The best tablets for photo editing, are those that give you enough power to edit your images on the go. These are the ones that come with a fast processor under the hood.
In this article, we look at the best tablets that have been launched over the last year. Our objective is to find the best tablets for photo editing, something that can liberate you from your desk.
Best Tablets for Photo Editing
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The Surface Pro 7 is the latest model and features desktop-like specs such as 16GB of memory and a 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is our pick from the best tablets for photo editing in 2021. It is the latest iteration of this series of powerful tablet/laptop hybrids and has excellent performance. The Surface Pro is essentially a portable desktop computer and it is kitted out with some of the same specs that some of the best PCs for photo editing have.
When choosing the Surface Pro 7, you have a choice of different specs in terms of RAM and processing power. The basic model has a respectable 8GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5 processor – this is still pretty amazing and those specs will easily cope with even some slightly more power-hungry editing programs. However, if you want even more power, the highest-spec Pro 7 comes with 16GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i7 processor. You can expect programs like ON1 Photo RAW 2021 and Lightroom to run with ease on this model.
The design of the tablet is also fantastic – it is slimline and not too heavy. Also, the quality and utility of the touchscreen display are great. If you are not comfortable using the screen for editing, don’t worry! The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 also has USB-C and USB-A ports so you can connect a USB mouse. Of course, you can also purchase the official keyboard and Surface pen too – we would advise this as the keyboard adds a whole new level of photo-editing utility to this tablet.
If you edit photos on the go and need a reliable, powerful tablet, you can’t go wrong with the Surface Pro 7.
2. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
The Tab S7+ is a brilliant development and has plenty of processing power for photo editing.
The current best Samsung tablet for photo editing is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+. This is the latest generation of Samsung’s tablets and it has an excellent array of features specifically for photo editing. For example, it offers either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and either a 2.4GHz or 3.09GHz Octa-Core processor. Either of these specs should give more than enough power and allow you to run photo editing apps smoothly.
This tablet also has three different storage options ranging from 128GB up to 512GB. If that isn’t enough, it has an external memory slot where you can add up to a 1TB microSD card. This should be more than enough for even the largest of photo collections.
We also like that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ comes with the S pen as standard – this means you can edit with greater precision and detail. The tablet does not, however, come with a keyboard so this is something you should consider.
In terms of the display, the screen is edge to edge and gives you plenty of viewing space. It also has a high refresh rate of 120Hz and the touchscreen capabilities are fantastic. You can be assured that your photos will display accurately and with brilliant colors and clarity. Finally, the Tab S7+ has excellent battery life. For editing and advanced playback, it can last for up to 14 hours. It also features a fast-charging system and has a USB-C port for external peripherals.
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3. Apple 12.9” iPad Pro
The 4th generation iPad Pro looks superb but it is also highly functional with the advanced A12Z Bionic chip and M12 coprocessor.
Just like in the case of the Surface Pro, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9” has also got a new chip. The new iPad Pro comes with the A12X Bionic chip and the M12 coprocessor. This chip is built on the 7nm technology. The system features an 8-core CPU as well as a 7-core GPU.
If you need a tablet that has enough juice to handle RAW image processing and retouching on the go then this is probably a tablet that you would want to pick up. And so that you have a high-quality display emitting true colors to go with the computing power, the iPad Pro comes with a 264ppi (2732 x 2048) display. With the support of the Apple Pencil, you can make really fine edits using compatible photo editing applications.
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 12.3” 8th Gen i7
The Surface Pro 6 features an 8th gen Intel processor and has a brilliant battery life for long photo editing sessions.
If the Surface Pro 7 is a bit too far out of reach, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a more affordable option that still performs well. This tablet will be able to handle apps, like Photoshop, with ease.
The new Surface Pro comes with a higher display resolution when compared to some of the other competitors. The Surface Pro has a pixel density of 267ppi and a resolution of 2736 x 1824. This could have been the winner of this review of the best tablets for photo editing, but for the absence of the Surface Pen. Rather than being sold with the tablet, it’s a separate accessory.
5. Samsung 10.5” Galaxy Tab S4
The older Tab S4 still holds up well and is available in either a 64GB or 256GB HDD variant.
Though both have identical display sizes and resolutions, there is a difference in the display technology. And more importantly what’s under the hood in terms of processing power.
While the S5e is powered by a 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 8-core processor, the S4 is powered by the more powerful Qualcomm MSM8998 8-core processor. Among other things, the MSM8998 features a faster cluster of 8 cores compared to the SD670. But another aspect of the S4, and despite the fact that it is an old design now, that wins it for it is the S Pen. Something that the S5e does not have.
Anyone who has used the S Pen knows how useful it is when taking handwritten notes. But the same tool becomes very useful when operated on a 10.5” tab for editing and retouching photos.
Related Post: The Best Laptop for Photo Editing
6. Apple 11” iPad Pro
This slightly smaller iPad Pro performs fantastically and has a stunning display screen for crystal clear editing.
At 11″, this is slightly smaller than the Apple 12.9” but it is nevertheless powered by the same A12X bionic chip. The Apple iPad Pro 11” replaces the smaller 10.5” iPad that we had listed previously. The powerful A12X bionic chip is paired with an M12 coprocessor. This is a 64-bit Octa-core CPU.
With a price difference of just 200 bucks, you might want to go for the 11” rather than the 12.9”. Both have the same architecture and the same pixel density. Just that the 12.9” gives you a slightly larger real estate and more resolution and therefore greater convenience when editing your images. That said, the choice depends on your requirements and your budget.
7. Amazon Fire HD 10
The Amazon Fire HD 10 is a fantastic budget option – its durable, lightweight, and has decent specs for photo editing.
Amazon also has a great range of its own products, and one of the most popular aside from the Kindle is the Amazon Fire HD tablet. The Amazon Fire HD 10 is the current model and has a host of upgrades compared to previous versions. It is also one of the best tablets for photo editing in 2021 if you are working to a budget.
This tablet may not be suitable for advanced editing as it simply doesn’t have the processing power. However, for basic editing tasks, and software that doesn’t require as much power, it is a suitable device. It comes with 2GB of RAM, and an Octa-Core processor with a maximum clock speed of 2.0GHz – this should be ample for basic editing programs.
We also like the design of this tablet. It is one of the more robust and durable models available. As standard, you get the tablet and the durable Amazon standing case for extra protection. In terms of display, the Amazon Fire HD 10 features a 10.1-inch 1080p full HD screen and has excellent touchscreen utility.
The only downside you may find is the limited storage. As standard, it only has a maximum storage of 64GB. For extensive RAW editing, this may not be enough. If you wish, you can extend this storage via an external microSD card which can add up to 512GB extra. As a result, we feel this tablet would be better suited for editing on the go with cloud storage solutions.
8. Microsoft Surface Go
The Surface Go is the smaller counterpart to the Surface Pro but still packs a punch with 4GB of memory, and an Intel Pentium processor.
The Microsoft Surface Go is the smaller counterpart to the Surface Pro series. This remains a popular choice and is an excellent tablet for editing whilst traveling. It weighs virtually nothing and is compact too – you could easily store it in your suitcase or backpack.
Despite its smaller size, it still has decent specs comparable to some basic desktop computers. For example, it has either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Also, it has an Intel Pentium Gold processor – this may not be as powerful as the i5 or i7 series, but it is still more than enough for advanced photo editing.
The battery of this compact tablet also holds up really well. It can last for up to 9-hours of playback on one charge and has a relatively fast charging time too. As standard, it comes with Windows Home 10 in S mode, and you get either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Like the Amazon Fire HD 10, the storage isn’t huge and it may be beneficial to use cloud storage for your editing.
In terms of design, the Microsoft Surface Go looks great – it is available in several colors and benefits from a slimline design. We would also advise purchasing the official keyboard as this makes the tablet so much easier to use.
9. Apple iPad Air
The Apple iPad Air remains a popular tablet and has some solid specs for basic photo editing.
The 4th generation of the Apple iPad Air is still a great choice and has a beautiful 10.9-inch liquid retina display. This will make editing easy and provide you with clarity and great colors for your photos. The touchscreen controls are also fantastic and it is a pleasure to use.
For specifications, this is not one of the most powerful tablets available. It has the A14 Bionic Chip and 6GB of RAM. This should be sufficient for basic editing and you should be able to use most mid-range editing programs.
We do love the quality of the cameras. It features a 12MP rear camera and a 7MP front-facing camera. This means you can take decent quality photos using your tablet and edit them immediately! It also benefits from various Apple features like the touch ID authentication, and is compatible with the magic keyboard and Apple Pencil.
The only downside with this tablet for photo editing is the storage. There is only a 64GB model available and some people may find this limiting. It can support up to 64GB of flash memory too, but this is still not a huge amount.
10. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
This older Galaxy Tab model as up to 4GB of RAM and a decent Exynos 9611 processor.
Our final Samsung entry is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6. This older model is still a brilliant choice and the Lite version is available for a bargain price too. The standard model has 4GB of RAM and a solid Exynos 9611 processor. These specs alone should provide an abundance of processing power for photo editing.
The display of this tablet is also fantastic as it has a resolution of 2000×1000 on its TFT screen. You should be able to view your images in excellent detail and have plenty of workspace when using editing software. It is also a highly portable tablet and weighs just 1.02 lb/462 g – you could easily take it on business trips or traveling adventures.
The battery also has an excellent capacity for video playback and editing. One full charge should last up to 12 hours. It also has a fast-charging USB-C port so your tablet is always ready to use. If you aren’t bothered about owning the latest model tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is still a brilliant choice.
As you can see, there is a great selection of the best tablets for photo editing available. Models like the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offer fantastic specifications. These powerful devices are on par with desktop computers and can cope with advanced photo editing. Alternatively, there are also some great budget options like the Apple iPad Air and the Amazon Fire HD 10. These smaller, and cheaper devices are great for casual editing when utilizing cloud storage.
Best Tablets for Photo Editing FAQs
Of course! This does depend on the OS used, and support for different software. For example, some editing programs are available for Windows-based tablets like the Surface Pro, but not for Apple devices like the iPad Pro.
Yes, there are various versions of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom available for tablet usage. For example, Lightroom CC is the mobile version and can be used on both smartphones and tablets.
Not necessarily. This depends on your preference. Some people prefer to use their fingers. Others may prefer to use the traditional mouse and keyboard. Most tablets for photo editing have multiple options for controls.