iPad Pro as a drawing tool.

BlargKing

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 17, 2014
469
821
NewBrunswick, Canada
First, I have to get one thing out of the way because it bothers me, and thats Apple's line "More powerful than most PC laptops". I'm not going to argue about the purported power of the A10X chip, but why emphasize PC laptops? Last I checked, Apple uses the same chips in their MacBooks that go into PC laptops. Its faster than most of your laptops too then Apple.

Anyway, gripe over. Im not much of an Apple fan.

So to the main thing here, I do a lot of drawing digitally, and right now I'm using a Surface Pro 3 I got second hand, and while its pretty good as a tablet/laptop device, even though it has a stylus it falls short of what I want as a drawing device. I've looked at the newer Surface devices, but they're a bit pricier than I would like, and to be honest, Windows still falls short as a mobile touch OS compared to iOS/Android.

So I'm just wondering what peoples experiences are with using the iPad Pro as a drawing device. I've read reviews, but I feel like they fall short since they're usually done after a short period of use. I want to know how it holds up day to day long term kinda stuff. Kind of a niche application I suppose, but hopefully some people here have some good insights.

Thanks!
 

neutrino23

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2003
1,742
232
SF Bay area
What sort of drawing? Artistic? Engineering? Architectural?

You can go to an Apple Store and try one out.

I like mine a lot. I mostly do sketches of ideas, not artistic drawings. I also take notes. My one complaint is that the Pencil on glass feeling is too slippery. I've ordered a protective cover that is supposed to provide more friction. Haven't received it yet.
 

bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,465
1,293
The Village
The iPad Pro is an amazing drawing device. I've done a LOT more digital drawing with the iPad Pro than I ever did with previous iPads or even Windows tablets. I have both the 9.7 (mobile) and the 12.9 (for drawing at home).

My concern is this:
Im not much of an Apple fan.
I'm not saying you have to be a super Apple fan to enjoy the iPad, but in my experience people who have an anti-Apple bias will find ways that they won't be satisfied with the iPad (it doesn't run full photoshop, I can't move files around, it's not "Pro", etc.), especially coming from a Surface.

If you're looking for an excellent mobile digital sketchbook, the iPad 9.7 or 10.5 is amazing! As I said, I use it all the time for drawing - I love that there are different types of apps for different styles of drawing - some are playful and others are more serious.
 

kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
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Any place but here or there....
@BlargKing (hilarious user name btw), I tried the 1st gen 12.9 and 9.7 iPPs and could not get used to drawing on glass and the latency; but I've been wanting to draw so badly, I gave the gen 2 12.9" a chance and love drawing on it. I am amateur who has only been actively drawing daily for almost two months now. Now outside of the iPad Mini 4, I was not big on iPads until this gen 2 iPP 12.9" because I use it mainly as a drawing tool.

I use Procreate to sketch and between the many pencils, pens and paint brushes you can use, it's great. Not to mention undo and an eraser built right in. :p I much prefer drawing digitally to traditional because I have so many tools built into Procreate and the Pencil just responds amazingly well.

I know some professional artists post in the Share Your Drawings with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil thread too, so it might be a good idea to ask this question there.

Perhaps the best thing to do is test run a model. I think you may find it does what you want for digital art (now I have never used a Surface Pro so I cannot comment on their stylus or what the experience is drawing on their screens.) I have been very surprised and delighted by the iPP and Procreate. It makes me want to draw daily.

I wish you good luck and cannot wait to see your art if you do go this route.
 
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BlargKing

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 17, 2014
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NewBrunswick, Canada
What sort of drawing? Artistic? Engineering? Architectural?

You can go to an Apple Store and try one out.

I like mine a lot. I mostly do sketches of ideas, not artistic drawings. I also take notes. My one complaint is that the Pencil on glass feeling is too slippery. I've ordered a protective cover that is supposed to provide more friction. Haven't received it yet.
Artistic stuff.
The iPad Pro is an amazing drawing device. I've done a LOT more digital drawing with the iPad Pro than I ever did with previous iPads or even Windows tablets. I have both the 9.7 (mobile) and the 12.9 (for drawing at home).

My concern is this:


I'm not saying you have to be a super Apple fan to enjoy the iPad, but in my experience people who have an anti-Apple bias will find ways that they won't be satisfied with the iPad (it doesn't run full photoshop, I can't move files around, it's not "Pro", etc.), especially coming from a Surface.

If you're looking for an excellent mobile digital sketchbook, the iPad 9.7 or 10.5 is amazing! As I said, I use it all the time for drawing - I love that there are different types of apps for different styles of drawing - some are playful and others are more serious.
I'm not really anti-apple just on the basis of them being apple. I just think their current computer lineup is lackluster.

The things you list are actually reasons Im not a particular fan of the Surface. Using full photoshop on a touch device is clunky, at least for me as I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts. Also running a full Windows OS and photoshop on a Core i5 packed into a tablet means it gets uncomfortably warm to draw on.

The lack of filesystem is less than ideal, but I've owned and used iOS devices before, so I'll make do.

I think I'll wait for the new iPad Pro to come out in the fall. The 12" model would be a good size, and I like the look of what the 120hz screen can do.

I would love to test one out, but theres no Apple store near me, all Ive got is a BestBuy.
 

bensisko

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
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The Village
I think I'll wait for the new iPad Pro to come out in the fall. The 12" model would be a good size, and I like the look of what the 120hz screen can do.

I would love to test one out, but theres no Apple store near me, all Ive got is a BestBuy.
They just released new iPads so unless you're waiting for a possible mini Pro, then the new ones are out. Best Buy should have the Pros out for display.

I'll be honest, I LOVE iOS for NOT being a full OS with Desktop applications. The Surface is great, but sometimes it can be "too much".

If you can deal with it, I'd say go for it! It's a great machine and it's amazing for drawing. The new OS is coming out in the fall and you'll be able to upgrade.
 

DaniJoy

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2015
394
331
California
imagine drawing on slick glass with a gap between you and your paper. thats what its like drawing on the ipad pro.

its pretty good for a low end device. not as good as new wacom stuff but still really good for its price point.
 

Precursor

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2015
926
871
Istanbul
imagine drawing on slick glass with a gap between you and your paper. thats what its like drawing on the ipad pro.

its pretty good for a low end device. not as good as new wacom stuff but still really good for its price point.
Gap? What gap? I don't see any gap between what I draw and the tip of the pencil.
 

macbanjo

macrumors member
First, I have to get one thing out of the way because it bothers me, and thats Apple's line "More powerful than most PC laptops". I'm not going to argue about the purported power of the A10X chip, but why emphasize PC laptops? Last I checked, Apple uses the same chips in their MacBooks that go into PC laptops. Its faster than most of your laptops too then Apple.

Anyway, gripe over. Im not much of an Apple fan.

So to the main thing here, I do a lot of drawing digitally, and right now I'm using a Surface Pro 3 I got second hand, and while its pretty good as a tablet/laptop device, even though it has a stylus it falls short of what I want as a drawing device. I've looked at the newer Surface devices, but they're a bit pricier than I would like, and to be honest, Windows still falls short as a mobile touch OS compared to iOS/Android.

So I'm just wondering what peoples experiences are with using the iPad Pro as a drawing device. I've read reviews, but I feel like they fall short since they're usually done after a short period of use. I want to know how it holds up day to day long term kinda stuff. Kind of a niche application I suppose, but hopefully some people here have some good insights.

Thanks!
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,217
Jacksonville, Florida
I am no artist but I could not imagine getting creative on the iPad with the pencil. I have used it a few times to touch up images in Photoshop and I still prefer a computer with a mouse.
 

macbanjo

macrumors member
I use the 9.7 and draw, paint almost daily, I've never been bother by drawing on glass,(same with typing on screen)
I did try using a Mat screen protector for a while but really didn't feel a big difference, User perf deal to me get a Mat protecter and try and see what feels right to you.
I got a 3 pack so may go back and forth to test which works for me.
I use procreate(painting), Linea(sketching) over all the thing a like about the iPad is solid(build) and stable(IOS)
I don't fret over the marketing buss words, I think its just telling people this is not just a toy it can do real work.
I still prefer a Mac for a lot of work and feel they both have their place, but when Affinity can out with their photos app for the iPad I've been doing more of my photo editing on the iPad
 

BlargKing

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 17, 2014
469
821
NewBrunswick, Canada
imagine drawing on slick glass with a gap between you and your paper. thats what its like drawing on the ipad pro.

its pretty good for a low end device. not as good as new wacom stuff but still really good for its price point.
How is a 1200$ tablet "low end"?
Honestly all the wacom stuff I've ever use feels like it's built half as good as what it costs.
[doublepost=1502716824][/doublepost]
I am no artist but I could not imagine getting creative on the iPad with the pencil. I have used it a few times to touch up images in Photoshop and I still prefer a computer with a mouse.
Drawing on glass has never bothered me with the Surface personally.
 
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Greenmeenie

macrumors 65816
Jan 14, 2013
1,379
1,901
I am no artist but I could not imagine getting creative on the iPad with the pencil. I have used it a few times to touch up images in Photoshop and I still prefer a computer with a mouse.
Thats cool that you can't, but tons of artists can imagine and DO create using the Apple pencil. Have you seen some of the artwork created with the Apple pencil? Amazing stuff.
 
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sboychuck

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2014
165
37
Thousand Oaks, CA
The new IPP 12.9" seems to be a good candidate for drawing. Yes, I agree that pencil on paper is more tactile, but there is really minimal noticeable latency now. It does take some getting used to, but once you get past that, it just works. Very easy to save your work and start where you left off. My 10-year daughter loves it. She can free-hand or she can open up a page and fill-in areas. This is an all-around great device for our family and I can image it will be great for her school work and note taking. Again, it takes some getting used to, but it works for our family. We also have the Apple Eco-System at our house, so sharing on other devices and saving into I-Cloud all just works. We have not had a PC in the house for 10-years, and nothing but Apple Tablets, iPhones, MAC's and AppleTV's. It was a bit rough in the beginning, but again, it all just works for us.
 

JayMysterio

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2010
1,106
19,207
Rock Ridge, California
First, I have to get one thing out of the way because it bothers me, and thats Apple's line "More powerful than most PC laptops". I'm not going to argue about the purported power of the A10X chip, but why emphasize PC laptops? Last I checked, Apple uses the same chips in their MacBooks that go into PC laptops. Its faster than most of your laptops too then Apple.

Anyway, gripe over. Im not much of an Apple fan.

So to the main thing here, I do a lot of drawing digitally, and right now I'm using a Surface Pro 3 I got second hand, and while its pretty good as a tablet/laptop device, even though it has a stylus it falls short of what I want as a drawing device. I've looked at the newer Surface devices, but they're a bit pricier than I would like, and to be honest, Windows still falls short as a mobile touch OS compared to iOS/Android.

So I'm just wondering what peoples experiences are with using the iPad Pro as a drawing device. I've read reviews, but I feel like they fall short since they're usually done after a short period of use. I want to know how it holds up day to day long term kinda stuff. Kind of a niche application I suppose, but hopefully some people here have some good insights.

Thanks!
I also have a Surface Pro 3, and I tried drawing on it and it didn't work for me. One of the Surface's greatest appeals is that you can run actual software, which for me was Clip Art/Manga Studio. But if the drawing experience doesn't work for one, the software is pointless. Where I have an issue is the that gap ( I forget the technical term ) from stylus, thru glass to surface. It drives me nuts like on Wacom's and I have never been able to get over it.

With the iPad Pro I didn't have to get over it. Usually you will not see a cursor or cross hair, where you put the pencil is where your line begins. It's the closest I've come to traditional drawing in digital format.

I don't think I'd ever become a fan of drawing on glass.
The iPad Pro does make this bearable. Unlike other digital drawing surfaces you won't need to put a sock or glove on your hand to work, as the palm rejection is very very good.

Artistic stuff.

The things you list are actually reasons Im not a particular fan of the Surface. Using full photoshop on a touch device is clunky, at least for me as I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts. Also running a full Windows OS and photoshop on a Core i5 packed into a tablet means it gets uncomfortably warm to draw on.

The lack of filesystem is less than ideal, but I've owned and used iOS devices before, so I'll make do.

I would love to test one out, but theres no Apple store near me, all Ive got is a BestBuy.
Keyboards are never an issue. I've a few friends who kind of dig having a separate BT keyboard off to the side, that they can position anywhere. For me the issue with the Surface was the fans, those things ramp up and drive me nuts with the noise.

The filesystem is being addressed with the new IOS on iPads, which I am really looking forward to.

If trying at BB is your only option see if you can find one with a still connected Apple pencil and open up the demo version of Procreate. You won't scratch the surface of what it can do, but it really is worthy of all it's hype. Also with the new IOS comes a new free update that has real pros salivating at what it promises to do.

I'd say if you can, go the refurb route like I did. Worse comes to worse, you'll always have a great media consumption device that you play around artistically with every now & then.
 

DaniJoy

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2015
394
331
California
Gap? What gap? I don't see any gap between what I draw and the tip of the pencil.
The glass has thickness . You can't see that? I notice it at different head angles. All digital drawing tools have screen gap.

How is a 1200$ tablet "low end"?
Honestly all the wacom stuff I've ever use feels like it's built half as good as what it costs.
[doublepost=1502716824][/doublepost]

Drawing on glass has never bothered me with the Surface personally.
Well I consider it entry level for cintiq like devices. Don't get me wrong, I like the Apple Pencil. It's my second favorite digital drawing tool. Wacom Pro pen 2 is amazing though. It's the new stuff with 8000 pressure levels, its super accurate and the textured glass looks and feels amazing. I also like the ergonomics of the Pro pen more. But the Pencil is nice too with a pen cover for fingers. Plus rotation is only supported on Wacom .

I get more gesture and touch glitches with procreate and the Apple Pencil than Wacom emr based palm rejection , but a drawing gove has solved that issue for me. I just don take glove with me everywhere . It's still an issue for my drawing style two years later.

All the Wacom comments here are referring to old hardware. The Wacom EMR Pro pen 2 and Wacom Samsung s pen have no paralax just like the Apple Pencil. They have better pressure curves and less initial activation force. They also have floating cursors so they are slightly more accurate.

My biggest gripe with the Pencil is that it's always out of battery. It's super annoying to have to charge a stylus. I just want it to work.

That said don't hesitate to purchase either brand. I just have the luxury to own all brands so I can't directly compare them all. They all work great and offer good drawing experiences. It mostly maters what style u work in and what your hardware and software needs are.

Like I said, stick figures are about the best I can do. Glad Apple give you artists this tool.
Stick figures are the bases for all realist drawing. Very important fist step that I start all drawings with.
 

stzweb

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2017
11
33
The Apple store and Microsoft store are just face to face in a mall nearby. I tried the surface pro and the ipad pro in a raw. The Choice was easy to make. The apple pencil was so much more responsive with no lag and really worked incredibly well to inclinaison. That was it.

I also really enjoy with ipad iOS the fact that you only care about drawing.
It is another spirit than using linux or windows (on my desktop) with more maintenance. It can be frustrating not to get the same amount of control on one's device, but on the other hand, you get more focused on your tasks.

There are many great app to discover with neat rendering and inspiring choices of tools and brushes.
 

TinaBelcher

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2017
670
312
It is a great drawing device, but I'll like to add it's also great for selecting, highlighting and edit text (writing and typed)
 

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