Does Apple Make Drawing Tablets?

Yes. Although Apple does not manufacture traditional screen-less drawing tablets, all devices from its iPad series are considered drawing tablets as long as they are coupled with Apple’s trademark stylus, the Apple Pencil.

Some people still hold the idea that drawing tablets are only those traditional drawing boards sold by companies such as Wacom, XP-PEN, and Huion. The first image that comes to mind is that of a plastic drawing board with a digital pen, like the Wacom Intuos, pictured below.

Wacom Intuos best beginner Wacom drawing tablet

However, drawing tablets have greatly improved over the years giving rise to several different types of devices such as:

  1. Screen-less drawing tablets
  2. Drawing tablets with a screen
  3. Standalone drawing tablets

All of Apple’s drawing tablets fall within the third category, standalone drawing tablets.

The iPad, iPad Pro, iPad mini and iPad Air are mostly known as multi-functional tablets that are not necessarily drawing devices. While this was true in the early days of the iPad, the release of the Apple Pencil has dramatically changed this dynamic.

Nowadays, a tablet such as the iPad Pro is more powerful than most of the regular drawing tablets that artists are used to.

Why Are iPads Considered Drawing Tablets?

iPad Pro background

Because they are compatible with the Apple Pencil, a stylus that detects different pressure levels, which is the main characteristic that separates a drawing tablet from other entertainment tablets such as certain Android devices that are used for browsing the web, watching movies and listening to music.

The fact that the iPad is capable of different activities does not mean it is less capable of performing tasks related to artwork creation. In fact, there is a noticeable growth of the drawing app market on the Apple Store and one of the most popular art apps in the world only works on Apple devices, it’s called Procreate.

Are iPads Good Drawing Tablets?

Yes. Apple realized that it could put all that processing power from its new chips into developing tablets that go way beyond what other similar devices are capable of.

Not only are iPads fantastic drawing tools, they outperform all the others when it comes to responsiveness and accuracy.

There is one thing you should keep in mind, though. The iPad Pro, which is compatible with the Apple Pencil (Second Generation) is substantially better than the regular iPad as a drawing tablet.

Any experienced artist will tell you that drawing tablets usually display a slight lag each time a new stroke is drawn. Getting used to this takes time, patience, and most importantly, a lot of practice. However, since the iPad Pro’s processor is so fast, this slight delay that is so common in other brands is virtually reduced to zero.

How Does the Apple Pencil Compare to Digital Pens from Other Companies?

Apple Pencil features

The main characteristic that sets the Apple Pencil apart from other styluses is its high responsiveness and low latency.

While styluses from XP-PEN and Huion are great, they still have a small, but noticeable lag. Although this is something that every artist is used to, it’s still an annoyance.

Most artists like me grew up drawing on tablets that were only as good as the technology back in the day allowed them to be, therefore almost all the artwork you’ve seen in your life was made with not-that-great drawing tablets.

What I’m trying to say is, any tablet will allow you to create beautiful artwork, but if you can pick one that is more responsive, that’s an advantage worth having.

Just like all other styluses, the Apple Pencil has a good range of pressure levels, meaning the harder you press it against the screen the darker the stroke becomes, and it also has a tilt function, which means it behaves similarly to a regular pencil when it’s tilted.

What is the Difference Between the regular Apple Pencil and the Apple Pencil (Second Generation)?

Apple Pencil cap
Apple Pencil cap

The first generation of the Apple Pencil needs to be connected to the tablet’s lightning port in order to be charged, on top of that, the stylus has a small plastic cap to cover its charger. Even though the first generation of the Apple Pencil works very well, its charger design choice is horrendous.

Apple Pencil charger
Apple Pencil charger

The Apple Pencil (Second Generation) was much better designed and can be charged simply by letting it touch the side of the iPad Pro, therefore there is no need to insert it into any ports. This may seem like a detail for those who don’t own an iPad, but it makes a huge difference when it comes to usability.

Conclusion

Apple’s trademark iPads are improving so rapidly that they are well on the way to become the most popular drawing devices in the market.

Even artists like who were skeptical about the iPad Pro’s capabilities are changing their minds and routinely creating artwork on an iPad.

In case you already own an iPad, chances are you don’t really need another tablet. The only strong enough reason for adopting a more traditional drawing tablet would be their larger drawing area.

Do you have any questions? Please, leave a comment below!

Bruno Santos.

Bruno Santos

Hi! My name is Bruno. I'm a web developer/designer based in Toronto, Canada. I've been working with drawing tablets for over 20 years and I'm among the Top 10 Most Viewed Writers on Quora in the Graphics Tablets category. Do you have any questions? Just leave a comment =)

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