Thought Starters

Our Official Review of the New 2018 iPad

At the end of March, Apple debuted a new iPad with Apple Pencil support. We’re excited to announce that Astropad Standard and Astropad Studio are both compatible with the 2018 iPad! We made sure to get our hands on the new iPad right away to take it for a spin with Astropad. Here’s our official review:

✓ Just as fast and responsive as the iPad Pro

The first thing we look for when testing Astropad with a new iPad is responsiveness — can the iPad keep up with fast drawing and sketching? After running it through a series of tests with Astropad and Photoshop, the new iPad exceeded our standards of speed and responsiveness. And because the iPad is built for Apple Pencil, you’ll get the same pixel-perfect precision that you’d get with an iPad Pro.

One way you’ll really feel the responsiveness of the new iPad is with Astropad Studio’s Magic Gestures. With the iPad’s processing power, you’ll be able to quickly make commands and shortcuts without interrupting your drawing workflow (such as undo/ redo, hover, erase, and right-click).

✓ Accurate colors — even without True Tone

It’s worth noting that unlike iPad Pro models, the new iPad doesn’t have Apple’s True Tone display feature. True Tone adjusts the white balance of the display to match the light around you for a more natural and accurate display. But even without True Tone, we’re impressed by the iPad’s color accuracy when mirroring Photoshop on a 2017 MacBook Pro. And the iPad’s Retina display offers the same crisp image that we love about other iPads.

✓ Lightweight and portable

Weighing in at just 1 lb. and measuring 7.5mm thin, it feels much more lightweight than the 12.9″ iPad Pro that we’re used to carrying around. If you’re a student bringing your iPad to and from school every day, you’ll appreciate the extra space this iPad saves you in your bag.

Another benefit of the smaller, 9.7″ display is that you’ll have easy access to Astropad’s sidebar shortcuts. If you’re drawing quickly in Photoshop or other creative programs, you won’t need to reach far for your shortcuts.

Astropad’s sidebar shortcuts are always close by with the new 9.7″ iPad

✓ An approachable price for new digital artists

The new iPad (starting at $329) is significantly less expensive than the iPad Pro (starting at $799). If you’re a new digital artist and you haven’t quite settled into your workflow yet, you may find the price of the new iPad more friendly. You’ll get everything that you need to get started with Astropad, and incredible value for the price.

Even better, we offer a 50% Educational Discount for students and educators looking to get started with Astropad Studio.

The final word

We give the new iPad a big thumbs up! It’s definitely a step up in performance from regular, older models of iPad: it’s noticeably faster and is ultra-responsive with Apple Pencil, making it a viable alternative to the more “heavy-duty” iPad Pro.

If you’re a professional artist who relies on your iPad every day for your workflow, it’s probably worth it to upgrade to the 12.9″ iPad Pro for the extra screen space. But if you’re a hobbyist, a student, or just starting out, this new iPad is the way to go. With its approachable setup and price, it’s a great option for digital artists.

Let us know your thoughts on the new iPad Pro on Instagram at @astropadco.