vs 6GB). 

With a 10.2” retina display and 3GB RAM, using the standard iPad for Procreate means sacrificing screen size & processing speed when compared to the iPad air and Pro. It supports the Apple Pencil (1st generation) and is created for illustrators on a budget in mind. Keep in mind, the standard iPad works well for Procreate as it’s fully compatible.

If you aren’t running additional apps and are okay with its slightly thicker structure compared to the Air, then the iPad standard will run Procreate just fine for you.

Related: Best Tablet Speakers for Loud Sound (Wireless and Bluetooth)

If you’re a beginner or just someone looking to draw casually (and have a 1st gen apple pencil already), then the standard iPad will suit nicely. However, for advanced projects that require multiple layers, you may want to choose the Air or Pro models because they are built to handle this.

4. iPad Mini: Best beginner iPad for Procreate

iPad Mini Best beginner iPad for Procreate

The iPad mini for Procreate is really for those looking for a super portable option to have around for casual, basic sketching. The smaller screen size, yet higher price point than the standard iPad means less drawing space at a higher price point. 

The Mini works great for those who desire a small screen size (7.9”) and don’t care for a large canvas or CPU-intensive projects that require multiple layers because it is typically tougher to navigate on a tiny screen as an artist.

However, many who use the mini for Procreate claim that the zooming in and out works just fine once you’re used to it.

iPad Mini can run Procreate in terms of compatibility just as well as the other iPads, it’s up to you to decide if you’d like to draw on a tablet that is roughly half the size of a piece of paper. 

Overall, the iPad mini for Procreate is a highly compatible option for smaller childrens, kids, beginners or anyone who is okay sacrificing a smaller Procreate canvas. This makes it the best small display iPad for Procreate

iPad Pro vs iPad Air for Procreate

iPad Pro vs iPad Air for Procreate

The following will cover the Pros and cons of Procreate between the iPad Pro and the iPad Air. When comparing the two to find the best, you’ll need to keep layering, processing speed and graphics/display in mind for Procreate on iPad.

Layers: 

Higher resolution and more RAM means more layers you can use, making the iPad Pro suit many requirements of professional digital Artists.

If you’re creating a massive art project then the iPad Pro will perform better and allow you to smoothly utilize more layers. The iPad Air has a slightly smaller screen size and and slightly less ram, but still handles Procreate with ease. 

Processor speed

The iPad Pro uses an A12z Bionic Chip 64-bit, the Ipad air uses an A14 Bionic 64 bit. More cores generally means more GHZ, which means it can handle more CPU-intensive tasks such as large canvas size, playing music, running multiple tabs, in addition to just drawing & designing on procreate.

These upgrades allow the iPad to work well with procreate and run almost as quickly as a decent laptop. See our post: Ipad vs Laptop; Pros and Cons

What is the difference? 

The iPad Pro can get you up to speeds of 1.8Gz compared to 1.59GHz. All this means is that the iPad Pro is noticeably faster overall as a tablet. But, as far as the Procreate app, both iPads will run just fine. The Pro will be faster than the Air when multi-tasking. The Air can run Procreate just as well with it’s slightly lower processing speed.

What this means for you

if you’re running multiple applications on top of Procreate on your iPad, the Air can handle it, but the Pro will shine without lag. Processor speed and RAM will help you handle tasks more efficiently when running procreate. iPad Pro has the stronger chip for this.

Graphics

The iPad Pro has a sharp display resolution at 2732 x 2048, compared to the 2360 x 1640 resolution of the iPad Air. They both have accurate color display as well as true tone  in addition to a fully laminated anti-reflective coating. 

Related: Is a MacBook Air Good for Video Editing (The Truth)

What this means for you:

The iPad Pro’s screen looked a bit thinner and closer to the pencil when drawing on it; giving it a truly paper-like experience (but, you’d have to look very hard to notice this). The iPad Air has a smaller resolution which means a smaller perceived canvas when using procreate.

Accessories required for iPad on Procreate

Accessories required for iPad on Procreate

It’s never been easier to get professional grade drawings from a mobile device. The iPad Pro and Apple Pencil give you the ability to create beautiful, delicate strokes that demonstrate your adroitness as an artist. But then what do you need in order to make the most of this incredible duo?

Stand

Stand for procreate iPad

Many iPad users use stands to put their tablet on a flat surface for easier access, sturdiness, or convenience. These stands can be used as temporary solutions until a proper case is crafted or purchased. Some cases come with a kick stand built-in.

They support the iPad whether you are using procreate or other activies, such as reading a book, an app, or streaming. There are also many varied models of stands that can be found in different shapes and sizes.

The majority of these stand styles can be found for a small price. A sturdy stand allows for for accurate line work, shading and more to be created with procreate and other programs at their finest potential.

See our post: How to use iPad as a Phone replacement

Apple Pencil or Stylus for iPad when using Procreate?

Why the Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil is desirable by most digital artists who are serious about creating pro level, studio artwork. Apple Pencil’s companion tablet, the iPad, is know as the most technically advanced devices in the market for portable drawing.

The difference between a generic stylus, third party stylus, and the Appel Pencil for iPad is further discussed in our post, Apple Pencil vs stylus.

When you combine it with procreate, it’s very powerful for graphic design, sketches, cartoons and more. Third party pens typically aren’t supported well on the iPad, with the exception of brand name pens, like the Adonit models or the Logitech Crayon.

See more in our post: The best pens for Procreate (stylus)

Why the Apple Pencil?

Why the Apple Pencil

An Apple Pencil is an input device which was created by Apple Inc. It is a component of the iPad Pro that has been designed to interact with the screen of the iPad for artistic purposes.

It has technology which enables it to communicate wirelessly with the iPad and its apps. Its design allows it to be used in any orientation, with different parts operating differently in each position making it more versatile than other pens do.

See how and why the iPad Pro (specifically) made our Best Wireless drawing tablets top picks.

The Apple Pencil can be used to create artwork like in Photoshop. It is ideal for digital arts and graphic design. You can use it to create any kind of art that you would normally use a mouse or tablet for.
Then iPad Pro comes into play. The Apple Pencil can be paired with an iPad Pro, making it possible for you to create professional-level artwork like you would on a computer or phone.

It is also an excellent way to create fancy eyedropper-based colour palettes that utilise the pressure sensitivity of the Apple Pencil. This feature helps artists to select colours and adjust them in real time as they use the digital pen tip.

Related: 7 Best Stylus for Amazon Fire HD 8 & 10

FAQ

Which iPad should I get for Procreate drawing?

Which iPad should I get for Procreate drawing_

The best iPad an artist can choose for pro-level Procreate drawing is the iPad Pro due to it’s large display size and faster processing speed. It also has more Ram (6GB) and additional features like face ID. If you’re running additional apps in addition to Procreate, then the iPad Pro is for you because it can handle more workload than the iPad air and mini. It has the most storage capacity out of any other iPad.

In order to draw on the iPad Air, you will need an Apple Pencil or another pressure sensitive stylus.

iPad Air for drawing

The Apple Pencil is actually not an independent device in itself so instead of being held still in your hand, it needs to be connected via Bluetooth 4.0 to your iPad Air. This way, everything will work smoothly and you’ll be able to draw beautifully on your iPad Air without needing any other devices or tools besides maybe a stand or a screen cover

Is Procreate worth buying an iPad for?

Is Procreate worth buying an iPad for_

Procreate is certainly worth buying an iPad for if you’re looking to create digital art on apple technology. It compares to Krita, Sketchbook and Adobe software quite well in terms of the level of Art you can create with it. Pro level art can be accomplished on the Procreate app for iPad.

The procreate app is a digital art and design application for iPads. It allows you to draw, paint, and create designs with touch-based precision. It also has drawing courses made by independent artists for different design professions, including fashion, illustration, and even some architecture. The procreate app is available on the iPad Air, iPad Pro and other iPads, but not on windows based devices!

The procreate app works well with iPads and can handle the large amount of power needed for your designs to come to life. So much power means more paintings and smoother animations meant to impress your friends and rivals alike.

Should I use an iPad or a Wacom tablet for Procreate?

Is Procreate worth buying an iPad for_

When deciding if you should use an iPad or Wacom tablet for Procreate, you should consider portability and price because the iPad models are much more portable and work just as well regarding required specs for digital Art. You should use an iPad for Procreate compared to a Wacom tablet when your requirements consist of portability, preferred operating system and flexible budget.

See our full post on this topic: iPad vs Wacom: Which is Better for Digital Art? (Full Review)

Does Procreate work on iPhone?

In addition to the iPad you can also use Procreate on the iPhone; this app is called Procreate Pocket and is made specifically to meet the spec requirements of the iPhone. It is not as expansive regarding detailed options as the Procreate app for iPad tablets and poses specific limitations regarding drawing details.

Does Procreate work on iPad Air?

Yes, Procreate works on the following iPad Air models: iPad Air 2, iPad Air (4th generation), and iPad Air (3rd generation). Procreate also works on iPad Pro, standard iPad models and even the iPad mini. For iPad Air, Procreate works quite well when not used with many other apps such as multiple internet tabs, and CPU-intensive apps such as music or video as background processes.

iPad Compatibility for Procreate?

iPad Compatibility guide for Procreate
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation)  
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (1st and 2nd generation)  
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro  
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro  iPad (8th generation)  
  • iPad (7th generation)  
  • iPad (6th generation)  
  • iPad (5th generation)  
  • iPad mini (5th generation)  iPad mini 4 
  • iPad Air (4th generation) 
  • iPad Air (3rd generation) 
  • iPad Air 2

iPads Incompatible with Procreate are the significantly older models, such as the iPad 1, 2, 3, 4, iPad mini 1, 2, 3 and iPad Air (1st gen)

Conclusion

So, which iPad should you buy and which iPad is used most often for Procreate? The answer is the iPad Pro due to its larger screen which is roughly the size of a sheet of paper. It also has a quicker processor and more RAM overall.

If you’re on a budget the iPad Air is next best and will work just fine if you don’t plan to use your tablet instead of a PC in addition to Procreate. It’s also the best for portability due to it’s sleek, thin design. While smaller, the display size also competes with the iPad Pro model.

The mini works well for those who are beginner digital artists or casual users. Expect to zoom in a lot if you’re using the mini to draw on Procreate. Compatibility should be kept in mind when searching for the best iPad for Procreate because some stylus, such as the Apple pencil 1st and 2nd generation, only work on certain respective iPad models.

This article has fully covered all requirements and compatibility of the best iPad for Procreate for you to complete your Procreate needs.