They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that adage doesn’t hold up if the picture is crummy. As such a photo editor is any photographer’s best friend. And a tablet is a great device for photo editing. Bigger than a phone, but more portable than a laptop, a tablet allows you to photo edit on the go while still having the screen size and power to do professional level work. Of course, not all tablets are created equal, and so we’ve done the legwork for you to find the best ones for photo editing.
What to Consider
Choosing a tablet for photo editing requires special considerations, especially if you are planning to use it professionally. The first thing to consider is platform. If you have a preferred photo editor, you will need to check to make sure it is available for the platform you choose. Also, the same app may not have the same features across all platforms. Otherwise, regardless of what kind of tablet you choose, you’ll want to pay close attention to the following.
Display: In order to make color corrections to your photos, they need to be rendered accurately on your screen. Pay close attention to the display’s color gamut (the wider the better, obviously), as well as brightness (usually measured in nits) and the contrast ratio.
Processing power: Photo editing requires more power than other tasks, especially if you are working with print quality images. As such, you need to make sure that your tablet has a CPU powerful enough to photo edit using your preferred editor.
Storage: Similarly, photo files, especially high res ones, take up a lot of storage space. Make sure your tablet has a big enough hard drive or the ability to expand its storage via a microSD card.
How We Selected
We looked at a wide range of tablet reviews from sources such as Digital Camera World, CNET and PCMag to pinpoint the best tablets for photo editing. The list below presents a cross-section of platforms and price points to help you find one that meets your needs and budget.
Apple iPad Pro
Armed with Apple’s M1 chip, the same chip in the latest MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops, the iPad Pro has all the processing power you’ll need to edit photos using Photoshop or Apple’s own Photos app.
Plus, it boasts a 12.9-inch XDR Retina display with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio that allows you to edit HDR photos. (An 11-inch Retina version is also available.) And if you need to capture photos, it has a 12MP ultra-wide camera on the front and a 12MP wide camera and 10MP ultra-wide camera on the back.
Even better, it’s available with as much as 2TB of storage for holding all those photos. While the Pro doesn’t come cheap (the top of the line costs more than most laptops), it is by far the best tablet for photo editing that money can buy.
- Incredible display
- Compatible with Apple Pencil
- Available with 5G wireless
- No microSD slot
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
$749.95 (17% off)
With a 10th-generation Intel processor (available as i3, i5, or i7), the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is powerful enough for a full version of Windows, hence enabling you to run Photoshop or any other photo editor available for Windows.
It’s equipped with a sharp 12.3-inch PixelSense 2,736 x 1,824 touchscreen that is compatible with the Surface Pen, making it easy to work with your images. It also has a kickstand should you decide to pair it with Microsoft’s Signature Type Cover and truly make it a laptop replacement.
- Long battery life
- Surface Pen has to be purchased separately
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
One of our favorite Samsung tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ features a gorgeous 12.4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen that will allow you to do precise photo editing. It also comes with an S Pen, making touching up photos a breeze.
While not as powerful as some other tablets on the list, its Snapdragon 865+ chipset will be powerful enough to run most Android photo-editing apps.
It’s available with as much as 8GB RAM and 512GB of storage, but you can expand that to 1TB via the microSD card slot. And if you need to take photos it has a 5MP ultra-wide and 13MP cameras on the back and an 8MP camera on the front.
- Available with 5G
- S Pen included
Amazon Fire HD10
If your photo-editing needs and budget are modest, then Amazon’s Fire HD10 is a very affordable option. It has a 10.1-inch 1080p screen, which is not bad for a tablet at this price. It also has a 10-hour battery life, so you can throw it in your bag and be good for most of the day.
Being an Amazon tablet, it doesn’t have the array of app choices of other Android devices, but there are a number of light photo editors that can handle basic tasks. It’s available with either 32GB or 64GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, which can be expanded via the microSD card slot.
Best Mac on a Budget
If the iPad Pro’s hefty price tag is too much for your budget but you still want an iOS tablet, then the iPad Air is the way to go. Its 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display is slightly smaller and less brilliant than that of the Pro, but is still pretty stunning. Similarly, its Bionic A14 isn’t as powerful as the Pro’s M1, but will make quick work of most tasks in Photoshop.
Like the Pro, the Air is compatible with Apple Pencil and the Magic Keyboard and has a USB-C Port. And for capturing photos it has a 12MP rear-facing camera and a 7MP front-facing camera. In short, it will more than ably meet most people’s needs.
- Comes in bright colors
Best Windows on a Budget
Microsoft Surface Go
A more affordable alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, the Microsoft Surface Go will nevertheless give you plenty of photo-editing power. It comes with a scaled-down version of Windows, but gives you the option to upgrade to the full version so you’ll be able to use Photoshop or just about any other photo editor. It has a 10-inch 1,800 x 1,200 Pixelsense touchscreen, so you can rest assured that your photos will be rendered accurately.
Like the Pro 7, it’s compatible with the Surface Pen, which you can purchase with the money you saved.
- Can run full version of Windows
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