Should I get an ipad pro? - A graphic designer / illustrator's review


In this review I try to answer something i was asking for ages: Should i get an ipad pro? Can i use it as a portfolio? Is it good for graphic design, art and illustration work? For artists? Well, luckily, I’m a graphic designer and illustrator, and i have an ipad pro! I can’t tell you if you should buy an ipad pro, but i can tell you about my experience with it so far. It’s got a lot of pros and a few cons. I also chat about a few of my favourite accessories and apps. I’m not a tech reviewers so apologies if this isn’t as detailed as you’d like, but I’m just giving you my experience with it so far, as someone who does a lot of graphic design, drawing, illustration etc.

// MUSIC //

The Halfway Kid – ‘Peach Room’


iPad Pro 32gb wi-fi

Apple Pencil

Smart Cover

Logi Base

Procreate app

Todoist app

// MY LINKS //



38 replies
  1. Anthony C
    Anthony C says:

    I have a 2018 "regular" ipad and it does not handle large file sizes in procreate.. and when maxing out file sizes it seems to be more prone to crashing. So I've come to the conclusion that its really not a professional device.. So if you are only making or planning to make small print items like stickers or mugs or logos or possibly vector work (Im not a vector artist so take with a grain of salt) then perhaps a "regular" ipad will do.. however for any quality calibur professional work you will really need or at the very least have a large increase in potential and workflow speed and comfort with a larger ipad.. if you cannot afford it, even through financing, then I would question your propensity to do professional work as it should pay for itself as you use it… and it is in my opinion much much better to save up for the latest ipad pro (regardless of size as Im still a bit undecided on that metric) than to spend half its price on a regular ipad + old pencil with flaws + case or cover..

    Just save up for the rest of the way.. it really is worth it..

    even though the little regular ipads are phenomenal at everything else really.. and wonderful companions.. they are not pro devices.. they just fall short ever so slightly.. so that you have to buy the new big "pro" devices..

    it is like apple completely maxed out the potential of a regular consumer grade device stopping JUST before the professional level..

    Plus with the new ipad pros you have some future proofing just because of how powerful they are and the potential for developers to work with this phenomenal hardware.

    In more detail and for more perspective: the new pencil especially paired with the new hardware etc is just different and quite a bit better.. the experience is buttery.. the pencil doesnt slip out of your hand or roll off of tables.. you dont have to jack it into the port at the bottom horribly.. It is so convenient and wonderful to be able to stick it on its side and have it charge.. and the new screen and refresh rates make it really nice of an experience for creatives. It ideally would be more affordable not DOUBLE the price of the regular ipads.. but for professional work it really is a must in my opnion.. it is not at all worth it to dish out half a grand and find you have a device that just will not cut it when it comes time to put out real stuff… and when you really need it.. it just does not output the bandwith youd want and most likely NEED as a professional. I have tried to be as balanced as possible with my assessments here and give as much benefit of the doubt and credence to the regular ipad as possible..

  2. Rev_RSE
    Rev_RSE says:

    I call bullshit to your review. You only highlight good points. So let's go with cons.
    – File menagement is no existant. You cannot easily copy and/or backup files. They are bound to apps. Apps on other hand have flaws. Procreate doesn't have options like resize canvas or add text, so you need to copy it to other app, add things, then copy back.
    – Apps have limits. Procreate allow max 36 Mpix in 300 DPI. Transforming elements (rotating, scaling) drastically downgrade quality. Just one transform and you see pixelated edges, while in PS on PC you don't.
    – Portability of files is default for cloud services. Uploading large files takes time, so you need pendrives like Xpand Sandisk or it sucks other way.
    – Battery doesn't keep 3 days. After 5 hours of constant work you need to charge it.
    – iOS sucks. You cannot use it as PC replacement, due to weird limits.

  3. backstreet51
    backstreet51 says:

    ahhhh that's the exact reason that's making me keep wanting the ipad. i get frustrated with my work a lot and prefer working digitally, but want something simpler than tablet/photoshop. i still want to practice realism and getting better at drawing on paper. but for getting works finished faster and better i feel like i really want an ipad?

  4. Джонатан
    Джонатан says:

    No! I’ve had three 12.9’s each one had issues with screen quality control. LED backlight bleed is terrible and gets worse with time. Last one the screen sometimes doesn’t register touch.

  5. Boo Bumpkin
    Boo Bumpkin says:

    The iPad Pro is quite a bit cheaper than the Wacom tablet I was looking at getting. About 1000 dollars cheaper actually. So not that expensive in comparison at all.

  6. Liza
    Liza says:

    You should get craze screen protector for your iPad because it’s a paper like feeling and you can actually draw rough how you want than to smooth (Amazon)

  7. Nicole K
    Nicole K says:

    I'm really considering getting the iPad Pro because I feel like it might be a good investment for me. I'm a graphic design student and I am constantly wishing I had the iPad for certain projects I do and even just for my spare time. I have a Wacom tablet but it's a little bit difficult to use in my opinion (I probably need more practice).

    I do like that they have a camera tho because I feel like it is useful in that you can use it to take pictures of sketches done on paper. That way it might be easier/simpler to use apps like Ai Draw and things similar to that.

  8. Alan Zheng
    Alan Zheng says:

    It's really for illustration more so than graphic design. You will need to download another extension to letters and such. The price is good compared to the wacom Companion.

  9. Ruby Webster
    Ruby Webster says:

    Have you ever tried any photoshop apps on the iPad Pro because I'm considering getting a new iPad and I want to study textile print and I like creating patterns. Or do you you know any other apps that will let me repeat any drawings into a pattern.

  10. Tod UK
    Tod UK says:

    hahaha – it's expensive, you don't need it, but it's cool!

    actually the perfect review. I feel a bit like someone who's going to try and start running that goes and buys a £200 pair of sneakers to try and incentivise themselves before they've put one foot in front of the other. I think I'll start drawing more first, then tempt myself. thanks!!!

  11. Hyra Me
    Hyra Me says:

    Oh god I find the back camera extremely useful and necessary, mostly cause I use my IPad for studying and working so the camera let's me scan documents, pages, books etc and have it in the iPad, also I use it a lot to scan sketches and work on the drawing digitally

  12. Anthony Martin
    Anthony Martin says:

    I think your thinking is small. The advantage of an iPad the many things you can use it for – if you want to do that. If you don’t, then it is a waste of your money. If you do, however, it becomes a powerful tool that can help you be more productive.

  13. Ashley Everything
    Ashley Everything says:

    As for the camera, don’t they offer a scanner app where you can scan your art work using the camera? I’m curious about that, I feel it would be useful for artists who still use paper and pen but color digitally


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