The best iPad for graphic design in 2023

The best iPad for graphic design tasks lets you work on the go.
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The best iPad for graphic design in 2023 - W3Tekno

Find the best iPad for graphic design here. When you need to start or finish a job on the go, Apple's widely used tablets are great, incredibly portable alternatives to laptops and PCs. Today's iPads are capable of handling any graphic design job, and the touch screen can greatly increase productivity.

We have evaluated almost every iPad that Apple has produced over the years. We use them for image editing, page layout and vector graphics as part of our experiments using various iPadOS apps. These observations have led us to compile this list of the best iPads for graphic design work. We weigh the pros and cons of each and include links to all our reviews so you can learn more.

Apple iPad (2022) -  The best cheap iPad for graphic design

Apple iPad (2022)

The best cheap iPad for graphic design
Specifications
  • Processor: A14 Bionic chip
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB
  • Screen size: 10.9-inch
  • Resolution: 2360 x 1640
  • Dimensions: 248.6 x 179.5 x 7 mm
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Better video calling experience
  • Enough power for complex tasks
  • Bigger, brighter screen than previous models
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Needs Apple Pencil adapter
  • Apple made a significant and well-deserved improvement to the original iPad this year, adding a more powerful CPU and a bigger, brighter screen. The new iPad is equipped with the same A14 chipset that enabled the fourth-generation iPad Air to tackle difficult activities like graphic design and video editing. Surely this latest iPad shows that it's capable of the same things.

    Graphic artists on a budget will especially appreciate the True Tone display's 500 nits of brightness, which is especially helpful when working on designs all day, and its 264 ppi pixel density, which provides a lot of visual clarity and sharpness. And as with the iPad Pro 2021, you'll get up to 10 hours of battery life to get you through a full workday. You'll want to make sure to save on cloud storage, though, as the storage options may not be enough for large files.

    Unfortunately, the increase in price makes it almost as expensive as the iPad Air, if not slightly less. So read on to see our fourth choice if you're looking for something even cheaper. Just remember that the power you get is reduced.

    Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) - An inexpensive iPad for beginning graphic artists

    Apple iPad 10.2 (2021)

    An inexpensive iPad for beginning graphic artists
    Specifications
  • Processor: A13 Bionic chip
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB
  • Screen size: 10.2-inch
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1620
  • Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Great screen
  • Good storage options
  • Apple Pencil support
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • No USB-C support
  • Not Apple Pencil 2nd Gen
  • The cheapest iPad, the 2021 iPad 10.2, can be used to create graphics on the fly, much to the delight of aspiring graphic artists just starting out and not yet making money from commissions. It won't work well with some graphic design apps as it only has 3GB of RAM (Adobe Illustrator for iPad requires 4GB). It can therefore be difficult to use for any large project.

    However, the iPad 10.2 has an excellent, albeit smaller, screen with responsive touchscreen capabilities and Apple Pencil compatibility, making it an excellent and inexpensive drawing tablet if you're just starting out and use lightweight design programs. As this iPad is by far the most affordable iPad on the market, its price is the key selling point.

    Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (M2, 2022) - The best iPad for graphic design overall

    Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (M2, 2022)

    The best iPad for graphic design overall
    Specifications
  • Processor: Apple M2
  • Storage: 128GB – 1TB
  • Screen size: 12.9-inch
  • Resolution: 2732 x 2048
  • Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4mm
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Super-fast M2 chip
  • Gorgeous Liquid Retina XDR display
  • USB-C
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • The most expensive iPad
  • Overall, iPad Pro 12.9 is the ultimate iPad for graphic artists. It features Apple's M2 processor and, like its smaller 11-inch sibling, can easily handle graphically demanding tasks. We found that the 11-inch and 12.9-inch devices are equal in terms of capabilities. The larger 12.9-inch iPad is the best iPad for graphic design because of its larger screen and display technology that offers more workspace.

    Only available on the larger tablet are Liquid Retina XDR displays, which use tiny mini LEDs for a brighter image and wider dynamic range. When we did our full iPad Pro 2022 review, we were instantly excited and discovered that the color coverage is excellent for creative work. Both touchscreens are responsive and offer a canvas designed to work well with the Apple Pencil 2 (you have to buy the Pencil separately, as with other iPads). While we think it's the best iPad for graphic design, the price is a drawback, and unless you also do video work, you probably won't need such powerful features.

    Apple iPad mini (2021) - The best iPad for graphic design for portability

    Apple iPad mini (2021)

    The best iPad for graphic design for portability
    Specifications
  • Processor: Apple A15 Bionic
  • Storage: 64GB or 256GB
  • Screen size: 8.3-inch
  • Resolution: 1488 x 2266
  • Dimensions: 195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3mm
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Compact size
  • Supports Apple Pencil 2
  • More powerful than the standard iPad
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Some people may find it uncomfortable to work on a smaller screen
  • If mobility is your top concern, the 2021 iPad mini is worth considering. If you want to work on the train, for example, the iPad Air and even the 2022 iPad 10.9 are a bit too big. But the iPad mini's 8-inch screen makes it an extremely useful tool for working in tight spaces. While it's not the most powerful iPad, it can run apps like Adobe Illustrator for iPad, and unlike the regular iPad, it supports Apple Pencil 2, which has a number of advantages over the original pencil.

    Apple iPad Air (2022) - A mid-range iPad for graphic designers who want to travel light

    Apple iPad Air (2022)

    A mid-range iPad for graphic designers who want to travel light
    Specifications
  • Processor: Apple M1 chip
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB
  • Screen size: 10.9-inch
  • Resolution: 2360 x 1640
  • Dimensions: 247.6 x 247.6 x 6.1 mm
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Ridiculously powerful
  • Great screen for accuracy
  • Sleek, portable design
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • No 3.5mm jack
  • Screen is 60Hz, no HDR
  • We are big fans of the iPad Air series because it balances price and elegance. The popularity of this iPad is partly due to its attractiveness and portability, but also because it's priced within reach of most consumers. The A14 Bionic chip in the 2022 model has been replaced by the even more remarkable M1, which has an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU, making it more powerful than ever. This puts the Air on the same level as the Pros in 2021, although it only has 8 GB of memory and average storage.

    As long as you have the right mobile app, you can do almost everything you can do on a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Challenging graphic design tasks fall into this category. It also supports Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil, which will make your productivity easier.

    The great thing, however, is that you're spending almost half of what you'd spend on an iPad Pro, which could make this a better deal if you don't want a bigger screen.

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