Do you want to get started with the best iPad for Procreate but don’t know which one to pick? If so, read on.
Procreate is an awesome art program that lets you create professional grade digital art pieces. But, it’s not really available on other digital notepads.
Therefore, if you want to use it, you need to purchase one. But which iPad is the best for Procreate?
There’s no doubt about it. iPads are expensive. And while it’s tempting to pick a cheaper older model such as a 6th generation, you may find that it isn’t long before it can no longer support Procreate.
This of course renders your investment worthless and you’re back to square one and in need of a new iPad once more.
It’s also worth noting that Procreate isn’t supported at all on super old models such as the 2nd generation or even 5th Generation iPad.
Ultimately, the newer you buy, the longer it’ll last. Even if that means you pay more up front.
But trust me it’s worth the extra cost.
Procreate gives you an experience that’s as close to drawing or painting on actual paper as you can get except that you can do so much more.
With endless custom Procreate brushes, effects, color palettes, and other cool features, this app easily rivals titans such as Photoshop or Illustrator.
Best of all, the Procreate app costs less than $10. So, even if you’ve shelled out for a new iPad, you can get started with Procreate for practically nothing.
What Are The Best iPads for Procreate?
Have I swayed your decision to go for it and buy a new iPad? These are the best iPads for Procreate on the market today.
- Best Overall iPad for Procreate – iPad Pro 2021
- Best beginner iPad for Procreate – iPad Air
- Best portable iPad for Procreate – iPad Mini
- Best iPad with additional features – iPad 10th Gen
- Best budget iPad for Procreate – iPad 9th Gen
1. iPad Pro 2021
Best Overall iPad for Procreate – iPad Pro 2021
Screen size: 12.9”
Price: Starting at $1,399
The creme de la creme, Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inch is an absolute beast. Oh, it’s expensive alright but you get what you pay for with superior performance, thanks to its M2 chip and ultra-fast Wi-Fi capabilities.
The 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU provide up to 15% faster performance and up to 35% faster graphics performance. This provides the smoothest Procreate experience with zero lag along with the capability to create photorealistic 3D designs.
The high resolution XDR liquid retina display is ultra bright and crystal clear giving you true-to-life detail along with up to 1,600 nits of brightness. You also have P3 wide color, True Tone, and ProMotion plus you can use reference mode for color accurate workflows.
The iPad Pro can be accessorized with the 1st and 2nd generation Apple pencil and magic keyboard. You can also enjoy all-day battery life and face ID security features.
A smaller 11 inch iPad Pro is also available.
Reviews state that this is the highest performing tablet you can buy across the board. More powerful than many laptops, the capabilities you get with the iPad Pro are ultra-impressive.
2. iPad Air
Best beginner iPad for Procreate – iPad Air
Screen size: 10.9”
Price: Starting at $599
If you’re just getting started, it makes sense to go for a cheaper iPad model so you can try without a massive investment. The Apple iPad Air is perfect for this as it strikes the balance between affordability and performance.
Powered by the Apple M1 chip the tablet features a 12MP camera, super-fast 5G capabilities and is available in five colors. The screen is a generous 10.9 inch liquid retina display with TrueTone, P3 wide color, and an anti-reflective coating.
The tablet includes touch ID for fingerprint unlocking and an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU which is more than enough to run Procreate efficiently for a seamless drawing experience and for creating social media filters.
The 26-Core Neural Engine makes photo editing effortless in programs like Adobe Lightroom plus you can capture your own photos in 4K and Smart HDR.
Reviews rave about the performance and specs you get for the price and how easy it is to get to grips with. It’s a perfect tablet for budding artists.
3. iPad Mini
Best portable iPad for Procreate – iPad Mini
Screen size: 8.3”
Price: Starting at $499
If you’re on the go a lot and work with small designs, the Apple iPad mini is a great choice. Featuring the A15 bionic chip and superfast 5G connectivity, this is a small but mighty tablet.
The mini has Apple pencil compatibility and attaches magnetically to the side of the tablet allowing you to use it like a sketchbook when out and about. Plus the edge to edge screen provides a large drawing area despite the compact 8.3 inch screen.
Like other iPads you get the liquid retina screen along with True Tone, P3 wide color, and ultralow reflectivity for rich color and sharp text. Touch ID security keeps your artwork secure.
The 6-Core CPU, 5-Core GPU, and 80% faster graphics allow you to paint, draw and create in Procreate with ease. Available in four colors, you can pick one to suit your style.
Reviews say this is the best iPad for portability and is just the right size to slip into a bag or large pocket. Perfect for those who do graphic design and need to visit clients regularly.
4. iPad 10th Gen
Best iPad for Procreate with additional features – iPad 10th Gen
Screen size: 10.9”
Price: Starting at $449
If you’re not quite up to the budget of the iPad Pro, the classic iPad is a great way to get those additional features without paying a hefty price. The 10.9” screen features a liquid retina display with TrueTone and has full Apple pencil compatibility.
You can also use a trackpad and attach the Apple Magic Keyboard Folio and use your iPad like a laptop. The iPad iOS allows you to run multiple apps side-by-side while the A14 bionic chip provides 4K quality and smooth performance.
This iPad has great connectivity thanks to its USB-C port which makes it a versatile drawing tablet as you can connect to drives, display screens, iPhone, and more. As well as Procreate, you have full access to the app store.
Available in four colors you can have up to 256GB storage capacity which is plenty enough for saving your artwork.
Reviews rave about the reliable performance and generous battery life of this iPad and say it’s a great choice for using Procreate and other illustration apps.
5. iPad 9th Gen
Best budget iPad for Procreate – iPad 9th Gen
Screen size: 10.2”
Price: Starting at $329
If you’re on a budget, an older 9th gen iPad is a sound choice because it gives you decent power and performance without being too out of date.
Fitted with the A13 bionic chip, you get a fast, responsive Procreate experience and full capabilities of other creative programs such as Adobe Fresco.
An all-day battery life means you can create on-the-go while the sizable TrueTone 10.2” screen gives you plenty of surface area to draw upon. Even though this is an older iPad, it’s still compatible with the Apple Pencil.
Reviews state this is the best drawing tablet for people on a tight budget. While it lacks some of the features of newer iPad versions, you can still run Procreate without any lag or issues.
What to Consider When Buying an iPad for Procreate?
1. Screen Size
When using Procreate on an iPad, the screen is your entire canvas size. Although you can zoom in, a small screen makes it harder to work on larger pieces.
If you work with a lot of detail or like to create big designs, you may prefer a larger screen that can accommodate more of your artwork. But, if you tend to work on small designs and images, you can probably be comfortable working with a smaller size iPad screen.
2. Amount of RAM
Procreate works with layers and the amount of RAM you have (as well as other factors like canvas size) has a direct effect on the number of layers you can have.
Older iPads have less RAM so you will find your layer limit is lower than if you purchased the latest iPad model. Something to keep in mind if you do work with many layers.
iPads – particularly new ones – are notoriously expensive however the more you pay, the better features you get. If you’re working to a budget, always purchase the latest generation iPad for the amount of money you have available.
This will ensure the iPad lasts you a long time and doesn’t start suffering with lag or bugs as soon as you get it.
iPad for Procreate FAQs
What Generation iPad is Compatible With Procreate?
You can use the current version of Procreate with the following iPads:
- iPad Pro 12.9”: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th gen / iPad Pro 11”: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen / iPad Pro 10.5” / iPad Pro 9.7”
- iPad: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th gen
- iPad mini: 5th and 6th gen / iPad mini 4
- iPad Air: 3rd, 4th and 5th gen / iPad Air 2
Is It Worth Buying an iPad for Procreate?
If you take digital art seriously or use digital art programs in a professional capacity then it is worthwhile to purchase an iPad to use Procreate.
Procreate balances ease of use with sophisticated design tools and functions that are enough to satisfy seasoned digital artists and beginners alike.
What iPad Procreate Accessories Should I Buy?
If you want to use Procreate properly you should invest in an Apple Pencil. This will give you the pressure sensitivity, tilt and precision required for a “real-feel” experience when drawing on the iPads surface.
You can also use a third-party stylus such as the Logitech crayon but these may lack the sensitivity and precision that you get with the Apple Pencil 2.