What iPads Work with Procreate: Finding the Perfect Match for Your Artistic Journey

Procreate has transformed mobile art by providing a powerful and intuitive digital sketching and painting app for iPads. However, not all iPads deliver the same experience when running this professional software.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore how to select the optimal iPad model for your Procreate needs based on performance, features, and budget.

Understanding Procreate Compatibility for Different iPad Models

The first step is verifying that a given iPad model can run Procreate. The current Procreate version requires at minimum an iPad capable of running iOS 15.4.1 or later. Here are the iPad models confirmed compatible:

  1. iPad Pro 12.9” and 11” (all generations)
  2. iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  3. iPad (6th generation and later)
  4. iPad Mini (5th generation and later)

Older models like the iPad Air 2 lack Apple Pencil support and cannot use Procreate. Always check Procreate's system requirements before purchasing an iPad.

Key Factors to Consider For Choosing an iPad for Procreate

Once you've shortlisted compatible iPads, several factors determine which model best suits your artistic needs:

Key Factors to Consider For Choosing an iPad for Procreate
Key Factors to Consider For Choosing an iPad for Procreate

Display Size and Quality

A large, high-resolution display provides more drawing space and enables better detail. The 12.9” iPad Pro models offer the biggest canvas, while the iPad Mini has the smallest at just 8.3”.

Performance and RAM

Procreate is resource-intensive. Powerful processors and ample RAM result in smooth brush strokes and complex layered art. Newer iPads have more horsepower.

Apple Pencil Support

All iPads on the compatibility list work with Apple Pencil, but some only support the 1st generation lacking newer features. The 2nd generation Pencil is best for Procreate.

Storage Capacity

Your art library can quickly eat up storage space. A higher-capacity iPad lets you keep more artwork files and layers. 256GB is a good minimum.

Balancing Size, Power, and Price

With the above factors in mind, let’s compare popular iPad models for Procreate to identify strengths and ideal users.

iPad Pro – The Ultimate Procreate Experience

If you want the absolute best Procreate performance, the iPad Pro 12.9″ models are the professional choice. Their large XDR mini-LED displays provide expansive and vivid digital canvases.

The advanced M2 chip processes even the most complex brushes and artwork with incredible fluidity. And copious RAM enables working with numerous layers.

The 2nd generation Apple Pencil is exceptionally well implemented. But these cutting-edge specifications come at a steep price. The iPad Pro models are overkill unless you're a serious digital artist.

Ideal User: Professional digital artists and illustrators needing performance and flexibility.

iPad Air – Striking the Balance

The latest iPad Air hits a sweet spot between price and Procreate power. It houses Apple's fast M1 processor for seamless drawing and graphics work.

The 10.9” Liquid Retina display, while smaller than the 12.9” Pro, offers ample space for creativity. Support for the 2nd generation Pencil provides advanced pressure and tilt functionality.

At nearly half the cost of the 12.9” Pro, the Air delivers a lot of bang for the buck. It's suited for amateur, hobbyist, and part-time digital artists unwilling to splurge on the maximum specs.

Casual Procreate users will be very satisfied with its combination of portability, display size, Apple Pencil features, and slick performance.

Ideal Users: Hobbyists, design professionals, and amateur digital artists.

iPad Mini – Ultra-Portable Digital Canvas

The diminutive iPad Mini packs impressive capabilities into a highly compact form factor. The 8.3″ screen is certainly smaller than the Air and Pro models, so fine details and intricate artwork may be challenging.

But the Liquid Retina display still renders vibrant visuals. The A15 Bionic CPU breezes through Procreate tools and filters. Apple Pencil 2 integration allows for advanced pressure sensitivity.

Thanks to its slim size and low weight, the Mini is ideal for Procreate on the go. It can fit in purses, small bags, and even large pockets for mobile sketching and painting. Just be aware of the smaller canvas size trade-off.

Ideal User: Mobile digital artists who value portability over large drawing areas.

iPad 10.9″ and iPad 10.2” – Budget Procreate Devices

Apple's most affordable iPad options still allow dabbling in Procreate. The regular iPad sports either a 10.2” or 10.9” LCD screen, providing adequate real estate for digital creation.

iPad 10.9" and iPad 10.2” - Budget Procreate Devices
iPad 10.9″ and iPad 10.2” – Budget Procreate Devices

Their older A13 Bionic and A14 Bionic processors respectively deliver decent Procreate performance for casual users. However professional creatives may find them underpowered when working on complex art with numerous layers.

These iPads only support the original 1st generation Apple Pencil lacking newer pressure and tilt features. If you want a basic Procreate setup on a tight budget, the standard iPad line does the job. Just temper your expectations around power and responsiveness when creating elaborate pieces.

Ideal User: Beginners exploring digital art and those on strict budgets.

Maximizing Procreate on Your Chosen iPad Model

To optimize your Procreate iPad for the best user experience:

  1. Update to the latest iPadOS for maximum stability and features.
  2. Adjust Procreate settings like canvas size and layers to match the iPad's capabilities.
  3. Employ Procreate tools like Select and Transform for efficiency.
  4. Use Apple Pencil gesture controls for fluidity.
  5. Set drawing assists like streamlining to refine lines.
  6. Import brushes tailored to your iPad's display size.

Finding the Right Procreate iPad for You

Hopefully, this guide has clarified how to select an iPad that best caters to your artistic goals and budget when using Procreate.

The key is realistically evaluating your needs in terms of drawing space, processing power, Apple Pencil integration, portability, and price. There are capable options at every tier.

The optimal combination for serious artists is an iPad Pro model paired with an Apple Pencil 2 and loaded with storage. However excellent digital art is achievable even on entry-level iPads.

Most importantly, find a Procreate iPad that inspires you to create and doesn't hold you back technically. Let the boundaries fall away as you advance your artistic journey with this incredible mobile app and tablet platform.