There are a dozen different kinds of iPads with a variety of features, from model to screen size and all the storage options. So how do you decide which one to get?
As long-time users (and teachers!) of Procreate, we know a thing or two about the different iPad models, which ones are compatible with the Procreate app, and which stylus works best. Let us fill you in and give you our recommendations of the exact one to get depending on your goals. After all, we don’t want you to spend money on an iPad you can’t use with Procreate or that doesn’t suit your needs and goals!
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Overview of iPad Models
Currently, Apple sells four iPad models: iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro. Here’s a quick summary:
* iPad is the most basic version. Nothing fancy, and just what you need.
* iPad Air has a faster processor, better camera, and more storage than the iPad, but is a little more expensive.
* iPad Mini is basically a smaller version of the iPad Air.
* iPad Pro is the most powerful and most expensive with the largest storage and the biggest screen size (11” or 12.9”).
Newest iPad Versions
When Apple releases a new version of each iPad model, the “Generation” number increases. Here are the most recent models as of April 2022:
The iPad Comparison Chart has all the technical details.
Buy the Procreate App
Good news: all iPads released after 2015 are compatible with the latest version of the Procreate app!
The models that are NOT compatible with the latest version of Procreate include: iPad 1 to 4, iPad Mini 1 to 3, and iPad Air 1.
Apple Pencil/iPad Compatibility
Westrongly recommend using the Apple Pencil stylus with the Procreate App. Other styluses cannot use all the features of Procreate, such as pressure sensitivity that produces thick and thin strokes, which is a must-have for iPad calligraphy and other art.
Each iPad model only works with certain Apple Pencil generations. Here is the latest compatibility as listed on the Apple site as of March 2022:
2nd Generation Apple Pencil/iPad Compatibility
You can use Apple Pencil (2nd generation) with these iPad models:
* iPad mini (6th generation)
* iPad Air (4th generation and later)
* iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
* iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
Get the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil
1st Generation Apple Pencil/iPad Compatibility
You can use Apple Pencil (1st generation) with these iPad models:
* iPad mini (5th generation)
* iPad (6th generation and later)
* iPad Air (3rd generation)
* iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation)
* iPad Pro 10.5-inch
* iPad Pro 9.7-inch
Get the 1st Gen Apple Pencil
Not sure which iPad you have?Identify your iPad model.
The following iPad models are NOT compatible with the Apple Pencil: iPad 5, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2. Make sure you review the Apple Support site before purchasing to double-check compatibility with your iPad before making any purchases.
So…Which iPad should I get for Procreate?
With so many models, it can be hard to pick. The best iPad model for you depends on your individual goals and budget. Here are our recommendations:
For the budget-friendly option…
Get the regular iPad (base model). It’s the cheapest option, starting at $329 with 64GB of storage for the current model, but has a large enough screen (10.2″) for creating art. If your main reason for getting an iPad is to use for Procreate, 64GB of storage would be enough. Because it’s not as fast as the more expensive models, you might notice a slight lag when writing with the Apple Pencil.
Get the iPad and the 1st Gen Apple Pencil (1st Gen).
If you plan to use your iPad for many other applications in addition to Procreate, such as taking photos, editing videos, etc., consider the iPad Air. It has twice as much storage as the iPad (starts at 64GB for $599 for the current model) and runs much faster. So if you have a little extra room in your budget, the iPad Air gives you a better value for your money than the regular iPad.
Get the iPad Air and the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil.
Go with the iPad Mini. It has the smallest screen size (8.3”) and is great for on-the-go use. It’s also cheaper than the iPad Air at $499, for the same processing power and storage. However, because the screen is so small, we don’t recommend this if the main purpose is to use for creating artwork.
Get the iPad Mini and the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil.
For the biggest screen…
The 12.9” iPad Pro is the largest option and the most powerful one you can get. But, it also comes with the biggest price tag. We’ve used the 10.5” iPad and once we switched to 12.9” it made a big difference. However, it is quite big and bulky and doesn’t feel very portable.
Get the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil. Or…
For the best of the best…
The iPad Pro is extremely fast and powerful, has an amazing liquid retina display, an incredible camera, and you can get up to 2TB of storage. It comes in two screen sizes: 11-inch or 12.9-inch. The newest iPad Pro is so high-tech that you could even use it as a laptop replacement!
Get the 11-inch iPad Pro or 12.9-inch iPad Pro and 2nd Gen Apple Pencil on Amazon.
For the exact iPad we (Jillian & Jordan) use…
When we started out in 2017, we got the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and it was perfect for our needs! The majority of our use is for Procreate, Dropbox, photo editing with the Snapseed app, and simple video editing in iMovie.
In 2020, we upgraded and purchased the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4th gen) and have been using it since. This one works with the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil.
The best iPad for you depends on your budget and what you plan to use it for. Are you just getting an iPad to use for creating Procreate artwork? or will you be replacing another device like a laptop? You’ll have to consider the storage requirements, screen size, performance, price and portability. Whatever iPad you decide, make sure to get the Apple Pencil that goes with it.
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All iPad versions in this chart are compatible with both the Procreate App and the Apple Pencil. The starting price is for the lowest amount of storage, but you can upgrade to get more storage and other features. Screen size is listed in inches.Updated April 2022.
If you have an iPad that’s not listed in the chart, you can check Apple’s Website for more info.
You can always find the most updated list of Procreate App-compatible devices here.
How to check which iPad you have
If you already have an iPad, here’s how to find your model information:Open Settings > General > About > Model Name
> Step 1: Open Settings, then choose General in the left column, and find About at the top right:
> Step 2: Find Model Name at the top right to see which version of the iPad you have:
Want to learn our top 18 Shortcuts for Procreate? Download the list now!