Sketchbook Pro on the Apple iPad – A Review

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, in a cave on a remote island, not visited sketch-a-day.com or totally isolated from any kind of media outlet, you’ve heard about the iPad.

I’m a loyal Apple fan myself, but I must admit, part of me was willing to wait on the next version of at least a few months to see what new apps and features would inevitably come out of the woodwork – that was until I saw this – Sketchbook Pro for the iPad.

Say what you want about Apple, and the iCulture, the iPad is a really sweet device. Everything is amazing and noone is impressed. I think this Youtube clip pretty much sums up my sentiments about naysayers. Still nothing’s perfect about it and I’ll address some drawbacks later on.

Design -

Stunning as always, Apple really has refined their design language and it’s been nice seeing the progression from early apple products to this portable sliver of a product. I won’t go into too much detail, but here are a few things that stood out to me.

Remember that bezel people were complaining about before they even saw one? Yeah that thing. It actually works well in person when holding one, and doesn’t seem too thick.

The UI feels refreshed even though it is largely based on the iPhone UI. There are popup contextual menus that function as windows in the main window or active application at the time – this is particularly helpful if you’re trying to see what you’re doing while accessing some other function. more on this later with sketchbook pro.

The back’s all aluminum (anodized) with the black Apple logo on the back. Interesting tidbit here – the design is not only aesthetically pleasing, but the black apple logo on the back functions as the wifi “window”. The antenna is mounted there. (ifixit link). Because of the simple and minimal design, it really becomes less about the hardware and specs and more about the experience. Apple is selling an experience with this product – something which I haven’t seen successfully done in my opinion. Agree or disagree, this is a beautiful object.

Function -

The iPad just works. It’s a giant iPod touch, and more. It changes the convention of computer, but I’ll spare you any diatribe or soapboxing on what I feel the future of computing to be. I’d rather cover myself in syrup and punch a hornet’s nest just for fun. In any case, it’s an exciting and refreshing look at portable computing (not that tablets haven’t been done before).

If you’ve used an iPhone, iPod touch or watched minority report (half way joking here) the iPad should be pretty intuitive to use. You turn it on and are presented with a field of icons representing some basic included application. But what really makes this thing sing is the availability of thousands, yes THOUSANDS of decent quality applications through the iTunes App store. Check out appshopper.com for updates on iPad applications.

Not only are there TONS of applications available, but they boot up pretty quickly. It’s nothing compared to an iPhone in terms of speed and runs circles around my 3G iPhone. I can’t say much for the 3GS since I don’t have one :-)

Battery life is also amazing. I’m kind of a power management czar, so I never let it go down tooooo much in battery life, but I haven’t seen it go down below 33% in battery life, and that’s with all day HEAVY usage between my wife and myself.

And lastly, to answer probably one of the most asked questions from visitors to sketch-a-day.com and idsketching.com, there’s absolutely no pressure sensitivity, but more on that later.

Finger or Stylus -

Before I even had the iPad in my grubby hands, I purchased a stylus. I didn’t want to be left without one on launch day when I would venture out and brave the lines to get an iPad.

Pogo Stylus

TenOne makes a series of styluses including a sketch stylus that apparently has a smaller nub on the tip of the stylus. It’s designed to mimic the finger and as such has a weird little nub at the end. I really don’t know what it’s made of, nor do I like to touch it, but hey it works.

When you use it for the first time, it drags a little on the screen. I was anticipating being able to use a lighter touch with the stylus because of my experience with the standard slippery Wacom stylus. However, the pogo sketch stylus took a little bit more pressure to work. In no time, I found my footing (or fingering) and was sketching fluidly.

I must say though, I’m not a “fingersketcher”. I’m always amazed when i see what people have done with just a finger, but I do enjoy using the stylus to sketch with. At times while sketching, I found myself using my finger to access the menus (naturally) or to fill in a larger area on the canvas with a brush.

Sketching on the iPad -

As I mentioned before at the beginning of the article, I was on the fence about purchasing an iPad immediately at launch until I saw a leak of one app in particular – Sketchbook Pro.

I never did get around to writing a review of Sketchbook Mobile for the iPhone. I was a launch tester at the time, but I found it frustrating at times to sketch on such a tiny screen. Sketchbook pro however is no Sketchbook Mobile, and the iPad makes the experience much much more enjoyable, and to quote apple, it does so by “orders of magnitude”

Sketchbook Pro (Autodesk Inc.) Is priced at 7.99 USD for the iPad. Some complained about this, but I think the price is decent for what you get, especially considering and comparing the price of the albeit more robust version for more full featured computers (priced at 100 USD).

When you boot up the application for the first time, you’re presented with a series of instructions on how to use the applications built in multi-touch shortcuts. For example, to pull up the menu at the top of the screen, place three fingers on the screen, or to undo, either double tap in the lower left corner (just like the sketchbook mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch) or swipe three fingers across the screen to the left to undo.

I quickly raced through the instructions and I’ll be honest, in hindsight, I didn’t take enough time to read through the very helpful instructions about the gesture based controls for the UI. I was waaay too excited to site and read instructions. In any case, I played around with a few gestures and finger combinations and before long, I was on my way to sketching.

The Sketchbook Pro UI

It’s pretty minimal, but you may be missing a few things from the desktop version. For example, There’s no popup menu, lagoon, or even lasso tool (which I found a little strange given the larger screen and more powerful processor). But what you do get is a lineup of tools that pretty much get the job done. With that said, I much prefer sketching on the larger iPad screen than the smaller iPhone screen.

When the menu bar is activated, you’ll find a button to see your Gallery, add a new sketch, info about the program, undo and redo shortcuts, brushes, symmetry, brush mode/shape tools, zoom to fit to screen, layer transform and layers buttons.

One thing I do wish however is that the menu could be “pinned” or remain persistent as your sketching. I found it a little annoying to have to keep using the three finger tap to bring up my brushes all the time. Again maybe I’m missing something from the walkthrough, but this process of pulling up brushes or menus got to be a bit laborious after a bit of time.

Brushes

You get 5 panels of 15 brushes each for a grand total of 75 standard brushes. As far as I can tell however, there’s no way to make custom brushes on your own. Hopefully this will change in a future version.

My personal favorites are the airbrush, ballpoint pen, and the chisel marker for knocking out colors. The other brushes on panels 3-5 seem a little gimmicky, but I’m sure they could have their uses at some point.

Even though you can’t make a new custom brush and save it for later, there are enough settings for each brush that can be activated and modified to get the feel you want. In my testing, I didn’t mess with all of the brushes or settings, but I found that with enough tweaking, you can get a nice faux taper to the lines – handy if you’re trying to mimic pressure sensitivity and taper. It seems to be done in the software, similar to the way you’d taper a brush in photoshop when using a mouse or trackpad.

*Update – there’s a smudge tool if you’re into that kind of thing, but no blur tool in the brushes included.

Layers

Layers in Sketchbook Pro for the iPad are activated on the toolbar and show up in a popup menu. It’s not persistent and goes away when you’re done and back to sketching.

Unfortunately (and fortunately) you’re limited to 6 active layers at any given time. I suspect that this is done in an effort to be efficient with memory or processing power. In any case, I didn’t find it too much of an issue for me, and it became more natural as I adapted my desktop/laptop + wacom workflow to this more portable platform.

You can adjust transparency on layers, but there are no blending modes ala photoshop or painter. I do miss that as I tend to use those settings in photoshop and painter a lot.

Layer deletion and changing the layer order are both simple and intuitive.

Other Tools / Info -

Shape tools are included in the package, however, it’s not done with the same implementation as Sketchbook Pro for the PC or Mac. While on a PC or Mac you can sketch on a path using the ellipse or line tools, Sketchbook Pro for the iPad only allows you to draw the shape as part of your sketch. So if you were looking forward to sketching on paths, it’s time to brush up on drawing with your shoulder!

Layer transformation can only be done with the aspect ratio intact. I found no way to skew things to my liking. You rotate and scale by pinching or rotating two fingers on the touch screen.

Symmetry sketching is snappy and works pretty well. I cranked out a couple rough symmetrical sketches in no time. I don’t use symmetry much, but I imagine this will be a godsend for some.

I mentioned the smudge brush before, but again, some people may like this.

Resolution for sketches seems to be limited to the iPad’s screen size – 1024×768 pixels – small and definitely not high enough resolution to print say big 11×17 inch pages, but big enough I imagine that printing on an 8.5×11 inch piece of paper would look decent.

Import/Export

This has been one of my main gripes with not only the program, but the iPad. I’d like an easier way to transfer images to my laptop or desktop. Sometimes it’s necessary, though blogging using the wordpress app on sketch-a-day.com does tie in my completed sketches as long as they are in the right place.

In Sketchbook pro, images aren’t automatically saved to the iPad’s photo library. You are required to access the built in gallery, then export in two ways – to the iPad’s gallery as a PNG file or you can email the file to yourself as a PSD (yes layered!) or as a flattened PNG file with transparency.

Yes, there’s also built in functionality in iTunes to transfer files, but I couldn’t seem to get it to work. I’m no coding expert but I think it has to do with the file names (that pesky colon might be the culprit). I’m sure this will be fixed in an update at some point, as others have had the same issue as well. For now, I’ve just been emailing the files to myself a very slow 5 at a time.

Cintiq or not Cintiq?

I’ll be straight with you here – the iPad is no Wacom Cintiq, but I actually think that’s a good thing. I’ve never been a fan of Cintiqs – the cables, the heat, the external box, and the sheer mass of the larger them has always been a MAJOR drawback for me sketching on one. I gave them a shot, but I always found myself reverting to my trusty Intuos 3 for sketching. I wanted to like it, but I never fell in love with the product as much as I loved the idea.

The cheapest Wacom Cintiq comes in at $999 – $1199 USD while the iPad rings in at half the cost for the entry level model – $499 USD (Price varies with model).

Despite the lack of pressure sensitivity, the choice is pretty clear. I was on the verge of replacing my old Intuos tablet with a new one, until I saw Sketchbook Pro + the iPad. For about $200 USD more I could have highly portable web browsing, media playing, portfolio displaying, sketchbook that is thin and stylish. No longer would I need to have a box, usb plug, large adapter, and dvi cable just to have an on screen sketching experience. It doesn’t get hot and there are no wires coming out of everywhere.

Sure, there are a myriad of tablet PC’s out there, but none, in my opinion, have been executed as elegantly as the iPad. Again – I’m not trying to flame bait here, but I think Apple has a winner here. As Steve said, it needed to do SOME things well and boy does it do them well. People seem to love it or hate it, but that usually changes when you see one in person.

My recommendation is to go see one in person. Go to an Apple Store of Best Buy, see how it feels and works and if you like it, then go for it. It’s a wonderful product that I look forward to continually using in my workflow.

  • Jaewoo Kim

    @Tyler,

    Yep, you missed it :]
    Here’s what I said in my short hands-on impressions:

    PROS
    + The simulated pressure sensitivity is believable and works well.

  • XmastermindX

    How is it on printing? And Do you think it will be more worth it in a couple of months when they have the 3g one out for a while and maybe a camera on the next version??
    I really want to buy one just for this program but Im Stuck!!!!!

  • XmastermindX

    How is it on printing? And Do you think it will be more worth it in a couple of months when they have the 3g one out for a while and maybe a camera on the next version??
    I really want to buy one just for this program but Im Stuck!!!!!

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    I’d go try one out and see if you like it. You can always wait for the latest and greatest thing, but with technology, things change so fast that you’ll always be disappointed at some point if thats your sole focus – waiting.

    I say, go try one out, if you love it, buy it and be happy with it, and upgrade when you feel like you need to. I love mine!

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    I’d go try one out and see if you like it. You can always wait for the latest and greatest thing, but with technology, things change so fast that you’ll always be disappointed at some point if thats your sole focus – waiting.

    I say, go try one out, if you love it, buy it and be happy with it, and upgrade when you feel like you need to. I love mine!

  • XmastermindX

    Officially you sold me. You had me at Latest and Greatest. Because that has been my big issue and the only reason I dont have a new toy yet. Ive been so stuck. I hope it prints well, and Kindof hoping that if there is something I cant do with sketchbook maybe I can take it into photoshop of my computer.

  • XmastermindX

    Officially you sold me. You had me at Latest and Greatest. Because that has been my big issue and the only reason I dont have a new toy yet. Ive been so stuck. I hope it prints well, and Kindof hoping that if there is something I cant do with sketchbook maybe I can take it into photoshop of my computer.

  • koziakauzu

    Damn, I use a Cintiq at work, but I’m really considering to trade my “Wacom penabled” tabletPC for an iPad… It would be a very nice portfolio as well though…… hummmmm

  • koziakauzu

    Damn, I use a Cintiq at work, but I’m really considering to trade my “Wacom penabled” tabletPC for an iPad… It would be a very nice portfolio as well though…… hummmmm

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  • Varin

    Hey I’m thinking about buying a graphic tablet. But then iPad came. So now in stuck between intuos4 wireless and iPad with pogo sketch. And nobody did a review comparing these two.
    Can you do it? Lay down the pros and cons and post it in YouTube? Not only it’ll be useful for a lot of us it will be a hit too. There’s still not much discussion about this but I’m sure a lot of people are having the same problem I have.

  • Varin

    Hey I’m thinking about buying a graphic tablet. But then iPad came. So now in stuck between intuos4 wireless and iPad with pogo sketch. And nobody did a review comparing these two.
    Can you do it? Lay down the pros and cons and post it in YouTube? Not only it’ll be useful for a lot of us it will be a hit too. There’s still not much discussion about this but I’m sure a lot of people are having the same problem I have.

  • Jaewoo Kim

    @Varin

    Hey, I cant make a video comparison review for you, but I do own a intuos4-wired and have played with the iPad w/sketchbook pro app (no pogo stylus, used finger)so I can give you my written thoughts comparing the two.

    Intuos4 (PROS)
    + Slick device
    + Paper-like grippy surface
    + Comfortable stylus pen with REAL 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity.
    + 8 programmable keys with LED screen, which shows you what you programed them as.
    + 4 function scroll wheel

    Intuos4 (CONS)
    - Non 1-to-1 interaction of what you draw and see on the screen, disconnect = learning curve.
    - Paper-like grippy surface, wears down your nibs FAST.
    - Expensive for good size, 8×6 = $400!
    - Small doesn’t have LED screens.
    - Strictly for drawing and comes with a mouse.

    Before I go to the iPad, you must be aware of how powerful your pc or mac is. Because if your computer is slow, then you WILL have lag when using the intuos4.

    iPAD (PROS)
    + Can be used for other things other than sketchbook pro, if you wanted.
    + Simulated pressure sensitivity works really well.
    + 1-to-1 interaction.
    + As evidence of Spencer’s artwork, you can get some really good sketches and work.
    + Ability to save any image off of safari and into your iPad photo album.
    + Ability to import images.
    + Useable using finger only.

    iPAD (CONS)
    - Noticeable lag
    - User interface is confusing at first, and not as intuitive as it could have been.
    - No multiply layer feature.
    - 6 layers max, or so I hear.
    - NO REAL pressure sensitivity.

    Honestly though, i think it really boils down to two things.
    1- Your skill level.
    2- How willing you are to learn the medium you are working with.

    If you are a beginner, I think the iPad is more than enough. And might actually get you faster results because of its 1-to-1 interaction, unless you opt for a more expensive cintiq. But if you are already a professional or fairly good at digital painting, I would recommend the intuos4 because of its real pressure sensitivity and programmable keys. You also get the ability to do more in photoshop or a similar program.

  • Jaewoo Kim

    @Varin

    Hey, I cant make a video comparison review for you, but I do own a intuos4-wired and have played with the iPad w/sketchbook pro app (no pogo stylus, used finger)so I can give you my written thoughts comparing the two.

    Intuos4 (PROS)
    + Slick device
    + Paper-like grippy surface
    + Comfortable stylus pen with REAL 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity.
    + 8 programmable keys with LED screen, which shows you what you programed them as.
    + 4 function scroll wheel

    Intuos4 (CONS)
    - Non 1-to-1 interaction of what you draw and see on the screen, disconnect = learning curve.
    - Paper-like grippy surface, wears down your nibs FAST.
    - Expensive for good size, 8×6 = $400!
    - Small doesn’t have LED screens.
    - Strictly for drawing and comes with a mouse.

    Before I go to the iPad, you must be aware of how powerful your pc or mac is. Because if your computer is slow, then you WILL have lag when using the intuos4.

    iPAD (PROS)
    + Can be used for other things other than sketchbook pro, if you wanted.
    + Simulated pressure sensitivity works really well.
    + 1-to-1 interaction.
    + As evidence of Spencer’s artwork, you can get some really good sketches and work.
    + Ability to save any image off of safari and into your iPad photo album.
    + Ability to import images.
    + Useable using finger only.

    iPAD (CONS)
    - Noticeable lag
    - User interface is confusing at first, and not as intuitive as it could have been.
    - No multiply layer feature.
    - 6 layers max, or so I hear.
    - NO REAL pressure sensitivity.

    Honestly though, i think it really boils down to two things.
    1- Your skill level.
    2- How willing you are to learn the medium you are working with.

    If you are a beginner, I think the iPad is more than enough. And might actually get you faster results because of its 1-to-1 interaction, unless you opt for a more expensive cintiq. But if you are already a professional or fairly good at digital painting, I would recommend the intuos4 because of its real pressure sensitivity and programmable keys. You also get the ability to do more in photoshop or a similar program.

  • Varin

    Thank you! That was really useful. I appreciate it.

    I have decided to go with intuos. But I will make sure I get my hands on iPad when it comes here (I live in Thailand and apparently we’re still waiting.)

  • Varin

    Thank you! That was really useful. I appreciate it.

    I have decided to go with intuos. But I will make sure I get my hands on iPad when it comes here (I live in Thailand and apparently we’re still waiting.)

  • Xidor

    The other thing that you left out in your pros and cons list is that the iPad is truly portable. The Intuos is superior with pressure sensitivity and having the full use of Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.

    But the iPad excels at portability. You can’t take the intuos and computer to Starbucks. Well, you can if you have a portable, but it’s a bit of a hassle.

    With some skill and practice, you can actually get results pretty close to what you can do with a full Mac or PC. And it’s excellent for the portable usage and doing looser concept work to pretty tight sketches.

  • Xidor

    The other thing that you left out in your pros and cons list is that the iPad is truly portable. The Intuos is superior with pressure sensitivity and having the full use of Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.

    But the iPad excels at portability. You can’t take the intuos and computer to Starbucks. Well, you can if you have a portable, but it’s a bit of a hassle.

    With some skill and practice, you can actually get results pretty close to what you can do with a full Mac or PC. And it’s excellent for the portable usage and doing looser concept work to pretty tight sketches.

  • Xidor

    And you didn’t say that you can use the Pogo stylus.

  • Xidor

    And you didn’t say that you can use the Pogo stylus.

  • Jaewoo Kim

    Great addition Xidor!

    Yea, the iPad is like a portable sketchbook which is actually a huge advantage, especially when you just thought of something cool and want to quickly visualize the concept. Can’t do that with a intuos4, and carrying a tablet pc isn’t as convenient. Oh and another pro is the battery life of the iPad versus a laptop. I hear the laptop gets around 10 hours? I could be wrong though.

    I actually own the intuos4 wired, 8×6 and personally my skill level is pretty amateurish on the wacom. I rarely touch it, which sucks because of how much money I spent on it.

  • Jaewoo Kim

    Great addition Xidor!

    Yea, the iPad is like a portable sketchbook which is actually a huge advantage, especially when you just thought of something cool and want to quickly visualize the concept. Can’t do that with a intuos4, and carrying a tablet pc isn’t as convenient. Oh and another pro is the battery life of the iPad versus a laptop. I hear the laptop gets around 10 hours? I could be wrong though.

    I actually own the intuos4 wired, 8×6 and personally my skill level is pretty amateurish on the wacom. I rarely touch it, which sucks because of how much money I spent on it.

  • Emanster

    I was condsidering the ipad as well when I saw the Sketchbook Pro app. But I also needed a new laptop.

    I found the Fujitsu Lifebook T4310 tablet, with Wacom capacitive touch screen! This thing puts the ipad to shame! You get a multi-touch screen by Wacom (yes you can use your fingers), with pressure sensitive stylus, plus all the funtionality of a mid-level laptop. 350 GB hard drive, 2.2 processor, and 4 GB RAM. And its cheap at $1150!

    Sketchbook Pro is amazing on this thing, and it doesnt get too hot. I’m surprised this machine is not on more designers’ radar, it’s like having a Cintiq machine thats completely portable and self-contained.

    So I think the ipad will have some amazing apps, and those will continue to be the main selling point for many. But for those looking for a great tablet with a Wacom multi-touch screen for sketchbook pro, check out this Fujitsu. Its pretty RAD!

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/06/fujitsus-multitouch-lifebook-t4310-tablet-makes-quick-work-of-m/

  • Emanster

    I was condsidering the ipad as well when I saw the Sketchbook Pro app. But I also needed a new laptop.

    I found the Fujitsu Lifebook T4310 tablet, with Wacom capacitive touch screen! This thing puts the ipad to shame! You get a multi-touch screen by Wacom (yes you can use your fingers), with pressure sensitive stylus, plus all the funtionality of a mid-level laptop. 350 GB hard drive, 2.2 processor, and 4 GB RAM. And its cheap at $1150!

    Sketchbook Pro is amazing on this thing, and it doesnt get too hot. I’m surprised this machine is not on more designers’ radar, it’s like having a Cintiq machine thats completely portable and self-contained.

    So I think the ipad will have some amazing apps, and those will continue to be the main selling point for many. But for those looking for a great tablet with a Wacom multi-touch screen for sketchbook pro, check out this Fujitsu. Its pretty RAD!

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/06/fujitsus-multitouch-lifebook-t4310-tablet-makes-quick-work-of-m/

  • XmastermindX

    Emanster That WAS my other decision… only the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 Mini-Notebook The smaller one. But I’ve been told lately that they are all POS when it comes to durability. I mean they run on windows… over 100 bucks a month just for decent virus protection…
    A girl I went to school with said that all lifebooks are crap… Good for the first few months then poof… :( Angry customer. I dont know if its true tho. I would assume that if it isn’t on the radar for most graphics people, this would be the reason… 100% if its true that is…

    How long have you had yours?

    • XmastermindX

      I said month I meant year on the virus protect. Im pretty sure its year

    • http://www.protodepot.com E.J.Su

      I own a Fujitsu Lifebook T2020, it’s currently more powerful than my desktop, so I’ve been using it as my primary computer until my desktop is upgraded. It’s been a VERY trustworthy system as far as I could tell.
      It’s strange that your friend has that problem with Fujitsu, because their notebooks, though not the most powerful system in their same class, are known to be reliable, and from my experience, I am in total agreement so far.

      • Emanster

        I havent had my Lifebook for long, but we have had one at my office that has held up very well for use with evaluations and stuff like that.

        The new TH700 Lifebook looks very cool as well! The only drawback i see is screen size for doing larger photshop and illustrator work, but you could easily plug it into a larger monitor. And Windows 7 has been blazing fast so far!

        I LOVE it!

        side note: my buddy who just bought an ipad is having major buyers remorse with the announcement of the TH700. Go LIFEBOOK!

  • XmastermindX

    Emanster That WAS my other decision… only the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 Mini-Notebook The smaller one. But I’ve been told lately that they are all POS when it comes to durability. I mean they run on windows… over 100 bucks a month just for decent virus protection…
    A girl I went to school with said that all lifebooks are crap… Good for the first few months then poof… :( Angry customer. I dont know if its true tho. I would assume that if it isn’t on the radar for most graphics people, this would be the reason… 100% if its true that is…

    How long have you had yours?

    • XmastermindX

      I said month I meant year on the virus protect. Im pretty sure its year

    • http://www.protodepot.com E.J.Su

      I own a Fujitsu Lifebook T2020, it’s currently more powerful than my desktop, so I’ve been using it as my primary computer until my desktop is upgraded. It’s been a VERY trustworthy system as far as I could tell.
      It’s strange that your friend has that problem with Fujitsu, because their notebooks, though not the most powerful system in their same class, are known to be reliable, and from my experience, I am in total agreement so far.

      • Emanster

        I havent had my Lifebook for long, but we have had one at my office that has held up very well for use with evaluations and stuff like that.

        The new TH700 Lifebook looks very cool as well! The only drawback i see is screen size for doing larger photshop and illustrator work, but you could easily plug it into a larger monitor. And Windows 7 has been blazing fast so far!

        I LOVE it!

        side note: my buddy who just bought an ipad is having major buyers remorse with the announcement of the TH700. Go LIFEBOOK!

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  • XmastermindX

    Ugh, got my ipad, got the app, and now my ipad is useless to me because of this wifi problem. Really the sketch program works great for what I wanted to use it for. But its not worth the wifi problem. :( Goodbye ipad

  • XmastermindX

    Ugh, got my ipad, got the app, and now my ipad is useless to me because of this wifi problem. Really the sketch program works great for what I wanted to use it for. But its not worth the wifi problem. :( Goodbye ipad

  • Rafi Yoeli

    Sketchbook Pro is a good application but I just wanted to share with the readers that I am not less impressed with ArtStudio which also has an edge detection function that can be used to achieve a result that’s similar to Photoshop’s Magic Wand. It also has UNLIMITED zoom capability that enables the achievement of very accurate line graphics where this is needed. All in all–closest to Photoshop that I’ve seen so far. I would be happy to see a review of this program here.

    I can also report to those interested that I have purchased and tested three different styluses for the iPad (Pogo Sketch, Mybat and iClooly). Found the Pogo Sketch very good all around but for pure sketching the iClooly stylus is even better. The tip is not a sponge as on the Pogo stylus but a small brush so it glides almost with no friction on the screen, perhaps with just a slight loss in pointing precision (although I am sure one can get better with time). Again–it is a matter of personal preference, I find the Pogo stylus friction and pressure a bit on the high side and now use the Clooly stylus for sketching. Don’t even consider the Mybat stylus. It has a rubber tip that has so much friction that it’s useless except for iPod/iPhone tapping.

    I hope this helps…

  • Rafi Yoeli

    Sketchbook Pro is a good application but I just wanted to share with the readers that I am not less impressed with ArtStudio which also has an edge detection function that can be used to achieve a result that’s similar to Photoshop’s Magic Wand. It also has UNLIMITED zoom capability that enables the achievement of very accurate line graphics where this is needed. All in all–closest to Photoshop that I’ve seen so far. I would be happy to see a review of this program here.

    I can also report to those interested that I have purchased and tested three different styluses for the iPad (Pogo Sketch, Mybat and iClooly). Found the Pogo Sketch very good all around but for pure sketching the iClooly stylus is even better. The tip is not a sponge as on the Pogo stylus but a small brush so it glides almost with no friction on the screen, perhaps with just a slight loss in pointing precision (although I am sure one can get better with time). Again–it is a matter of personal preference, I find the Pogo stylus friction and pressure a bit on the high side and now use the Clooly stylus for sketching. Don’t even consider the Mybat stylus. It has a rubber tip that has so much friction that it’s useless except for iPod/iPhone tapping.

    I hope this helps…

  • Nick

    Hi Guys,

    Just wondering if anyone has heard of a similar app for android devices?
    There’s a lot of hype about android tablets being released soon, possibly cheaper than the ipad.

    I am currently considering buying an ipad mainly for the sketching possibilities but would be
    interested to see what the competition has to offer

    Cheers

  • Nick

    Hi Guys,

    Just wondering if anyone has heard of a similar app for android devices?
    There’s a lot of hype about android tablets being released soon, possibly cheaper than the ipad.

    I am currently considering buying an ipad mainly for the sketching possibilities but would be
    interested to see what the competition has to offer

    Cheers

  • http://mousejockey.wordpress.com mike

    Nice review! Check mine at the below link..

    Gear Lust (part one) iPad –first impressions

    http://mousejockey.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/hello-world/

    Like so many other Apple users I’m enamored with each deliciously-designed product that they release. But I understand what they are doing to us – they are changing the way we think, compute, consume and buy. As a futurist and early-adopter of most technology I’m ok with these changes. But Apple seems to be single-handedly launching us into new markets long before the public knows what to do with them. On one hand it’s the entrepreneur’s dream to have a new wild-west to conquer. But as consumers we are easily tricked into putting money back into Apple, AT&T and so many other companies’ products to feel like we are on the cutting edge of technology in this brave new age of computing. My first impressions of the iPad are exactly these thoughts. It’s not a matter of is it cool (it totally is) or do I want one (couldn’t wait.) It does everything I wanted and more. It’s got a few limitations I find frustrating. But once I got my hands on it I was drinking Apple’s kool aid once again and didn’t put it down for about 14 hours. Below is a brief review of the product and some initial impressions of the philosophy behind the technology, some questions about productivity and some excitement about the possibilities.

  • http://mousejockey.wordpress.com mike

    Nice review! Check mine at the below link..

    Gear Lust (part one) iPad –first impressions

    http://mousejockey.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/hello-world/

    Like so many other Apple users I’m enamored with each deliciously-designed product that they release. But I understand what they are doing to us – they are changing the way we think, compute, consume and buy. As a futurist and early-adopter of most technology I’m ok with these changes. But Apple seems to be single-handedly launching us into new markets long before the public knows what to do with them. On one hand it’s the entrepreneur’s dream to have a new wild-west to conquer. But as consumers we are easily tricked into putting money back into Apple, AT&T and so many other companies’ products to feel like we are on the cutting edge of technology in this brave new age of computing. My first impressions of the iPad are exactly these thoughts. It’s not a matter of is it cool (it totally is) or do I want one (couldn’t wait.) It does everything I wanted and more. It’s got a few limitations I find frustrating. But once I got my hands on it I was drinking Apple’s kool aid once again and didn’t put it down for about 14 hours. Below is a brief review of the product and some initial impressions of the philosophy behind the technology, some questions about productivity and some excitement about the possibilities.

  • http://www.ipaddoodler.com/explore iPad Doodler

    Great read :) I’m totally convinced on the iPad’s credentials as a digital drawing tool.
    You can check out some of my iPad artwork uploaded at iPad Doodler: http://www.ipaddoodler.com/
    I’ve found Sketch Book Pro to be by far the most competent and professional drawing app (closest to a mobile version of a desktop Photoshop). So much so that the iPad’s now become a tool I use everyday for my graphic design work.

  • http://www.ipaddoodler.com/explore iPad Doodler

    Great read :) I’m totally convinced on the iPad’s credentials as a digital drawing tool.
    You can check out some of my iPad artwork uploaded at iPad Doodler: http://www.ipaddoodler.com/
    I’ve found Sketch Book Pro to be by far the most competent and professional drawing app (closest to a mobile version of a desktop Photoshop). So much so that the iPad’s now become a tool I use everyday for my graphic design work.

  • Mcmoon

    I have recently bought ipad pro as an app on my ipad. I am an older artist and would like to teach my 10 year old grandson, but I cant even get started.All the whizz bang kids using it do not slow down enough for me to get any idea. I need a careful, step by step handbook. Any suggestions or have I wasted my money. Is there another simpler art based concept(I teach anatomical life dr.) I used to do Director years ago! It looks so fascinating. McMoon

  • Valenciadude

    The only drawback I see to Sketchbook “PRO” on ipad is the Canvas size! You’re limited to a 1024 x 768 pixel image. It’s basically a really powerful sketch / doodle pad but for any Pro work we’re still stuck with a Laptop or Desktop. Don’t get me wrong.. i haven’t looked at my laptop since getting an iPad. It’s so slick! ;)

  • Brox

    I was reading about thesmudge tool, but can,t find it ? Where the heck is it ?

  • Garyjavan

    how to draw on iPad?? is there any special pen for it like wacom pen?

    • http://www.idsketching.com snugja

      It’s the pen linked to and mentioned in the article

  • Olivia

    hey there, I just want you to know that wacom is coming out with its bamboo stylus pen (designed for the ipad) on May13,2011. Here is the link: http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/BambooStylus.aspx

    For me, if the time to get any mac product – it would be the ipad with wacom stylus pen. (I’m a PC person, with a budget…)

    • Anonymous

      most of the real artists featured by autodesk seem to do pretty well with one digit, as in finger.

      • Anonymous

        i prefer to use my finger to pick my nose

  • Pingback: iPad iNspired | PriyeshShukla.com

  • Anonymous

    OmniSketch is a procedural drawing App for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that is an iTunes Essential Painting & Drawing App and is also listed in PC Magazine’s 100 Best Apps for iPad!

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  • http://turnpagenow.wordpress.com Turn Page Now

    I’m still undecided about getting an iPad, though reading your review, I’m pretty sure I could justify the purchase based on this app alone.

    What’s the max dpi possible (or is it possible to choose)?  Typically, any digital image less than 300 dpi isn’t worth printing – and many comic artists refuse to scan line drawings at anything less that 300 dpi.

    Just curious.  Have you tried printing any of your drawings yet?