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What is the Best iPad for PROCREATE in 2024? Insights from an Artist!

Iva Mikles
What is the Best iPad for PROCREATE in 2024? Insights from an Artist!

Hey there! I absolutely love using Procreate on my iPad Pro!

Over the years, I’ve created so many Procreate artworks, classes, tutorials, and brushes that I’m sure my enthusiasm shines through. It’s no secret that I’ve become quite passionate about it.

So in this post, I will share my recommendations for the best iPad to use with Procreate. I included things to decide on when choosing your new iPad for Procreate and other useful tips.

Scroll down to discover the ideal iPad for drawing on Procreate.

Best iPad for Procreate and My PickApple iPad Pro 12.9″
Best Alternative iPad for ProcreateApple iPad Pro 11″
Best Value iPad for ProcreateApple iPad Air
Best Budget iPad for ProcreateiPad 9th generation
Best Upgrade Budget iPad for ProcreateiPad 10th generation
Best Portable iPad for ProcreateiPad Mini

Overview: Best iPad for Procreate Artists

My Pick
Alternative Pick
Best Value Pick
Upgrade Budget Pick
Portable Pick
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Pro 12.9″ is great for professional digital artists who work long hours on complex artworks with multiple layers. I love the big, bright screen which is easy on the eyes and perfect for outdoor drawing.
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Pro 11″ is also great for professional digital artists who work long hours on complex artworks with multiple layers. But they want a portable iPad Pro and they to spend less than on the bigger iPad Pro.
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Air 10.9″ is the best value for beginners, students, hobbyists and professional digital artists who want similar specs to iPad Pro, but their budgets are limited.
Who is it for?:
I think iPad 10.9″ is the best upgrade budget iPad for beginners, students and hobby digital artists who want to draw in Procreate.
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Mini 6th gen is the best for beginners, students and hobby digital artists who want to start drawing in Procreate and they are on a budget. I also think it's a great secondary iPad for drawing in Procreate on the go.
Display:
★★★★★
ProMotion True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Display:
★★★★★
ProMotion True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Display:
★★★★☆
True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Display:
★★★★☆
True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with sRGB color profile
Display:
★★★★☆
True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Processor:
★★★★★
M2
Processor:
★★★★★
M2
Processor:
★★★★★
M1
Processor:
★★★★☆
A14
Processor:
★★★★☆
A15
RAM:
★★★★★
8GB or 16GB
RAM:
★★★★★
8GB or 16GB
RAM:
★★★★☆
8GB
RAM:
★★★☆☆
4GB
RAM:
★★★☆☆
4GB
Storage:
★★★★★
From 128GB up to 2TB
Storage:
★★★★★
From 128GB up to 2TB
Storage:
★★★☆☆
64GB or 256GB
Storage:
★★★☆☆
64GB or 256GB
Storage:
★★★☆☆
64GB or 256GB
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Apple Pencil compatibility:
1st generation
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Description:

Apple Pencil 2

Supports Apple Pencil hover function

Description:

Apple Pencil 2

Supports Apple Pencil hover function

Description:

Apple Pencil 2

Consider older technology to save money without sacrificing quality: Renewed iPad Air 4th generation

Description:
Description:
My Pick
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Pro 12.9″ is great for professional digital artists who work long hours on complex artworks with multiple layers. I love the big, bright screen which is easy on the eyes and perfect for outdoor drawing.
Display:
★★★★★
ProMotion True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Processor:
★★★★★
M2
RAM:
★★★★★
8GB or 16GB
Storage:
★★★★★
From 128GB up to 2TB
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Description:

Apple Pencil 2

Supports Apple Pencil hover function

Alternative Pick
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Pro 11″ is also great for professional digital artists who work long hours on complex artworks with multiple layers. But they want a portable iPad Pro and they to spend less than on the bigger iPad Pro.
Display:
★★★★★
ProMotion True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Processor:
★★★★★
M2
RAM:
★★★★★
8GB or 16GB
Storage:
★★★★★
From 128GB up to 2TB
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Description:

Apple Pencil 2

Supports Apple Pencil hover function

Best Value Pick
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Air 10.9″ is the best value for beginners, students, hobbyists and professional digital artists who want similar specs to iPad Pro, but their budgets are limited.
Display:
★★★★☆
True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Processor:
★★★★★
M1
RAM:
★★★★☆
8GB
Storage:
★★★☆☆
64GB or 256GB
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Description:

Apple Pencil 2

Consider older technology to save money without sacrificing quality: Renewed iPad Air 4th generation

Upgrade Budget Pick
Who is it for?:
I think iPad 10.9″ is the best upgrade budget iPad for beginners, students and hobby digital artists who want to draw in Procreate.
Display:
★★★★☆
True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with sRGB color profile
Processor:
★★★★☆
A14
RAM:
★★★☆☆
4GB
Storage:
★★★☆☆
64GB or 256GB
Apple Pencil compatibility:
1st generation
Description:
Portable Pick
Who is it for?:
I think iPad Mini 6th gen is the best for beginners, students and hobby digital artists who want to start drawing in Procreate and they are on a budget. I also think it's a great secondary iPad for drawing in Procreate on the go.
Display:
★★★★☆
True Tone Liquid Retina IPS Display with P3 wide color profile
Processor:
★★★★☆
A15
RAM:
★★★☆☆
4GB
Storage:
★★★☆☆
64GB or 256GB
Apple Pencil compatibility:
2nd generation
Description:

Video: Which iPad is BEST for PROCREATE This Year?

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Photo: Quiz - Your ideal iPad for Procreate - ©Art Side of Life

Quiz: Find Your Ideal iPad for Procreate

This quiz will help you understand your preferences and needs for using Procreate. Let’s find out which iPad for Procreate is best for YOU!

Photo: Iva showing her iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2nd Generation - © Art Side of Life
Photo: Iva showing her iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2nd Generation – © Art Side of Life

My Pick: Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch

My Pick
Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th gen)

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M2 Processor for next-level performance :: 12.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, and brightness :: Light and extremely strong :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Late 2022 model :: Apple Pencil hover feature

My Summary

   

I think iPad Pro 12.9″ is great for professional digital artists who work long hours on complex artworks with multiple layers. I love the big, bright screen which is easy on the eyes and perfect for outdoor drawing.

Pros Cons
➕ Super large and bright screen ➖ Price
➕ Powerful M1 chip (M2 with 2022 model)
➕ Generous storage options
➕ Superb RAM for a lot of Procreate layers
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ ProMotion tech for smooth drawing
➕ Apple Pencil 2 support
Canvas size Layers
3000px x 3000px 112
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI 41
A4 @300DPI 116
A3 @300DPI 56
A2 @300DPI 23

iPad Pro 12.9 is the iPad for Procreate I am currently using and truly enjoying. I am totally obsessed with its fantastic features! Find out even more in my review of iPad Pro 12.9″ for drawing and Procreate.

What about iPad Pro 12.9 vs. 11? Which one should you get?

Firstly, the display is just phenomenal, with a high response rate.

The big screen size provides a generous canvas to fully use Procreate. You have ample space to rest your hand on the screen, enhancing your overall drawing experience. With the newer models equipped with the M2 Chip, the hover-over feature in Procreate is an absolute delight.

Storage is another area where the iPad Pro 12.9 shines.

It offers vast storage options, enabling you to download offline videos – be it movies, classes, or YouTube videos. Not just that, there’s enough space for your photo editing tasks or video editing projects too.

The advanced tools like 3D rendering that the iPad Pro enables are a fantastic addition to your creative toolset. My decision to upgrade from my previous iPad model (the iPad 10.5) was greatly influenced by the desire to use the Apple Pencil 2, and it has been an absolutely delightful experience.

When I initially considered upgrading to the iPad Pro 12.9, I was a bit worried about its larger size and slightly heavier weight.

However, as you can see in the video, it is perfectly manageable to hold in one hand. Since I primarily use it at home or sometimes at a cafe, it’s never been an issue. For outdoor sketches in a park, I can comfortably hold it in one hand for shorter periods, but it can always be propped up on my knees or a stand for longer durations.

Being able to rest my hand on the screen while drawing and seeing a larger portion of the artwork without my hand covering it entirely has been a game-changer.

Once I got used to this larger screen size, it became hard to return to smaller screens. But of course, that’s a factor to consider. If you are thinking about getting the iPad Pro 11 or iPad Pro 12.9, consider where you’ll mostly use it. For me, carrying it around hasn’t been an issue – I just had to ensure it fits into my backpack.

So, to summarize, the iPad Pro 12.9 is a splendid choice for those desiring ample storage and more layers compared to older models.

The larger screen size is a bonus, especially with the new M2 Chip models from 2022 that enable the fun hover-over functionality in Procreate.

It’s also an ideal choice for those looking to do advanced video editing or 3D rendering.

I am absolutely delighted with my iPad Pro 12.9, and I believe it could be a great choice for you too.

Alternative Pick: Apple iPad Pro 11-inch

Alternative
Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (4th Gen)

Best iPad Pro alternative for drawing and Procreate

Apple M2 Processor for Next-Level Performance :: 11 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life :: Hover feature with Apple Pencil 2

My Summary

   

I think iPad Pro 11″ is also great for professional digital artists who work long hours on complex artworks with multiple layers. But they want a portable iPad Pro and want to spend less than on the bigger iPad Pro.

Pros Cons
➕ Large and bright screen ➖ Price
➕ Powerful M2 chip ➖ Less resolution than 12.9″
➕ Generous storage options
➕ Superb RAM for a lot of Procreate layers
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ ProMotion tech for smooth drawing
➕ Apple Pencil 2 support
Canvas size Layers
3000px x 3000px 112
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI 41
A4 @300DPI 116
A3 @300DPI 56
A2 @300DPI 23

Let’s now talk about the iPad Pro 11. From my perspective, it offers a wider range of storage options compared to the iPad Air and budget models, which is a considerable advantage.

Get more details in my hands-on review of iPad Pro 11 for drawing, Procreate, and artists!

Btw, should you get iPad Pro 11 vs iPad 12.9 for Procreate?

The compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil, I believe, is another significant attraction if you want to get it.

Starting in 2022, iPad Pro models have been integrated with the M2 Chip, providing the remarkable hover-over function in Procreate. It’s quite an enjoyable feature because it enables easy adjustment of the brush size while drawing. You can effortlessly modify the brush’s opacity by just sliding one finger on the screen while drawing. Plus, there’s this fascinating hover-over feature over other icons in Procreate as well.

In my opinion, both iPad Pro versions cater to those who aspire to perform more advanced tasks, such as complex illustration, 3D rendering or video editing on their iPad. The iPad Pro models also have a Promotional Display upgrade, giving you a better display to draw on. The higher refresh rate is barely noticeable to the human eye, but when you slow down the video, it becomes visible compared to older iPads.

One notable similarity with the iPad Air when using Procreate is the amount of layers you can work with. The iPad Pro 11 with the M2 Chip offers 112 layers at a canvas size of 3000 by 3000 pixels and 41 layers for a 16 by 16 inches canvas, both at 300 DPI. I believe this is a fantastic amount of layers for creating complex art with numerous layers in Procreate.

So, who is the iPad Pro 11 designed for? I believe it’s perfect for someone who prioritizes storage space and wants to utilize the Apple Pencil 2, along with the hover-over function powered by the M2 Chip. If you have a bigger budget compared to what an iPad Air would require, the iPad Pro 11 should be a strong contender.

However, do consider your desired storage size – if 64GB suits your needs, perhaps the iPad Air may suffice. But if you desire larger storage options and the M2 Chip’s hover-over function, the iPad Pro 11, I believe, is worth your serious consideration.

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Best Value Pick: Apple iPad Air 10.9-inch

Best Value Pick
Apple iPad Air 10.9″ (5th Gen)

Best value iPad for drawing and Procreate

M1 processor :: 10.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, brightness :: Light & extremely strong :: Premium fit & finish :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2022 model :: Apple Pencil 2 compatible

My Summary

   

I think iPad Air 10.9″ is the best value for beginners, students, hobbyists and professional digital artists who want similar specs to iPad Pro, but their budgets are limited.

Pros Cons
➕ Price ➖ Limited storage options
➕ Powerful M1 chip ➖ No ProMotion tech
➕ Enough RAM for Procreate layers
➕ Large screen
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ Apple Pencil 2 support
Canvas size Layers
3000px x 3000px 112
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI 41
A4 @300DPI 116
A3 @300DPI 56
A2 @300DPI 23

Shifting focus to the iPad Air now, I genuinely think it’s an excellent choice for those who plan frequently use iPad and Procreate. Find out more details in my review of the iPad Air for drawing and Procreate.

If you’re considering an upgrade from budget models like generation 9 or 10 and prefer a larger screen than the iPad Mini, this model should be right up your alley.

One key advantage of the iPad Air is its compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil. This would be a significant deciding factor for many. Coupled with a larger screen size than the iPad Mini, the iPad Air makes an attractive choice.

When it comes to display quality, the iPad Air steps up the game compared to generations 9 and 10, offering a laminated display that’s just splendid to work on. Plus, it lives up to its name, as the ‘Air’ suggests, providing great portability due to its lightweight design. For those who care about aesthetics, the iPad Air comes in a variety of colors, giving you the freedom to choose one that suits your preference.

One aspect to consider with this model is its storage size. Apple offers only two storage options for the iPad Air – 64GB and 256GB. The price point for the larger storage option aligns closely with the iPad Pro, so I strongly recommend considering how much space you genuinely need for your iPad. This will largely depend on the number of reference images, offline videos, and other files you plan to store on your iPad.

Let’s not forget about the impressive amount of layers you can work with on this model. With a canvas size of 3000 by 3000 pixels, you get up to 112 layers, and with a 16-inch by 16-inch canvas, you get 41 layers, which I believe is impressive.

In conclusion, I believe the iPad Air is a fantastic model, particularly if you’re upgrading from previous models and are keen on using the Apple Pencil generation 2 on a larger screen size than the iPad Mini.

Budget Pick: Apple iPad 10.2-inch

Budget Pick
Apple iPad 9th Gen (10.2″)

Best Budget iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple A13 Processor :: 10.2-inch Retina LED Display with True Tone :: 2160-by-1620-pixel resolution :: 500 nits brightness :: ±10 hours Battery Life :: Late 2021 model :: Apple Pencil 1 compatible

My Summary

   

I think iPad 10.2″ is the best for beginners, students and hobby digital artists who want to draw in Procreate but they are on a budget.

Pros Cons
➕ Price ➖ Limited RAM so fewer Procreate layers
➕ Fast A13 chip ➖ Limited storage options
➕ Large screen ➖ No ProMotion tech
Canvas size Layers
3000px x 3000px 55
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI 19
A4 @300DPI 57
A3 @300DPI 26
A2 @300DPI 11

I truly believe the iPad 9th generation offers fantastic value for the price point and recommend it highly to anyone just starting out. Get more details in my review of iPad 9 for Procreate, drawing, and artists!

Not only does it allow for a beginner-friendly introduction to the world of Procreate and digital art, but it also holds up well for casual or at-home usage.

Personally, my first iPad had a similar design – the iPad Pro 10.5 with an Apple Pencil (first generation). And I used it for years, and I found the experience extremely satisfactory.

Although the design might feel slightly outdated compared to the latest models, the iPad 9th gen is more than capable of handling Procreate. I particularly liked its form factor, allowing you to hold it by the frame without accidentally touching the screen.

iPad 9th generation is very portable and convenient for drawing on Procreate both inside and outside.

Furthermore, it’s budget-friendly, and upgrading is always an option down the line.

However, there’s a trade-off with the iPad 9th generation concerning layer availability in Procreate, especially with more complex artwork.

For instance, a 3000 by 3000 pixels canvas gives you 25 layers, which decreases significantly with larger canvas sizes. For European sizes like A2, you only get three layers, and a 16-inch by 16-inch canvas provides seven layers.

This limitation means you’ll need to get creative on how to manage your layers effectively, especially if you’re planning on working with larger canvases or following tutorials that require more layers.

If you’re okay with these constraints or can find ways to creatively work around it, I think the iPad 9th gen remains an excellent starting point with an unbeatable value for the price.

Upgrade Budget Pick: Apple iPad 10.9-inch

Upgrade Budget Pick
Apple iPad 10th Gen (10.9″)

Best Upgrade Budget iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple A14 Processor :: 10.9-inch Liquid Retina LED Display with True Tone :: 2360-by-1640-pixel resolution :: 500 nits brightness :: ±10 hours Battery Life :: Late 2022 model :: Apple Pencil 1 compatible :: 25+ best drawing apps for iPad

My Summary

   

I think iPad 10.9″ is the best upgrade budget iPad for Procreate beginners, students and hobby digital artists.

Pros Cons
➕ Price ➖ Limited RAM so fewer Procreate layers
➕ Faster A14 chip ➖ Limited storage options
➕ Large screen ➖ No ProMotion tech
Canvas size Layers
3000px x 3000px 55
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI 19
A4 @300DPI 57
A3 @300DPI 26
A2 @300DPI 11

I think iPad 10th generation steps up the game with a more updated, sleek look, offering a larger screen size compared to its predecessor, the 9th generation. Read more in my review of iPad 10 for drawing, Procreate, and artists!

I really believe its modern aesthetics can be a significant draw for design-conscious users, not to mention its range of funky color options for a personalized touch.

I was surprised to see that the iPad 10 features a landscape side camera, a unique feature in the iPad family, which I think is great for video calls when you have the iPad mounted on a holder.

When it comes to charging the Apple Pencil, this iPad is a bit different than iPad 9.

Like iPad 9, it’s compatible with the first generation Apple Pencil, and charging it requires an adapter and cable, which, I think, feels much better and less fragile than the pencil’s charging method on the iPad 9.

I also think a major advantage of the iPad 10 is the increased number of layers available for artwork in Procreate.

For instance, with a 3000 by 3000 pixels canvas, you can utilize up to 55 layers, and a 16-inch by 16-inch canvas offers 19 layers – a significant increase over the iPad 9.

In a nutshell, the iPad 10 offers a modern look, a larger screen size, an updated charging method for the Apple Pencil, and, importantly, more layers for artwork in Procreate. If these aspects align with your needs and preferences, the iPad 10 is a worthy upgrade from the iPad 9.

Portable Pick: Apple iPad Mini 8.3-inch

Portable Pick
Apple iPad Mini 6th Gen

Best Portable iPad I recommend for drawing and Procreate

Apple A15 Processor for Best-in-Class Performance :: 8.3 inch Liquid Retina Display for Superior Color, Contrast, Brightness :: Light and Extremely Strong :: Premium Fit and Finish :: Up to 10 Hours Battery Life :: Late 2021 model :: Apple Pencil 2 compatible

My Summary

   

I think iPad Mini 6 is a great budget option for either beginners, students and hobby digital artists or for professional artists who want a secondary iPad to use with Procreate on the go.

Pros Cons
➕ Portable size ➖ Limited RAM so fewer Procreate layers
➕ Price ➖ Limited storage options
➕ Faster A15 chip ➖ No ProMotion tech
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ Apple Pencil 2 support
Canvas size Layers
3000px x 3000px 55
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI 19
A4 @300DPI 57
A3 @300DPI 26
A2 @300DPI 11

Moving onto the iPad Mini, despite its size, I believe it’s a fantastic model. Find out more in my review of iPad Mini for drawing, Procreate, and artists!

This small, lightweight iPad is perfectly portable and easily used with one hand, making it incredibly convenient for travel or as a digital sketchbook. A huge upgrade that I personally appreciate in this model is its compatibility with the second-generation Apple Pencil.

With the ability to charge the pencil on the side of the iPad, it’s always ready to go and also has a storage solution to prevent misplacement.

In my experience, the Apple Pencil generation 2 is a vast improvement over the first one.

With my prolonged usage of the first generation pencil, I realized that it could cause some hand fatigue due to its slippery surface, which isn’t an issue with the second generation pencil. Plus, the flat side of the second generation pencil provides a better resting place for your hand, and the lack of a cap on the charging option alleviates worries about losing parts.

From a technology standpoint, the iPad Mini offers an upgrade in the screen department, featuring a laminated display. There is a slight distance from the canvas to your pen when looking closely, but I assure you it’s barely noticeable. However, the smaller size does mean you’ll have to consider how you’re going to draw – whether you rest your hand on the side or place it on top of the iPad, which may cover a larger part of your artwork.

In terms of layers in Procreate, the iPad Mini does not disappoint. With a canvas size of 3000 by 3000 pixels, you get 55 layers and 19 layers for a 16-inch by 16-inch canvas, which I believe is more than sufficient for most people.

To sum up, I wholeheartedly believe that the iPad Mini is an exceptional choice, offering a great tech specification, sufficient layers, an improved drawing experience with the Apple Pencil 2, and most importantly, its unbeatable portability. If your key criteria is a small, lightweight iPad, I think the iPad Mini is undoubtedly a great choice.

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What is the Best iPad for Procreate on a Budget?

The best iPad for Procreate on a budget is either the older iPad 9th gen (10.2″), the newest iPad 10th gen (10.9″), the iPad Mini 6th gen, or the renewed iPad Air 4h gen.

You don’t have to get the older model. Just get a used and renewed model with a guarantee. You will still enjoy new iPad model features while on a budget!

What Should You Decide on When Getting iPad for Procreate?

Graphic: Best iPad for Procreate Technical Specifications
Graphic: Best iPad for Procreate Technical Specifications – ©Art Side of Life

Which Screen Size Should You Get for Procreate?

I think you should get the 12.9″ screen size if you are a professional artist and you will be drawing in Procreate for long hours on complex artworks.

I’d say get 11″, 10.9″ or 10.2″ screen size if you are on a budget.

And get the 8.3″ screen size in two cases: 1/ you are a student or beginner on a budget, and 2/ you are professional artists who need a secondary iPad for drawing in Procreate on the go.

If you still can’t decide, think about what size of sketchbook you use most often. I’d then get an iPad screen size similar to that:

I started using Procreate on the now-discontinued iPad Pro 10.5″. I used it in my studio, on the go, on public transport, in the passenger seat in the car, in the parks, cafes, shopping malls … you name it.

When I upgraded to the latest iPad Pro 12.9″, I was worried it would be too big to fit into my backpack and too heavy to draw on the go.

But after a week of getting used to it, I no longer noticed the size difference.

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What is the Number of Layers You will be Getting on Procreate?

I always like to explain it in simple terms:

I think the number of layers available in Procreate is one of the most important things you should consider when getting your iPad for Procreate.

It can be really frustrating that there’s no formula to calculate the number of layers, and the Procreate team hasn’t made a calculator. The reason? It’s quite complex and depends on too many things.

From my experience, the number of layers depends on RAM and the iPad OS you have installed on your iPad.

Let’s have a look at Procreate layers comparison with different iPad models:

On mobile, scroll to the right to view all iPad models

Canvas size /
# of Procreate layers
iPad Pro 12.9″iPad Pro 11″iPad Air 10.9″iPad 10.2″iPad Mini 8.3″
3000px x 3000px1121121125555
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI4141411919
A4 @300DPI1161161165757
A3 @300DPI5656562626
A2 @300DPI2323231111
Table: No. of Layers Comparison of iPad Pro 12.9″, iPad Pro 11″, iPad Air 10.9″, iPad 10.2″ and iPad Mini 8.3″ – Source: ©Art Side of Life Research

How Much iPad Storage for Procreate Should You Get?

I think you should get bigger storage if you are a professional artist and you want to get bigger RAM (at least with iPad Pro models). I actually recommend min. 512GB of storage and higher if you will be using iPad with Procreate in your creative business.

I think you should get at least 256GB of storage if you plan to use your iPad for also for storing photographs, videos, and other files.

I’ve, for example, use more than half of the 512GB storage in my iPad Pro 12.9″ in almost two years. I use it for Procreate, to store reference images, online classes for offline viewing, and office files.

For comparison, below are the storage options coming with different iPads for Procreate:

On mobile, scroll to the right to view all iPad models

iPad Pro 12.9″
M1 or M2 processor
iPad Pro 11″
M1 or M2 processor
iPad Air 10.9″
M1 processor
iPad 10.2″
A13 processor
iPad Mini 6
A15 processor
Storage 128GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 64GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 64GB
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB
RAM 4GB
Storage 256GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB
RAM 4GB
Storage 256GB
RAM 4GB
Storage 512GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 512GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 1TB
RAM 16GB
Storage 1TB
RAM 16GB
Storage 2TB
RAM 16GB
Storage 2TB
RAM 16GB
Table: Storage and RAM options for iPad Pro 12.9″, iPad Pro 11″, iPad Air 10.9″, iPad Air 10.2″ and iPad Mini 6 – Source: Apple.com

What Apple Pencil Should You Get for Procreate?

My Pick
Previous Pick
Description:

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience

Compatible with:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st generation)
  • iPad Air (5th and 4th generation)
  • and iPad mini (6th generation)
Description:

First Generation Apple Pencil

Compatible with:

  • iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (10.2″), 10th (10.9″) generation
  • iPad mini (5th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch
My Pick
Description:

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience

Compatible with:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st generation)
  • iPad Air (5th and 4th generation)
  • and iPad mini (6th generation)
Previous Pick
Description:

First Generation Apple Pencil

Compatible with:

  • iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (10.2″), 10th (10.9″) generation
  • iPad mini (5th generation), iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st, 2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch

Since version 5.3, Procreate doesn’t support third-party styli, so you need to get a stylus using Apple Pencil technology. Get more details on the best stylus for Procreate here.

Graphic: Best iPad for Procreate Apple Pencil Compatibility
Graphic: Best iPad for Procreate Apple Pencil Compatibility – ©Art Side of Life

All the iPads on my list, except one, support Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, an amazing upgrade from the previous generation! The “invisible button” activated with a double tap on the pencil is very useful!

Photo: Iva showing the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation Double-Tap Feature - ©Art Side of Life
Photo: Iva showing the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation Double-Tap Feature – ©Art Side of Life

What Other Accessories Should You Get for Procreate?

Here are a few things I can’t live without when using my iPad with Procreate.

 
 
 
 
Description:

Matte Screen Protector for Drawing, Writing, and Note-taking like on Paper

Description:

I recommend you get them if you use a matte Paperlike screen protector

Description:

iPad Pro Case with Pencil Holder, Soft Flexible TPU Back Cover, Auto Sleep/Wake, and Multiple Viewing Stand Modes. Different sizes available.

Description:

Amazing for typing and doing office work on your iPad. Available for iPad Pro models, iPad Air and iPad models.

Description:

Matte Screen Protector for Drawing, Writing, and Note-taking like on Paper

Description:

I recommend you get them if you use a matte Paperlike screen protector

Description:

iPad Pro Case with Pencil Holder, Soft Flexible TPU Back Cover, Auto Sleep/Wake, and Multiple Viewing Stand Modes. Different sizes available.

Description:

Amazing for typing and doing office work on your iPad. Available for iPad Pro models, iPad Air and iPad models.

Get ideas for more accessories for your iPad here.

Photo: Iva's iPad Pro and Procreate Accessories - ©Art Side of Life
Photo: Iva’s iPad Pro and Procreate Accessories – ©Art Side of Life

Which iPads does Procreate work with?

Most recent iPads and Apple Pencils will work with the newest version of Procreate – version 5.3.4, which needs PadOS 15.4.1 or newer to run. Unfortunately iPads older than a few years, except iPad Pro and iPad Air models, won’t be able to run Procreate.

You are already good to go with Procreate if you get any of the below iPads which support iOS 15.4.1 or later (iOS 16):

ModeliPad OS 15
(Procreate compatible)
iPad OS 16
(Procreate compatible)
iPad Pro 12.9
1st Generation (2015)
2nd Generation (2017)
3rd Generation (2018)
4th Generation (2020)
5th Generation (2021)
6th Generation (2022)
+ iPad Pro 9.7″ (2015)
+ iPad Pro 10.5″ (2017)
3rd Generation (2018)
4th Generation (2020)
5th Generation (2021)
6th Generation (2022)
iPad Pro 111st Generation (2018)
2nd Generation (2020)
3rd Generation (2021)
1st Generation (2018)
2nd Generation (2020)
3rd Generation (2021)
4th Generation (2022)
iPad Air2nd Generation (2014)
3rd Generation (2019)
4th Generation (2020)
5th Generation (2022)
4th Generation (2020)
5th Generation (2022)
iPad5th Generation (2017)
6th Generation (2018)
7th Generation (2019)
8th Generation (2020)
9th Generation (2021)
5th Generation (2017)
6th Generation (2018)
7th Generation (2019)
8the Generation (2020
9th Generation (2021)
10th Generation (2022)
iPad Mini4th Generation (2015)
5th Generation (2019)
6th Generation (2021)
5th Generation (2019)
6th Generation (2021)
Table: iPads iOS 15 and iOS 16 compatibility with Procreate at the time of writing – Source: Apple.com and Procreate.com

For the up-to-date list of Procreate-supported iPad models, look at the newest update from the team at Procreate, located in beautiful Hobart, Tasmania – The latest version of Procreate and supported iPad models.

FAQs – Best iPad for Procreate

💡 Planning to get the best iPad for Procreate Dreams? Explore my newest post: Best iPad for Procreate Dreams

💡 Find out which iPads are compatible with Procreate Dreams: Procreate Dreams Compatibility with iPads

What iPad does Procreate work best on?

Procreate works best on the iPad Pro 12.9″ because of its newest technology (M2 chip and Apple Pencil hover), a lot of RAM, and storage space, which gives you more Procreate layers and ProMotion technology, making drawing in Procreate so enjoyable.

Do you have to have an iPad for Procreate?

Yes, you have to have an iPad for Procreate. Procreate is an app exclusively available on iPads. There is also Procreate Pocket available on iPhones.

Do I need an iPad Pro for Procreate?

No, you don’t necessarily need an iPad Pro for Procreate. You can get an iPad Air, iPad 10, or iPad Mini and enjoy drawing on Procreate, too. It all depends if you are a beginner or professional artist.

Is iPad Air enough for Procreate?

Yes, the iPad Air is enough for Procreate! The iPad Air 5 comes with a powerful processor, great screen and supports Apple Pencil 2, which makes drawing in Procreate very enjoyable!

Can I use Procreate without an Apple Pencil?

No, you can’t use Procreate without an Apple Pencil stylus. Since Procreate version 5.3, third-party styluses are not supported. Get more details here.

What are the iPad requirements for Procreate?

The iPad requirements for Procreate are iOS 15.4.1 or later; min. 256GB storage or higher; min. 4GB RAM, but I recommend 8GB or higher; Apple Pencil 1 or Apple Pencil 2, depending on your iPad model.

What is the cheapest iPad for Procreate?

The cheapest iPad for Procreate is iPad 9th generation, iPad 10th generation, or iPad Mini 5th generation.

Does Procreate work better on iPad Pro or iPad Air?

Based on my experience, Procreate works better on iPad Pro than iPad Air. iPad Pro has a better display, more generous storage options, and more RAM, so more Procreate layers. Get more details in my post comparing iPad Pro vs. iPad Air for Procreate.

How much is Procreate a month?

Procreate costs $12.99 (or your local currency), and you can get it on Apple App Store. There are no recurring subscription fees, which makes Procreate one of the best and most affordable drawing programs!

Is 32GB enough for Procreate?

Yes, 32GB is enough for Procreate if you are a beginner.

Is 64GB enough for Procreate?

Yes, 64GB is enough for Procreate if you are a beginner.

Lis cet article en français 🇫🇷 Le meilleur iPad pour Procreate

Iva

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am a full-time self-taught artist behind Art Side of Life® and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I have 15 years of experience in the creative field as a concept designer, illustrator, art director, and now freelance artist, content creator, and art instructor. My goal is to help you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art through practical classes, tutorials, Procreate brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies and resources. About me »

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20 responses to “What is the Best iPad for PROCREATE in 2024? Insights from an Artist!”

  1. Norm says:

    Great review! I’m still torn between the iPad models though.

    • Iva Mikles says:

      If you are still torn between the iPad models, think of your specific needs and budget. If you prioritize performance and the best display technology for Procreate, the iPad Pro is unmatched. However, the iPad Air offers great value, delivering great performance suitable for most artistic tasks. Consider how you plan to use the device: if it’s for professional work requiring the highest specifications, go for the Pro. If it’s for learning, hobbyist work, or you need a balance between performance and cost, the Air is an excellent choice.

  2. Sarah says:

    Does the iPad Air handle Procreate well?

    • Iva Mikles says:

      Yes, the iPad Air 5 handles Procreate efficiently for both beginner and advanced artists. Its M1 chip ensures a smooth experience, even with complex brushes and layers. While not as feature-rich as the iPad Pro, the Air is a more affordable option that doesn’t compromise on performance for digital art, making it a fantastic choice for artists on a budget or those just starting out.

  3. Dotti says:

    Your video really helped me decide on my first iPad. Thank you!

  4. Jeanne says:

    What’s the best way to learn Procreate for someone completely new?

  5. Song says:

    Love your art! Any tips for beginners?

  6. Stuart says:

    Is 64GB enough for Procreate?

    • Iva Mikles says:

      64GB can be sufficient for casual use and beginners, but I think it’s quite limiting for professionals or anyone working on complex projects with high-resolution canvases and many layers. Procreate files can become quite large, especially when you use many layers. If you get at least 128GB or 256GB, it gives you more freedom to create without worrying about storage space, and it’s a wise choice for future-proofing your investment.

  7. Roxxy says:

    Do you recommend any specific Procreate brushes for beginners?

  8. Janette says:

    Can I start digital art with just an iPad and Apple Pencil?

    • Iva Mikles says:

      Definitely! I think the iPad and Apple Pencil combo is a powerful, portable studio for artists of all levels. It’s a great way to dive into digital art without the need for a full desktop setup. Procreate is perfect for both learning and professional work. Plus, the mobility allows you to draw anywhere, anytime, making it ideal for capturing inspiration on the go.

  9. Joanne says:

    Thanks for the tips on choosing the right iPad!

  10. Steph says:

    Is the iPad Pro much better for drawing in Procreate than the Air?

    • Iva Mikles says:

      I’ve tried both and I wouldn’t say the iPad Pro is significantly better than the iPad Air for drawing in Procreate. Yes, the Pro model has a technological edge, but in terms of drawing experience, both are quite comparable. The iPad Air, at 10.9 inches, is smaller than my 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the display quality doesn’t quite match up to the Pro’s, but the iPad Air still stands out as a good choice for Procreate if the iPad Pro is out of your budget range. Some of my artist friends actually chose iPad Air 5 as replacement of their older iPads. The only thing why I wouldn’t go for iPad Air is that as working artist I need at least 512GB of storage and iPad Air only comes in 64GB and 256GB