Which iPad should I get?
September 15, 2020 8:32 AM   Subscribe

I will use my AirPad mostly for drawing with Procreate, but I am at a loss with so many options. Help!

So, I am going to get an iPad for drawing. My drawings are on the simple side, and I'll ever need to use more than 18 layers on Procreate. The features on the 2nd gen Apple Pencil sound cool but not essential I guess?

I could narrow my options down to this:

• Refurbished iPad Pro 12.9-inch 256 GB (2nd Gen) - $949.00 + Pencil 1st gen $130 (total 1,078)
• iPad Pro 11-inch 128 GB - $1,049.00 (2nd Gen) + Pencil 2nd gen $170 (total 1,219)
• Air Pad Air 10.5-inch 250 GB - $850 (3rd Gen) + Pencil 1st gen $130 (total $980)

(prices in Canadian dollars, excludes taxes)

I am only interested in how the iPad performs with Procreate, all the other functions are irrelevant for this purchase decision.

I never bought a refurbished Apple product - is that an OK thing to do?

Feel free to suggest other iPad models if you feel strongly about it! :)

posted by plant or animal to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I can't tell you which iPad to get, but I can tell you that refurbished Apple products have a very good reputation and are backed by a full warranty. It's basically as safe as buying a new product.
posted by mekily at 8:44 AM on September 15, 2020 [6 favorites]

There is an Apple event today at 10PDT that is rumored to be introducing new iPads and Apple Watches, so at least hold on to the likelihood of a lot of sales making the prices change quite a bit today.

We've also bought a lot of Apple refurbished items direct from Apple and never had an issue with them.
posted by advicepig at 8:50 AM on September 15, 2020 [5 favorites]

Bite the bullet at get the big Pro. You’ll be glad you did. If you get a keyboard it actually can replace your home computer. This is what I use for architectural design sketches and my wife uses for graphic design. I thought the smaller iPad might be a better form factor but the screen real estate is extremely useful for drawing. Matte screen protectors are also a good investment.
posted by q*ben at 8:59 AM on September 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, second gen pencil is much better - that’s what you’d need for option #1, right?
posted by q*ben at 9:01 AM on September 15, 2020

Response by poster: q*ben - no, for older Pros only the 1st gen pencil works. A new Pro is out of my budget :(
posted by plant or animal at 9:04 AM on September 15, 2020

If new iPads are announced in 30 minutes, all the prices are going to change.
posted by sideshow at 9:31 AM on September 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

My MiL recently gifted me her old iPad Pro (10.5"?) and I added the original Pencil and Procreate. And love it.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 9:51 AM on September 15, 2020

I used the ipad pro (2nd gen, 10.5") , 1st gen pencil is still really good and sensitive and miles better than any other tablet pencil/stylus I've seen out there. Refurbished is as good as new.

Personally I would only get the big one (12.9") if you plan on always working at a surface/at home with it and really need the screen real estate for big drawings. I've handled a colleagues' bigger ipad at the office, and it was a little too heavy to draw/take notes if you weren't at a table. (I sometimes draw/write on the couch, and it felt just a little too big for me to use comfortably, it's also just big enough that I would be wary of commuting with it, while the smaller one somehow feels less vulnerable)

1st gen pencil is still really good and sensitive and miles better than any other tablet pencil/stylus I've seen out there, although I've heard really good things about 2nd gen pencils as well, it hasn't been convincing enough for me to upgrade both ipad and pencil.

And on preview, I guess I'm just repeating everyone else.
posted by larthegreat at 10:38 AM on September 15, 2020

Apple refurbs are the bomb -- I would never get anything else!
posted by jgirl at 11:46 AM on September 15, 2020

Best answer: If you can hold out for one of the new Airs (iPads Air?) that were just announced to be shipping in early October, that's what I would get - seems very similar to the 2nd-gen 11-inch Pro in performance (maybe better?), and also supports 2nd gen pencil (which is worth it just for the magnetic charging/attachment alone IMO, it's super convenient). Here's a comparison between the new Air and the 2 Pro models you're considering.
posted by btfreek at 12:40 PM on September 15, 2020

Ditto-ing btfreek above about the new Air announced today. I don't know the Canadian dollar conversion, but it might be within your budget, and it would get you the 2nd generation Pencil. Just this morning I was annoyed that I seem to have lost yet another of the tiny little adapter thingys required to charge the 1st gen Pencil I have. I would highly recommend going with an iPad model that lets you get the wireless charging Pencil instead!
posted by dnash at 1:35 PM on September 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

The 2nd gen pencil makes a HUGE difference in my Procreate experience. Try to do anything you can to do that.Apple refurbs are great. The new Air might be a good possibility?
posted by mkuhnell at 7:12 AM on September 17, 2020

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