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iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″ for Drawing, Procreate, Artists in 2024

Iva Mikles
iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″ for Drawing, Procreate, Artists in 2024

So you want to get iPad Pro for drawing and Procreate or other drawing apps.

And now you are debating between iPad Pro 11 vs. 12.9 for drawing on Procreate?

I got you covered!

I have used both iPads to draw in Procreate, and in this post, I compare their differences like weight and screen size, drawing experience, and how they feel in hand. Let’s find out which one you should get!

💡 BTW, to compare iPad Pro with iPad Air, get my post about iPad Pro vs. iPad Air for drawing and Procreate.

My Pick
Portable Pick
Advanced and professional artists who are drawing digitally every day for long hours and work on complex artworks which require many layers. They need a desktop drawing tablet that provides smooth and natural drawing experience.
Advanced and professional artists who want a portable iPad Pro and/or who want to save ±$200 - $300*.
Screen size: 12.9″
➡️ Weight: ±1.5lb (680 grams)
Display type: Liquid Retina XDR display
Screen brightness: 600 - 1000 nits
Screen resolution: 2732-by-2048 resolution at 264 ppi
RAM: 8GB (at 128GB - 512GB) and 16GB (at 1TB and 2TB)
Storage: 128GB - 256GB - 512GB - 1TB - 2TB
Screen size: 11″
➡️ Weight: ±1lb (470 grams)
Display type: Liquid Retina display
Screen brightness: 600 nits
Screen resolution: 2388-by-1668 resolution at 264 ppi
RAM: 8GB (at 128GB - 512GB) and 16GB (at 1TB and 2TB)
Storage: 128GB - 256GB - 512GB - 1TB - 2TB
➕ Super large and super bright XDR screen
➕ Powerful M1 chip (M2 with 2022 model)
➕ Generous storage options
➕ Great RAM options for a high number of layers in Procreate
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ ProMotion tech for smooth drawing
➕ Large and bright screen
➕ Powerful M2 chip
➕ Generous storage options
➕ Great RAM options for a high number of layers in Procreate
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ ProMotion tech for smooth drawing
➕ Size and weight
➖ Price
➖ Size and weight
➖ Price
Apple Pencil 2
Apple Pencil 2

FYI - If you want absolutely the newest tech to get the M2 chip and use the Apple Pencil hover feature, get the 2022 iPad Pro 12.9″

*Please note, the ±$200 - $300 price difference applies at the time of writing and only vs. the iPad Pro 12.9″ 6th generation from 2022.

My Pick
Advanced and professional artists who are drawing digitally every day for long hours and work on complex artworks which require many layers. They need a desktop drawing tablet that provides smooth and natural drawing experience.
Screen size: 12.9″
➡️ Weight: ±1.5lb (680 grams)
Display type: Liquid Retina XDR display
Screen brightness: 600 - 1000 nits
Screen resolution: 2732-by-2048 resolution at 264 ppi
RAM: 8GB (at 128GB - 512GB) and 16GB (at 1TB and 2TB)
Storage: 128GB - 256GB - 512GB - 1TB - 2TB
➕ Super large and super bright XDR screen
➕ Powerful M1 chip (M2 with 2022 model)
➕ Generous storage options
➕ Great RAM options for a high number of layers in Procreate
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ ProMotion tech for smooth drawing
➖ Price
➖ Size and weight
Apple Pencil 2

FYI - If you want absolutely the newest tech to get the M2 chip and use the Apple Pencil hover feature, get the 2022 iPad Pro 12.9″

Portable Pick
Advanced and professional artists who want a portable iPad Pro and/or who want to save ±$200 - $300*.
Screen size: 11″
➡️ Weight: ±1lb (470 grams)
Display type: Liquid Retina display
Screen brightness: 600 nits
Screen resolution: 2388-by-1668 resolution at 264 ppi
RAM: 8GB (at 128GB - 512GB) and 16GB (at 1TB and 2TB)
Storage: 128GB - 256GB - 512GB - 1TB - 2TB
➕ Large and bright screen
➕ Powerful M2 chip
➕ Generous storage options
➕ Great RAM options for a high number of layers in Procreate
➕ Wide color profile (P3)
➕ ProMotion tech for smooth drawing
➕ Size and weight
➖ Price
Apple Pencil 2

*Please note, the ±$200 - $300 price difference applies at the time of writing and only vs. the iPad Pro 12.9″ 6th generation from 2022.

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In terms of technology, both iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 11 are Apple’s flagship iPads, and they come with the best Apple has invented (or outsourced).

So, I compared iPad Pro 11 vs. 12.9 based on the most important decision criteria for artists and their drawing experience – screen size, weight, display, and Apple Pencil compatibility.

FYI – If you are wondering why the screen is matte on my iPad Pro 12.9″, it’s because I am using the Paperlike screen protector for drawing on Procreate.

Videos: My Experience with iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 for Drawing and Procreate

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

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

Difference between iPad Pro 11-inch and 12.9-inch

iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 come with almost identical specifications.

What are then their differences important for artists? See below:

iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″ Size Comparison

Let’s talk about the screen size comparison.

Photo: iPad Pro 11 vs 12.9 screen size comparison with my favorite A4 sketchbook - ©Art Side of Life

As you can see in my photo above and in the slideshow below, iPad Pro 12.9″ is naturally bigger compared to iPad Pro 11″.

Is the iPad Pro 12.9 too big, though?

I think there is no right answer to that question other than your personal preference.

I draw on my iPad Pro 12.9″ every day for long hours, so I appreciate the big screen. I also don’t mind drawing on it outdoors because I usually support it on my knee.

But for example, the urban sketching artist Teoh Yi Chie (aka Parkablogs) draws on his iPad Pro 11″ mostly outside while standing, so the smaller screen is much easier for him to hold and draw on.

My recommendation to you is:

  • If you will be drawing on your iPad Pro primarily in your studio every day for long hours, get a bigger screen with iPad Pro 12.9. It will make your drawing experience more enjoyable.
  • If you are looking for a studio / portable iPad Pro that you can comfortably draw on in your studio but also outdoors, get iPad Pro 11
  • And naturally, if you will be drawing primarily outside standing or without many possibilities to support your iPad Pro with something, then get the iPad Pro 11

iPad Pro 11″ vs. 12.9″ in Hand (Weight Comparison)

Weight winner: iPad Pro 11

Photo: iPad Pro 11 vs 12.9 in hand comparing their weight - ©Art Side of Life

iPad Pro 12.9″ weighs around 1.5lb (680 grams), and iPad Pro 11 weighs around 1lb (470 grams).

I noticed this weight difference mainly when I was drawing while standing.

My thumb started to cramp pretty fast when I was holding my iPad Pro 12.9 during the live drawing session. I had to cradle it instead, which limited my drawing movements. I didn’t last too long, because I couldn’t fully focus on the poses and had to sit down.

It was much easier to hold and draw on iPad Pro 11 while standing. That ±1/2 pound (±200 grams) does really make a difference in the portability of iPad Pro 11 vs 12.9.

Display Type, Screen Resolution, Brightness, and Color Accuracy

Display winner: iPad Pro 12.9

iPad Pro 12.9″iPad Pro 11″
Liquid Retina XDR displayLiquid Retina display
mini-LED backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technologyLED backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
Screen brightness: 600 – 1000 nits (HDR)Screen brightness: 600 nits
2732-by-2048 resolution
at 264 ppi
2388-by-1668 resolution
at 264 ppi
Wide color profile display (P3)Wide color profile display (P3)
Table: Displays Comparison of iPad Pro 12.9″ vs. iPad Pro 11″ – Source: Apple.com

Both iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 11 have excellent displays, but I have to admit, iPad Pro 12.9″is just better:

  1. Higher contrast ratio: Mini-LED display in iPad Pro 12.9″ can achieve a much higher contrast ratio compared to iPad Pro 11″ LED-backlit displays. iPad Pro 12.9 can display deeper blacks and brighter whites, which is particularly beneficial for artists working with a broad range of colors and tones.
  2. Improved color accuracy: The ability to control the lighting of individual zones on a Mini-LED display can result in better color accuracy in iPad Pro 12.9″. For artists, this is critical as it provides a more accurate representation of their work.
  3. Greater brightness: As you can see in the table above, the mini-LED displays can achieve higher peak brightness levels (measured in nits), which can be beneficial for using the device in brightly lit environments.

You could also argue that the resolution is higher in iPad Pro 12.9, but that’s misleading. It is higher because of the bigger screen. The Pixels Per Inch (PPI) resolution is the same for both iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 at 264 PPI.

You can watch me sketching outside on my iPad Pro 12.9 in the vlog here:

RAM, Storage, and Chip (Processor)

Processor, RAM, and Storage winner: Draw iPad Pro 12.9 = iPad Pro 11

Both iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 have exactly the same specs when it comes to RAM, storage, and chip (processor):

iPad Pro 12.9″
M1 or M2 processor
iPad Pro 11″
M1 or M2 processor
Storage 128GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB
RAM 8GB
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 Comparison of iPad Pro 12.9″ vs. iPad Pro 11″ – Source: Apple.com

The amount of RAM, storage space, and processing power of the chip in an iPad (or any drawing tablet) are essential for artists for several reasons:

  1. RAM (Random Access Memory): The amount of RAM in your iPad Pro affects its ability to handle multiple tasks at once and the complexity of the tasks it can manage. When you’re drawing, for example, on Procreate, the device needs to process a lot of data quickly. More RAM allows for smoother, more responsive drawing, especially when working with high-resolution images, multiple layers, complex brushes, or filters.
  2. Storage: Storage is important because high-resolution images and the associated apps, like Procreate, can take up a lot of space. The more storage you have, the more artwork, apps, and resources (like custom brushes or textures) you can store directly on your device.
  3. Chip (Processor): A more powerful processor, such as Apple’s M1 and M2 in iPad Pro, will be able to handle complex tasks more quickly and efficiently. This means faster image rendering, less waiting time for applying filters or effects, and generally a smoother, more responsive drawing experience.

Number of Layers Available in Procreate

Number of Procreate layers winner: Draw iPad Pro 12.9 = iPad Pro 11

All things being equal*, at 8GB RAM and 16GB RAM configuration, both iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 will have an equal number of layers available in Procreate.

*Please note, by “all things being equal,” I mean the same iPadOS version and the same Procreate version.

CanvasiPad Pro 12.9″ 8GB RAM
Procreate # of layers
iPad Pro 11″ 8GB RAM
Procreate # of layers
3000 x 3000px112112
16″ x 16″ @300 DPI4141
A4 @300DPI116116
A3 @300DPI5656
A2 @300DPI2323
Table: No. of Procreate Layers Comparison of iPad Pro 12.9″ vs. iPad Pro 11″ – Source: ©Art Side of Life Research

Apple Pencil Compatibility

Apple Pencil compatibility winner: Draw iPad Pro 12.9 = iPad Pro 11

My Pick
Recommended
Recommended

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)

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

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

My Pick

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)
Recommended

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

Recommended

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

Both iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 are compatible with Apple Pencil 2!

Photo: Both iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 are compatible with Apple Pencil 2 - ©Art Side of Life

The Apple Pencil 2 (second generation) is considered a top choice for drawing on an iPad for several reasons:

  1. Precision: The Apple Pencil 2 offers incredibly precise line control, enabling artists to draw with great detail. It can recognize subtle differences in pressure and tilt, allowing for a variety of line thicknesses and shading effects, much like a traditional pencil on paper.
  2. Low Latency: The Apple Pencil 2 has a very low latency, meaning there’s almost no noticeable delay between when you move the pencil and when the line appears on the screen. This can make drawing feel more natural and responsive.
  3. Palm Rejection: When you’re using the Apple Pencil 2, the iPad can ignore other inputs (like your palm resting on the screen). This is a crucial feature for artists, as it allows them to draw in a more natural position without having to worry about making unintended marks.
  4. Integration with drawing apps: Apple Pencil 2 is seamlessly integrated with a range of popular drawing apps, such as Procreate. This means artists can take advantage of all the features within these apps, allowing for a highly versatile drawing tool.
  5. Design and Charging: The Apple Pencil 2 has a more ergonomic design compared to its predecessor Apple Pencil 1. It’s flat on one side, so it’s less likely to roll off a table, and it attaches magnetically to the side of the iPad Pro and the latest iPad Air and iPad Mini models. This not only keeps it securely in place but also automatically charges it, so it’s always ready when you need it.
  6. Double-tap Feature: Apple Pencil 2 introduced a double-tap feature, which can be customized in supported apps. For example, you can set it to switch between the tool and eraser or to show the color palette, which can speed up your workflow.
  7. Hover Feature: From 2022 and iPad Pro models with M2 chip, Apple Pencil 2 enables the hover feature, which allows you to change the size and opacity of your Procreate brushes while you are drawing, and it shows a gallery preview during the over.

Price

Price winner: iPad Pro 11

If you are price-sensitive, iPad Pro 11 is a better deal.

At the time of writing, iPad Pro 11 4th generation is about $200 – $300 cheaper than iPad Pro 12.9 6th generation.

When it comes to iPad Pro 11 4th generation vs. iPad Pro 12.9 5th generation, the price is about the same.

iPad Pro 11 vs. 12.9 – Which One Should You Get?

Photo: iPad Pro 11 vs 12.9 side by side - ©Art Side of Life

OK, so which one should you get?

I think whether you choose iPad Pro 11 or iPad Pro 12.9 comes to two points:

  1. iPad Pro 11 is more portable than iPad Pro 12.9, so you should get iPad Pro 11 if you plan to draw outside, while standing, and basically on the go. If you will be primarily drawing in your studio on your table or couch, get iPad Pro 12.9!
  2. iPad Pro 11 is cheaper than iPad Pro 12.9, so you should get iPad Pro 11 if you want to save some money and use it to get Apple Pencil 2, a Paperlike screen protector, and a carrying case. However, if your budget allows for it, get iPad Pro 12.9!

I personally use the iPad Pro 12.9″ 5th generation, and as a professional artist, I am super happy with it.

It’s fast, I find drawing in Procreate is super smooth, I have enough layers I need for my artwork, it runs iPad OS 16 with the new brush engine so that I can create awesome Procreate brushes, and it looks great in my classes 😊.

I don’t have problems using it outdoors, but only when propped on my knees because it’s too heavy to draw on when standing and holding in one hand. In that case, I need to cradle it, which limits my drawing motion.

If you are wondering why I haven’t upgraded to the iPad Pro 12.9″ 6th generation – it’s because I don’t see the point yet. I get enough Procreate layers, and I find the Apple hover feature more of a gimmick than a useful feature at this moment.

In the end, I believe that whether you choose iPad Pro 11 or iPad Pro 12.9, you will make amazing artwork with either of them.

Happy drawing!

FAQs – iPad Pro vs. iPad Air for Procreate

Is the 11 or 12.9 iPad Pro better for drawing?

Both iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 are great for drawing. iPad Pro 12.9 is more suitable for stationary and desktop use, and iPad Pro 11 is a great portable tablet you can use, for example, for urban sketching or drawing on the go!

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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