Best tablet for photo editing in 2024 – our top picks for Photoshop, Lightroom, and more

If you’re looking for the best tablet for photo editing, we’ve got you covered right here.

I’ve been using a tablet for photo editing for years, and I must say, it’s been a complete game-changer. Now there are a lot of options on the market right now, and even if you know your stuff, it can be a little hard to navigate through the various specs and features.

The good news is that there are only a few things that make a tablet great for photo editing. You’ll need amazing color accuracy, enough RAM to be able to keep Photoshop from grinding to a halt, a decent battery life, expandable memory (if that’s important to you), and a decent camera…but in reality, you’ll likely be taking photos with a dedicated camera instead.

That’s pretty much it, in all honesty. There’s also a choice between Windows, iOS, and Android tablets, each of which have slightly different versions of Photoshop. In short, Windows has the best version, Photoshop on iPads is pretty good also, and Android could be slightly limited for some.

I’ve put together some of what I think are the best tablets for photo editing available right now, and I’ve included different options with different operating systems, pricing, and usages.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s out there, and see if we can point you in the right direction.

Best tablets for photo editing

  • Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch with M2 chip
  • Apple iPad 10th Gen with A14 Bionic chip
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 9
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+

Best tablet for photo editing overall – Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inch with M2 chip

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My pick for the best tablet for photo editing has to go to the ever-impressive iPad Pro with M2 chip. Now there’s a lot to love about this particular tablet, but let’s look specifically at what makes it great for photo editing.

First off, the screen is a 2732 x 2048, mini-LED display that can reach a whopping 1,600 nits of brightness. Now whenever you see those figures, be sure to take with a pinch of salt as they are usually measuring nit brightness in small area on the screen – not the whole display. For whole display brightness, you’re getting 1,000 nits, which is the same level as top end monitors. You’re getting P3 wide color here, which is used in the digital camera industry. It essentially offers richer, more saturated colors, often noticeable with certain yellows, greens, and reds. Add this to Apple’s iconic Liquid Retina technology, which renders any pixels on the screen itself practically invisible, and you’ve basically got the perfect setup for photo editing.

When it comes to power, this iPad pretty much smokes some of even the most premium laptops thanks to its epic M2 chip. When you’re photo editing, and particularly working with high-resoluton images with a load of different layers, you need everything running smoothly – and the M2 chip will really come into its own there.

Battery life is over 10,000 mAh, which is roughly the size of two iPhone 15s. That’s decent, but be mindful that photo editing can be quite draining on any type of tablet. That being said, I’ve seen people sling this in a bag and use it for long sessions and it still has a solid amount of charge left when they get back home – so it’s pretty good.

Add this to other features like 5G compatibilty, WiFi 6E, and USB-C port for speedy file transfers, and you’ve essentially got the ultimate tablet for photo editing.

Best budget tablet for photo editing – Apple iPad 10th Gen with A14 Bionic chip

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Pratically all tablets can be used to edit photos, but for the list I want to present some options that aren’t just good for ‘light edits’. Now there are cheaper tablets than this, with some of the best cheap tablets coming from the likes of Amazon, but for anyone who’s getting pretty serious about photography, I think the Apple iPad 10th Gen is a cost-effective first step – and better yet, it goes on sale a fair bit too.

Again, let’s start with the screen. Unlike the Pro, this has sRGB color. This is decent, and still better than most, but if you’re creating work for print you may come across some limitations. If you’re starting out, this shouldn’t be a huge deal in all honesty.

As for the A14 Bionic chip, it’s going to be good for most photo editing tasks, but if you’re working with massive photos with loads of layers, it’ll likely struggle. If you’re doing that though, you’re likely a pro – which isn’t really who this tablet is for.

Now this iPad doesn’t have much storage, only going up to 256GB. And no, you can’t expand it as per most of Apple’s products. That can be a drag, but with loads of deals on 1TB – 4TB external SSDs, the solution isn’t too costly.

Battery life is over 7000 mAh, which is decent, but not amazing. Running around editing all day without charging it is unlikely in my opinion – again, a portable charger is an inexpensive way around this.

Overall, this iPad is still the best tablet for photo editing on a budget, and gives you the ability to work with pro level apps and up your game, without dumping over $1000 into an iPad that could launch a the next Mars rover.

Best Windows tablet for photo editing – Microsoft Surface Pro 9

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Windows tablets have the best version of Photoshop, so they’re a solid option for those who want the ‘whole shabang’ when it comes to photo editing. Out of the Windows tablets, the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is the top dog for photo editing.

The screen is an IPS LCD display with 2880 x 1920 resolution. In terms of brightness, the general conscensus is that it’s not as bright as the iPad Pro, which also has better color accuracy. That being said, the difference will likely only be noticable to the more seasoned pros out there. For most, images should still look crisp and vibrant.

A for the processing power, this tablet packs an Intel 12th Gen i7 processor and a massive 16GB of RAM. That’s essentially the equivalent to a high-end laptop. This should make short work of even more demanding photo editing tasks.

It comes with 265GB of storage, which is okay-ish. Again, a cheap external SSD will solve this.

Battery life is a real standout here, with Microsoft claiming it can go for a whopping 19 hours. This is apparently based on general usage, so I’d take this with a pinch of salt. Remember, photo editing is pretty demanding on a tablet – so you’ll be rinsing through it pretty sharply regardless.

This tablet won’t be everyone’s thing, but if you’re super familiar with Windows and want to be able to use everything Photoshop has to offer, and have a tablet that can be used as a laptop easily – then this is the one for you.

Best Android tablet for photo editing – Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+

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Android tablets can be a little limited when it comes to photo editing, but if you’re set on one, you may as well go for the best. Right now, that’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus.

One of the tablet’s best features is the impressive AMOLED display. Put simply, AMOLED displays are the same as OLED, but they have an extra layer that makes them more energy effecient. That’s what makes them way better, and more commonly used, in portable devices like phones and tablets. With AMOLED displays you get unbelievably good contrast. Blacks are super deep, making them excellent for photo editing. This tablet comes in at 1752 x 2800 resolution, which isn’t quite as much as the iPad Pro, but is still pretty impressive and more than enough for photo editing.

In terms of the chipset, you’ve got a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 here, which is one of the most powerful chips on the market for phones and tablets. You’ve also got 12GB of RAM to keep everything running smoothly, plus internal stroage of upto 512GB which you can expand via microSD.

Battery life is over 10,000 mAh, akin to the iPad Pro and there’s 45W fast charging too. That’s great for taking on the go, as is its impressive IP68 rating – quite the rarity when it comes to tablets these days. I’d say if you’re one of the more adventurous photographers, or perhaps a little prone to damanging your equipment (no judgetment here!), this could be a good option for you.

Overall, it’s a powerful tablet with a very good screen for photo editing, and worth considering if you’re sticking with Android.

What makes a tablet good for photo editing?

There are few features I mentioned earlier in the article that are worth looking out for when you’re on the hunt for the best tablet for photo editing. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Display type

There are basically two areas you need to understand – Apple’s screens and everyone elses.

For non-Apple tablets, you’ll find LCD panels at the lower end, mini-LCD panels in the mid range, and then you’ll start getting AMOLED panels in the more premium options.

For Apple, the older iPads and non-pro options are usually IPS-LCD, but they’re also combined with Apple’s own Liquid Retina technology. In short, this technology makes everything look even more high resolution. You can literally look at the screen from close up and you won’t be able to see any pixels…pretty awesome.

For the iPad Pros, you still get an IPS LCD panel, but with Liquid Retina XDR technology. This is like the god-tier of HDR in tablets, making them capable of extreme contrast and brightness – great for photo editing, but arguably even better for video.

For photo editing, I’d find something that’s a minimum of an IPS-LCD panel. The color, viewing angles, brightness, and contrast will all be good if that’s the case.


For photo editing, I’d start at around $300 or so for a tablet. Yes, you can get a bunch of tablets for cheap, but the editing will be a little limited. The good news is that tablets go on sale all the time, especially around Black Friday. While iPads don’t always see huge discounts, it’s not uncommon to see 40% or more discounts popping up.

If you’re a seasoned pro, you’ll be looking at over $1000 for a good tablet for photo editing – as per the iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

Battery life

Finding the actual size of a tablet’s battery takes some digging, as it’s often the case that brands don’t list it in mAh on their product listings. Why? I (and I imagine many others in the industry) have our theories, but it’s likely partly down to people not knowing what 5000 mAh is in ‘real world’ talk.

For a tablet for photo editing, look at something that is above 10,000 mAh. That’s the size of two premium phones, many of which claim to have 2-day battery life. Photo editing is super draining though, so use this as a rough guide only when selecting your tablet.


For photo editing, I’d stick to Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo tablets. There are loads of other brands out there, including some very impressive Chinese options that offer excellent value for money and performance, but for photo editing specifically, I think the brands I’ve mentioned are your best bet.

What is the best tablet for photo editing?

We think the best tablet for photo editing is the epic Apple iPad 6th Gen with M2 chip, thanks to its stunning display, powerful chipset, excellent battery life, version of Photoshop, and app store with many alternatives for editing pros.

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