The best tablets for photo editing and photographers in 2019

best tablets for photo editing and photographers
(Image credit: Emir Memedovski/Getty Images)

Welcome to our round up of the best tablets for photo editing in 2019. For photographers who spend a lot of time on the go, it can be really handy to have a device that allows you to show your portfolio of pictures to others, but to edit them on the move too. Until recently that meant photographers often having to add a sizeable and weighty photo-editing laptop to their kit bag. 

But recent years has seen leading tech manufacturers pack more and more power into tablets, many of which are now armed with enough force to run some of the most complex and best photo editing software around. Combine that power with a tablet's size and portability, and it's not hard to see why photographers are investing in these small but mighty devices. 

How to choose the best tablet for photo editing

There's now a plethora of tablet options available, each one seemingly promising more power than the one before. So how do you identify the best tablets for photo editing in particular? There's a number of features that make a tablet highly suited to photo editing, for example, how big is the screen and what's the resolution. You want to make sure that if you're using a tablet to show off your work, the screen and color accuracy does it justice. 

Other things to consider are the battery life - will it last all day without charge? How much does it weigh and will it fit nicely in your camera bag? Finally, and probably most important of all, is whether the device you like can power your favourite photo editing software comfortably. Here you'll find the answer to all of these questions to help you make the most informed decision.  

If you're in the market for a new camera too, don't forget to bookmark our best Amazon Prime Day camera deals, which we'll be updating across the whole Prime Day period. Until then, read on for our pick of the best tablets for photo editing and photographers, which includes options for iPad, iOS, Android and Windows users alike.

Surface Pro 6 product shot

Image: Microsoft

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

This is the best Windows tablet money can buy!

Weight: 770g | Dimensions: 292.1 x 201.4 x 8.5mm | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Screen size: 12.3-inch | Resolution: 2736 x 1824 | CPU: Intel 8th Gen Core-i5/i7 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB-1TB | Battery life: Up to 13.5 hours

Laptop functionality
High precision
Long battery life
No USB connection
Accessories cost extra

If you're in the market for a tablet running Microsoft's OS, you'll be hard pushed to beat the Surface Pro 6. Featuring the processing power of a laptop, a beautiful 12.3-inch PixelSense display and a longer battery life than many, the Surface Pro is, without a doubt, one of the best tablets for photo editing. 

But what really sets the Surface Pro apart is its functionality. The device features the latest multicore processors, which means you're not limited to mobile versions of anything, including the operating system. The Pro 6 is able to run the full Windows OS and, perhaps more importantly, the full version of your favourite photo editing software too.

The Surface Pro 6 also has a dedicated full-size illuminated keyboard, touchpad and precise pressure-sensitive stylus (all sold separately) – the combined package providing photographers with everything they need for high-precision photo editing.

iPad Pro product shot

Image: Apple

2. iPad Pro 12.9" (2018)

It's a photo editing powerhouse and best iPad for photographers

Weight: 631g | Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 5.9mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 12.9-inch | Resolution: 2732 x 2048 | CPU: Apple A12X Bionic | RAM: 4GB (6GB with 1TB version) | Storage: 64/256/512GB/1TB | Battery life: Up to 10 hours

Very powerful
Big screen
Expensive
Accessories cost extra

Apple has some of most powerful tablets on the market – and topping its tablet charts is the juiced-up iPad Pro. In general, as tablets go, this one is hard to beat when you take into account its big beautiful screen, portable and stylish design, useful peripherals and iOS running on Apple’s A12X Bionic chipset. But does that make it one of the best tablets for photo editing? 

The answer is, quite simply, yes. The Pro offers an attractive combination of high power and portability, which can run Lightroom CC Mobile without issue (and no doubt the upcoming Photoshop CC for iPad).

The luxury Retina LCD screen is one of the biggest on the tablet market – a whopping 12.9 inches – offering a crystal clear viewing experience and an excellent surface to draw on with the Apple Pencil (sold separately). The downside with the iPad Pro is the price. It doesn't come cheap so anyone thinking of investing would almost certainly be thinking of this as a laptop replacement. And if that's the case, be prepared to shell out extra for accessories. 

(Image credit: Samsung)

03. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

The best Android tablet for photo editing you can get right now

Weight: 482g | Dimensions: 249.3 x 164.3 x 7.1mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 10.5-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/256GB | Battery life : Up to 10 hours

Long battery life
Highly portable
Stylus included 
Limited apps 
Keyboard sold separately 

If you're one of the millions of people across the globe who favours Android's OS, you'll want to take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4. Weighing in at just 480 grams, this is one of the lightest, most portable tablets on the market. But don't be fooled by its appearance, this lightweight device features enough power to handle precision photo editing on the go.

The S4 is equipped with desktop-like software, 4GB of internal memory and 64GB of internal storage (expandable up to 400GB via MicroSD cards), so plenty of space for uploading images. Under the hood the S4 is powered by a Snapdragon 835  processor, meaning it can handle photo editing software (including Lightroom and Photoshop Express) with ease. 

The S4's 10.5-inch HDR-ready Super AMOLED display makes viewing imagery a pleasure, and unlike with Microsoft or Apple devices, the S Pen is included in the purchase price. The S4 also features a larger batter capacity (7,300mAh), meaning it can last up to 16 hours on one charge, and be back to full force in as little as 200 minutes with fast charging. 

(Image credit: Apple)

4. iPad Air (2019)

A great all-rounder and a good value iPad for photographers

Weight: 456g | Dimensions: 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | CPU: A12 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64-256GB | Battery life: Up to 10 hours

Powerful
Super-lightweight
Less memory than other options

If you're an Apple fan but can't (or don't want to) shell out for the iPad Pro, Apple's all-new iPad Air is a more affordable but still highly capable option. A lot of attention has gone into this new model, powered by Apple's A12 chip, it's less powerful than it's older sibling, but still packs enough of a punch to be able to run photo editing software comfortably. 

In fact, the processing power and RAM is really quite impressive when you consider it's working in a device that weighs less than half a kilo and is just 6mm thick. There is, as you would expect, less RAM in the Air, but still a respectable 3GB to play. The 2019 iPad Air also includes support for the Apple Pencil (first generation only), which will be music to many a photographers ears. 

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Amazon Fire HD 10

This Amazon tablet is a both a bargain and a brilliant photo editing tablet

Weight: 500g | Dimensions: 262 x 159 x 9.8mm | OS: FireOS | Screen size: 10-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 | CPU: Mediatek Quad Core | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery life: Up to 10 hours

Highly affordable
Quality hardware
Limited apps

The cheapest tablet on our list by a mile, the Amazon Fire HD 10 is a fantastic option if you want a portable device for light photo editing work. Its 10.1-inch full HD screen is more than adequate for showcasing work and its highly portable, weighing in at just 500g. 

The Fire HD 10 is available as a 32GB or 64GB version, both of which have a microSD card slot to expand memory up to 256GB should you need it, and the battery life is said to last up to 10 hours after one full charge. 

Very much part of the Amazon eco-system, the Fire HD 10 helpfully has Amazon’s Alexa voice-assistant onboard, however it does mean using the FireHD for anything outside of that system – Google apps, for example – isn't possible. That said, the ever-growing Amazon app store presents a number of lightweight photo editing apps so you won't be short on software. A basic but capable option for anyone wanting a device for light editing work on the go. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

6. Microsoft Surface Go

It's like getting a pro tablet, but without the pro price tag

Weight: 522g | Dimensions: 245 x 175 x 8.3mm | OS: Windows 10 S | Screen size: 10 inch PixelSense | Resolution: 1800 x 1200 | CPU: Dual Core Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery life: Up to 9 hours

Full Windows 10 for free
Affordable 
Lacks power
Pen not included

If you prefer to work with the Windows OS and on a budget, Microsoft's Surface Go is the less powerful but still very capable alternative to the Surface Pro 6 we mentioned earlier. With less power comes slightly less functionality and reduced performance, however the Surface Go has enough weight behind it to handle light photo editing work comfortably. 

Unlike its bigger sibling, the Surface Go runs the locked down 10 S version of Windows, but also offers the option to switch to the full version for free. And by doing so, the Go offers the functionality of a standard PC, including running photo editing software, anywhere and everywhere. 

(Image credit: Apple)

7. iPad Mini (2019)

Its size makes this the perfect travel companion for photographers

Weight: 300.5g | Dimensions: 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 12 | Screen size: 7.9-inch LED | Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | CPU: A12 Bionic chip | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 64/256GB | Battery life: Up to 9 hours

Compact design
Good battery life
Affordable
Lacks power

Ok so we know that makes three iPads in this list, but each of these devices offer something slightly different and therefore all are worth consideration when choosing the best tablet for photo editing. 

The all-new iPad Mini is a top option if you spend a lot of time travelling. The lightest device on this list, the Mini weighs just under 300g, meaning it will fit in almost any camera bag and you'd barely notice its there. 

The cheapest iPad option on the list, it also has the smallest screen size of all the tablets we've mentioned – but what a small but beautiful display it is. There's enough power in the Mini to run the mobile version of Lightroom comfortably and, like the iPad Air, new added support for the Apple Pencil makes the Mini a tablet well worth considering. 

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