iPad vs. Laptop for Graphic Design: Which is Better?

iPads and laptops are important devices that graphic designers need for their jobs. However, they have opposing ideas about the superior option.

Graphic designers focus on specific criteria when looking for their devices to optimize the artwork. So, ultimate decisions may differ from person to person.

iPads and laptops are advanced devices that help us with many tasks. This article will focus on how they can serve graphic design purposes. Then, you can easily tell their differences and the better in each factor.

1. Software

Laptops offer more software options for graphic design. Their operating systems also have a large storage capacity, high flexibility, and powerful processors.

Meanwhile, iPads are still developing in terms of graphic design software. However, professional designers still choose a laptop because it can handle more software and allow them to perform more complicated projects.

2. Multitasking

We all use laptops for multiple purposes. More specifically, they allow us to open more apps and windows at the same time. Thus, you can switch between them smoothly.

Moreover, laptops have large screens, making it simpler to handle the apps side by side. Their robust operating system also contributes to smooth operation.

On the other hand, laptops have limitations when compared to laptops, despite their development in recent years.

Furthermore, the operating system of iPads is more restrictive in terms of customization and compatibility.

Laptops can perform more tasks at the same time

3. Display size

Laptops have larger screen sizes, ranging from 11 to 17 inches. Some popular models are:

  • MacBook Air: 13.3 inches
  • Dell XPS 15: 15.6 inches
  • HP Spectre x360: 14 inches
  • HP Envy 17: 17.3 inches

iPads are mostly portable devices. As a result, you will notice a much smaller size than laptops. Some iPad models and their screen sizes are:

  • iPad mini: 7.9 inches
  • iPad: 10.2 inches
  • iPad Air: 10.9 inches
  • iPad Pro: 12.9 inches

4. Processing power

Laptops often have a more powerful CPU and more RAM. Then can, therefore, manage more complicated tasks and apps.

This capability is incredibly beneficial for laptops intended for business, like those used for graphic design, gaming, and video editing.

For instance, laptops may feature Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs. Some even have more potent processors like Intel Xeon and AMD Ryzen, which are the best to handle demanding tasks.

Moreover, specialized graphics cards and more RAM may be available on many laptops. As a result, you may handle complex tasks like 3D modeling.

The Apple M1 chip is a powerful processor used in iPads. However, it can’t beat the processing power of laptops, especially for professional use.

In addition, iPads have limited RAM, limiting their ability to run complex tasks and apps simultaneously.

Laptops have more powerful processors

5. Ease of use

Laptops have been around for a longer time for both personal and professional purposes. People who are familiar with operating systems, such as Windows or MacOS, will prefer laptops because they are easier to use.

Besides, you can use laptops easily with a mouse and keyboard. This feature is more intuitive for many graphic designers.

Meanwhile, iPads are famous for their streamlined interface, so you can use them by touching the screen. So, people who don’t often use traditional operating systems will find laptops easier to use.

Another plus of iPads is their simple display. They have fewer settings and options, making them more user-friendly.

6. Screen

High color accuracy and high-resolution screens are standard features of laptops used for graphic design. Some models have factory-calibrated accuracy in terms of color, which is essential for professional use.

Additionally, laptops typically have a wider range of resolutions to choose from. Hence, graphic designers will find it useful for their specific needs.

iPads are also excellent regarding high-quality displays, including wide color gamuts and high pixel densities.

Unfortunately, the screen calibration of iPads is more limited than laptops. Moreover, you will have fewer options for customization and display settings.

Comparison table

SoftwareFewer optionsMore options
Display size8 to 13 inches11 to 17 inches
Processing powerLess powerfulMore powerful
Ease of useYesYes

When Should You Use an iPad?

Graphic designers generally prefer laptops for their jobs. However, they can still be a better option in some cases. For example:


iPads are smaller, making them an ideal device for graphic designers to carry on the go. So if you are too busy with your work and want to work while traveling, consider iPads.

Ease of use

This factor can be personal because it depends on which devices you are more familiar with. But thanks to the fewer settings and options, laptops can be simpler for most people.

iPads are more convenient

When Should You Use a Laptop?

Laptops are more popular among graphic designers. They defeat iPads in those terms:


Laptops have more software and app options. Hence, graphic designers will feel free to install their specialized apps.


Color accuracy and pixel density are essential for graphic designers to create excellent artwork. If you want to choose a device for professional purposes, laptops will be perfect.

Laptops are more common among graphic designers

Final Verdict

So which is better for graphic designers, iPads or laptops? In fact, laptops are superior because of their software options, more storage memory, more powerful processors, and higher quality display.

The only advantage of iPads over laptops is their mobility, making them an excellent choice for those who work on the go.

Hopefully, this article has helped you pick up the best device. If you need more information to decide, don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank you for reading!