The Apple iPad is probably the most anticipated device to be released in 2010. It’s sleek, it’s powerful and there is no doubt that it is very well designed. What are people wondering about is what will this device be used for. Many think that it is an oversized Apple iPod touch that is even more useless than the iPod because you cant carry it around easily with you everywhere you go. It seems that the Apple iPad is something everyone would want to buy but not specifically for a needed function.
I personally don’t see how the Apple iPad will change the way I do things on a daily basis. What is really magical about the iPad is the touch technology. I think that we all want to experience this power of controlling things with our fingertips. What I’m most interested in with the iPad is how it will influence me as a digital artist. Is the Apple iPad going to change the way we create digital art? Can it be a replacement for my current graphic tablet? Unfortunately, the answer would be a resounding No – here is why:
The iPad is a device that is targeted mostly to pursue your daily internet needs efficiently. It is not designed to be used for long hours for digital editing. As you may know, you download your applications on the iPad from the app store. Now, if you research the digital art software’s available in the app store, you would realize that they are not professional enough to create the quality work you would do with softwares like photoshop or corel painter on desktop computers. There are apps to draw sketches with your fingertips and apps to even edit various layers of an artwork but there isn’t something powerful enough that would compare with the unparalleled digital editing softwares of a desktop based pc.
You can’t compare a graphic tablet with the iPad because both are for totally different uses. We may not know what the iPad may be used for, but we can say that it is definitely not for digital art. Lets take the Wacom Cintiq tablet as an example that we can compare the iPad with. The cintiq is also a touch screen that is used by digital artists for editing and creating digital work. The Cintiq is considered by many to be the best platform of digital editing tool available in the market. Regardless of the staggering starting price of $999 price tag, the Cintiq has a FAR MORE HIGHER pressure sensitivity levels than the iPad which is far more relevant and needed for digital artists. I’m not saying that the Cintiq is a better deal for everyone than an iPad, but it is a better tool for digital artists. If you are going to compare which would be a better device that will help you surf the internet or pursue your daily needs like checking email or listening to music, then the iPad would be a better choice. Don’t forget that the Cintiq must be connected to a computer while the iPad is more portable having a battery of its own.
It is really important that people would know what they want. I think that many digital artists would get the iPad as a digital tool but they would just simply be fooling themselves. If you are going to get the iPad, know that you are getting a device that may be can do everything but digital art. As a digital artist, I would recommend to pay $499 on a Wacom Intuos for example rather than a iPad (Check Which Graphic Tablet Should I Buy? Article). I might get the iPad, but I will know that I got a great portable mini computer not a digital art tool.