My thoughts on the iPad Pro - One Month After

I've been wanting an iPad Pro since they've announced it back in 2015. I love drawing on paper but sometimes it's not the most practical way to work. The iPad seemed like the perfect tool to introduce in my workflow. I also own a Wacom Intuos M tablet, which I still use, but it never felt natural to draw and to look at the computer screen while doing it. 

After doing a lot of research and watching a bunch of videos, I finally decided to order one. I got the 12.9'' version which is the bigger one. My idea is to use the iPad mostly for drawing so the big screen is really important. The 64gb storage option is way to limited when you're thinking long term so I upgraded it to 256gb. Color is just a matter of personal preference but I like the black borders on the screen so the Space Gray model was my choice. I also ordered the Apple Pencil which is the best stylus you can get for the iPad Pro. For protection I got this cover that protects the front and back of the iPad, also works as a stand, looks great and is super cheap! I was also really lucky because Apple was offering a pair of Beats X headphones with every purchase.


It's now been one month since I have it and I couldn't be more happy with this investment. It feels so natural to work with it and the learning curve is minimal. The screen is huge and beautiful! I was afraid it would be hard to adapt because I'm so used to work with traditional tools but I haven't used a single sheet of paper in this past month, which is crazy for me! I usually run through stacks of paper really quick. I'm used to work on my 27'' iMac so it feels really liberating to carry your work with you wherever you go (also, working from the bed is now my favourite thing).

I'm using an app called Procreate to draw on the iPad. You can get it on the App Store for 10,99€ and it's worth every penny if you're a designer/illustrator or someone who just likes to draw. It is the best tool to sketch. You can easily move things around, zoom in, tilt, etc. It is so practical and it allows you to work in a way you couldn't just work with paper. You can also use Adobe Sketch which is free but I haven't had the time to explore it as much.

During this month I've had the opportunity to use it on 3 different professional projects and it now it's hard to work without it. Does it replace a computer? No. The iPad is a great tool but it has it's limits, specially if you're used to work with Adobe apps. I find it most useful to sketch and to create the base of my design but I always end up exporting the artwork to my Mac. It's super easy to import/export files between Procreate and Photoshop.

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Even though I love it, the iPad also has some flaws. First off is the Apple Pencil. The way it is designed is very non-Apple. To charge it you have to remove a cap that is just asking to be lost or forgotten somewhere. Apple could have easily implemented a twisting mechanism to hide the lightning port or at least design a better cap that's always attached with the pencil. There are products that solve this problem but you have to buy them separately. The way you charge it is also ridiculous. You have to plug it to the bottom of the device and carefully try not to break it. There's an adaptor to connect it to the normal charger but it doesn't charge as fast. 

I also don't like some things in Procreate: it slows down sometimes and it has some bugs. I hate that every time you transform an image (rotate, rescale etc) it resamples the pixels and it loses the crispness. I know the team is currently working on minimising this effect but it gets very annoying if you need all the elements to be sharp.

Final thoughts: the iPad Pro is a really powerful tool for every illustrator out there. It offers the best stylus/screen interaction I've ever experienced. It feels amazing and super natural to draw with it. While it doesn't replace a computer, it is the perfect companion for it. This is just my personal opinion but I hope it helps you decide if the iPad is the right fit for you.

I'm excited to see what I'll be making with it in the future!