The world of tablets and their incredible functions that can almost always replace the use of a laptop, mobile phone and even a desktop computer is very alluring. Don’t let the size of the average tablet fool you – most of the newest tablets are very powerful, capable of competing with traditional computers and budget-friendly laptops.
In this particular article, we will be focusing on the photo editing & graphic design capabilities of a tablet, covering a large part of some of the best known technical giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung. Nowadays, a tablet has become an essential piece of technology for both professional photographers and amateurs that is easy to use, lightweight for carrying around, and offers all of the needed functions for easy image tweaking and more complex editing using the more advanced editing platforms like Adobe Photoshop.
When choosing the right tablet for your photo editing and graphic design needs, look out for features like extra high resolution, long battery life, nearly perfect colour accuracy, and most importantly the devices’ ability to power some of the best photo editing software such as the previously mentioned Adobe Photoshop. This might seem like a lot of research to be done, but don’t worry, cause we are here to help! With no further ado, let’s dive right in the list of the best tablets for all of your photo editing and graphic design enthusiasts.
1.Apple iPad Pro (2020)
Let’s kick off with the most awaited device in the world of tablets – the 4th generation of Apple iPad Pro. This device represents everything that a professional photo editor or an advanced graphic designer might ever need. Released earlier this year (2020), the newest Apple iPad Pro has already been named as the best of the best in the photo editing & graphic design category.
The 12.9-inch tablet is the fourth of its generation and is very responsive and quite fast in comparison to its forerunners. It is built to provide you with an incredible photo editing and graphic design experience. This device is widely used as an advanced tool for Photoshop users and the reasoning behind it is the iPad’s amazing horsepower.
- Huge and very responsive display, which gives working and multitasking a significant boost;
- The iPad Pro is insanely powerful – it will provide you with a smooth Photoshop running experience and definitely won’t be bothering you with problems such as lagging or freezing;
- The 120 Hz refresh rate combined with the absolutely amazing colour scheme makes this device a pleasure to work with.
- The newest iPad Pro takes quite a long time to recharge ( approximately 3 hours to reach full battery);
- The device is very expensive and won’t be a great choice for photo enthusiasts on a budget.
|Display resolution||2732 x 2048 pixels|
|Front camera||7 MP TrueDepth|
|Rear camera||12 MP (wide), 10 MP (ultrawide)|
|Battery life||Up to 10 hours|
|Screen size||12.9 inches|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4 x 1.6 GHz Tempest)|
2. Wacom One
As a photo enthusiast and digital art creator, you must have definitely heard of Wacom’s most wanted creation – Wacom One. It simply oozes creativity and has deservedly become one of the greatest solutions for photo editing on the Photoshop software. The pen and tablet system works wonders on your photos and other artistic manifestations. The Wacom pen is very well known for its amazing pressure sensitivity. It interacts with the device’s screen beautifully by applying just the right amount of opacity.
The Wacom One is a creative pen tablet meaning it doesn’t run any operating systems in itself. The device has to be connected to software such as MAC, Windows or Android to run properly.
- The battery-free pen and it’s highly valued preciseness is all you need to achieve eye-pleasing results and experience the authentic drawing offered by Wacom.
- Wacom One is one of the most affordable Wacom’s display tablets to date – a great option for artists on a budget.
- The built-in feet allow you to change the devices viewing angle to fit your sketching or editing needs.
- Requires individual cables for connecting purposes that are not included in the original packaging.
- There are no hotkey buttons added to the device, which means the navigation process is a bit harder.
- The brightness of the screen isn’t comparable to the Apple iPad Pro mentioned above. It simply lacks brightness and can be difficult to use in overhead lighting situations.
|Compatibility||Windows 7 & later, MAC OS 10.13 & later|
|Display resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Pen pressure levels||2048|
|Screen size||13.3 inches|
3. XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro
Another great digital art drawing and photo editing tablet is the XP-Pen Artist 12 Pro. The Artist Pro 12 is a follow-up version of the previous Artist 12 version of this tablet and provides its users with an improved overall experience and a more comfortable drawing tool. The Artist Pro brings added value to your work such as very crisp lines, bright colours, and amazingly clear lines.
Pay notice to the fact that when working on Photoshop the Windows Ink checkbox needs to be checked. If you fail to do this step, the pressure sensitivity might not be working properly.
- To ease the navigation process the device has been equipped with 8 shortcut keys and a red dial function which ensures smooth and effective workflow;
- The screen area has been covered with an anti-glare texture which helps to eliminate any type of unwanted reflection. It is also highly resistant to scratches.
- Small detailed work can be affected by bad cursor accuracy. The cursor often fails to follow the pen smoothly and moves in 2-pixel increments.
- The level of brightness ( measured in 190 nits) of this drawing tablet is not sufficient for outdoor use.
|Compatibility||Windows 8 up to Windows 10, MAC OS 10.10 and higher|
|Display resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Colour display||16.7 M|
|Viewing angle||178 degrees|
|Accuracy||±0.01 inch (center)|
|Screen size||11.6 inches|
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
For all the creative minds out there who favour Android over iOS, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is the optimal choice for you. This tablet is great for photo editing and graphic design creating purposes using Photoshop and it’s featured in all of their glory. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is powerful enough to offer the highest precision in your professional photo editing work. This highly functional device is very often compared to the newest generation of Apple iPads, but can it out-work its functionality? The answer is quite simple – that depends on your personal software choice.
- Supports fast charging – reaches full charge in approximately 2 hours.
- The device is very lightweight and highly portable, easy to place in a carry-on and use on the go.
- The 6/8 GB RAM provides the user with extremely quick access to all software programs and ensures a smooth working experience with no unnecessary interruptions.
- Although the widescreen aspect ratio supported by this tablet provides a great viewing experience, we can’t go without mentioning it’s drawbacks. As reported by many users, this particular aspect limits the height of a full-screen app window.
|OS||Android 9.0, Android 10, One UI 2|
|Display resolution||1600 x 2560 pixels|
|Front camera||8 MP|
|Rear camera||13 MP (wide), 5 MP (ultrawide)|
|Battery life||Up to 12 hours|
|Screen size||10.5 inches|
|CPU||Octa core (1×2.84GHz + 3×2.41GHz + 4×1.78GHz)|
5. Apple iPad Pro (2018)
Besides the newest Apple iPad Pro tablet, which was released at the start of this year, it’s forerunner is still highly ranked as one of the top choices for digital art creators. This device is the 3d generation of it’s kind and has become very well-known as a photo editing powerhouse. The performance of this tablet is exquisite. On top of that, this particular tablet has been updated with a USB Type C port which is located at the right-hand side of the device. This upgrade makes uploading photos and other media to the device super fast and supports more third-party accessories that the previous Apple tablets.
- The luxury Retina LCD screen makes working with this device an absolute pleasure. It provides your digital work with added value – bright, clear, and sharp colour scheme.
- The tablet’s powerful processor will run Photoshop and Lightroom without any lagging and other troublesome issues.
- The accessories such as the Apple pencil and the smart keyboard folio cost extra money which ultimately means more investing.
- The magnets that are used to support and house the Apple pencil are relatively weak. Most users find that these magnets get worn off after two or three weeks of use.
|OS||iOS 12 up to iOS 13.4.1|
|Display resolution||2048 x 2732 pixels|
|Storage||64/256 GB/1 TB|
|Front camera||7 MP (standard)|
|Rear camera||12 MP (standard)|
|Battery life||Up to 10 hours|
|Screen size||12.9 inches|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4×1.6 GHz Tempest)|
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Looking for an amazing digital assistant to get your work done on time? Look no further than the universal Microsoft Surface Pro 6. This detachable tablet combines the power of a fully functional laptop with the incredibly smart functions of a tablet. What more could a professional digital art master ask for? Excellent design, powerful components, and crystal clear high-quality screen has the qualities that make this device such a dream to work with on a daily basis.
- The Microsoft stylus offers flawless precision and optimal pressure control for both photo editing and graphic design needs.
- The speedy internal components of this device are known to deliver features like launching and multitasking faster than before.
- The 2736 x 1824 PixelSense display offers you the perfect combination of vivid colors and screen brightness to emphasize the smallest details of your masterpiece.
- This device is slightly larger than your usual tablet and may take up some more space on the go.
- Additional features such as the keyboard and the stylus are sold separately, so you may have to increase your budget to be able to afford the full package and experience the full spectrum.
- Unfortunately, this tablet lacks the otherwise ubiquitous Type C ports.
|Display resolution||2736 x 1824 pixels|
|Front camera||5 MP|
|Rear camera||8 MP|
|Battery life||Up to 13 hours|
|Screen size||12.3 inches|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-8250U|
Most popular on Amazon
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option for non-professional image editing, let us introduce you to one of Amazon’s bestsellers – Wacom Intuos CTL4100. It might be a bestseller on Amazon, but you may have noticed that we have not included this particular device on our list. The reason behind our decision is quite obvious – it simply lacks the power to compete with the devices mentioned above. We must admit that the price of this tablet is very affordable (around $ 80), but as far as important factors like pressure sensitivity and speed go, it’s best to opt for a more expensive device.
With that being said, Wacom Intuos CTL4100 can be a great budget-friendly choice for beginners. Please note – this is a drawing tablet (computer input device) and can be used for editing on Photoshop, but can’t be compared to a regular tablet as it needs to be connected to a PC in order to work.
As you can see from the information provided in this article, each of the different tablets have their own significant advantages that can improve the appearance of your editing or graphic design work. Don’t forget to carefully evaluate every single disadvantage – even the slightest detail can make or break your final result.
If you’re looking for a device that is suitable for both beginners and professionals, we would advise purchasing the Apple iPad Pro (2018). Although, if you’re on the lookout for a more budget-friendly device, you might want to go for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Thank you very much for reading and don’t fail to remember that the high price of the tablet can be misleading – it’s what’s inside that counts!