best tablet for photo editing

Best Tablet for Photo Editing

Tablets have come a long way. When they came out, they were merely used for browsing the internet, playing light games, for social media, and some media consumption. Today, they have become powerful enough to replace your laptop. So what does this mean to you as a photographer? Well, laptops might not be the perfect solution for your photo editing needs, a tablet could be perfect!

Tablets today come with ample processing power to run photo editing software smoothly. Further, the beautiful and large displays with pen accessories mean that you can make precise adjustments to your images. The portability of tablets is yet another important factor. The fact that you can easily slip it in your bag, and pull it out anywhere to start editing your images gives so much of a boost to your productivity.

Best tablets for photo editing: An overview

The tablets that are available in the market differ mostly in the platform they run in, their form factor, and the pricing. However, all of them perform the same basic function. Your choice can thus be based on the ease of use, and more importantly, your budget.

Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inch (4.5/5 stars)

  • Best tablet in class
  • 2048 x 2732 pixels with 264 ppi pixel density
  • Liquid Retina display with ProMotion technology
  • True Tone display
  • A12X Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture
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Apple iPad Pro 11 inch (4.5/5 stars)

  • Best tablet in class, with a smaller screen
  • 2388 x 1668 pixels with 264 ppi pixel density
  • Liquid Retina display with ProMotion technology
  • True Tone display
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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (4/5 stars)

  • A versatile machine for your editing and daily needs
  • 12.3 in diagonal display
  • 2736 x 1824 pixels with 267ppi pixel density
  • Intel 10th Gen i3/15/i7 processors
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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (4/5 stars)

  • Best Android tablet at the moment>
  • 10.5 in diagonal display
  • WQXGA Super AMOLED (2560 x 1600 pixels) with 287 ppi pixel density
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
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Huawei MediaPad Pro (3.5/5 stars)

  • Perfect alternative to the Apple iPad Pro with a catch
  • 10.8 in diagonal display
  • 2560 x 1600 pixels with 280ppi pixel density
  • HiSilicon Kirin 990 processor
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best tablet for editing photos

Choosing the best tablet for editing photos

Mainly, tablets today are available on three platforms. Apple’s iOS, Microsoft’s Windows, and Android. If you prefer any of these operating systems, then the consideration basket goes down automatically, making it easier for you to choose your tablet. If you don’t have such a preference, you might want to consider the pros and cons of each of these models before making your buying decision.

The top-performing tablet for photo editing

Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch Wi-Fi 64Gb

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When you say you want the best tablet for editing photos, what do you look for? You’d look for a really good processor, sufficient memory to handle the big files with ease, a display that’d just blow your mind, and of course intuitiveness. Of all the products that we’ve reviewed, we’re happy to see the Apple iPad Pro ticking all the boxes.

The iPad Pro is truly designed with professionals in mind. Available in two sizes viz. 12.9 in and 11 in, both the variants feature a beautiful screen that goes from edge to edge. The A12X Bionic chip in these iPads features a Neural Engine which can run five trillion operations per second and enables advanced machine learning [1]. What does this mean? Well, the iPad Pro is plenty fast and powerful to cater to your photo editing needs.

Further, the ProMotion technology in this display delivers refresh rates of up to 120Hz. This allows for a fluid experience when using the Apple Pencil. With the ProMotion technology, the Apple Pencil feels super responsive. The Apple Pencil features an industry best latency of just 20 millisecond which is just perfect for editing purposes. It feels as if you’re drawing on paper. It’s that smooth.

And, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you want to quickly offload your files from your camera and start working on the edits, the Apple iPad Pro has you covered. The USB-C offers a high-performance connection that’ll let you quickly import the files to your iPad Pro so that you can start working on them. Pretty convenient huh?

The iPad Pro is undoubtedly the best iPad that Apple has made to date. Apple has made a lot of improvements and all those come at a cost. The iPad Pro’s price point is the only major drawback that I can see. While professionals will find no issues spending on the iPad Pro, it’s definitely not for the hobbyists and the enthusiasts. And the additional expense on the accessories means that you’ll be dealing with a hefty bill for enjoying the complete experience.

A Windows tablet for editing photos

NEW Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3

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If iOS is not your piece of cake and if you prefer working with a Windows machine, Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is your best alternative. The Surface Pro 7 is a 12.3” touchscreen 2-in-1 laptop that packs the versatility and ease of use of a Windows machine in a tablet form factor so you’d feel right at home.

The Surface Pro 7 comes in with Intel’s 10th generation i3/i5/i7 processors which are much more improved than the older generations. The i5 and the i7 processors also feature Intel’s new Iris Plus integrated graphics which deliver much-improved graphics performance. Photo editing software like Photoshop and Lightroom can make use of this feature for better rendering.

With options for choosing from 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of RAM, you can get yourself a machine that perfectly suits your needs. And like the Apple Pencil, you can use the all-new Surface Pen with the Surface Pro 7. This makes the editing process so much convenient.

With a boost in computing power, the Surface Pro 7 has however seen a dip in battery life. The battery performance is not even comparable to that of the older Surface Pro 6. Although Microsoft advertises an average battery life of 10.5 hours, you’d be lucky if you even get half of that when working with resource-intensive files.

Android tablet for photo editing

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 10.5', 128GB WiFi Tablet Mountain Gray - SM-T860NZAAXAR

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Samsung is a very famous name when it comes to Android devices. The stand out feature that Samsung’s devices tend to have is their gorgeous Super AMOLED display. Photos and videos appear punchy and vibrant, and the 10.5-inch screen of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is no exception to that.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 features Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 855 processor and couples that with a 6GB/8GB RAM. The tablet is all about exploring your own creativity, and the integration of Samsung’s S Pen is a testament to that. Among the various functions that Samsung has built around the S Pen, as a photographer who’s looking to edit photos on the go, you’ll again find how well you can use it with the Android version of Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop.

If you ever feel the need to scale things up, simply connect the Galaxy Tab S6 to a larger monitor using an HDMI cable, and the Samsung Dex [2] feature will kick in. This will bring you the experience of a PC and increase your productivity by many folds.

While the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a good deal in itself, it is not fair that the keyboard has to be purchased separately. And mind you, the keyboard is not too cheap either.

Another Android giant’s tablet offering for photo editing

Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro Tablet with 10.8

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Huawei is another name in the Android community which is not new to many. The Chinese smartphone giant’s latest offering in the tablet market is the Huawei MatePad Pro which gives serious competition to the Apple iPad Pro. Yes, you read that right.

The MatePad Pro offers flagship-level performance thanks to the state-of-the-art Kiring 990 chipset developed in-house by Huawei themselves. The graphics performance of the Huawei MatePad Pro has improved by 39% [3] compared to the previous version allowing for a seamless and lag-free experience when working with graphic-intensive applications. Working with Lightroom and Photoshop was a breeze with the Huawei MatePad Pro.

The Huawei MatePad Pro features a 10.8 in screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and has a pixel density of 280ppi. With its DCI-P3 cinematic level colour gamut and 540 nits of brightness, every dark and bright detail appears vivid and clear on this device.

Ideal for artists, creators, and editors, the Huawei MatePad Pro also features an M-pencil with a smoothing writing flow. The M-pencil’s 4096 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity [4], is designed to capture every nuance of your movement, for writing or drawing, which ensures accuracy with every stroke.

The Huawei MatePad Pro really gives the Apple iPad Pro a run for its money. But, and that’s a big but, there’s a catch if you plan on buying the Huawei MatePad Pro. It doesn’t come with Google services pre-installed. You’ll need to find alternate ways to get the apps working if you really want to get it.

best drawing tablet for photo editing

Which tablet to get for editing photos?

With all these great offerings that you can find around in the market, it can really get confusing when it comes to making the purchase decision. All of these tablets are great at what they do. The real catch is in determining which of these suits your needs perfectly.

If budget is not an issue, we heartily recommend that you get the Apple iPad Pro. If you are an existing iOS user, you will feel right at home and it will be a valued addition to your Apple ecosystem. The awesome build quality, the plethora of app support, and the way the Apple Pencil works seamlessly with the iPad Pro is totally worth the investment. The device is truly built for professional creators.

In case flexibility is what you want, we highly recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. Doubling as a laptop, it can be used not only for your editing and photography needs, but it also works great for other purposes like working with the office suite. If you’re a Windows user, you will feel right at home with the work environment and the applications that you can use.

If Android is your platform of choice, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 and the Huawei MediaPad Pro are equally capable devices. I’d recommend that you go for the MediaPad Pro as it is the best alternative to the Apple iPad Pro, but again, the lack of Google services is a major setback.

References

[1] https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/06/ipad-pro-10-5-and-12-9-inch-models-introduces-worlds-most-advanced-display-breakthrough-performance/
[2] https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/galaxy-tab-s6/#design
[3] https://www.gearbest.com/blog/new-gear/huawei-mate-pad-pro-review-9968
[4] https://consumer.huawei.com/en/tablets/matepad-pro-5g/

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