Photoshop has been the industry standard for photo editing, drawing, painting, and even animation for many years. A mouse and a keyboard are many editors’ closest companions. For years, drawing tablets and personal computers were the primary tools of illustrators, digital painters, and animators.
Photoshop, the most popular software among professionals, did not have much to worry about. However, with the advent of new software that is cheaper, easier to use, more organic, and optimized for portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, Photoshop had to up its game and optimize its software for tablets.
Those seeking portability and simplicity can now find a limited version of Photoshop for Android and iOS devices. There are also multiple options for those who prefer to work on a PC with a drawing tablet or pen display. The question is, which vote shall we choose?
Our Top Picks
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How to choose the best tablet for photo editing
Even if a tablet has impressive specifications and a sleek design, this does not necessarily make it the best for photo editing. It would help if you kept an eye out for several features, including the size and resolution of the screen. You will also want to ensure that the screen’s quality and color accuracy are assured.
The tablet’s battery life is a significant factor to consider. Nothing is more frustrating than sitting down to edit and realizing you only have a few minutes of battery life left. You’ll also want to consider how much the tablet weighs and whether it fits into your camera bag.
Most importantly, it would help if you considered whether the device, you’re considering can run your preferred photo editing software without unnecessary lagging. Also, be aware that only some apps are available for some OS; if it is, only some of the tools you’re used to may be available.
Photoshop, for instance, is available for both Windows and iPad, but the iPad version is weaker and less feature rich. Photoshop Express, on the other hand, is an even more diminutive version for Android. Windows and iOS versions of Affinity Photo are interchangeable, but no Android app exists.
The Best Tablets for Photoshop Currently Available
In short, whatever type of tablet you desire for photo editing can be found on our list, from premium models to the most affordable options. In addition, we will explain how the various products differ and provide you with the necessary information to choose between them.
Alternatively, if you wish to use a stylus with your laptop, please refer to our guide to the best drawing tablets for photo editing and our list of the best Wacom tablets. Or, if you prefer to work on a “proper keyboard,” check out our list of the best laptops for photo editing.
1. The best tablet for photo editing overall: iPad Pro 12.9 M2 (2022)
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The 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2 released this month is the best photo editing tablet. Because it has the most recent M2 processor, your software will run incredibly quickly. It is as powerful as a MacBook; therefore, if you also purchased a Magic Keyboard, you would have a sophisticated tablet-laptop hybrid for photo editing. Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and up to 1600 nits maximum brightness.
Want to edit with precision using a stylus? In addition to supporting the Apple Pencil 2 (sold separately), the most recent iPad Pro offers a new feature called Hover. This means that your stylus can now be detected up to 12mm above the screen, allowing you to see a preview of your mark before making it.
Note that the iPad version of Photoshop lacks some features compared to the desktop version. If you want to run that, you’ll need a Windows tablet, so our top recommendation is number 5 on the list.
- Weight: 685g (5G), 682g (Wi-Fi)
- Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm
- OS: iPadOS 16.1
- Screen size: 12.9-inch
- Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels
- CPU: Apple M2 chip
- Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB
- microSD slot: No
- Rear cameras: 12MP wide (f/1.8), 10-MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)
- Front camera: 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)
- Beautiful mini-LED screen
- Still the best large tablet out there
- IPadOS 16.1's new multitasking feature
- 5G is a welcome upgrade
- Future-proof M2 chip
- 128GB is small for the price
- Very few changes compared to last year's version
- Battery life isn't huge
- Expensive, especially with accessories
2. The best-value iPad for photo editing: iPad Air 10.9 (2022)
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The iPad Pro tops our list, as it is the best iPad for photographers and photo editors overall. But the 10.9-inch iPad Air 2022, released in March at a much lower price, gives it a run for its money.
It is ultralight at only 461g and ultrathin at only 6.1mm. It features a rapid Apple M1 processor and 5G support. There is an excellent 12MP ultra-wide front-facing camera with a 122o field of view and the same Centre Stage technology for tracking your movements during Zoom calls.
Storage is limited to 64GB or 256GB, and RAM is only 8 GB. That’s a step down from the Pro, which remains the speedier machine for photo editing. In addition, while the Air shares the Pro’s f/1.8 12MP wide-angle rear camera, it lacks the Pro’s 2.4 10MP Ultra-Wide sensor and LiDAR scanner.
Overall, though, the iPad Air is still a capable machine. And it represents the best value of the entire modern iPad lineup.
- Weight: Wi-Fi: 461g Wi-Fi + Cellular 462g
- Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Screen size: 10.9-inch
- Resolution: 2360 x 1640 pixels
- CPU: Apple M1 chip
- Storage: 64GB/256GB
- microSD slot: No
- Rear cameras: 12MP wide (f/1.8)
- Front camera: 12MP ultra-wide f/2.5
- Excellent performance thanks to Apple M1 processor
- Solid 12MP cameras
- Sharp, colorful display
- Improved front-facing camera
- Same price as the iPad Air 2020
- All-day battery life
- Too close in cost to iPad Pro
- Peripherals are expensive
- 64GB is too little storage for base model
- IPadOS is annoying to use
- Front-facing camera is awkward in landscape orientation
- Still no Face ID
3. The best Android tablet for photo editing: Samsung Galaxy S8 Tab Ultra
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Larger and thinner than the iPad Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Tab Ultra is currently the best Android tablet for photo editing. Its 14.6-inch Super AMOLED display provides excellent picture quality with deep blacks, vibrant colors, a 120Hz refresh rate, and 240 pixels per inch pixel density.
It is powered by the most recent version of Android (12) and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and was released in February of this year. It is incredibly thin, measuring only 5mm compared to the iPad Pro’s 6.4mm, but it still feels sturdy. If you enjoy using a stylus in your editing workflow, the enhanced S Pen offers an excellent experience.
In conclusion, this product is highly recommended if you desire an iPad Pro-like experience but with a larger screen size.
- Weight: 726g
- Dimensions: 326.4 x 208.6 x 5.5mm
- OS: Android 12
- Screen size: 14.6-inch
- Resolution: 1848 x 2960
- CPU: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm)
- RAM: 8-16GB
- Storage: 128/256/512GB
- Battery life: up to 14 hours
- Bigger & Bright Display
- High-end Battery Life
- Excellent Sound Quality
- Great Performance
- Stylus In The Box
- Difficult to Carry(Heavy)
- No Charger In The Box
4. Best Tablet for Photoshop Overall – Microsoft Surface Pro 8
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This stunning device combines a tablet’s portability and versatility with any high-performing laptop. This device topped our list, as it is the only tablet capable of running the full version of Photoshop, and it is essentially a Windows-based tablet.
Despite a lack of app optimization (as expected of any Windows device), desktop-only applications can be run entirely on this system. With the addition of the keyboard and Surface Pen 2, this device becomes a complete creative workstation capable of running Photoshop and other demanding applications without difficulty. Moreover, with an adapter and an external GPU card, this tablet becomes a workstation for 3D modeling and rendering.
- Weight: 891g
- Dimensions: 287mm x 208mm x 9.3mm
- OS: Windows 11
- Screen size: 13-inch
- Resolution: 2880 x 1920
- CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-i7
- RAM: 8/16/32GB
- Storage: 128GB-1TB
- Battery life: Up to 16 hours
- Gorgeous new design
- Amazing performance
- Larger 13" display
- Two Thunderbolt 4 ports
- SSD is easily accessible
- 120 Hz display makes for smoother writing and drawing
- Stylus has a haptic motor and keyboard garage
- Tailor-made for Windows 11
- Supports external devices
- More expensive
- No more USB Type-A
- Longer battery life
- Slim Pen 2 and Signature keyboard sold separately
5. The best basic iPad for photo editing: iPad 10.2 (2022)
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If you’re not an Apple fanatic, keeping track of all the iPad generations can be confusing. They fall into four categories: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, and the primary iPad line. These iPads are the least powerful so they could be better for photo or video editing.
However, suppose you want an iPad but can’t afford an iPad Pro or iPad Air. In that case, the latest entry-level iPad is worth a look, as it features a faster chip (A14 Bionic) and a larger, higher-resolution display than its predecessors.
Regarding photography, the camera setup is acceptable. On the rear is a 12MP camera that can record 4K video at 60fps or slow-motion video at 240fps. On the landscape side of the front camera is an ultrawide 12MP sensor with a 122-degree field of view for enhanced video calling.
Unlike the first two entries on our list, it only supports the Apple Pencil 1.
- Weight: 477g (Wi-Fi), 481g (LTE)
- Dimensions: 248.6 x 179.5 x 7 mm
- OS: iPadOS 16.1
- Screen size: 10.9-inch
- Resolution: 2360 x 1620 pixels
- CPU: A14 Bionic
- Storage: 64GB/256GB
- microSD slot: No
- Battery: 28.6Wh
- Rear cameras: 12MP f/1.8
- Front camera: 12MP f/2.4
- Speedy performance thanks to A13 Bionic
- True Tone added to display
- Apple Pencil (1st Gen) support
- Headphone jack
- Better storage capacity
- Upgraded selfie camera for video calls
- Design feels dated
- No support for Magic
- No Face ID
- No touch-to-wake screen
- No USB-C
- Weak camera quality
- No landscape stereo speakers
6. Samsung has revamped its S7 for better value: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab Ultra may be the best Android tablet for photo editing. But it’s costly. The previous iteration, the S7+, has been reborn as the more reasonably priced Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE.
FE stands for ‘Fan Edition,’ which is Samsung’s attempt to repackage its previous-generation technology as a more accessible product. The S7 FE is sufficient in terms of power and makes for an excellent productivity tool and photo-editing base. With the S-Pen stylus, you can make notes and mark up your photos, so it’s easy to get cracking on your projects immediately. The gorgeous display is crisp and clear, making it effortless and pleasurable to use for extended periods.
If you like editing with hotkeys, it’s worth also picking up the Samsung Book Cover Keyboard. It costs extra, but it’s a satisfying tactile device that also includes a trackpad, giving those who dislike working on a touchscreen for extended periods more options.
- Weight: 610g
- OS: Android 10
- Screen size: 12.4-inch
- Resolution: 1600 x 2560
- CPU: Octa-Core
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Battery life : up to 10 hours
- Good quality screen
- S-Pen included
- All-day battery
- Android apps less tablet-optimised
- Slightly underpowered
7. The best iPad for photo editing on the go: iPad Mini (2022)
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Ok, so there are a lot of iPads on this list, but each of these devices offers something unique, so they are all worthy of consideration.
If you travel frequently, the iPad Mini is an excellent choice. It is the lightest item on this list, weighing just under 300g, so it can fit almost any camera bag without being noticeable.
The least expensive iPad option on the list also has the smallest screen size of all the tablets we’ve mentioned, measuring 8.3 inches, but what a beautiful display for such a small device. The Apple A15 Bionic chip provides sufficient processing power for the mobile version of Lightroom, and the Mini’s compatibility with the Apple Pencil 2 makes it a worthy consideration.
- Weight: 290g
- Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm
- OS: iPadOS 13
- Screen size: 8.3-inch
- Resolution: 1488 x 2266 pixels
- CPU: A15 Bionic
- Storage: 64GB/256GB
- microSD slot: No
- Battery: 5,124mAh
- Rear camera: 12MP
- Front camera: 12MP
- Light and compact
- Supports 5G
- Supports Apple Pencil 2
- Lacks M1 chip
8. Best Price-Value Pen Display for Photoshop – HUION Kamvas Pro 16 Plus
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This pen display is beautiful and offers the optimal price-to-quality ratio for pen displays. In addition to its 4K display, its quantum dot technology allows for 145% of the sRGB color gamut, vivid and accurate colors, and a 178° viewing angle. Compatible with all software and featuring an improved pen with 8192 levels of pressure, the Huion Kamvas Pro 16 Plus is also Android-compatible, making digital illustration and painting in Photoshop significantly more accessible and enjoyable. Its size is also ideal for portability while remaining unrestrictive for work.
- 13.6 x 7.7″ Active Area
- 15.6″ 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 IPS Display
- 200 cd/m² Brightness
- 178°/178° Viewing Angles
- 1200:1 Static Contrast Ratio
- 16.7 Million Colors
- 8192 Pressure Levels / 120° Tilt Stylus
- USB Type-C Connectivity
- Works with Windows, macOS & Android
- Adjustable Foldable Stand (ST200) allows for easy repositioning
- PenTech 3.0 and felt nibs provide a more authentic-feeling drawing experience
- On-screen display for settings removes unnecessary side buttons
- Minimal parallax and glare
- 8 customizable on-tablet shortcut keys
- Minimizes cords with USB-C connectivity
- Excellent pen pressure sensitivity test
- Short power cord makes included USB extension cord almost necessary
- Some troubleshooting required for connectivity
9. Best Android Tablet for Photo Editing – Samsung Galaxy S7
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The Samsung Galaxy S7 tablet is one of the highest-performing android tablets. This tablet powered by the Snapdragon processor is highly portable and incredibly potent. And it’s not a straightforward comparison because Samsung’s Dex mode allows you to switch between tablet and desktop modes. However, the Photoshop version for any Android device is minimal, so this tablet will only be valid for photo editing until Photoshop updates the Android app version. However, the tablet’s portable screen size makes it ideal for editing photos on the go and a great companion for everyday use.
- Processor: Snapdragon 820 Quad
- RAM: 4GB RAM
- Storage: 32GB ROM
- Display: 5.1 inch 2560×1440（Quad HD / 2K ）
- Camera: Rare: 12MP+Front: 5MP
- Operating System: Android 6.0
- Extra storage space
- Improved camera feature
- Front-facing flash
- Quickly charges
- “Always-on” display
- Hardware improvements
- Same old design
- Short battery life
- Still uses TouchWiz
- Fingerprint prone
- It might not be worth the high price tag
- Has been known to have plenty of issues
- Difficult to repair
10. Best Budget-Friendly Graphic Tablet for Photoshop – Huion HS611
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With that small price, this handy device is one of the best graphic tablets. This device has proven that price is not an issue and that anyone with a small budget can own a graphic tablet. For years, well-known brands have charged not-so-small prices for essential functions and tablets without a screen, but this device has demonstrated that price is irrelevant and that anyone can afford a graphic tablet.
In addition to the active drawing area, there are 10+ customizable shortcut keys and a wheel that can zoom in and out or change the brush size. Since Photoshop needs a well-equipped PC to work, getting a screen tablet or an iPad can be expensive. Not only does this not-so-small Huion have the ideal drawing area for editing, drawing, or painting in Photoshop for Windows or Mac, but its compatibility with Android makes it even more helpful, as we can also use it on our smartphones.
- 10.2 x 6.4″ Active Area
- 8192 Levels of Pen Pressure Sensitivity
- USB Type-C Connectivity
- 10 x Programmable Express Keys
- Programmable Touch Bar
- 8 x Multimedia Keys
- Includes PW500 EMR Pen
- Slim and Compact Design
- Includes Pen Holder
- Windows, Mac & Android Compatible
- Good build quality
- Excellent drawing performance
- 10 physical customisable shortcut buttons
- Pen not powered by battery
- 8 replacement nibs
- Support for tilt and 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Design looks okay
- Touch sensitive controls can't be turned off (driver issue)
- Android support hit and miss
How to Choose the Best Tablet for Photoshop
Before jumping to our recommended tablet list, let’s examine what to look for in a new Photoshop tablet.
Photoshop is compatible with most of the Operating Systems, but this compatibility comes at a cost. Take a moment to consider what you intend to use Photoshop for, as portable versions are equipped with fewer and more restricted features. If it’s for quick photo editing and simple drawing or painting, an Android or iOS device with pressure sensitivity will suffice. However, if you require full software functionality, you’ll need a Microsoft Surface or a graphic tablet with a laptop.
Whether you’re using a portable tablet or a graphic tablet with a laptop, the size will depend on the tasks you intend to complete. Photoshop can be used on any screen size; however, screen sizes between 10″ and 13″ are optimal for portability. If you’re looking for a professional drawing tablet that can multitask, manage multiple works simultaneously, and have a large drawing area, 16′′ to 24′′ will be the best option.
The proper display is crucial for artists, designers, and creative individuals. There is nothing better than seeing our work at its highest quality. Even if our display is not 4K OLED or similar, we should always seek +90% color compatibility with Adobe RGB.
Pen pressure sensitivity
Another item to add to the list. Pressure sensitivity might not be important for photo editing, but for digital painting and illustrations is a fundamental matter. Most mobile devices with this feature, such as Android and iOS tablets, have styluses with a maximum of 4096 levels of pressure. And it’s not bad; however, for a more professional audience, the ideal would be what any graphic tablet or pen display offers, and that is 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity along with tilt support.
CPU and GPU
This category is valid only for tablets, though most of the tablets used for Photoshop have a good processor and graphic unit. If you’re planning to use this device for heavier tasks like 3D modeling or animation, I’d recommend going for a tablet with either an M1 apple chip or an Intel Core i7 CPU.
Storage and RAM
Another tablet-only category, storage, and RAM are essential since PSD and PSB files are heavy for both temporary (RAM) and long-term (SSD) computer memory. Search for a tablet with more than 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage space.
Price and budget
Yes, price; because prices range from $60 to $2,199, the most popular and valuable devices will always be pricier. You should take your time purchasing the newest, most fashionable model if you’re on a tight budget and only intend to use a tablet for light tasks. On the other hand, if you’re already a working professional, then make sure you invest your budget wisely in a device that fits the needs of the software you will use and your career.
The answer is yes! While the mobile version of Photoshop may not be as comprehensive as the desktop version, it is still a powerful program that can be used to edit photos and create graphics on the go. Yes, you can use Photoshop on a tablet.
Well, laptops might not be the perfect solution for your photo editing needs, a tablet could be perfect! If you prefer computer in editing photos, see our Best Computer for Photo Editing here. Tablets today come with ample processing power to run photo editing software smoothly.
The majority of people who use Photoshop don’t use it for professional purposes, and a graphics tablet isn’t going to make much of a difference in your workflow. However, if you’re a digital artist or someone who relies on Photoshop for professional purposes, a graphics tablet can be a valuable tool.
When it comes to creative pen tablets, the Wacom Intuos Pro is the standard for professional digital artists as well as aspiring pros. The Intuos Pro’s reputation precedes it, and for good reason: on a connected Mac or PC, it lets you easily draw and paint digitally, as well as retouch photos.
The short answer is no, you don’t need one; however, they do make some jobs not just easier but more enjoyable. Not all tablets are created equal, though, so this photographer gives his take on a brand you might not have heard of before
Yes, you can get Photoshop on a Samsung tablet. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common and easiest way is to use an app called Adobe Photoshop Touch. This app is available for free on the Google Play Store, and it lets you use most of the features of the full Photoshop program on your tablet.
If Android is your OS of choice, and you’re after the most powerful Android tablet there is, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is definitely the way to go.
No, you cannot run the full version of Photoshop on an iPad Pro. The iPad Pro is not powerful enough to handle the full Photoshop program. However, that doesn’t mean the iPad Pro can’t be used for basic photo editing.
Tablets, graphic tablets, and pen displays are available in various forms, making it increasingly challenging to choose the best option. This article taught us what to consider when purchasing a tablet, which version of Photoshop is best for us, and which versions are compatible with which devices.
In addition, we are now aware of the best Photoshop options available on the market.
After reading this, you better understand which device is ideal for you.
Until next time!