Best Tablets for Photo Editing 2020

Best Tablets for Photo Editing 2020

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With the rise of mobile photography and the ability to store your photos in the cloud, it has become less and less necessary to use a computer to edit your photos. It used to be the case that even the best tablets for photo editing in Lightroom and Photoshop lacked power and speed, but now in 2020, the best graphics tablets for photo editing are as fast and powerful as a mid-to-high-end laptop, and can replace a laptop or desktop computer in your workflow.

Best Tablet Photo Editing App

You may already have a tablet for photo editing in mind, but how best to use it? Answer: you need to install a photo editing app. There are a number of free and paid apps around, but by far the best tablet photo editing app is Lightroom by Adobe. This is available for all platforms, although you will need to pay a monthly subscription to make the most of it. Access to the Lightroom Mobile app is included as part of the photography plan, which gives you access to Lightroom and Photoshop on your PC. It’s also possible to use Photoshop on some tablets, as below.

Best Photo Editor App for Android

Lightroom on your tablet is about as powerful as Lightroom on your computer, with many of the same advanced editing functions. The one weakness is the lack of support to blend layers, which remains a Photoshop-only option. Even with this flaw, Lightroom is still the best photo editor app for Android.

You currently cannot use Photoshop on Android, but there is an alternative: Photopea is a one-man built free alternative to Photoshop that runs entirely in your browser, and is perfect for editing photos on a tablet. If you navigate to this site in Chrome, or whatever browser you use, you can open files saved on your tablet and perform most of the edits that are possible in Photoshop. It’s maybe not quite as advanced as the real Photoshop, but is an excellent alternative photo editing Android app.

Best Photo Editing App for iPad

If you are thinking of using iPads, then you are in luck, as Adobe have now released Photoshop for use on iPads. Both Photoshop and Lightroom are included in Adobe’s photography plan, so there is no reason why you can’t use both. I would consider them both together to be the best photo editing apps for iPad.

Best Photo Editing App for PC / Windows

Modern Windows based tablets are more like smaller form-factor laptops than the tablets of a few years ago. Therefore, they will run Lightroom and Photoshop as on your desktop or laptop computer, making these the best photo editing apps for PC.

Summary: Best Tablets for Photo Editing Lightroom and Photoshop 2020

This is the current top order of the best photo editing tablets specifically for Lightroom and Photoshop editing in 2020. More details, including the pros and cons of each photo editing tablet, follows below.

  • Microsoft Surface Pro
  • Apple iPad Pro
  • Apple iPad Air
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • Microsoft Surface Go
  • Samsung Galazy Tab A

Best Android Tablet for Photo Editing

With Android tablets, you are limited to using Lightroom only, putting these amongst the best tablets for photo editing Lightroom. They do not currently have access to Photoshop (although you can use the browser-based alternative, Photopea). Lightroom is still a very powerful editing program, and you will likely not run into too many limitations unless you are a professional user.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6

 Best Android Tablet for Photo Editing 

Screen: 10.5″ 2560 x 1600 px
Memory (RAM): 6GB
Storage Capacity: 256GB
Battery Life: Up to 15 hours
Weight: 0.95lb/430g

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the currently one of the most expensive Android tablets. For the money, you get a high resolution screen and light weight device that should be considered as a smaller version of the iPad Pro. These two are very similar in specs, and if you are not already part of the Apple ecosystem and want a dedicated tablet, the S6 may well be a better option for you. Bear in mind that some users have reported the pen use to be jittery and far less smooth than the iPad Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

 Best Value Android Tablet for Photo Editing 

Screen: 10.1″ 1920 x 1200 px
Memory (RAM): 2GB
Storage Capacity: 32GB
Battery Life: Up to 13 hours
Weight: 1.03lb/469g

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is one of the cheapest tablets from a well-known brand currently available. It is marketed as more of a family tablet than a dedicated photo editing tablet, but the specs show that it is possible to use this tablet for Lightroom and Photoshop editing. Bear in mind that you do get what you pay for, and the photo editing experience may be slower and less responsive than on the S6.

Best Apple Tablet for Photo Editing

Photoshop has now been released for iPads, meaning these can run the photo editing apps Lightroom and Photoshop, making them a very powerful alternative to using home computers, and the best dedicated graphics tablets for photo editing.

Apple iPad Pro

 Best Graphics Tablet for Photo Editing 

Screen: 12.9″ 2732 x 2048 px
Memory (RAM): 6GB
Storage Capacity: 1TB
Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
Weight: 1.41lbs/641g

One of the strongest tablets is the Apple iPad Pro. It is available in an 11 inch model from a slightly reduced price, although if you are serious enough about photo editing to buy an iPad Pro, the small amount extra to purchase the 12.9 inch model would make more sense. If you are not part of the Apple ecosystem, it may not make sense to get an iPad Pro, as you could find issues in connecting all your devices. Nonetheless, the iPad Pro offers a premium experience with very little not to recommend it – and it now even supports Photoshop.

Apple iPad Air

 Best Value Graphics Tablet for Photo Editing 

Screen: 10.5″ 2224 x 1668 px
Memory (RAM): 3GB
Storage Capacity: 64GB
Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
Weight: 1.0lbs/456g

The iPad Air is a smaller, cheaper version of the iPad that still offers you the high-end experience and screen you would expect from an Apple. This is about 2/3 the price of the iPad Pro, with most of the same features and a significant weight reduction, if you are willing to put up with a smaller screen. If you are not already familiar with Apple’s operating system, iOS, you will need to spend some time learning how this works, and may want to stick to a tablet with an operating system with which you are already familiar, like Windows.

Best Windows Tablet for Photo Editing

There are a number of Windows-based tablets that act more as small laptops than the tablets you may be used to. The extra power and full operating system of these devices makes them strong contenders to iPads, and to your home computer when it comes to the best tablets for Photoshop editing.

Microsoft Surface Pro

 Best Tablet for Photoshop Editing 

Screen: 12.3″ 2736 x 1824 px
Memory (RAM): 16GB
Storage Capacity: 1TB
Battery Life: up to 10.5 hours
Weight: 1.74lbs/790g

The Microsoft Surface Pro must rank as one of the best all-round tablet and laptop combinations on the market. It’s lightweight, but has a high resolution screen and more memory than the iPad Pro. It also has a full operating system, meaning regular versions of both Lightroom and Photoshop can be installed, along with many other helpful Windows-only programs. This reason puts it above the iPads in my estimation, although if you do not use Windows, and instead spend most of your time on Apple products, you may wish to stick with the iPad Pro as it can take a lot of tweaking to get the best out of Windows devices.

Microsoft Surface Go

 Best Value Tablet for Photoshop Editing 

Screen: 10″ 1800 x 1200 px
Memory (RAM): 4GB
Storage Capacity: 64GB
Battery Life: up to 9 hours
Weight: 1.15lbs/522g

The Microsoft Surface Go is a smaller, more budget-friendly version of the Surface Pro. It is roughly comparable to the iPad Air, though it has lower specifications. This is a good option if you are cost-limited, and already know how to use Windows. Bear in mind the operating system is a restriced version of Windows 10, making this a poor choice when compared to the Surface Pro.

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