October 2023


Astropad Darkboard review: a perfectly portable artboard for the iPad Pro and iPad Air

Astropad Darkboard review

4.5 / 5

Make drawing on your iPad easier with the Astropad Darkboard, an ergonomically designed iPad artboard that can go anywhere you do.

Having the right tools at your disposal can make a huge difference in digital art and design. Astropad’s Darkboard iPad stand is an exceptional piece of hardware that caters to the needs of artists, illustrators, and creative professionals.

This stand is versatile, ergonomic, and durable, and it prioritizes your comfort by providing a variety of setup options.


Astropad Darkboard review – Design

The Darkboard is crafted from Leatherfoam Cushion, a premium EVA material that balances sturdy rigidity and supportive cushioning. This is the same material used in high-performance sports equipment, offering comfort and durability.


It also features a grippy surface texture, providing a comfortable grip while seated in place or on the move. This ensures your iPad stays in place, even during dynamic creative sessions.

The downside of the design is the thickness. While we like how secure it is and makes it much more comfortable to use on our laps, the thickness is substantial.


This made it a little more difficult to throw into a bag, which meant we often had to carry it from place to place separately.


Astropad Darkboard review – Lightweight, Durable, Secure

Despite its impressive features, the Darkboard remains exceptionally lightweight. In fact, it weighs less than the box it’s shipped in.


This is a huge contrast to the Sketchboard Pro we’ve looked at in the past, which weighs more than five pounds.


The Darkboard’s smaller, lighter design is perfect for those who want to travel. It’s small enough to fit in carry-on luggage and isn’t a hassle to tuck under your arm when you want to relocate during a drawing session.


The back features easy-to-hold grooves and a camera cut out
Astropad Darkboard review – The back features easy-to-hold grooves and a camera cut out

The Darkboard includes a protective iPad cradle made of polycarbonate, one of the strongest plastics available. Your iPad fits snugly in the cradle, ensuring it won’t accidentally fall out while you work.


This level of security is essential for maintaining a worry-free creative process.


Astropad Darkboard review – More ways to play

The Darkboard is a versatile tool that offers three different setup options. You can use the foldable stand for either the easel or vertical setup or use it alone on your lap, depending on your preferences and the task you are working on.


This tool’s adaptability allows it to cater to your needs, making it a versatile addition to your workflow.


One of the key features of the Darkboard is its ability to hold your Darkboard at a comfortable 30-degree angle. Whether drawing or writing, this setup provides an ergonomic and convenient work surface.


The standard horizontal mode is the mode we found ourselves using most, as it is perfect for using at the desk or a coffee shop table. The angle is comfortable and prevents slouching, which is a huge deal if you need to draw for long sessions.


The Darkboard doesn’t stop at the 30-degree angle, either. You can easily flip it around to set up your Darkboard in a vertical, desktop-like position.


This mode is particularly useful for those who want to use their iPad as a primary or secondary monitor while working. The stand’s flexibility allows you to adapt to your workflow seamlessly.


The removable stand allows for a comfortable drawing angle
Astropad Darkboard review – The removable stand allows for a comfortable drawing angle

Working comfortably is essential for productivity, and sometimes, using your iPad on your lap can be the most comfortable workspace. Folding down — or even entirely removing the stand — allows the Darkboard to rest comfortably on your lap. This is a great option if you want to get some work done from the couch.

Angular grooves in the back of the Darkboard are specifically designed to closely mimic the ergonomics of a steering wheel, which helps to reduce fatigue during extended drawing sessions. The grooves are great because they mean that we could avoid hand cramps while drawing on our lap even after a particularly long drawing session.


Astropad Darkboard review – A great tool for the iPad-centric artist

The Darkboard is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to make drawing on the iPad more comfortable. And, thanks to its smaller size and lighter weight, it can fit into nearly any artist’s workflow.

While it may not be perfect for every iPad user, it’s hard to imagine a better drawing board for an artist.


Astropad Darkboard review – Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Holds iPad securely
  • Can be used in multiple positions
  • Reduces fatigue and improves posture

Astropad Darkboard review – Cons

  • Thickness means it’s more difficult to transport

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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