Huion vs iPad Pro

Apple Pencil

Many people get confused when deciding which drawing tablet to buy, and one of the most common questions I hear is:

Which one is the best, a Huion drawing tablet or an iPad Pro?

If you’re going through this dilemma, I highly recommend that you read this post until the end because Huion drawing tablets are completely different from the iPad Pro and both were made to perform completely different tasks.

What’s the difference between a Huion drawing tablet and an iPad Pro?

The most important distinction between Huion drawing tablets as a whole and an iPad Pro is that the devices sold by Huion are made specifically for drawing.

They can be used with traditional software like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter and so on to create professional artwork.

Of course, that they can also be used for drawing practice and even just for fun, but the bottom line is: if you need to create any kind of professional artwork, Huion drawing tablets will allow you to do that.

The iPad Pro has a completely different purpose, it’s an entertainment device that can be used for numerous reasons: watching movies, listening songs, playing games and also drawing.

What I need you to understand is that drawing is not the primary focus of the iPad Pro or any other iPad for that matter. It simply can’t be compared to an actual drawing tablet because it doesn’t operate at the same level.

Let me make this even clearer:

Huion Drawing Tablets

All of Huion drawing tablets need to be connected to a computer in order to be used. They are input devices like a keyboard or a mouse.

You can’t use a keyboard or a mouse without a computer, right?

The same goes for drawing tablets, they are simply a way to “translate” the artists hand movements to the computer.

Due to the fact that the drawing tablet needs to be connected to a computer, it can access all the advantages that said computer has, like all the software, the storage, the memory, the speed and so on.

iPad Pro

(click here to read reviews on Amazon)

ipad pro drawing pad

Drawing tablets are connected to a computer, but the iPad doesn’t need to be connected to anything because it’s already a computer on its own, it’s a standalone tablet.

The nature of the iPad is different from that of a drawing tablet. They are completely different kinds of devices that execute similar (but still different) tasks.

Well, since the iPad doesn’t need to be connected to anything, isn’t that an advantage?

Yes and no.

The good thing about the iPad is that it’s a standalone device, you don’t need to connect it to anything. It’s easy to carry around and even easier to install and uninstall apps.

The disadvantage is that since it’s a small computer, it doesn’t have much storage, processing power or even speed in comparison with most desktop computers (which drawing tablets are connected to).

What are the iPad Pro limitations?

Due to the fact that this tablet is based on apps and not on full-blown software, you will not be able to install the full versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter or any other image-based programs for that matter.

In order to get around the processing and storage limitations of the iPad, companies such as Adobe (the developer of Photoshop and Illustrator) have invested in the development of apps that carry similar names to their original programs.

Nowadays it’s possible to download Illustrator Draw and Photoshop Sketch and use them on the iPad or in any other entertainment tablet such as the ones released by Samsung.

That being said, these apps simply do not offer the same tools that artists can use on the original desktop versions. While you can still create amazing artwork with these apps, you will inevitably come across limitations while working.

If you just want to draw for fun and are not at all worried about creating professional illustrations or designs, the iPad Pro is a great option, because it gives you a pretty cool drawing tool and also a device that will allow you to have fun when you’re not drawing.

Why so many artists create time-lapse art videos on the iPad?

The iPad and iPad Pro became extremely popular drawing devices due to the tsunami of videos that took over Instagram over the past few years.

There are literally thousands of artists recording their drawing sessions and sharing them all across the internet, and it’s totally understandable that once you see your favorite artists creating something that looks amazing in an iPad you would also consider buying one.

Don’t get me wrong, you can still create beautiful illustrations and other kinds of designs on an iPad, but this is not the actual purpose of the device and if you want to take your skills to a professional level, it won’t take long before you realize that an iPad isn’t enough for that.

Which one should you choose, a Huion or an iPad Pro?

The answer is quite simple. If you already have a regular desktop computer or a laptop, get a regular drawing tablet first.

These days, great drawing tablets are insanely cheap, and you get to put your hands on a device that will allow you to create professional-looking artwork.

Here’s a list of three amazing drawing tablets that cost less then you can imagine (I own one of each):

Inspiroy Dial

(click here to read reviews on Amazon)

Inspiroy Dial drawing tablet.

XP-PEN Deco Pro

(click here to read reviews on Amazon)

XP-PEN Drawing Tablet Dial Turned On

Inspiroy Ink

(click here to read reviews on Amazon)

That said, if you already have a regular drawing tablet and would like to get an iPad to draw for fun or to use some of the amazing apps that have been popping up lately, go ahead and get an iPad Pro.

Even though I don’t use an iPad for professional work, I think it’s incredibly fun to play with it in my spare time.

I simply love how companies managed to create highly intuitive interfaces in order to fit dozens of brushes and tools into a small iPad screen.

Here’s a list of my favorite iPad apps:

Advantages of Huion drawing tablets

First, it’s important that you know that there are two main different kinds of Huion drawing tablets: Pen Tablets and Display Tablets.

Although the hardware from these two categories of drawing tablets are significantly different from each other, both kinds of devices perform precisely the same tasks.

Pen Tablets

Are simpler and much more affordable drawing tablets. The main difference between this type of device and display tablets is that pen tablets do not have their own screen.

That’s right!

They’re a screen-less drawing board that also captures the artist’s input and sends it to the computer screen.

This type of drawing tablet is extremely popular (especially due to the affordable price) and for a long time was the only kind of drawing tablet that existed.

I won’t go into too much detail in this article, but every digital artist owns at least one pen tablet. In my case, I have more of them than I can count (and no, I’m not exaggerating).

My latest acquisitions were the ones I’ve previously mentioned: Inspiroy Ink, XP-PEN Deco Pro and Inspiroy Dial.

Display tablets

These are much more elaborated and complex devices because they have a screen that you can draw directly on.

The fact that display tablets have a screen does not mean that you don’t have to connect them to a computer.

You still need to connect them to a computer!

Most people believe that display tablets are standalone devices, but this is not the case.

Once you connect a display tablet to a computer, you will be able to see the canvas that you’re working on both on the tablet’s screen and the computer’s monitor at the same time.

Currently, my favorite display tablets are: XP-PEN Artist 15.6 Pro and the Huion KAMVAS GT-221 .

Advantages of the iPad Pro

The fact that this is a standalone device means that you can take it wherever you want without worrying about bring a computer or a laptop with you.

The iPad Pro is highly portable and although it’s not as powerful as a desktop computer, it still showcases an incredible performance.

Another thing worth mentioning is that professional artists that use drawing tablets always have to worry about paid software licenses. Working with Photoshop and Illustrator has a cost and even though Adobe has come up with a subscription model which is much more affordable, these programs still aren’t free.

Apps for the iPad on the other hand are mostly free. You can use Illustrator Draw and Photoshop Sketch without spending a single dime. While it’s true that these apps are not the same as the original software, they still allow artists to create virtually any imaginable thing.

Conclusion

If you still don’t own a regular drawing tablet, go ahead and get one, even if it’s just a pen tablet. It will help you to develop your hand-eye coordination and it will definitely help you become a better digital artist.

In case you already have a drawing tablet and would like a device to play with while you’re away from your computer, then getting an iPad Pro is a great idea.

Either way, as long as you’re practicing and exercising your creativity as frequently as possible, it doesn’t matter if you pick a Huion drawing tablet or an iPad Pro, you will still be moving forward in your quest to become an amazing artist.

Have any questions? Leave me a message.

Keep on creating,

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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