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Last updated Thursday, October 7, 2021
What’s the skinny on the 2021 iPad Mini 6? Apple Pencil, for one
Apple has now dished out the 6th-generation iPad mini with all the main features of the others in the ever-growing iPad family.. Long gone are the days when you needed an iPad Pro to use the Apple Pencil, though the Pro still gives you considerably more processing power. But the mini is plenty powerful for gaming, running art apps, and more. Here’s some info on this interesting device that’s bigger than a phone and smaller than a full-grown iPad.
The 2021 iPad mini, with its 8.3″ (diagonal) screen, is big enough to do a lot of things on–gaming, movie-watching, video calls, and yes, sketching. It’s probably is too small to substitute for a larger one as a primary portable art studio. Many artists wish there was something larger than the 12.9.” But for those going out into the world, having this portability could make for a real gain in productivity.
You still have to shell out for the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. So saving money isn’t the best reason to get the mini. A better reason is that you want to be able to have a small tablet to sketch or work on your art on the go, that you can then port over to a larger device when you get back to your studio. It is a fun, speedy thing that once you pick up you might not be able to put down. Its antireflective screen is easy on the eyes, though you still might want a matte screen protector that feels like paper.
As you can see in the picture, the Pencil is about as long as the length of the screen. You can stick the Pencil to the sides magnetically (thanks for the idea, Surface!).
2021 iPad mini features
The Mini 6 is similar to the iPad air. It has a Liquid Retina design that’s “all screen,” and features a Touch ID button. So almost all of that 8.3″ is good, arable screen real estate. It’s also got USB-C charging. It’s got support for 5G and has fast Wi-fi 6.
Its bezel comes in about 1/3 of an inch thick, which takes away just a little space from its 8.3” screen. It’s not exactly “all screen, no bezel,” since the bezel is slightly bigger than the larger iPad Pro’s, but that’s OK. I think it’s good to have a little area you can grip.
Basically, if you’ve already got a larger iPad Pro, iPad or Air, those all take the Apple Pencil now, the Mini is more like a light dessert. It design is sleek and updated, so there’s more visual difference with other iPads than just size. Its release price was higher than the 2019 version, the last time they upgraded the mini. (That’s actually not that long ago in Apple years, and many people use their iPads for a long, long time.)
The lowest-end model only differs in storage, at 64GB, with the priciest at 256. Unlike Android devices, Apple still stubbornly doesn’t allow SD cards, but you can always get more Cloud storage or use other storage options. 64 GB really isn’t much, though, especially if you use a lot of layers. A 128 GB model would have been a nice compromise.
2021 iPad mini specs
Powerful A15 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
2266 x 1488 resolution (a bit higher than last gen) 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and wide color
8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and wide color gamut
A15 Bionic chip with 64‑bit architecture
326ppi panel (same as last one)
Weight under 1 lb.
64GB and 256GB
Top button with Touch ID to use Apple Pay and for secure authentication
100% recycled aluminum
Rounded rectangle display
500 nits brightness
No more home button
Volume buttons at top
No headphone jack
Comes with fast 20W charger
Thickness 6.3 mm
12MP ultra wide front camera that supports Center Stage (keeps you front and center during video calls, making your audience ooh and ahh).
Also, 12MP wide back camera
Landscape stereo speakers
10-12 hours of battery life
fast Wi-Fi 6
5G for the LTE
Comes in purple, starlight, pink, and space gray
Being an inveterate Pencil-misplacer, on my iPad Pro I use a simple pen loop Velcro’d to the back, which has saved me many hours of searching for the Pencil—I combine that with a free Bluetooth-device finder app. But magnets are just fine.
The iPad mini is plenty powerful for art apps, gaming, and streaming—you wouldn’t expect less. It is a really fun thing to have, and can fit in just about any bag (not a pocket, though). While it may not be a must-have if you’ve already got an iPad Pro or other drawing device, having that extra portability might get you out sketching more and capturing those autumn colors.
See the 2021 iPad mini on Amazon
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Last updated Thursday, July 27, 2017
Astropad Studio: iPad Pro inches toward Cintiqdom
Astropad Studio for iPad Pro and Mac. Photo by Astropad
Update, July 2017: Astropad Standard and Studio both work with the new 10.5″ iPad.
Astropad has just released a new product specifically for use with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. It’s subscription-based, unlike Astropad Standard, which is still available. Astropad Studio is only for iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, whereas Standard is for iPad2 and up. Whereas Standard is a onetime purchase, Studio is a yearly or monthly fee, and has monthly updates.
Astropad Studio vs. Astropad Standard
Studio has “Liquid Extreme,” which offers a much faster bitrate of 60 frames per second, so less lag. It bas better image quality. Together with GPU acceleration and velocity control, there’s excellent image quality and responsiveness. You can customize program shortcuts in the supported programs, as well as customizing Magic Gestures, which are Pencil/finger combos. If you don’t want to customize, you can use the built-in ones, such as calling up the eraser tool with your finger and the control ring.
Installing both applications is simple, as is the setup. All you have to do get both the Mac and iPad Pro app–the Mac app from the Astropad site, and the iPad Pro app from the App Store.
One nice thing is that you can use the iPad Pro’s USB to connect it to the Mac, instead of Wi-fi, if you’re having Wi-fi issues like I have been lately and can’t get them on the same network.
Magic Gesture. Photo by Astropad
Once that’s done, you’ll see the controls have three program names–Photoshop, Illustrator, and Clip Studio Paint. These are all popular desktop programs and have a somewhat complex workflow. You can still use Procreate, Sketchbook and any apps or desktop programs you want.
The app allows you to customize shortcuts in these programs, which can save a lot of time.
The new improved Liquid Engine is far faster than the old one and I experienced no lag. Lag was an issue for some with Astropad Standard (which is still around).
Astropad Studio is also made to work with any keyboard, so you can use keyboard shortcuts, with one hand on the keyboard and other other on your Pencil.
Magic Gestures are fully customizable and involve that ring, your finger, and the Apple Pencil. Here I’m conjuring the Eraser Tool.
Using a Magic Gesture while taking a photo of using it (awkward!)
You can move the ringaround, press on or hold. Pressing and holding it only brought up the choice of full screen or 100%. But there are ways of setting the amount of screen to use. You can also move and zoom.
You might zoom in on the iPad Pro to work, then zoom out to see the result. I’m not crazy about two screens, and frankly I prefer to just draw on one. But when doing art with a lot of detail, it really helps to see it on a big screen. Seeing art on a big screen not only lets you see any errors you might have made when drawing,and focus on parts individually.
What kind of monthly updates can we expect? According to Astropad, in the works are functions such as a personalized pressure curve. Not sure we can expect such dramatic moves every month, but that’s OK. In a way I like to know what to expect from an app–but this is ready to deliver a lot even if we don’t know exactly what’s in store. (Let’s just hope they don’t keep redoing parts of the UI, a habit that gets to me with Adobe stuff.)
If you’d rather just draw on the iPad Pro alone, Astropad isn’t necessary. But if you want to see your work on a bigger screen, it does get closer to a Cintiq or other graphics tablet. Some might find it doesn’t completely replace a Cintiq, because a Cintiq has that toothytexture, and lets you customize more programs. But the release of Astropad Studio certainly brings a high level of professionalism to the Astropad workflow.
For Windows users, there’s still Duet Display.
Is it worth the extra cost to invest in Astropad Studio over Astropad Standard? The yearly fee right now is about $65, or you can pay monthly and pay a bit more. You get a monthly update with the subscription. I dislike the idea of subscription-based software, but it’s the world we live in. The monthly update assures you’ll be getting the latest features as soon as they come out.
Is Astropad Studio worth the upgrade?
I found Astropad Studio works as advertised. If you’re a frequent use of Astropad with Photoshop, Illustrator, or Clip Studio Paint, I think Studio is worth the extra investment. If you’re using other programs, you might be okay with Standard, which also allows you to use the iPad Pro. I suggest you download the free trial of Studio, or both, and decide.
end of Astropad Studio review
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Last updated Wednesday, August 3, 2016
For those anxiously awaiting, today’s the day the new Astropad 2.0 is being released. Some improvements:
The Liquid engine, developedby Astropad, is now 3x faster and the company has managed to lower the pixelation by a while lot. The polling rate is much faster to correct issues with latency and improve images. It’s also now using way less memory so you can work longer and not run down your power so quickly. The pressure curve has been improved. Gestures are now available on more programs., including ArtRage, Clip Studio Paint, Mischief, Affinity Designer and Photo, Lightroom, and Sketcbook. You can now auto-hide the cursor. And, the UI has been given an overhaul.
Astropad turns your iPad or iPad Pro into a Cintiq-like input device and allows you to use any programs that are on your Mac. It’s available at the iTunes store. For OSX only.
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Last updated Thursday, July 7, 2016
iPad Pro 2 in the pipeline
Time flies when you’re having fun!
As if I didn’t feel old enough already, the iPad Pro 2 is already in the rumor mill. Those in the know say it may be announced or even launched in Fall 2016–remember, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro just came out in March 2016. It’s more likely that said iPad Pro 2 will come out in the spring of 2017.
(This concept video was NOT made by Apple, but by someone just guessing that the new device will have stuff like up to 1TB memory and different colors of Apple Pencil. Nice thought. But we really don’t know.)
True Tone display
Likely, the iPad Pro 2 (if it follows Apple’s naming traditions, that’s what it would be called) will have the True Tone display that’s already in the 9.7″ version. True Tone is an adaptive display that adjusts white balance, making it easier to read text in different lighting as well as easier to see the screenin sunlight.
The iPad Pro 9.7″ has a wide color gamut with extreme color accuracy. The 12.9″ iPad Pro display is nearly as good, but not quite, and doesn’t now have, nor support, True Tone. (I still favor the larger size for drawing in spite of this, but am hoping the iPad Pro 2 will let us have our True Toneand eat it too).
Drawing on iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, Sketchbook Pro app
The iPad Pro does not have 3D touch, though iPhone 6S and 6S Plus already have it. So there’s a good chance Apple will add it to the iPad Pro 2, just to give us something to look forward to.
3D touch is a sensor in the touch screen that will cause different things to happen depending how hard you press on the screen. This works differently in different apps–for instance, you might tap lightly to see a photo but harder to open the photo app.
It would be nice if instead of 32GB, 128G was the base model, or at least 64GB. 32GB is not enough for most consumers; maybe it’s aimed at workplaces where employees don’t add a lot of apps or files.
If you’re interested, here’s a writeup on Ars Technica on the beta version of iOS 10.
Somehow I doubt Apple will add an SD card slot, but a girl can dream.
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Last updated Monday, May 9, 2016
A smaller, 9.7-inch iPad Pro
A smaller, 9.7″ iPad Pro with Apple Pencil is has been announced. Apple gave the word in a March, 21 2016 presser, along with its new iPhone 5se and some new Apple Watch bands. This smaller sibling sportsnearly the same specs, such as the fast A9X processor and as much storage as the original 12.9″ iPad Pro, and supports the Apple Pencil (yay!) It also getsa Smart Keyboard accessory. The smaller iPad Prois lessexpensive than the larger one, and easier to carry. This looks to be replacing the iPad Air line and we’re grateful it’s getting the whole Pro treatment.
Now all it needs is the Apple Pencil.
What Apple tablets are good for drawing? ›
The iPad Pro 12.9-inch (M1, 2021) is simply the best iPad for drawing you can buy right now. Equipped with Apple's superfast M1 processor, it offers enough processing speed to match even the best MacBooks (opens in new tab).Is 128GB enough for iPad Pro for artists? ›
If you want to create art professionally, and by that I mean create lots of art to earn money, you'll need at least 128GB storage. This will allow you to create files with higher resolution and more layers (subject to RAM limits).Is 64 GB enough for artists iPad? ›
Is 64GB enough for iPad 2021? If you're a very casual user, then 64GB is sufficient for downloading various apps, playing games occasionally, saving a few movies, and storing your photos and videos.Do professional artists use iPads? ›
Believe it or not, but the iPad is not just for watching movies, taking notes, or snapping some pictures. Today iPad is a professional and very powerful tool used by many artists, illustrators, and designers. iPad paired with Apple Pencil can unleash your creativity and help you design your next masterpiece.What tablets do most artists use? ›
- Wacom Cintiq 16 (Editor's Choice with Screen) Pros. ...
- Wacom Intuos Pro (Medium) (Editor's Choice without Screen) Pros. ...
- XP-Pen Artist 15.6 pen display. Pros. ...
- Apple iPad Pro. ...
- Wacom Cintiq 22. ...
- Wacom One (2020) ...
- Wacom Intuos Pro (Small) ...
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S4.
Drawing tablets offer creative professionals a digital substitute for paper and pencil. And that's pretty much all it is—a drawing device. However, the iPad is a general-purpose tablet that can do much more than draw. So, when you buy an iPad, you get more than a drawing tablet.How much storage do I need on my iPad as an artist? ›
32gb iPads will have enough storage for the typical Procreate artist who does not store a lot of additional files on their device. Those who plan to store a large amount of photos and videos on their iPads in addition to a large gallery of Procreate art may want to consider the higher capacity options.Is 256gb enough for digital art? ›
As you mentioned you are a budding Artist , it will be very difficult for you to draw with your hand . Ofcourse the iPad 256gb will more powerful versatile quicker for your needs. As you will also require many apps for editing photoshopping purposes. Definitely you can use ipad 256gb .What is a good amount of gigabytes for an iPad for artists? ›
If you don't have a ton of apps or games on your iPad, 64GB will work just fine. If you have a fair number of apps and games, consider 128GB or 256GB. If you plan to do any graphics-heavy design work, get a 512GB or even more capacious model.Is 128GB enough for iPad digital art? ›
128G.... yer all good. But don't let all that storage lull you into a false sense of security. You still need to back up your artwork off the iPad on a regular basis just in case.
Is 64GB enough for digital drawing? ›
64 GB is NOT going to cut it, digital drawing will eat in your storage super quick. If you have no other device like a laptop or the possibility to transfer everything to an external hard drive, go for 512 GB and even with a laptop on the side, I would not go below 256 GB.Is 64GB enough for a drawing tablet? ›
Thankfully can be uninstalled to free up more storage. I go it down to 12.8GB after uninstalling unwanted apps and installing all the apps I use and importing some files over, I used around 25GB, which means I'm only left with 39GB of storage left. 64GB for drawing should be sufficient.Which Apple product is best for artists? ›
- Best Overall: 2021 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Pros: Cons:
- Best Alternative: iPad Pro 12.9-inch 2020. Pros: Cons:
- Best Screen Ratio: iPad Pro 11-inch 2020. Pros: ...
- Best Value: iPad Air 4. Pros: ...
- Best Budget: iPad 8th-Generation 2020. Pros: ...
- Best Portable: iPad Mini 2019.
If you're going to go the touchscreen tablet route for drawing apps, you need to go iPad. In my experience, Apple's iPads have better pressure sensitivity than most Windows or Android tablets, though I should mention that it's not anything near the pressure sensitivity levels offered by drawing tablets.Is it worth getting an iPad for drawing? ›
Is it Worth Getting an iPad for Drawing? Yes, iPads are great for drawing. Procreate and the Apple Pencil alone make the iPad a superstar in the digital art world. As an artist, you'll have a lot of options and features to play with when you get an iPad.What tablet is best for drawing art? ›
- Wacom Intuos Pro Digital Medium. When it comes to creative pen tablets, the Wacom Intuos Pro is the standard for professional digital artists as well as aspiring pros. ...
- XP-PEN Star03 V2. ...
- Gaomon PD1560. ...
- Huion Inspiroy Q11K V2. ...
- Veikk S640.
The most popular mainstream tablets available—including the Apple iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra—can serve as powerful and feature-packed drawing tablets in their own right, and can be used on their own with drawing apps.Is buying a drawing tablet worth it? ›
Drawing tablets open up new horizons in your artistic path and it will be worth to try them if you wish to work on digital art. It might seem weird and different at first, but it's all a matter of practice and getting used to it.Are art tablets worth it? ›
As drawing tools, graphics tablets make it possible for you to do practically anything, even stuff that you might have found difficult to do on paper. If you're looking to do lots of hand drawing and want to take your art work to the next level, then it's hard to go wrong with graphics tablets.Is a bigger tablet better for drawing? ›
Generally speaking, larger tablets work well with large screens. They are also better suited to work that requires longer strokes, such as drawing and illustration, or work that can be done entirely on a drawing tablet, such as video editing.
Do I need 256GB iPad for drawing? ›
It depends a lot on your workflow, how much you draw, how big canvases, how often do you duplicate your work etc. Both of those options give you plenty of storage, but the 512 GB version will offer more freedom if you don't use cloud services or external storages.Is 128GB enough for drawing? ›
Storage wise, 128 gb iPad would be good enough for drawing, easily. And in case you need to, with the usb-c available on both of the iPads that you are considering, you can back them up to free up space, but I don't think that you would need to anyways unless you draw a lot, really a lot.Is 32GB iPad enough for music production? ›
For disk space, I would say that 32GB is the bare minimum. Simply put, if you are using exclusively your iPad for music making and that you mostly use virtual synths and no audio recording then yes 32 GB is OK.How many GB does a digital artist need? ›
An ideal amount of RAM would be 8-16GB, and 32GB would be fantastic if you can afford it. Photoshop is the largest RAM hog on my Mac, and artists noticed that 16GB was more than enough to run easily and without any slowdowns or distracting hangs.Is 16GB RAM enough for digital art? ›
If anyone is buying a gadget for digital creation, they must keep the configuration in mind. I would not recommend any device with less than 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage for mid-range digital creation. However, 32 GB RAM with 1 TB storage for a more professional touch on any mobile device would suffice.How much RAM should a digital artist have? ›
How Much RAM do I need for digital art? At a minimum of 8GB of RAM, digital art programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator will run smoothly without lagging. More is better, though; I use 16GB of RAM on my MacBook Pro.Is 32 GB enough for drawing? ›
If you just intend to draw with procreate without textures, many games, high res photographs etc. 32 gb should be enough.Is 8gb RAM enough for artists? ›
Memory-wise, although you can draw using only 4 GB memory, we recommend going with 8 GB or more if you want to get the most out of your new device. Many recommend Mac computers for drawing, but you can absolutely draw without any problems on a Windows computer or on a laptop.Is 256GB enough? ›
The reality is that 256GB of internal storage is probably going to be plenty enough for most people who don't already have (or anticipate having) a ton of locally stored photos, video, video games, or music that can't either be easily offloaded into the cloud, or to a backup drive.Is 256GB too much for an iPad? ›
A 256GB storage capacity is always a solid choice. You can download all your favorite apps and the latest games without worrying about storage. You can easily save your holiday photos and videos on an iPad with 256GB. Download a season of your favorite series for on the plane, for example.
Is iPad enough for graphic design? ›
iPad Pro (M1, 2021)
Whether you want the more portable 11-inch model, or need a bigger 12.-9-inch display, the iPad Pro (2021) is still the best iPad for most graphic designers, especially those who don't need the latest tech and/or want to save a little bit of cash.
The short answer: yes, it is possible to survive with a 64GB iPhone SE if you're a casual user – the kind of user this phone is made for. 64 gigs are enough to comfortably hold an arsenal of popular apps, a small collection of mainstream games, and thousands of pictures.Which iPad is best for drawing beginners? ›
iPad Mini (2021)
If you're a starting artist that wants to start with an iPad to enhance your skills, then the iPad Mini 2021 is a great choice for you. The best drawing iPad for beginners. It is the best drawing iPad for students, beginners, as well as hobbyists in the field of doing creative work.
Now as we mentioned before, the iPad Air with its 60 Hz screen is good enough and still provides the best drawing tablet in that price range. But the iPad Pro with its ProMotion display feels smoother to draw and write on.
The average price for a pretty decent tablet, without a screen, is about 74.4$. While the average price for a high quality, screened drawing tablet is around 850$. But the average price depends on a few factors. There are a few things to look out for when choosing your tablet, let's go over them!How long will a 64GB last? ›
32GB and 64GB will last for minimum of 6 years an maximum of 8 years. The 128GB and 256GB and 512GB will last in the maximum of 10 years.How many hours can 64GB hold? ›
A 64GB storage device can hold more than 1 hour and 37 minutes of video at a resolution of 2.7k at 120fps. On a 64GB memory card, recording at a resolution of 1080p at 60fps allows for around 5 hours of video time.What iPad do artists use? ›
Best iPad for Artists and Drawing – iPad Pro 12.9 Inch
With its stunning XDR Liquid Retina display, supported by the powerful M1 processor, and an impeccable overall design, this is the best art tablet on the market today.
Apple pays more per spin than Spotify, and so does Tidal
That's because Spotify is known to pay artists "somewhere between $. 003 and $. 005," according to Business Insider (opens in new tab).
What makes them so special? Artists, graphic designers, and musicians use Mac computers because Apple has designed a variety of high-quality creative applications made to run in the Apple ecosystem. In addition, Macs' operating system and user interface are easier and more intuitive for creatively minded people.
Is iPad or Wacom better for drawing? ›
Well, the answer depends on what you do in your everyday life. If you're traveling a lot, working on trains, and doing a lot of sketching — an iPad might work great for you. If you still want to be mobile but favor a Wacom, then their MobileStudio could be the solution for you.Is drawing on iPad easier than on paper? ›
There are a ton of good artists out there who use only digital and went to traditional mediums much later than most. All that being said, it's often easier to pick up pencil and paper to learn and practice the fundamentals, but these days, with iPad, it's just as easy.Can you use an Apple tablet as a drawing tablet? ›
iPads make for great digital art devices by themselves – an iPad Pro can be the best drawing tablet you can buy without ever needing to get near a computer. However, you might want to hook it up to your PC for workflow reasons, or to get a Windows drawing app working on your iPad – and that's where this guide comes in.Can you draw on an Apple tablet? ›
Use the Notes app to draw a sketch or jot a handwritten note with Apple Pencil (on supported models) or your finger. You can choose from a variety of Markup tools and colors and draw straight lines with the ruler.Is normal iPad OK for drawing? ›
An iPad is a great tool for any artist that works digitally, especially when combined with the best drawing apps for iPad and Apple Pencil.Is there a tablet just for drawing? ›
Drawing tablets come in a range of prices and sizes, and can come with or without their own screens. Most work as a stylus input to your computer, but some can serve as the computer itself.Is it better to get a drawing tablet with or without a screen? ›
Should you get a drawing tablet with a screen or without? You should get a drawing tablet with a screen if your budget allows you to spend more on a drawing tablet and you have some desk space. If you have a lower budget or want a more portable solution, I recommend you choose a drawing tablet without a screen!Is an apple pen better than a stylus? ›
The Apple Pencil has superior features vs other stylus. These features include pen pressure sensitivity levels, tilt recognition technology, long lasting rechargeable Li-ion battery, Palm rejection that consistently works, and a design that allows gesture shortcuts and a simulated feeling of a real pen on paper.What GB iPad should I get for drawing? ›
32gb iPads will have enough storage for the typical Procreate artist who does not store a lot of additional files on their device. Those who plan to store a large amount of photos and videos on their iPads in addition to a large gallery of Procreate art may want to consider the higher capacity options.