Which Better, iPad vs Pen Display

 


Many have asked whether the iPad (either Pro, Air, regular 8th Gen) or Pen Display is better?

The answer depends on the need. Here I give the advantages and disadvantages of each device so it can be considered.


Advantages of iPad:

1. Portable, can be taken anywhere, pictures can be used everywhere.

2. It is powerful. The cheapest 8th Gen iPad is armed with Apple A12 Bionic and it's as fast as Intel Core i7-1060NG7 ( Apple A12 [2812 Geekbench 5 Mark], Intel Core i7 1060NG7 [2774 Geekbench 5 Mark] ). While the iPad Air with A14 and iPad Pro with M1 are clearly far above the A12. So running Apps apps like CSP, Procreate, Photoshop, Premiere Rush, Sketchbook and the like guarantee smooth and no lag, even compared to a USD400-500 laptop that uses Ryzen 3 or Core i3 it's clearly still faster images on the iPad 8th gen USD300-400 in terms of performance.

3. A more friendly application ecosystem, all apps are collected in the App Store.

4. If you have a Mac from 2016-2017 and above, you can use your iPad as a Cintiq-style Pen Display via the Sidecar feature.


Now I want to talk about iPad Disadvantages:

1. The name Mobile Products still have a lifetime, guys, just like the iPhone. The period of use of this iPad is at least 5 years, a maximum of 6 years. But this is still much better than Android which is only 2 years old.

2. There is no upgradeability, when the iPad starts to slow down, the storage is full or you can't run new apps anymore because you can't update the latest iPad OS, so basically your iPad becomes an expensive picture frame.

3. The largest size is only 12 inches, for those who need a larger pen display, whether you want it or not, you have to go to Pen Display.

4. Mobile software, which is certainly not as powerful and full fledged as a desktop application. Although some applications such as the iPad version of CSP are as good as the Desktop version, unfortunately other applications are not, the hardest example is the iPad version of Photoshop vs the Computer version.


Now I want to talk about the advantages of Pen Display:

1. Long service life, The service life of the Pen Display is 10 even 15 years. That's why there are still many artists who use the old Cintiq 12WX or 21UX, because there's no story about the Pen Display "slowing down" when you feel the Apps are starting to slow, so just upgrade your PC, Unlike the iPad you have to buy a new iPad and probably a new apple pencil too when your iPad is now slow.

2. Desktop applications are clearly more mature than Mobile, be it Photoshop, Sketchbook and the like.

3. Large and varied sizes from various brands, so your choice is not only from 1 brand and 1 type, but various brands and types. There are Wacom, Huion, XP Pen and many other "Aliexpress" brands that I don't know by heart. Even though I myself still recommend Wacom because the Driver Update is the most reliable, the Intuos 4 PTK 1240 product example was released 11 years ago when Apple released MacOS Big Sur M1, Wacom immediately issued a driver for M1 support. I doubt if other brands will support their old products like that.

4. Customization, Pen display can be customized such as by using different Pen Nibs, Custom button control and the like. Unlike the iPad, there are no additional hotkeys.


Now I want to talk about Pen Display Disadvantages:

1. Color and Screen Quality, Pen display entry level tends to have a dull color, even below the iPad. Good Pen Display colors can only be achieved in Mid Range and High End Pen Displays (P3 Color/Adobe RGB). Meanwhile, the iPad and iPad Mini have P3 Color Gamut, True Tone and have a brightness of 500 nits. So for those who are critical of color, maybe you can consider iPad or Pen Display, for those who still aim for the Pen Display, try taking the upper tier Pen Display (for example, like the Cintiq Pro Line up which has Adobe RGB)

2. Not Portable, yes this Pen Display is stuck on the table, can't be carried anywhere like you use an iPad

3. Not simple, entry level Pen Display generally has 3 plugs. 1 Power, 1 Display, 1 USB. and that adds to the tangle of wires on the table. Although some Pen Displays already have 1 USB C cable, unfortunately not all PCs support the USB C to Display and High Power USB C protocols and as far as I know only Mac Laptops and some Dell XPS lines currently can.


Maybe here are the advantages and disadvantages of each option. In the ideal world, yes, you can have both so you can be portable, you can focus on the desk. But if you can't buy both, maybe this guide from me can help you make a choice.

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