iPadders in action: Is it worth upgrading to the 4th generation for a digital artist?
The ones of you who use the iPad for most of your work (the artistic one), you're for sure following the market of Apple devices. A new fourth-generation iPad Pro was released at the end of March. So I'm sure you've wondered if it’s worth it to replace the old one with the new version, and in this article we'll look at it primarily from the perspective of a digital artist.
What, it's actually new:
- Camera system (12-megapixel wide-angle and 10-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens), LiDAR sensor for virtual reality
- RAM unified on all types to 6 GB
- Support for WiFi 6 (probably unnecessary for many of us for now)
- Minimal improvements on the Bionic 12Z chip
- Trackpad and mouse support (with iPadOS 13.4 update for version 2018)
A little about RAM
Yes, RAM sometimes gives artists a little headache. As you can see at the bottom of the picture, with older models, you had to pay a lot for a better RAM.
RAM and Procreate
Until recently illustrators from around the world were waiting for a new Procreate update. It was nice that Apple provided us with higher RAM on all fourth-generation models but the problem arises if and how much Apple will allow RAM deduction for use of the developer. It wasn't sure until May 12 when the update for Procreate 5.0.5 came and we could see more layers (unfortunately only for iPad 2020). Below in the picture you can see about a 30% improvement compared to A3 and A4 at 300 DPI.
What some of us struggled with on older models in Procreate
- At high resolution laggs of brushes
- Software crash during export
- In some cases, the inability to export or complete the painting
Upgrade from version 2018 to 2020?
I honestly say NO. Unless you are a fan in love with Apple and you must always have the best and latest model.
- Design almost identical
- 2018 powerful enough
- Also supports Apple Pencil Gen 2
- Artistic performance between 2018 and 2020 imperceptible
Upgrade from older versions to 2020
Older models will suffice for some of you. However, the 64 GB version of 2017 is the model where I would consider exchanging.
- Better design
- Apple pencil Gen 2 support (it is a killer compared to 1)
- Faster, more stable
From personal experience working with 2017 Pro and 2020 Pro makes a big difference. Everything is smoother, faster, the music sounds amazing and painting is full of joy.
So upgrade or not?
There is gossip on the Internet that a new iPad with a Micro LED display and an A14 X Bionic chip should be released in Q4. If you own the 2018 version, I would definitely not bother buying 2020 and wait for what the fourth quarter will bring.
If you own an older 2017 model like I had and you just have enough, because the large illustrations just freeze the app and the brushes lag, then go for it, if your finance situation allows it.
I sincerely expect that the new iPad will not be until March 2021, but these are only assumptions based on experience with Apple products.