Should I get an iPad instead of a Wacom tablet?



  • Hi! How are you people of SVS?

    After I decided to go digital earlier this year, I bought myself one of the cheap tablets from Wacom. Not one of those display tablets but those tablets who are just one upgrade ahead of your laptop's touchpad. It worked fine for me though. I made a lot of illustrations with it. However, I only use it for coloring. I still draw on paper and then scan my illustrations. The process eats a lot of time especially if I'm working on a tight deadline.

    After saving money for months, I now have enough money to buy a 13hd Wacom tablet or a decent size Huion tablet. However, given the fact that I am a student who works part-time, constantly rushing from home to school to workplace, I need a graphics tablet that's also portable so that I can work whenever I have some free time. That's why I'm considering getting an iPad. I know I would have to cash in a bit more money but if I'll be able to work on my illustrations wherever I am, I guess it will be worth it. It not only saves me time, but it also spares me from having to haul a tablet and a bulky laptop altogether. Plus it's less attention catching. I hate the attention I get when I work in a public area with my laptop and Wacom tablet. It makes me feel like some show-boating jerk

    What do you people think? Should I get a Wacom tablet or an iPad instead? What are the pros and cons of each device? Do you have other suggestions?

    I would love to hear all of your comments! Thank you.



  • From the point of view of hardware, the iPad is just as good as a Cintiq - maybe even better in some ways. The big question you have to ask yourself is what software you want to work with. ProCreate (one of the best, but definitely not the only painting app for iPad) is not Photoshop and probably never will be.This can have a little or a lot of impact depending on your process. I love ProCreate to paint with, but I have a much faster process in Photoshop. Other factors that make Photoshop unavoidable for me, it’s the way it handles color modes, the ability to crop and re-crop images on the fly, the fact that you can layout in Photoshop (for example working with spreads with text placed on) and the way it interacts with the Adobe world (Illustrator, InDesign and Adobe libraries). That said, there is always the Astropad app - I plan to try it out this coming holidays. With that you can link your iPad to a Mac computer and use it as a tablet - which would probably be the best of both worlds....



  • @smceccarelli Thanks! I'll definitely check on that. If you haven't mentioned that I wouldn't have known that the software would have such a bigger impact. My process is fairly simple though. I just draw on paper, scan it, use the Multiply layer to color it in photoshop, tinker a bit with the dodge tool and burn tool, and then maybe adjust the colors. Also, just a quick note. I use a pc.



  • Your process would definitely work fine in ProCreate. Astropad only works with Macs, so that would not be an option for you, unfortunately.

    Here is a video I did a while ago discussing the differences between ProCreate and Photoshop from the painting perspective.



  • @nyrryl-cadiz I have not used my Cintiq 13hd touch since I got the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil - I think it would be cool to get a very large Cintiq someday though - but for the size I feel like the iPad is better for me than the 13hd



  • Hi! So I've got both a Cintiq 13HD, which I've had for a good long while, and an iPad pro that I got a bit earlier this year. I've found that they are both great and have been well worth the investment but definitely have their pros and cons.

    For me the iPad is awesome in that it's much lighter weight than the Cintiq and literally everything is there- I can just throw (not literally) that in my bag with the apple pencil and that's it. I use pro create and have just started using Clip Studio which I'm used to using on my laptop.

    I travel quite a bit and don't find the Cintiq so great at being portable as it's heavier and I have to bring my laptop, all the cables, chargers etc.

    But I definitely prefer drawing on the Cintiq (this might just be because I've had it longer and am used to it). Not that the iPad is bad at all, it's just personally I much prefer the Wacom pen and find the surface a bit nicer to draw on. But I do find the iPad is a lot more diverse than the Cintiq.

    I don't know if my ramblings help at all, but hopefully they do a bit!



  • I can’t give a fair comparison since I only have the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil but I love using the iPad because of its portability. I sometimes sketch and scan to it but more and more I am doing everything from the very beginning on the iPad and only sketching on paper if I get really stuck (because I can stand up at my drawing board and get freer gestures.). I don’t do much photoshop type manipulation using just the multiply, and overlay features so software would be a consideration. On the other hand, I can and do take my iPad Pro everywhere and can draw/paint in coffee shops, waiting for friends, watching TV, when I’m supposed to be working ... :)



  • @smceccarelli Hi, Simona. Just a quick question, what are you currently using? An iPad or a cintiq? When you first started, what did you use back then?



  • @demotlj yes, I would like it very much to be able to work whenever and wherever. That's the biggest iPad pro for me.



  • @jallott if I had the money, i would definitely go with a cintiq. However, with my limited funds and time, i figured i needed something that's more affodable and portable. I'm still considering a cintiq though. As versatile an ipad can be, I still believe a cintiq performs better. Thanks for the input!



  • @nyrryl-cadiz When I started working digitally I had a Wacom Intuos 4 - a „blind“ tablet ;-) I loved it, for the records, I never felt limited (and the Cintiq was not even around, so there was nothing to look up to!). Believe it or not, I was not sure I wanted to swap it for a Cintiq when they came out because I loved my Intuos so much.

    I bought a Cintiq 24 around 2013 or 2014. It was obviously.a step-up from the Intuos, but not as dramatic a change as you may think.

    I needed a portable solution at some point, and rather than getting the Surface and have to cope with Windows, or the Cintiq companion with all its limitations I decided for an iPadPro.

    So now I work on the Cintiq when I am in my studio and on the iPad when I am out and about or when I do not want to sit at a desk. I would say is probably 90% Cintiq and 10% iPad. Again, it’s not a matter of hardware in this choice but of software - I just don’t think you can compare Photoshop with ProCreate . Also, I work with a lot of reference sometimes (like the project I am now, which is a mix between fiction and non-fiction and requires accurate machine details), so I need lot of screen space.
    I am not familiar with the mobile version of ClipStudio - maybe that is much closer to the desktop version (which is very good).

    At the agency, I still have an Intuos 5 - happy with it and do not feel the need for anything else there, where my work is more mixed (illustration, vector and photo-editing mostly).



  • I've never used the Cintiq 13 but have used a Huion type screen, which I ended up returning and purchased an ipad pro. The biggest reason was I use my computer for many things and hooking up the screen and unhooking it and making room on the desktop was too much of a hassle. The other drawback with the Huion type screen was the amount of space available for drawing. Even with a 22+ inch screen a LOT of it was taken up with pallets.

    I returned the screen and purchased an ipad pro 12.9 and have not second guessed my decision. The screen size, power and portability make it worth it.

    There is a learning curve and it is not like drawing on paper.

    If money s tighter you can do a couple things - either purchase a refurb from apple (full warranty) or purchase with their 18 month 0% interest offer.



  • I use the Surface Pro - it combines the best features of a tablet and laptop I think. You get access to Photoshop on a portable device. The detachable keyboard makes it versatile (use keyboard shortcuts or remove it for the full tablet experience) and doubles as a screen protector. Minimal showboating. The draw-feel is really nice on it too.



  • @smceccarelli thanks for this. I’ve got intuos3 and used it well over 10 years. But I think the drivers aren’t doing so well now as I’m getting glitches, so looking to upgrade. I’ve got iPad Pro (windows so Astro won’t work....), Procreate is awesome for some work, but I like being able to cut up my work, resize, recompose even though I start from thumbnails, as the image develops.

    Couple of quetions:

    1. my monitor is colour calibrated. As cintiq is a second monitor can I colour calibrate that one separately and have two separate profiles running at once?
    2. I’ve got another desk in my postage stamp sized office, and it’s just big enough for the 22” cintiq. Do you think a long lead will Work ok? (Probably need to be about 6’)


  • @andyg I calibrate both monitors separately. However, the Cintiq looks stubbornly different to my second monitor - other people here have the same issue and is described in forums as well. It does not bother me so much (well, it sometimes does..) - I got used of having a second window with the image on the second monitor as well, just to double check on color saturation.
    I cannot say anything about the lead - I have never tried to move the Cintiq more than 1-2`away from the computer and the second monitor needs to be very close (in my case, it sits on a stand and is just above the Cintiq).



  • @smceccarelli thanks :D just read you thread on Behance. Interesting!



  • @jimsz thank you! You know, I have also considered the huion gt 221 pro because of its price. However, I'm kinda doubting if it performs great or if it will last long. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Anyone out there who also got something to share about the huion tablets? I would appreciate it a lot.



  • @carriecopa thanks for the tip. How much would it cost though? I'm on a tight budget.



  • @nyrryl-cadiz there’s the new Cintiq Pro coming out over the next few months...24”. I’m holding out for one as color accuracy maybe tighter



  • @andyg wow! That sounds great. I'll try to keep a look out. Thanks!


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