The best tablets for photo editing offer enough power to process your images on the go. They can easily run editing apps like Lightroom, and you’ll have no problem processing your photos when traveling or when out and about.
In this article, we look at the best tablets launched over the last year. And we unveil our top 10 picks, including options for all budgets.
The Best Tablets for Photo Editing: 10 Picks
- 1. Microsoft Surface Pro 8
- 2. Microsoft Surface Pro X
- 3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- 4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
- 5. Apple 12.9” iPad Pro 2021
- 6. Microsoft Surface Go 2
- 7. Amazon Fire HD 10
- 8. Apple 11” iPad Pro 2021
- 9. Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
- 10. Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
- Pick a Tablet and Start Editing
- Best Tablets for Photo Editing FAQs
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 8
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 remains the best tablet for photo editing thanks to its fantastic power and design.
The best tablet for photo editing is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8; it’s the latest iteration of the Surface Pro series, and it’s an excellent choice for intermediate and advanced photographers. It’s a versatile tablet that also doubles as an editing laptop (with the purchase of the optional companion keyboard).
We like that the Surface Pro 8 offers plenty of different specifications for users to choose from. The ultimate specs for photo editing are the Intel Evo Platform Core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB SSD hard drive. However, this bumps up the price significantly.
If you want prime performance at a lower price, the Intel Evo Platform Core i7 processor with 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD will do a great job. And if you’re on a budget, opt for the Intel Evo Platform Core i5 processor, which knocks down the price even further.
Regardless of your hardware, the Surface Pro 8 is a supremely powerful tablet. It can easily manage any photo editing software, including power-hungry programs like Adobe Lightroom and ON1 Photo RAW 2022. It also benefits from the Microsoft Windows 11 operating system.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 also looks and feels great. It is sturdy, durable, and the touchscreen is responsive.
Apart from being a great option for editing photos, we also ranked the Surface Pro 8 as the best tablet for video editing.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro X
The Microsoft Surface Pro X is a good alternative to the Surface Pro 8 due to its lower price and midrange specs. It is suitable for intermediate photo editing and can (mostly) cope with high-end software.
Next, we have the Microsoft Surface Pro X. Inside this Microsoft tablet is the powerful Qualcomm Microsoft SQ1 processor, which is capable of multi-tasking. The tablet also includes 16 GB of RAM. This should be an ample amount of power for intermediate-level editing software.
(It can run high-end post-processing software, too, but you may notice some lag when dealing with larger RAW files.)
Like other Surface Pro tablets, you can buy the optional keyboard and pen – which we recommend as it makes photo editing significantly more efficient. For instance, you can use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow.
The touchscreen display of the Microsoft Surface Pro X is also beautiful and amazingly responsive. And although the Surface Pro X isn’t configurable like the Surface Pro 8, the listed version is still well designed and powerful.
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The Surface Pro 7 features desktop-like specs such as 16 GB of memory and a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 might be the older model of the series, but it remains a fantastic tablet for photo editing (and for a great price, too). The Surface Pro is essentially a portable desktop computer, and it is kitted out with specs matching some of the best PCs for photo editing.
When buying the Surface Pro 7, you have a choice of different specs. The basic model packs a respectable 8 GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor, which ensures the tablet can cope with even some slightly more resource-intensive editing programs. But if you want even more power, the highest-spec Pro 7 comes with 16 GB of RAM and an Intel Core i7 processor. You can expect programs like ON1 Photo RAW 2022 and Lightroom to run with ease on this model.
The design of the tablet is also fantastic – it is slim and not too heavy. And the quality of the touchscreen display is great. If you aren’t comfortable using the screen for editing, though, don’t worry! The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 includes USB-C and USB-A ports so you can use a USB mouse. Of course, you can also purchase the official keyboard and pen, too (which we certainly advise as the keyboard adds a whole new level of photo-editing functionality).
If you edit photos on the go and need a reliable, powerful tablet for a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with the Surface Pro 7.
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
The Tab S7+ is a brilliant product and includes plenty of processing power for photo editing.
The current best Samsung tablet for photographers is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, which has an excellent array of features for photo editing. It offers either 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM and either a 2.4 GHz or 3.09 GHz Octa-Core processor. These specs should give more than enough power to smoothly run editing apps.
The tablet also has three different storage options, which range from 128 GB up to 512 GB. If that isn’t enough, you even get an external memory slot; you can use this to add a 1 TB microSD card – more than enough for even the largest of photo collections.
We also like that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ comes with a pen because it’ll help you can edit with greater precision and detail. Unfortunately, the tablet does not also come with a keyboard, but you can always buy one separately.
The screen is edge to edge and gives you plenty of viewing space. It also has a high refresh rate of 120 Hz, and the touchscreen capabilities are fantastic. Rest assured that your photos will be displayed with brilliant colors and clarity.
Finally, the Tab S7+ has excellent battery life. It can last for up to 14 hours, plus it features a fast-charging system in case you’re ever in a hurry.
5. Apple 12.9” iPad Pro 2021
Thanks to its impressive storage capacity, the Apple 12.9” iPad Pro 2021 is an excellent option for editing large photo collections.
No list of the best tablets for photo editing would be complete without iPads, and the best current option is the Apple 12.9'' iPad Pro 2021. It’s the latest generation model of the iPad Pro and is a top choice for photographers and editors of all stripes.
The Apple iPad Pro 2021 packs the M1 chip, which provides amazing speed and performance when running even the most power-hungry editing programs. The tablet also has 8 GB of RAM to further boost its performance.
As you would expect from an Apple iPad, there is a bevy of excellent features, including a superb-quality 12.9” Liquid Retina display with True Tone color. Expect your photos to look sharp and feature stunningly accurate colors.
We also like the iPad Pro’s long-lasting battery life. Even when editing photos, it should last for over a day without charge.
The basic storage option is 128 GB, and while this is decent, it’s not really enough for frequent photo editing. Happily, you can opt for several other storage capacities, including 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. The 1 TB and 2 TB options are plenty for large photo collections, though you’ll need to take the price increase into account.
6. Microsoft Surface Go 2
The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a brilliant tablet for portable editing. It is lightweight and features decent-enough specs to run basic to midrange editing software.
If you want a cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro options listed above but still prefer Microsoft products, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a worthy buy. This smaller tablet has lighter system specs, but it’s still capable of running basic to midrange photo editing software.
This compact tablet packs the Intel Core m3 processor and 4 GB of RAM – more than enough to comfortably run basic software.
One caveat: While the Surface Go 2 works great as a portable editing option, we don’t really see it as a primary photo editing device. Instead, you can use it to make quick edits or simple edits while traveling, before sending the files off to your main device for detailed edits down the line.
Note that the Surface Go 2 is outstanding as a travel tablet due to its lightweight design (it’s just 1.2 lb/544 g). You can also buy the separate Surface Go keyboard, which will speed up your workflow with easy shortcuts.
7. Amazon Fire HD 10
The Amazon Fire HD 10 is durable, lightweight, and boasts decent specs. For editors on a budget, it’s a great buy.
Amazon offers a great range of tablets, including the Amazon Fire HD 10. While the Fire HD 10 may not be suitable for advanced editing, it’s perfect for basic editing tasks in software that doesn’t require much power. It comes with 2 GB of RAM and an Octa-core processor with a maximum clock speed of 2.0 GHz (again, definitely sufficient for basic editing programs).
We also like the design of this tablet; it looks beautiful, plus it’s one of the more robust and durable models available. You get the tablet and the durable Amazon case for extra protection, and the 10.1-inch 1080p screen offers excellent touchscreen responsivity.
The only downside is the limited storage. The Fire HD 10 only offers storage up to 64 GB, and for extensive RAW editing, this may not be enough. Fortunately, you can extend this storage capacity via an external microSD card.
8. Apple 11” iPad Pro 2021
The high-quality cameras and decent system specs make this iPad a great choice for both travel photos and post-processing on the go.
The Apple 11” iPad Pro 2021 is one of the best compact tablets for post-processing. It boasts a high-quality 11” Liquid Retina display with ProMotion and P3 wide color capabilities, so you can expect excellent clarity and accurate colors.
Like the 12.9” variant, the Apple 11” iPad Pro 2021 packs the powerful M1 chip. Combine this with 8 GB of memory and you have a tablet capable of running heavy editing software like Adobe Lightroom and Affinity Photo.
This iPad also has a decent set of cameras for those who want to take photos on the go. It features a 12 MP wide-angle camera and a 10 MP ultra-wide camera, perfect for travel photography.
The Apple 11” iPad Pro 2021 even has a quick-charging, all-day battery. And you can easily connect external devices or use flash drives thanks to the Thunderbolt port.
This 11” iPad Pro is available with several different storage capacities. The standard model has 256 GB, though you can downgrade to 128 GB or upgrade to 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB variations.
9. Lenovo Tab P11 Plus
The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus has powerful specs for photo editing, and it can also work as a family tablet due to the optional Kid’s Mode.
Lenovo primarily manufactures laptops, but the company also has a couple of high-quality tablets, including the Lenovo Tab P11 Plus. This inexpensive tablet is on par with the Amazon Fire HD 10 in terms of price, and its specifications are even better.
This stylish and simplistic tablet is built around an Octa-core processor and a generous 4 GB of memory – more than enough to run basic photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom, Affinity Photo, and Luminar.
The P11 Plus also has a high-quality display and battery. The FHD 10.3” display will make your photos look superb, and the great battery life should easily withstand rigorous photo editing.
It has a basic storage capacity of 128 GB, and while this certainly isn’t a huge amount, it can be expanded to 256 GB via the SD card slot. The Lenovo Tab P11 Plus could also serve as a family tablet as it has a special Kid’s Mode that allows you to restrict content and access.
10. Lenovo Tab M10 Plus
The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus is a great budget option that can handle basic photo editing with lightweight programs.
As a second-generation Lenovo tablet with similar specs to the P11 Plus, the Tab M10 Plus is another great option for budget and basic photo editing.
We like the premium look and feel of the M10 Plus; the design is durable enough that the tablet could work for travel photo editing. The cover is even made of metal for extra durability.
This Lenovo tablet boasts an Octa-core processor and 4 GB of memory. Although this may not be suitable for resource-intensive software like Lightroom and ON1 Photo RAW, it’s enough to easily cope with basic post-processing programs.
The Lenovo Tab M10 Plus has 64 GB of storage, and you can extend this to a maximum of 256 GB via the SD card slot. This isn’t huge for photo editing, but the tablet does have great connectivity, so you can always make use of cloud storage solutions. You can connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 5.0.
Pick a Tablet and Start Editing
There are some fantastic tablets for photo editing, but which devices are right for you?
Best Tablets for Photo Editing FAQs
Of course, though it does depend on your operating system. 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 tablets.
Not necessarily. Some people prefer to use their fingers. Others may prefer to use the traditional mouse and keyboard. Fortunately, most tablets for photo editing offer multiple control options.
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