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The best iPad models for drawing

We use our iPads for everything these days, so why not for drawing, too? The best iPads for drawing let you create digital masterpieces with ease.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Allison Murray
iPad Pro 5th generation | Best iPad for drawing overall
iPad Pro M1
iPad Pro 5th generation
Best iPad for drawing overall
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iPad 9th generation | Best iPad for drawing for beginners
iPad 9th Generation
iPad 9th generation
Best iPad for drawing for beginners
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iPad Air 4th generation | Best budget iPad for drawing
iPad Air 4
iPad Air 4th generation
Best budget iPad for drawing
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iPad Air 5th generation | Best value iPad for drawing
iPad Air 5
iPad Air 5th generation
Best value iPad for drawing
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iPad Mini 6th generation | Best iPad for drawing for travel
iPad Mini
iPad Mini 6th generation
Best iPad for drawing for travel
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These days, we rely upon our technology more and more to simplify and improve our lives in more ways than we can count. It is all too easy when there are smart devices out there to help. Of all the smart devices, the iPad is one of the most versatile and compact, offering endless opportunity all in one small, portable device. 

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If you are an artist, there is much to be gained from using an iPad for drawing. Whether you are a novice or an expert, the right iPad can make your drawing easier, faster, and that much better, all from using the right device. 

Before you create your next masterpiece, these are the best drawing iPads to take your art to the next level.  


Pros & Cons
  • Impressive power
  • Excellent storage
  • M1 processor
  • No real display improvements
More Details

Tech specs: Screen sizes: 11", 12.9" | Storage: 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB | Memory: 8 GB, 16 GB | Dimensions: 11.04" x 8.46" x 0.25" 

The iPad Pro M1 wins our vote for best overall iPad for drawing. It is excellent for basic sketching and drawing, but if you are using it for business, it is up to the task for that, too. Designed to serve as an alternative to a laptop, visibility and clarity are improved on this model, thanks to an oversized 12.9-inch screen. The QHD screen resolution delivers a top-of-the-line display with lifelike imaging that transforms your drawings like never before. 

Read the review: Apple iPad Pro (2021) review: Impressively powerful, but the hardware is only part of the story

Pros & Cons
  • Reliable performance
  • Clear display
  • Excellent value
  • Lacks USB-C port
More Details

Tech specs: Screen size: 10.2" | Memory: 256 GB, 64 GB | Dimensions: 9.8" x 6.8" x 0.29"

The 9th Generation iPad features a smaller screen at 10.2 inches but incorporates Apple's signature Retina display with True Tone. It also includes an A13 Bionic Chip with Neutral Engine for faster, better performance with all of your new and treasured art. Wider cameras help you capture better images that you can later use for inspiration, and storage is generous at up to 256 gigabytes. 

Read the review: Apple iPad (2021) review: If it's not broke, don't fix it

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable model
  • Excellent color
  • Fantastic value
  • No M1 processor
  • Lacks recent technology
More Details

Tech specs: Screen size: 10.9"  | Memory: 64 GB | Dimensions: 10.2" x 7.44" x 1.97"

The iPad Air 4 employs much of the technology of the 9th generation iPad, incorporating an A14 Bionic Chip with Neutral Engine. With a 10.9-inch screen, it is comfortable to work on and easy to take with you on the go, giving you greater flexibility in use. It also uses the Liquid Retina Display with True Tone and P3 Wide Color for better drawings every time.

Read the review: iPad Air (2020) review: A tablet designed for work and play

Pros & Cons
  • M1 chip
  • 5G support
  • Improved camera
  • Limited storage
More Details

Tech specs: Screen sizes: 10.9" | Memory: 64 GB, 256 GB | Dimensions: 9.74" x 7.02" x 0.24"

The iPad Air 5 improves upon its predecessor, offering a display resolution of 2360 x 1640 with True Tone color technology and an anti-reflective coating. There is still a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, but here you will see the Apple M1 chip for faster, improved processing. Front and rear cameras are enlarged to give you better scope, and the integrated landscape speakers are perfect to help keep the inspiration going. 

Read the review: iPad Air 4 vs. iPad Air 5: Should you upgrade?

Pros & Cons
  • Petite size
  • Liquid Retina display
  • A15 Bionic chip
  • May be too small for some users
  • Not ideal for use with Magic Keyboard
More Details

Tech specs: Screen size: 8.3"  | Memory: 64 GB, 256 GB | Dimensions: 7.69" x 5.3" x 0.25"

The iPad Mini is small with just an 8.3-inch screen, but it still manages to offer a display resolution of 2266 x 1488 pixels with a Liquid Retina True Tone display. The A15 Bionic chip with Neural Engine ensures faster processing, plus you can now enjoy greater security and peace of mind with Touch ID technology. You still get wide cameras with landscape stereo speakers, plus there is easy connectivity if you decide to use an Apple Pencil for that next masterpiece.

Read the review: Apple iPad Mini (6th Gen.) review: Unmatched portability and power

What is the best iPad for drawing?

The best iPad for drawing is the 5th generation iPad Pro, thanks to an ultra-fast M1 chip. It is more expensive than the other models, but it offers the largest screen for your drawings and the latest technology.  

This chart can help you compare the best iPads for drawing. 



Screen size

iPad Pro 5th generation


11", 12.9"

iPad 9th generation



iPad Air 4th generation



iPad Air 5th generation



iPad Mini 6th generation



Which is the right iPad for drawing for you?

Our expert suggestions can help you find the best iPad for drawing based on your artistic talents. 

Choose this iPad...

If you...

iPad Pro 5th generation

Want reliable, fantastic performance for all of your drawing

iPad 9th generation

Want an iPad for drawing that is easy to use

iPad Air 4th generation

Are concerned about the bottom line

iPad Air 5th generation

Prioritize value for your dollar 

iPad Mini 6th generation

Spend a lot of time on the road

How did we choose these iPads for drawing?

There are several factors we considered when choosing the best iPads for drawing.

  • Type: Apple manufactures different models for iPads, whether it is the full-sized iPad Pro, lightweight iPad Air, or the iPad Mini for drawings on the go. 

  • Screen: Most iPads for drawing include True Tone technology to improve the type and quality of graphics that you receive. 

  • Size: Size is also a concern, with some artists performing a larger screen while others prioritize a small size for portability. 

  • Price: The cost of an iPad for drawing can vary significantly, so it is important to give consideration to the price tag. The best iPads for drawing vary in price from $400 to $900 each.

Do you need the Apple Pencil to draw on an iPad?

Yes and no: you'll definitely need some sort of stylus pen to properly draw on an iPad. A stylus pen is much more precise than your fingers, so any type of precision work is better.

The Apple Pencil works great, but there are plenty of other great iPad stylus pens that can cost less but will let you draw and sketch with ease. 

How much does an iPad for drawing cost?

The best iPads for drawing range in cost from $400 to $900, depending on the model you choose. However, you can save money if you opt for older or refurbished models that tend to be more affordable.  

Are there alternative iPads for drawing worth considering?

There are only four core iPad models to choose from, but you can always check out different iPad generations based on your price point and needs. 

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