Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, or even a content creator, it’s good to have a device to edit photos on the go.
Sometimes you’ve got a busy day shooting or maybe you need to do a quick edit to upload to your social media page and can’t get to your computer. In these cases, a tablet that can handle your editing process with ease is a lifesaver.
Smartphones are great and they can handle their share of photo editing but a tablet is that sweet spot between the power of a computer and the mobility of a smartphone.
We’ve gone ahead and reviewed some of the tablets on the market to help you choose the best tablet for photo editing.
Tablets for Photo Editing Overview
Best Overall Tablet: The iPad Pro is a powerhouse tablet with power that can outdo many laptops, it’s a must-have for any serious Photographer/creative.
Best 2-in-1 Tablet: The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a great 2-in-1 tablet that offers photographers the power and flexibility they need to work and edit on the road.
Best Value Tablet: The iPad Air is a tablet that delivers the iPad Pro’s performance without an iPad Air price tag.
Best Battery Life: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is a delightful Android tablet complete with an S pen so you can create and edit to your heart’s content.
Best Small 2-in-1 Tablet: The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a smaller Surface tablet that offers a gorgeous display and the power necessary for robust photo editing.
Best Affordable iPad: The iPad Mini may is an affordable iPad that’s small in size but still delivers the power and performance necessary for photo editing.
Best Budget Tablet: The Amazon Fire HD 10 is a budget-friendly tablet that’s great for any beginner photographer on the go.
What To Look for in a Tablet for Photo Editing
When you’re shopping for a great tablet to edit photos, you’ve got a consider a few things:
Power is paramount when running any photo editing software so you need a tablet that can handle your favorite photo editing app without any lag.
In addition to a powerful processor, you want your photo editing tablet to have a generous amount of RAM so it’s able to handle multitasking and working with a lot of files at the same time.
Gorgeous photos can eat up a lot of space especially if the files are high resolution. You want to invest in a tablet that offers a lot of internal storage.
Extra points if it has microSD support or able to use an external hard drive.
Screen size and resolution
Resolution is critical when doing any sort of creative work and the same goes for photo editing. A tablet with a high resolution as well as a good screen real estate offers you more workspace and more clarity when retouching or editing photos.
Color plays a huge role in making any photo truly shine, this is why you need a tablet that’s color accurate so you can edit without worrying if a color looks right or wrong.
The major perk of a tablet is portability and battery life plays a huge role in that. You need a tablet that can last you hours, at least a full workday, before needing to be charged.
The right accessories can elevate anyone’s workflow. Many tablets for photo editing now support digital pens that make the process easier and more intuitive.
The same goes for keyboards. Consider the accessories when making your tablet purchase to ensure they suit your needs.
With portability in mind, weight plays a crucial role with tablets. You want a tablet that’s durable with a good weight behind it but not too heavy. Some people find devices that are too light don’t usually feel comfortable so it’s important to find the right balance.
Money will always be a factor in any purchase. While everyone has a budget, a higher price does not always equate to quality.
Always consider your current and possible future needs when making your purchase and match that with your budget. Sometimes it may go over or under but making a wise investment today could save your hundreds down the line.
Mobile Apps vs Full Photo Editing Software
When you’re shopping for a new tablet to do a good chunk of editing on, you’ve got to consider your workflow and arsenal before making your choice.
If you love the full feature set of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and can’t see yourself working with the lite version of either of those apps, then you’re going to need something like an iPad Pro.
While the iPad Air and iPad Mini are also great choices, the Pro model boasts more power and can even outperform some laptops too. So, it’s a high contender especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy editing or creating your designs from scratch on your tablet.
On the flip side, if you’re looking to avoid Apple devices and enjoy a Windows setup then you might like a Windows tablet such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 or Surface Go 2.
Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 are also great for photo editing. However, Android apps aren’t as optimized for tablets as those for the iPad so you’d find yourself using the mobile version of the software with limited features such as Photoshop Express, Adobe Lightroom, Afterlight, or Snapseed.
These are great apps, no doubt, but they might not have all of the features you may need.
Lastly, if you’re looking to start small without too big of an initial investment then consider a more budget-friendly tablet such as the Amazon Fire HD 10. It has a limited app store but Adobe has optimized Photoshop Touch for the Fire HD 10 so you’d be able to create some fun edits.
Best Overall Tablet: Apple iPad Pro
The 2020 iPad Pro is a standout machine on the tablet market. Ever since the first iPad Pro was launched back in 2015, Apple has continued to innovate over the years as they shoot to make it a laptop replacement.
When it comes to photo editing, the 2020 iPad Pro shines thanks to its gorgeous display and powerful processing speed.
With a 12.9-inch Liquid Retina display with P3 wide color, ProMotion, and True Tone, you’re sure to see everything clearly and in vivid color.
With 6GB RAM and an A12Z Bionic chip with Neural Engine, the iPad Pro’s power makes you forget you’re using a tablet. You can run Photoshop for the iPad or Adobe Lightroom with ease.
You’ll be able to load multiple images at once without the iPad lagging. The power also allows you to take full advantage of all of Photoshop and Lightroom features without any delay in your workflow.
The 2020 iPad Pro has a battery life of up to 10 hours, which covers more than an average workday.
A major drawback of the iPad Pro is that it only features one USB-C port. While this port works great for attaching an external hard drive and other accessories, you can’t charge your iPad and use an external hard drive without using a splitter.
However, the iPad Pro has some good storage options and they range from 128GB – 1TB.
The iPad Pro also works with the Apple Pencil (a separate purchase) that allows for a smoother workflow as well as digital artwork.
Overall, the 2020 Apple iPad Pro is a wonderful tablet for photo editing and creative work.
Best 2-in-1 Tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a beast of a laptop-tablet hybrid. It’s the latest model in the Microsoft Surface Pro lineup and allows you the power of a laptop as a tablet.
A 12.3-inch PixelSense display has a resolution of 2736 x 1824 which will allow for a clear and vivid picture on your Surface Pro 7. In addition to its stunning screen, the Surface Pro 7 also offers power in variety. You can get a model with 10th Gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7.
The Core i3 models use Intel UHD Graphics Card while the Core i5 and i7 models use Intel Iris Plus.
These processors are enough to run full versions of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom as well as process RAW images.
The Surface Pro 7 is compatible with the Surface Pen and Type Cover Keyboard but unfortunately, both are sold separately. However, if you do grab them, they will add to your workflow and make the Surface Pro 7 an even more impressive machine to edit photos.
Storage size runs from 128GB – 1TB SSD. The SSD storage will help your software run faster and use less battery life.
Speaking of battery life, the Surface Pro 7 has a great battery life of up to 10.5 hours. It’s also fairly light and weighs 1.7 lbs/ 771g. Overall, It’s a stellar 2-in-1 tablet for photo editing that’s sure to be appreciated by any photographer.
Best Value Tablet: Apple iPad Air
Apple is known for its creative friendly products and the iPad Air falls into that category.
This iPad is a breeze to use for photo editing and everyday tasks. It’s not as pricey as an iPad Pro yet it offers comparable performance and power.
The iPad Air features a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display with P3 Wide Color and True Tone makes for sparkling color accuracy. This means you’ll be able to easily edit your photos without worrying that the colors will look off or weird.
The A14 Bionic chip with Neural Engine offers much-needed power, speed, and performance to run photo editing apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for iPad.
You’ll be able to load files and edit them without lag or delay thanks to the iPad Air’s powerful processor. The iPad Air now supports the Apple Pencil and Keyboard.
The battery life can last up to 10 hours which is sure to benefit you if you have long workdays too.
Storage for the iPad Air is limited though, it is only available at either 64GB or 256GB. But you can connect an external hard drive using the USB-C port. The limited storage options aside, the iPad Air is a great tablet for photographers.
Best Battery Life: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
Samsung is one of the big names when you think of phones and tablets so it’s no surprise the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is on our list. This is one of Samsung’s flagship devices and its specs and performance live up to that title.
The screen is a gorgeous 11-inch 2560 x 1600 TFT display with rich color that’s a must for any photographer.
It features an Octa-Core Processor with either 6/8 GB RAM. This is more than enough to use your favorite photo editing apps and multi-task as well.
You also get the S pen included in your Galaxy Tab S7 purchase. The S pen works great when editing photos or even taking notes. And it is included with your purchase adds even more value to the Galaxy Tab S7.
Storage options are 128 – 512GB with the microSD supporting up to 1TB which is a good amount of storage even for a prolific photographer.
The Galaxy Tab S7 also has an impressive battery life of 13 hours that’ll surely take you through the day. It’s an impressive Android tablet that you can easily edit your photos on with ease.
Best Small 2-in-1 Tablet: Microsoft Surface Go 2
Think of the Microsoft Surface Go 2 as the younger sibling of The Microsoft Surface Pro. Even though it’s a lighter device in terms of specs, the Surface Go 2 is still a great tablet for photo editing.
It has a lovely 10.5-inch screen with a 1920 x 1280 resolution and uses an Intel HD Graphics 615 graphics card. This works great with photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. And, it can also handle some light gaming.
The Surface Go 2 is available with either an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4425Y processor or an 8th Gen Intel Core m3-8100Y processor.
The RAM configurations available are 4GB and 8GB with internal storage being either a 64GB or 128GB SSD. That internal memory may be too little for many active photographers so you’ll be happy to know the Surface Go 2 also offers MicroSD support as well.
In terms of accessories, the Surface Go 2 is compatible with the Surface Type Cover keyboard and Surface Pen (both sold separately).
The battery life is also fairly good and can run up to 10 hours. All in all, the Surface Go is a great 2-in-1 tablet for editing photos.
Best Affordable iPad: Apple iPad Mini
The Apple iPad Mini is what many would consider an affordable iPad. Even with its relatively modest price tag, it offers a host of brilliant features that work well for photography enthusiasts on the go.
The screen is a 7.9-inch Retina Display with Wide Color and True Tone technology for vivid and vibrant color.
Its resolution is 2048×1536 which will allow you to view your images clearly and edit them with ease.
The A12 Bionic Chip delivers power and performance that’s critical for photo editing and allows you to run Photoshop and Lightroom for iPad with ease.
The iPad Mini also works with Apple Pencil (sold separately) which many photographers find as a handy tool when retouching photos.
Storage options for the iPad Mini range from 64 GB to 256 GB, though the higher of the two would be a much better investment especially if you’re a prolific photographer.
You won’t have to worry too much about battery life as the iPad Mini can go up to 10 hours before needing to be charged.
With its price and performance, the Apple iPad Mini is a great budget-friendly iPad for any amateur photographer.
Best Budget Tablet: Amazon Fire HD 10
When you think of photo editing, Amazon isn’t a brand that comes to mind nor does its Fire Tablet. However, the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet is an affordable tablet that allows you to do light photo editing on the go.
It features a 10.1-inch full HD display with 1920×1200 resolution that will serve you well when you view and edit your photos.
While Amazon’s ecosystem is relatively limited in comparison to iOS and Android, it does feature Photoshop Touch. This app is the same as the ones available on iOS and Android but has been optimized to run smoothly on the Fire HD 10 tablet.
You’ll be sure to use Photoshop Touch smoothly thanks to the Fire HD 10’s 2.0 GHz octa-core processor and 2GB RAM.
This processor can easily handle Photoshop Touch and even other photo editing apps available on the Amazon App Store.
Battery life lasts up to12 hours with mixed-use such as streaming video, listening to music, and browsing the web.
However, editing could see that battery life cut down to roughly 9-10 hours, depending on your brightness level and other tasks. This runtime is still more than enough for the average workday.
Storage is no issue either with the Fire HD 10’s internal storage being either 32GB or 64GB with a MicroSD slot that supports up to 512GB. All things considered, the Fire HD 10 is a great budget-friendly tablet for photo editing.
Photo editing is no easy task and not every tablet is built to handle it. Having the right tablet for photo editing can make a huge difference in your workflow, productivity, and creative output.
We reviewed the tablets that would offer you the best features so that you could make the best choice and investment for your career/interest. We sincerely hope you enjoyed this review of the best tablets for photo editing.
Be sure to share this review with your friends/family and leave us a comment letting us know what you thought about it. If you have any of the tablets on this list, let us know how you feel about it too.