• Post comments:3 Comments

How, and why I bought the iPad Pro? What I regret?

Spoiler: if you have a feeling that, the title is a clickbait – you have right!

I have a dream

Do you know such persons who can spend money on expensive kitchen robot because they just have felt the call of culinary talent? That is not me.

I don’t like spending money. I am economical and reasonable in this matter (to the edge of reason…). I will take a magnifying glass and start to look at a planned expense from every site.

I dreamed about a mobile device for drawing and painting from ages! I saw it for the first time in the movie “A world without thieves” in 2004. It was horribly expensive. I kept checking mobile devices market since then, and I observed that prices were getting more affordable. But very high still.

I asked myself the question: do I truly need it? Is it necessary for me? And the answer was: no.
I work as an illustrator using digital media (PC+ Wacom tablet) and traditional ones (watercolors, color pencils, gouache, soft pastels). I could work as a digital nomad. There is nothing that keeps me in a place. Nothing, besides the comfort of working from my own home. I don’t hear a call of adventure very often. And definitely, I don’t like working on my trips and travels. Relax and rest are worth more attention.

Summarizing, I was sure that, the mobile device for painting would be probably a too expensive toy in my case.
For this reason, I kept my desire locked in my drawer, and I sighted the moon on rainy nights…

Cheating myself

My rationality was unbreakable. But! If you can’t win, you can cheat a bit. Right? I know my mom would not agree with me, so I will never tell her that sometimes I cheat while we are playing cards.

I thought, if I would do something extraordinary, I should get a prize. My reason could not argue with that. It wasn’t suspect that the chance for it is near.

The extraordinary thing wasn’t the heroic salvation of people from fire, just another commission. But it was huge, difficult time-killer. I was only working and sleeping trough full three months.
That was a challenge. I didn’t have any objections after finishing.
The only thing which was left was the choice of a mobile graphics tablet.

I watched tons of reviews and comparisons. Finally, I decided to choose between the iPad Pro 2107 and the Microsoft Surface Pro. Neck and neck.

iPad Pro vs Microsoft Surface

What my expectations were:

  • set me free form my computer and desktop (it is so hard to work inside dark workroom when summer is going crazy outside!)
  • the possibility of drawing in any place and anytime (on a couch, in my garden, on a hammock and on the beach)
  •  more traditional-like feelings during drawings ( a lack of lagging, parallax effect, no need of watching another screen while drawing)

iPad Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro

Charging the Apple Pencil looks worryingly…And I still live in a fear, that I will lose pencil tip.!


After the first round, I had to admit the Microsoft Surface Pro sounds like a better choice. But accordingly, to my old habits, I postponed the decision. I had to test it myself.

Final clash

I was astonished how cool the Microsoft Surface Pro is – nicely designed, lighter than I expected and the pen worked great.
But this price… I wouldn’t think about it for a minute if I was a digital nomad, who needs to have all necessary programs in one device. I checked prices of living on Bali, to be sure if an adventure call does not call me. But no.
I suspect that creating animations on such a small screen and rendering large video files could be a problem. When you create illustrations for printing, you need to have a calibrated screen anyway.

And then comes an iPad To be clear – I am not a Mac fan. I had an opportunity to work on a Mac for a while – and it was good, but I can’t say it was better than PC. So I treat the rumor that professional graphic designers work only on Macs like another fairytale with an apple in the background (just like Snowhite, huh? ;))
I was very careful with all that oohs and aahs about iPad. Until I took the Apple Pencil and I launched Procreate (app for drawing).
Surface Pen worked fine but Apple Pencil… It was just what I was looking for!

Cheating myself, again!

I spent almost an hour playing with the iPad but finally left the store with a heavy heart.
I went for a coffee. Ordered cappuccino and sit down in a big chair. And cruel certainty found me there.

If I don’t buy it now, I will find thousands of reason to not buying at all!

My cappuccino stayed lonely at the table while I was running back (seriously running…) to the iStore. The coffee was still warm when I came back with the iPad Pro 2017 12.9″. Happy as I would win something on a lottery when actually I spent a lot of money.
That is what I call buying with emotions!

After a month of using it, I have to admit sorely – I regret!!!

I regret so badly I didn’t buy it earlier!

The reason is sometimes a shitty advisor!

Why the iPad Pro?

The way how the Apple Pencil works settled the issue. It is a great match with Procreate (but not only with this app). Procreate isn’t so advanced as Photoshop, but has everything necessary to create an illustration from start almost to an end. Color and final corrections I make in Photoshop still. And Procreate is really cheap considering its functions and amazing brushes. It is definitely worth a separate post. I will tell you about other, also free alternatives soon.

And the cost of my variant of the Microsoft Surface Pro was much higher, and still it wouldn’t assure me smooth work flow on a big files.

Illustration created whole during a car trip. I wasn’t a driver, obviously 😉

Too expensive toy?

The iPad didn’t turn out to be a toy at all. I use it in my work every day. I can say now, that it was a good purchase. I understand that it is difficult decision for someone who will use it only for pleasure (we don’t have such dilemmas when we buy something for work…)
Even the smaller one – 10.5 ” is still a big expense. But maybe it is worth to take a look at the iPad 2018 (9.7″ screen). It is smaller, simpler, budget-friendly version advertised as the cheapest of all iPads. Probably drawing experience won’t be so great, as on the Pro version (I don’t know, I didn’t test it), but I think it is worth to give it a try. Or… wait till September 2018, when the new iPad Pro will show. So old version will be cheaper then. 🙂

But if you’re looking for a stand-alone mobile device for working and drawing, and you need access to full versions of software, I think the Microsoft Surface Pro will be a better choice! And think about working from Bali…

How does the iPad Pro work for me?

Pluses and minuses from illustrator’s point of view?
What apps are the coolest? What surprised me completely?
What really pisses me off?

You will find answers in another post from series Kamila’s Adventures in The Land of Apple Tree. If you have any questions – let me know!