2017 12.9" iPad Pro + Procreate vs Wacom MobileStudioPro + Photoshop Review & Comparision



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A much needed conversation – does the Wacom MobileStudioPro still deserve the heavyweight title, or has the iPad Pro scored the winning punch – let’s find out!


Original Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Review

Cintiq 27QHD & Wacom Cintiq Companion 1st Gen One Year Later


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44 replies
  1. Kurt Korbatits
    Kurt Korbatits says:

    Thank you Adam for this great review, i`m quite a late responder 😉 i really don`t like Wacom at all, way too pricy, bad support and even worse drivers – Apple on the other hand is doing a great job, the hardware is light, fast and has perfect battery life…. BUT… the wacom is a full blown computer running windows… ;-), i can run various apps at the same time, MAYA, ZBRUSH, Affinity Products, even Photoshop and Illustrator and and and… OK when you are "just" into drawing then the iPad outshines the wacom for all the reasons you were mentioning… but if have have to stick to a more versatile device that is also capable of handling Dig. Painting, then the MSP is the right choice… I think Apple will succeed if they are unifying their operating systems, which i think will happen in the near future…. an iPad Pro running OSX emulating iOS for gaming etc. would be the way to go…

  2. Rosmaraldima Nagitalibi
    Rosmaraldima Nagitalibi says:


    The Ipad Pro is a tablet. It has been designed for playing shit tablet games, brows the web, check emails and consume content. This specific Ipad, also has some pretty fucking good drawing functionality becuase of the apple pen. But it is still a tablet, with extremely limeted functionality, and only a small amount of actual useable good drawing apps.

    The MobileStudio Pro, is a fully blown computer, with miles more computational power than that small tiny thing called an Ipad. It can do so much more things, just by the fact that it's a computer and not a tablet.

    Choose what is right for you. For me, it's the MobileStudio Pro, and i wouldn't be able to do half the stuff i need. For you, if the only thing you do is draw, consider the Ipad pro, it's a valid option.

    Plus, it doesn't have an operation system that is spying on you, while giving advertisements right in the operating system, and installs games and other microsoft store apps that you never agreed to. Fuck you Microsoft and your shit operating system. I'm going to use my main Linux computer, to dowload everything to the device, and always have the device in Airplane, so you can't fucking spy on me, and install shit on it without my permission. Which by the way, if you wanted to use your computer to download things to your ipad, just stop, you cant. Images and video files sure, but applications, application files, drivers, addons, configurations and many file types from computer software like blender, nope.

    There is an actual choice of what you you want to use it for, and drawing/illustration isn't the only thing it can be used as. I don't have one yet, but i will be using it, first of all to draw, then i will also be using it as a daily computer on the go, 3D modeling and animation, 2D animation, Video Editing, Research on many complicated toppics, simulation and advanced calculations, software and web development, some game development and so much more things. Which, those few of the things mentioned an Ipad can do, it would be a horrible and lackluster experience for someone who actually does more than set a resolution, then draw, the end.

    The Ipad get's beat up to bad by the MobileStudio Pro, if you actually take a look objectively. But just becuase the MobileStudio is better in every other espect than simplicity, doesn't mean it's the right device for you. I wound't be able to use the Ipad for jack shit, so it's the MobileStudio pro or something completely different for me. But for you, that guy who doesn't do much more than paint, and simpler things like that, it would most likely be a better choice for you to get the Ipad, but it's not better.

    Also, a buch of times you mention, Wacom has to step up thier game, they need to make touch better in photoshop and stupid shit like that.
    ADOBE are the ones to blame here, thier application has not been designed for touch, and windows as well, they havent' been designed for touch, it's not wacom you need to complain about here. It's Windows and Adobe you need to complain about, they are the ones that hasn't implemented propper touch functionality, and i don't want them to. Moving the canvas can be better, but everything else, no thanks. It would just simplify the software to much, and remove or hide far away a lot of functionality. And by the way, Photoshop isn't an art program, it's an image manipulation program, and can do so much more than any of your Ipad apps can do. But if you don't need those things, you can buy the Ipad, as long as you know it's right for you.

    And for me, drawing on an Ipad with the apple pen, isn't that good for me, becuase the pen feeling is horrible for me, it's too thin, and it's a bigger rubber tip on a glass surface, which i don't like.

    Wacom makes you pay for extra to get a stand.
    Yes completely valid complaint. But apple charges extra for every eccessory as well. But the Ipad with the accessories is cheaper than the MobileStudio… Yes it is, it also has way more, way better and way more complicated and advanced technoligies inside of it, has a bigger and better and higher quality screen, and it's a product made for professionals, not hobbyist or freelance workers. No, full out profesionals, that doesn't care about price, and just want the best of the best, and would like to use it in better combination with other professional equipment. Like 3D scanners for 3D modeling.

    But the Ipad is also a pro.
    No it's not, it just has pro in the name, to make it seem that way. Apple hasn't been making actual pro product in a while, looking at what pros actually need. I know of a lot of pros who used to use apple product, but can't now, becuase they've gone away from functionality to simplicity for the common person. It is not made for profesionals, it's made for hobbyist, that is in the Apple eco system, or someone they can drag into that eco system.

    You also talk about the mobility of the devices.
    You basically say that the MobileStudio Pro isn't mobile, or at least not even close to what the Ipad is, which is correct. But… the MobileStudio Pro is also, as it says in the name, A STUDIO, it's a MOBILE STUDIO, which the ipad is not. So for the fact that the MobileStudio has so much more functionality, and is an actual competent studio, which you can take with you, is so much better than the Ipad. While the Ipad, was never designed to be a studio, but you can use it for some simple things, and drawing, which if that is all you do, go for the Ipad.

    Having to use the keyboard on the Studio Pro.
    Yes indeed, that is the most optimal thing to do, and that makes the Studio Pro much more efficient than the Ipad is, at leats for now, though i dont see that changin anytime soon.
    But the MobileStudio Pro is meant for you to work at home or office, then take the MobileStudio Pro with you, and let's say, contenue to draw frames on an animation, then go back into work or home.
    Which also means, that if you program the express keys, which are fully customizale, even application to application, to do those keyboard shotcuts, then it will be way more efficient than the Ipad pro. And saying no one like the touch ring, is so ignorant if you to say. You just don't, and maybe a lot of people you know, don't like it as well, but a lot of people, do use it, they just aren't vocal of the fact that's it's usable. But the thing is, you have to take the time to figure out which keyboard keys you use, and then need to put where you want them on the express keys, then learn to use them that way. And learning new things is dangorus.

    At not last, but i think i've wirtten more than i should, and more than anyone will ever read.

    You talk about having the front facing camera out to the side, and how bad that is. Watch your own video, and look at the fucking horrible webcam placement. You don't seem to care enough about the placement to find a stack of books or whatever to get the camera off the table.

  3. Ian Mansfield
    Ian Mansfield says:

    The Ipad feels like a really good sketchbook but it doesnt have the capabilities to function for the studio level work it needs to produce to compete with the MSP, I mean Ultimately the Ipad nor the MSP should be a replacement for your studio cintiq but the MSP better achieves that goal for freelance artists who dont have a studio space and have to move around a lot

  4. Simon C.S.
    Simon C.S. says:

    How often do you find yourself using the iPad Pro? And how well would you say it meshes with Photoshop on your desktop, as part of your workflow?

    I'm hesitating to drop the money on one and wonder if it wouldn't be better to stick to pen and paper for sketching on the go.

  5. Thiago C.Rocha
    Thiago C.Rocha says:

    me in my best cry baby voice: but i don't wanna an ipad, but you made me wanna a ipad

    Joking aside, that's the best review / comparison i got on this topic! thank you very much for this video!

  6. Pixel Pusher
    Pixel Pusher says:

    Excellent video, however the non existent file management cripples the iPad Pro and cuts it off the rest of the world such that I won´t touch it. iCloud/iTunes is no solution either. Storing large amounts of data ON the iPad? Nope. Maintaining folder structures? Nope. Creating file folders? Nope. Connecting it to other devices? Nope. And so on…..

  7. Mulnader
    Mulnader says:

    I'm Wacom fanboy and I have Companion 1 and it's hard to disagree with Adam. Companion is not that mobile. It's more mobile then laptop + graphic tablet but less mobile then a normal tablet. It takes a lot of effort to overcome lack of keyboard with pie shortcuts, multitouch is terrible and a lot of people completely turning it off. In my case if I have a little table and keyboard, I have no issues to put keyboard behind tablet and reach it with my hand without looking at keys. If I sit on a bench I can do the same setup on my legs or put keyboard on the side next to me and I talk about full size cheap keyboard from logitech on USB .

  8. CharlesBr0ns0n
    CharlesBr0ns0n says:

    Hi! Say, if portability was not the main concern, to which device would you tend to? I'm currently working with a standard Wacom Intuos tablet and want to change to a display tablet. The iPad Pro and Wacom Cintiq are pretty similar in price. For instance the 12.9 iPad Pro (2018) is somewhat close to a Cintiq Pro 16. If I wanted the best pure digital drawing experience, which device would probably be for me? Unfortunately the Cintiq 24 and higher are out of my price range.

  9. Andrea Torres
    Andrea Torres says:

    Thankyou so much i was thinking if i should get a wacom mobile studio or a ipad pro and i was looking up reviews but nobody explained it as good as you did and they didn't really explain any differences they just sayed if your this type of artist get this or this but now i know.also im so glad that procreate 4 came out

  10. Olivia M.
    Olivia M. says:

    Honestly, I was DEAD SET on getting a Wacom Mobile Studio Pro before watching this video; Mainly because I wanted to use photoshop on the go. Now, however, I'm reconsidering. I've seen so many artists I admire and generally follow buy the ipad pro/use ipad pro for their on-the-go work. Now i know why. Yeah it doesn't have the pen tilt and pen specs I like from wacom products, but that's minor compared to everything else. I can't afford a wacom mobile studio pro, but and ipad pro works! I also just found out I can trade in my old ipad and possibly pay less for my ipad pro. Which works out perfect. Thanks to this video, it brought more light on why it's better to buy a ipad pro then a expensive wacom.

  11. B Peterson
    B Peterson says:

    Great review. Apple owes you a commission (imo) since you sold me.

    I’m so glad Wacom is finally encountering major competition. They’ve been resting on their laurels for too long complacently hoping that their proprietary pen and pen pressure design would keep them safe.

  12. aerozg
    aerozg says:

    I love Wacom, but the headaches are starting to far outweigh the pros in my experience. In terms of UX and just plain usability, iPad Pro wins by a large margin, and funnily enough, it wasn't even designed with digital artists in mind. As opposed to Wacom tablets, which are supposed to be these niche products that target this specific group of users. There are simply to many UX issues, cable headaches, dongle/adapter headaches, overpriced addons that don't come standard, the inferior touch screen tech, overheating and so on, only so we can use Photoshop with a pen. I have the Intuos Pro, the Mobile Studio Pro 16 and the 27QHD (at work) and i recently got the 12.9" iPad Pro. If it wasn't for work, i would ditch all the Wacoms asap, and just use the iPad with Affinity or ProCreate for everything, but i can't get rid of Photoshop so i'm stuck. There is a huge business opportunity here, and whoever manages to marry the ease of using the iPad with the workstation capabilities of the Wacom tablets will have monopoly. Or at least that's what i like to dream about.

  13. Laby Rinth
    Laby Rinth says:

    thanks amazing review !!! so honnest and simple facts !!!
    maybe at the time it wasnt possible !! but you can now run PHOTOSHOP on the ipad with ASTROPAD ….
    and now there is no more to say !!!

    thanks again cheers !!!

  14. kurt _hectic
    kurt _hectic says:

    Wacom is just an oldchool kind of company. Like Nokia, Kodak, Shimano, Sony…they don't wanna change and they all slowly dying because competition, in just few years start to make things better.

  15. Ryan Stark
    Ryan Stark says:

    Good video and Procreate is an excellent app. The problem is that Wacom have total monopoly with their pen tech. Nothing beats a Wacom Cintiq attached to a desktop computer. I even have a Samsung tablet and although the software doesn’t cut it and hence I don’t use it for drawing, the screen is Wacom tech and you can tell because that part is very good.

  16. crocket
    crocket says:

    I'm an absolute beginner of drawing with a vague understanding of theory. I want to become a professional artist. Would iPad Pro 12.9" save at least a few months of learning in the span of 5 years?
    It seems as good as pen and paper, and I can undo and redo instantly on iPad Pro. It allows me to change composition and position. With a paper, I'd draw from scratch again if I wanted to change composition. These digital editing capabilities can save a lot of time.

  17. J O
    J O says:

    I totally agree with most of the points regarding Wacom. I still have a Wacom Cintiq companion, which I have been keeping on life support. Wacom has to have the worst customer service I have experienced. The charging port on mine like others stopped working. I contacted wacom only to find out that it was just out of warranty and it would cost $800.00 to fix it and I would have to ship to them to fix. Totally shocked by the outrageous price given, I did a little research and found out this was a common problem among these devices and the fix would probably be temporary. So I took it upon myself to find a computer shop that specialized in fixing computers and mobile devices. They charged me $75.00 with the replacement part. That lasted about 9 months and I'm fixing it once again. Still. Wacom get your #*## together.

    I only wish Astropad was available for pc. That would make me rush out and buy an ipad pro.

  18. Cool Jazz
    Cool Jazz says:

    If only Apple would manage to come up with a spin-off device like a iPAINT PRO, 12,9 inch and 16 inch, 512GB, At least 120 Mhz refresh rate and ultra fast multicore engine, effortless file management and connection with iMac and Windows desktops for professional workflow, support for Photoshop, illustrator, Clip Studio etc.and still at a very artist friendly price, they would be able to ditch every other drawing tablet out of the market. Even Wacom. Come on Apple, you already CAN do this!

  19. Get Lit
    Get Lit says:

    Can someone help me please? I have Procreate and I just hate the brushes compared to photoshop. Can anyone link me good brushes for skin? I am so I can’t seem to use any brush on Procreate properly and trying to do skin is an absolute nightmare because of the brushes. AAAAAAAAAA

  20. Łukasz Krzyżanowski
    Łukasz Krzyżanowski says:

    Very useful review. I use a fossil like Cintiq 12WX 🙂 It's highest time to change my hardware. At first I thought about new Cintiq but after watching all possible comparisons and reviews on YT I changed my mind. Now I have no doubt what to choose. In addition iPad Pro has some cool apps which allow using it as a regular tablet like Cintiq, what means that You can still use photoshop installed on iMac for example .And I totally agree – Wacom, watch your back! 🙂

  21. ARTIST Shield
    ARTIST Shield says:

    hi pls help me
    I recently bought ipad pro 12.9 . started working with procreate. sadly i found ipad heats up after 20 -25 min. is it normal ? i see you r saying it won't heat up. so I start to use a art glove with it and it's little satisfying. is there any app to identify the ipads temperature?

  22. Christian Sass
    Christian Sass says:

    I coudnt agree more but wacom doesnt make the OS your yelling at the wrong people. it Adobe and Windows who cant agree to dance. but thanks.. im on the edge of buying a ipad and procreate


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