To carry a hefty laptop or Macbook while traveling isn’t easy at all. Photographers have waited long for the portable photo editing devices that they can carry with them everywhere.
Many brands have introduced tablets claiming that they can replace laptops or desktop systems ad work as real photo-editing devices with advancements in technology. Of course, it’s hard to believe.
When these tablets were introduced to the market, the photo editing softwares also developed the softwares compatible with these devices. But these softwares offered a little functionality as compared to their full versions.
Later on, Adobe released the Lightroom CC for mobile and Adobe Photoshop for iPads to overcome these limitations. Well, there are many options available now but to figure out the best one for you is not that simple.
We have reviewed the 6 best tablets for photo editing in 2021.[acf field=”Table”]
Best Tablets For Photo Editing – Top 6 Updated Pick
2560 x 1600
2736 x 1824
2736 x 1824
Apple iPads with iPhoneOS offered limited functionality, but as soon as Apple introduced iPadOS, it became the photographer’s favorite travel partner. With this new operating system, a super-fast 12X Bionic chip, and powerful hardware, it is an unrivaled tablet for photo editing in 2021.
With a large 12.9 inch display, lightweight, compact design, and overall smaller footprint, it’s a studio that you can carry around wherever you want to go. Its high resolution and extremely responsive touchscreen with liquid retina display offer a crystal clear view and a smooth, uninterrupted surface for drawing with an Apple pen.
Many people took it as their MacBook or laptop replacement. This is because the Safari browser works as a desktop browser in it. Moreover, unlike older versions, iPad Pro has the ability to access external storage devices. Now it can read the images from external storage and SD cards.
In addition to that, it has a single Type-C port, allowing you to connect it with many external devices such as a mouse and keyboard and also charge your iPad pro anywhere. It can download files directly into a file app and access external storage like iCloud, Dropbox and Adobe cloud, etc.
Then comes the software support for photo editing. The Adobe Lightroom CC can also work correctly with iPad Pro. Although it can not outperform the Lightroom CC classic, which works on MacBook or Windows OS, it still has a lot to offer. Photos are automatically synced over the cloud, and you can manually export if you don’t have an internet connection.
Moreover, at the time of the iPad Pro release, adobe announced a full version of photoshop software for iPad Pro, which has been released since 2019. Hence there is no more doubt that it is the best tablet for photo editing. It has all the essential editing tools, especially those that are specialized for touch screens.
As expected, the iPad Pro has an impressive battery life that won’t let you anywhere. The 600 cd/m² brightness level makes it a perfect outdoor device.
- iPad Operating System
- Portable device
- Lightroom CC & Adobe Photoshop
- Access to external storages
- Long-battery life
- Doesn’t support Lightroom CC classic
With a powerful CPU, iPad OS, a large high-resolution display, and an overall small footprint it is a portable device capable of outperforming many Windows devices. It supports lightroom CC and photoshop so you can edit a raw image of upto 50 megapixels without any problem.
Samsung S6 is another powerful device that could work as a portable photo editing studio. It supports multitasking, content creation, editing, and switching between apps without any delay-thanks to the powerful processor Snapdragon 855. You will get 6GB/8GB RAM and 128 GB/256GB storage, which is pretty satisfying.
It’s a lightweight device weighing only 420g and has an overall small size that takes a small space in your traveling bag. A powerful Li-ion battery of 7040 mAh lasts for 12hours, no matter how intensively it works throughout the day. It supports fast charging features as well.
It has a super AMOLED display that gives a perfect view of everything. You can easily edit, trim and sketch the photos on Highly sensitive, high-resolution 2569×1600 pixels,10.4-inch large touch screens. A wide range of color options is available so you can choose a more natural color scheme for high-end photo-editing.
Moreover, it comes with an S-pen stylus that supports Bluetooth connectivity. It sticks magnetically to the tablet and is easily rechargeable. It is also one of the finest weapons to create super-specific and accurate trims and edits and smooth screen navigation.
With powerful hardware, a tablet also needs software support for photo editing. The primary platform for photo editing on Samsung Galaxy S6 is Lightroom CC for mobile. In addition to that, it has a powerful processor that is capable enough to run photoshop express and many more. Other photo editing software includes PicsArt, Magist, JustSnow, etc.
The incredible feature of the Samsung Tab S6 is the DeX mode. You can connect the tab to a large screen via HDMI cable, and it switches to a desktop interface. The desktop interface supports up to twenty windows programs offering a lot of multitasking. Keep in mind that as it runs on a mobile OS, its functionality is limited compared to Windows desktop devices.
The keyboard does not come packed with it. But you can buy a keyboard separately, which connects to the device via magnets and pogo pin connector. The only charging option is a type-C port, and unfortunately, there is no headphone jack.
- Long -Battery life
- Dex mode-desktop interface
- Snapdragon 855-powerful processor
- Portable device
- Keyboard sold separately
Well, it is established that Samsung Galaxy S6 is a real powerhouse for photo editing. Its high-resolution, 10.4-inch large screen and highly responsive Stylus makes it a perfect choice for photographers.
Samsung Galaxy TAB S4 another favorite android photo editing device. ItS10.4 inches, diagonally measured screen and a high resolution 2560 x 1600 AMOLED display make it an ideal choice for content creation and photo editing. As it works
But based on the display, we cannot decide whether it will work for photo editing softwares. With a powerful octa-core snapdragon 835 chipsets, 4 GB RAM, and android 8.01 Oreo, with an update to 9.0 pie, it has amazing processing power to edit photos on lightroom mobile, without any delay.
Moreover, it has 64 GB/256 GB storage, which is expandable by SD card also, so there is a lot of space to save large files. You can add storage cards of 400 GB into the micro SD card slot.
Like Samsung’s Galaxy S6, it also has DeX features. By this, you can switch to a desktop interface that allows high-end multitasking. You can have multiple window options when Dex is enabled. You can also turn it into a laptop as it accepts a keyboard cover that is sold separately.
For screen navigation, there is a stylus or S-pen that comes with it. By using the stylus, one could be more specific and accurate with the edits. Moreover, it offers a lot of ease while editing, sketching, and taking handwritten notes.
As it’s a lightweight and portable device, it is supposed to work outdoors better. The super AMOLED display gives a clear and bright view of the screen, even on bright sunny days. The battery is powerful enough that lasts for up to ten hours once fully charged. It also supports the fast charging feature.
- Powerful processor
- S-pen stylus
- Long battery life
- Large expandable storage
- DeX feature
- Limited software support
- A bit pricey
Although Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 screen resolution is not as high as Samsung Galaxy as S6, it doesn’t mean that the S4 is not capable of photo editing. With a powerful processor and S-pen stylus, you can easily work on a lightroom mobile and edit photos without any delay.
Microsoft Pro is a real laptop/tablet hybrid device as it runs on a Windows 10 operating system. It has narrowed the gap between a tablet and a laptop by overcoming the shortcomings of mobile OS and iPad OS.
The overall footprint and weight of the Surface pro are large, compared to the iPad Pro and Samsung S6, it still offers a lot of potability. It supports both USB-C and USB-A type connectivity creating more options to connect with external devices.
The extra-large responsive screen with a high resolution of 2736×1824 and a powerful 8 GB RAM has everything you would expect from a real photo editing device. It has got mind-blowing processing power through Intel’s 10th generation chipset.
You can buy a highly sensitive stylus that works outstandingly on the super-smooth surface of Surface Pro. For all pressure-sensitive applications and photo editing, this stylus is a real treat. A full-size keyboard and touchpad can also be added to the whole package to make it a real replacement for a laptop.
As it has a full window OS, all the Windows-compatible photo editing softwares run on Surface Pro without any delay. The Lightroom CC Classic and Adobe Photoshop windows version enables it to stand out as the best tablet for photo editing.
In addition to that, it has built-in photo-editing software where you can quickly edit the pictures with some cool editing tools. It has a long battery life of 9-hours that enables it to work throughout the tirelessly.
- 3” high-resolution touchscreen
- Windows 10 OS
- Lightroom CC Classic
- Adobe Photoshop
- Long-battery life
Now it’s quite evident that the Microsoft Surface Pro has the edge over all those tablets that run on a mobile-based operating system. The tablet with windows OS can perform high-end photo editing anywhere by using all desktop-versions of photo-editing softwares.
Microsoft Surface Pro-7 is the advanced and updated version of Surface Pro-6, which offers an outstanding platform for photo editing and content creation. The 10th generation Intel Multi-core processors and 8 GB RAM enable it to act as a real portable studio.
In terms of performance, there is no significant difference between the laptop and Surface Pro-7 as there is a full window OS. It means you will be able to work with the full version of Photo editing Softwares like Adobe Lightroom CC Classic and Adobe Photoshop. This softwares have all the advanced tools for photo editing and are popular among professional photographers.
The other features that make the surface Pro-7 the best photo editing tablet are the dedicated keyboard touchpad and pressure-sensitive stylus. Keep in mind that all these accessories are sold separately.
The highly-sensitive stylus or pen provides a high level of precision while editing photos and creating content. It works flawlessly on the responsive screen of surface Pro and gives you the perfect editing results ever.
Both USB-C type and USB-a type ports enable it to connect with a range of external devices like displays and chargers etc. The storage of surface Pro-7 IS 128 GB, which is large enough to save a large amount of data and big files at a time.
The batteries are also powerful. Once fully charged, it lasts for upto 10 hours without any hassle.
- 10 Gn Core i5 processor
- Full Windows OS
- Lightroom CC classic
- Adobe photoshop
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is almost identical to the surface Pro-6 but has got more power by a more powerful processor. It might seem a bit expensive, but as it offers the laptop-grade performance and also outclasses many windows-OS devices, professional photographer won’t feel reluctant to pay extra dollars for this portable editing powerhouse.
Apple iPad pro 11–inches is almost similar to the iPad Pro 12.9 inches version. It is powered by a12x Bionic chipset with a Neural engine that gives it the highest processing power ever. It can perform multiple tasks flawlessly almost in no time.
The 11-inch display measures corner to corner, a highly responsive touchscreen with a Retina display makes the tablet perfect for photo-editing and content creation applications. The ProMotion technology in the display makes the screen highly responsive, especially when working with the Stylus or Pen.
The iPad pro-11-inch has apple’s latest operating system, iOS 12. Explicitly talking about photo editing Apple iPad Pro can run the Lightroom CC for mobile and iPad photoshop. Although these versions are not the same as full versions of this software, you can have many options for quality-editing.
The other features that make the tablet a real laptop replacement are the dedicated magical keyboard and stylus. Attaching a keyboard to the tablet will have more options for working with different apps on the tablet. The Stylus belongs to the second generation of the stylus, which is highly-sensitive over the iPad’s touch screen surface. It adds high levels of precision and accuracy to your editing work.
In terms of connectivity, it only has a USB-C type port available, which is a limiting factor. The battery lasts for almost 10 hours, no matter how much you work on the tablet.
- Operating system iOS-12
- Photoshop iPad version
- A12X Bionic chipset
- No support for the full version of lightroom & photoshop
The Apple iPad Pro 11-ich has a powerful CPU that can beat many laptops and desktop computers compared to performance. It acts as a portable edit station with many editing options on Lightroom CC mobile and iPad photoshop version.
Buyer’s Guide to Choose Best Tablet For Photo Editing
Screen Size And Resolution
The screen size and resolution of the screen are critical to consider before choosing a tablet for photo-editing. These tablets replace desktop devices to some extent, so the screen size should be large enough to perform photo editing tasks.
Some tablets like iPad Pro offer as large as 12.9 inches display, making them an ideal option. In short, photo editing tablets should have a minimum screen size of 9.5 inches measured diagonally.
The high-resolution screen and a wide range of color options make the photo editing process super smooth and efficient. The super AMOLED display by Samsung, the ProMotion, and the Liquid Retina display are examples of the finest display qualities for photo editing devices.
Processor And RAM
These are deciding factors for buying a tablet for photo editing. Of course, you need a powerful chipset and RAM that supports the editing software without lags and delays. The multi-tasking ability of a tablet also depends upon the processor. Snapdragon Chipset, Apple BI-ionic chips intel i5, and i7 chips are the examples of those processors that support a wide range of softwares and allow high-end multi-tasking.
A 4GB RAM with a powerful chipset can smoothly run the mobile lightroom version, but to make use of lightroom cc, you must have at least 8 GB of RAM. For Adobe Photoshop, a combination of 16 GB RAM and a powerful processor is needed.
The storage is another essential feature of any tablet, but we are more concerned with photo editing. You need to save several files and photos every day. If you have a large storage space, you don’t have to delete files frequently to create space for new ones. A Tablet for photo editing must have minimum storage of 64 GB. The same devices have options to expand memories up to 500 GB through an SD card.
Softwares For Photo Editing
Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are two popular photo editing softwares. Tablets with a mobile operating system can run the lightroom mobile with some basic editing tools.
The mobile lightroom offers very little functionality as compared to a lightroom CC classic that runs on windows or desktop computers.
After the introduction of Lightroom CC for mobile, the Tablets have got the ability to be used as photo editing devices. The Lightroom CC mobile is not as efficient as the lightroom CC classic but still has many cool features to work with.
Adobe has released the full photoshop software for iPad, making iPads the dream choice for photographers.
If you are looking for a real digital partner for a photo editing friend in the world of tablets, you must choose the one that comes with a stylus or Pen. With the help of a stylus, you can navigate the screen more smoothly and accurately. It enables you to be more specific and accurate while using editing tools.
It allows you to add hand-written notes, sketch, trim and cut perfectly with alot of ease. You may or may not get a stylus with the Tablet, and in some cases, you may have to buy it separately.
The ability to pair with a keyboard cover or mouse makes the tablet more worthy of photo editing. In most cases, you will have to buy a separate keyboard if you want to use it for typing or as a laptop replacement.
Tablets have the edge over desktop devices in that they act as portable editing studios, and one can use them while traveling or anywhere outdoors. In that case, a powerful battery with a long-life is required. The battery life should be at least 10 hours to use it throughout the day without any letdown.
These tablets with powerful CPUs come in light-weight and compact designs, replacing the hefty devices commonly used for photo editing. They have potent CPUs, large displays with high resolutions, and powerful batteries, enabling them to become the favorite of professionals and amateurs.
With the development of photo-editing softwares compatible with these devices, alot of limitations have been removed. For example, Adobe has released the photoshop version of iPads, making them the photographers’ favorite choice. Similarly, the Microsoft tablets that can run the full Windows operating system can use all windows-grade commercial photo-editing softwares.
Here Are our top-three picks.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with Full windows OS, to use the windows version of photo-editing softwares
- Apple iPad Pro 12.9” with an extra-large screen and A12X bionic chips is a real portable photo-editing powerhouse.
- Samsung Galaxy S6, with Snapdragon 855 processor, super AMOLED display, and S-pen, is one of the best android tablets for photo editing.
We can safely conclude that Tablets have become the new sensation among photographers as they are capable of high-end photo-editing no matter if you are in your studio or not. Although there are few limitations to software support or performance, they act as portable editing powerhouses for many professional photographers.
Related Article: Best Monitor For Video Editing
Bust the Myths – Not Your Mind – FAQs
Which tablet is best for photographers?
One of the best tablets for photographers is the iPad Pro with 12.9 inches widescreen. It has a powerful big screen. Apple has always been remarkable in its products since always. The features are phenomenal. The luxury LCD screen is the main feature of iPad pro. It has high power and is easily portable.
What is the best graphic tablet for photo editing?
Graphics give the photography an entirely beautiful and different look. The best tablet recommended for the editing is Microsoft Surface Pro 7. It has some of the best windows for editing. It has the functionality of laptop. It provides a very high precision. Long battery life makes it even more attractive for professional or even personal use.
What do most photographers use to edit photos?
Photo editing involves many different applications and soft wares. Some of the best soft wares used by the photographers to edit their photos are Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Skylum Aurora. The first two work best for all tabs and computer screens. The latter provides some best filters for photography.
Can I run Photoshop on a tablet?
Availability of photoshop on the tablet purely depends on the tablet you are using. Many tablets support the special version of photoshop known as photoshop express. Microsoft surface pro 6 supports the photoshop. This tablet is specifically convenient for the use of windows like lightroom and photoshop on it.