The Best iPad for Procreate in 2021

Best iPad for Procreate

Procreate is an incredible tool for creating digital art. Both beginners and professionals can enjoy this program and create amazing art. And the best part is that it’s super accessible, so anyone can give it a go!

But as Procreate was designed with iPads in mind, you’ll need an iPad to get started! The difficult question is, which is the best iPad for Procreate?

In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about using Procreate on an iPad. I’ll cover which iPads are best for Procreate and what to look for when buying a new iPad.

So, let’s get stuck in!

Top 3 Products Quick Comparison

If you’re short on time, check out this quick summary of the best iPads for Procreate. These three options are each excellent and won’t let you down.

The iPad Pro is the clear choice if you want a luxury iPad and don’t mind paying for a premium product. 

If you’re looking for a mid-range tablet, the iPad Air fits the bill. Cheaper than the iPad Pro, it still provides a great user experience.

Finally, the iPad Mini is compact and makes for a fantastic travel iPad. It’s reasonably priced and very easy to take anywhere, making it a great first iPad. 

Apple iPad Pro 12.9
Apple iPad Air
Apple iPad Mini
Product Name & CategoryApple iPad Pro 12.9 – Best Overall iPad for ProcreateApple iPad Air – Runner UpApple iPad Mini – Best Portable iPad for Procreate
Size11.04 x 8.6 x 0.25 inches9.74 x 7 x 0.24 inches8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches
Screen size12.9 inches10.9 inches7.9 inches
Resolution2732 x 2048 pixels2360 x 1640 pixels2048 x 1536 pixels
ConnectionsLightning, USB 3.0, magnetic connector, WiFi, BluetoothLightning, USB 2.0, WiFi, BluetoothLightning USB 2.0, Bluetooth, WiFi
OSiPadOS 14iPadOS 14iPadOS 14

Which iPad is Best for Procreate? My Reviews

  • Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • Apple iPad Air
  • Apple iPad Mini
  • Apple Pencil

Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro

Best Overall iPad for Procreate

Best Overall iPad for Procreate. Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Let’s start with the Apple iPad Pro. This is the flashiest (and most expensive) iPad available right now. It rivals a laptop in size and beats it in clarity. And while it’s quite an investment, it’s an excellent tool to have at your disposal. 

You can use the iPad Pro to create amazing artwork in Procreate. But it’s a super versatile tablet that you can use for anything from streaming video to Facetiming and more. 

If you only plan to use it for Procreate, you may not want to spend as much. In that case, skip this review and look at some of the cheaper iPads reviewed below. 

But if you want to hear more, here’s all you need to know about this iPad! 

The iPad Pro is a superb tablet that boasts a breathtaking liquid retina display. Visuals look incredible on this 12.9-inch screen, with outstanding clarity and contrast. It’s hard to find a tablet that can beat the iPad Pro for its exceptional display. 

So, if you value your artwork and want it to look as crisp and vivid as possible, that’s the reason alone for buying the iPad pro.

But it has a lot more going for it, too. A very powerful, robust processor powers this iPad, so it can handle anything you throw at it. You won’t have any issues with lags or because you’re running too many apps. You can run intensive programs like Procreate with ease. 

It also comes with up to 1TB of storage, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever run out of space. And despite its generous size, it feels lightweight yet sturdy. You won’t need to baby it, and it’s easy to travel with it. 

The Apple iPad Pro is ideal if you want an amazing tablet, and you’re willing to pay a premium to get it. That beautiful large screen is a joy to draw on, and it works seamlessly with the Apple Pen. The precision and responsiveness will blow your mind. 

The iPad Pro allows you to go beyond what you could imagine and let your creativity flow. So, if you have the budget, what are you waiting for? Snap it up now!

  • Size: 11.04 x 8.6 x 0.25 inches
  • Screen size: 12.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2732 x 2048 pixels
  • Connections: Lightning, USB 3.0, magnetic connector, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • The iPad Pro is the largest of all the iPads and is ideal for use with Procreate 
  • It has dazzling visuals with crystal clarity and vivid colors
  • It has extensive storage, with up to 1 TB of space
  • It’s robust and can handle the most demanding apps with no delays
  • It’s the most expensive iPad on the market right now

Check price on

Amazon

Apple iPad Air

Runner Up iPad for Procreate

Runner Up iPad for Procreate. Apple iPad Air

(Image credit: Apple)

While the iPad Pro is a sensational tablet, the high cost makes it less accessible. The good news is that there’s the right iPad for everyone out there, no matter what your budget is.

The iPad Air wins runner up for the best iPad for Procreate for several reasons. Firstly, it’s less expensive than the iPad Air and won’t cut into your savings as much. 

But it’s also an excellent tablet that’s powerful and looks great. The TrueTone display is gorgeous, making it perfect for drawing in Procreate. 

You can also use it for many other uses, such as video editing, taking photos, and more. It comes with great cameras, with a 12MP back camera and a 7MP front camera for selfies and video calls.

With a 10.9-inch screen, it’s slightly smaller than the iPad Pro, and you’ll notice the difference. But it’s not all bad – this iPad is also more easily portable and will fit in most bags. At the same time, 10.9 inches is still a decent size for digital art. 

The iPad Air boasts an improved processor and 4 GB of RAM. These features make this model more responsive, powerful, and faster. You’ll experience fewer lags than with older iPads, so you’ll spend less time waiting and more time creating! 

One minor drawback is that this iPad provides up to 256 GB of storage. If you produce a lot of artwork or animations, you may find that restrictive. Unfortunately, there’s no way to expand the storage. So, you’ll need to get into the habit of backing up to the Cloud instead. 

The iPad Air offers a fantastic yet affordable option while still providing a large space to draw on. It’s for anyone who wants quality but is watching their spending. The specs and features don’t disappoint, and you still get a generous screen to work on. 

  • Size: 9.74 x 7 x 0.24 inches
  • Screen size: 10.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2360 x 1640 pixels
  • Connections: Lightning, USB 2.0, WiFi, Bluetooth
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • An excellent tablet that is more affordable than the Pro and offers great value for money
  • It’s more compact, so it’s easier to travel or commute with the iPad Air
  • It has two great cameras 
  • It has a good processor and 4 GB of RAM, so it’s responsive
  • The storage is quite small, with up to 256 GB and no way to upgrade beyond that
  • The specs aren’t as impressive as the iPad Pro

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Amazon

Apple iPad Mini

Best Portable iPad for Procreate

Best Portable iPad for Procreate. Apple iPad Mini

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPad Mini is Apple’s solution for the budget-conscious or anyone who prefers a smaller tablet. It’s one of the cheapest iPads on the market, making it attractive if you’re on a tight budget. You can use Procreate on the iPad Mini without any problems, too!

At 7.9 inches, it’s not much larger than the biggest smartphones. But you still get the signature Apply quality and stellar Retina display. Apple has used a different technology for the Retina screen than Liquid Retina. But only the most discerning eye will notice the difference. 

The iPad Mini costs less than the iPad Air, but it rivals it both for processing power and storage. So, the screen size is the biggest deciding factor if you’re choosing between these two models. 

The benefit of the iPad Mini is that you can take it anywhere without needing an extra bag to carry it. It’s so lightweight that you’ll hardly even notice it’s there. So, if you often travel and prefer to pack light, go for the iPad Mini. 

It does have a smaller area to work on, though. For heavy Procreate users, you may find the little screen cramps your style. You can zoom in, but it’s not such a smooth user experience. 

Other than the size, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on much. The screen lacks nothing in accuracy and sharpness, and it works well with Procreate. With the high resolution and vibrant colors, your artwork will look beautiful. 

The iPad Mini is an excellent compact tablet that’s reasonably priced. For this reason, it’s popular among students, beginners, and anyone on a budget. 

Whether you want a portable tablet or need to save cash, it’s a great option for getting started with Procreate. But if you become an avid digital artist, you may want to upgrade to a larger screen at some point.

  • Size: 8 x 5.3 x 0.24 inches
  • Screen size: 7.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Connections: Lightning USB 2.0, Bluetooth, WiFi
  • OS: iPadOS 14
  • It’s the smallest and most portable iPad around
  • It offers fantastic value for money and is a good budget option
  • The screen is sharp and high-quality
  • You only get a limited space to draw on
  • It doesn’t have as much storage
  • The cameras aren’t as powerful 

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Amazon

Apple Pencil

Best Stylus for iPad

Best Stylus for iPad. Apple Pencil

(Image credit: Apple)

This next product isn’t an iPad, but it is an essential product you’ll need when working in Procreate. The Apple Pencil is my recommended stylus for pairing with any iPad. 

Procreate alone is powerful. But it excels when paired with an excellent stylus like the Apple Pencil.

The Apple Pencil is the only officially supported stylus for iPads. While some other third-party pens may work, it’s not guaranteed, and you may get an error message from time to time. Plus, you may not be able to access advanced features such as tilt and pressure sensitivity. 

Both the first and second-generation Apple Pencils work seamlessly with most iPads. You can find out which one you need here, depending on the iPad you have.

The Apple Pencil will take your digital art to the next level. It is very accurate and responsive, so you get greater precision over your drawings. That’s essential for perfecting those intricate details. 

But most importantly, it offers tilt recognition and has pressure sensitivity. These features let you control the line thickness, weight, and shading. 

It feels like drawing with a regular pencil,  with smooth gliding and just the right amount of texture. Using this pen will come naturally to beginners and professional artists. 

You will need to buy the Apple Pencil separately, and it’s not cheap. But it’s worth every dollar. You’ll get a flawless experience, lag-free drawing, and precise control you get. It’s hard to find another stylus that compares to the Apple Pencil. 

  • Length: 6.92 inches
  • Weight: 0.73 oz
  • Pen pressure sensitivity: Yes – unspecified
  • Connections: Bluetooth and Lightning Connector
  • The Apple Pencil is super sensitive and responsive
  • It’s lightweight and attaches magnetically to your iPad 
  • It works seamlessly with iPads
  • It’s quite expensive

Check price on

Amazon
Procreate for IPad

A Buying Guide to the Best iPad for Procreate

Here’s what you need to know when you’re shopping around for the best iPad for Procreate.

What iPads work with Procreate?

Before you buy an iPad, the first thing you should check is its Procreate compatibility. It’s fairly straightforward, as any iPad that dates from 2015 or later will work with Procreate. 

So, unless your iPad is very old, you shouldn’t need to worry. And if you’re buying a new iPad, it’s unlikely you’ll go for one of these older iPads. Apple has come up with lots of newer, more powerful models in the meantime. 

That doesn’t mean that you need to splash out on the latest iPad. Loads of iPads work seamlessly with Procreate, from affordable to premium models. So, you’re sure to find something that suits your budget

Screen Size & Quality

When choosing an iPad for Procreate, the display is one of the most crucial factors in your decision. You want a very high-quality screen to make your artwork look amazing and show it in high definition. 

The more recent the iPad (and the more expensive), the better the screen tends to be. You should look for a high resolution, as well as checking the technology used for the display. 

The best iPads have Apple’s premium technology, the Liquid Retina display. While the iPad Pro and Air both fall into this category, the iPad mini has the more basic Retina screen. That relies on OLED technology, while the Liquid Retina used LCD tech. 

The main difference is the deepness and vividness of colors. The Retina display also uses more energy. 

Other factors that affect the display are the resolution and color gamut. The higher the resolution, the more crisp and sharp the visuals will be. 


And when it comes to the color gamut, it’s normally measured in percentages. A wider color gamut (or higher percentage)  will provide vibrant and true-to-life colors. 

But it’s not just the screen quality you should consider, though. You’ll also need to decide on the right size screen for your needs. 

For Procreate users, the more space you have to work on, the better. It will allow you to get creative without any screen limitations. In contrast, you’ll need to zoom in and out more on a smaller iPad. 

You should also think about whether you’ll need to travel or commute with your iPad. If so, a smaller iPad may be more practical as it’s compact and can slip into most bags. 

Chip/Processor

The processor is another vital factor that will affect your Procreate drawing experience. As it’s an intensive program, you’ll need a robust processor, commonly known as the chip in Apple products. 

The more powerful the processor, the more responsive your iPad will be. So, you’ll be able to run demanding apps and have several programs open at once, all without lags or crashes. 

As a result, using Procreate will feel more streamlined, and you can draw to your heart’s content.

RAM

RAM is important for Procreate iPad users, as it will affect how many layers you can use in your designs. 

Adding in more layers gives you greater creative control. It also opens up more options for your artwork. So, you’ll find it easier to make edits and adjustments, making the process more flexible. 

An iPad with more RAM tends to cost more, but it’s worth it. A powerful chip and plenty of RAM is the perfect combination for an iPad with Procreate.

Storage Options

Finally, don’t forget to think about how much storage you’ll need on your iPad. Your artwork, fonts, and Procreate design elements all take up space. 

The iPad Pro provides up to 1 TB of storage, which even the most prolific artist will struggle to fill. But other models may offer as little as 64 GB of storage. If that’s the case, you could risk running out of space, or you’ll need to back up more often. 

Plus, if you have more storage, you can download as many apps as you like. That’s why I always recommend going for at least 256 GB of storage. Ample storage translates to peace of mind, as you’ll know you won’t max out space on your iPad. 

At the same time, you should weigh up the price compared to how much storage you get. If you don’t need 1 TB of space, there’s no need to pay extra. You can go for the 256 or 512 GB model and save yourself some cash! 

FAQ

Is Procreate Only Available for iPad?

The first thing you’ll need to know is that Procreate only works on iPads and iPhones. It was created specifically for Apple products, so it won’t work on an Android tablet.

For this reason, you won’t even find it for sale in the Google Play Store or anywhere else. 

Due to the screen size, an iPad works better for digital art than an iPhone. And that’s why I’ve put together this guide to the best iPads for Procreate!

How Much is Procreate on iPad?

You may be wondering where can I get Procreate and how much does it cost? You can only download Procreate from the App Store. It’s not available on Google Play Store or anywhere else. 

The good news is that Procreate is very affordable. It costs only $9.99 for lifetime use (although the price may vary slightly from region to region). 

Do You Need an Apple Pencil for Procreate?

The short answer is no; you don’t need an Apple Pencil for Procreate. But there’s a bit more you should consider before you buy a stylus for your iPad.

You can use a third-party stylus with your iPad for Procreate. But the Apple Pencil is widely thought of as the best stylus for Procreate. In fact, the official advice from the Procreate team is to use the Apple Pencil. 

The reason is that this app was created and designed specifically for use with the Apple Pencil. So, without a doubt, it will give the best results. 

If you do decide to go for a different stylus, make sure you do your research. Digital pens vary from very basic (and disappointing) models to high-end styluses. The best stylus will be responsive with pressure sensitivity for accuracy and precision.

Tip: save the image above to your Pinterest to re-read this article later!

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The Wrap Up

Now you know everything you could need to know about using an iPad with Procreate. And you should have a good idea of which iPad will work best for you. 

While that will depend on your needs and budget, the iPad Pro wins the title of the best iPad for artists. You can’t beat that incredible display with vibrant colors and crystal-clear visuals. It’s the fastest, most powerful tablet and gives you more space to get creative.

But if you’re looking for a cheaper option, the iPad Air is an excellent runner-up. It provides great specs at lower prices beginners will appreciate. 

And finally, the iPad Mini is ideal for anyone on a budget or wanting a portable tablet. It’s compact and easy to take anywhere, allowing you to stay creative wherever you go! 

Each of these iPads has its pros and cons, but they all work perfectly with the Apple Pencil. 

So take your pick, and let me know in the comments which one you go for! Drop any questions below too, and then head over to Pinterest and follow me there. I’ll keep you up to date with the best creative resources, reviews, and more.

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My name is Outmane, I am a designer and artist.

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