Photoshop is Adobe’s market-leading photo editing software; but in order to run smoothly, it needs the right device. Nowadays the best tablets for Photoshop are able to do exactly that, offering an effective, precise Photoshop experience.
A tablet that can run Photoshop will give you the freedom to edit photos on-the-go without having to switch on your laptop. Photoshop for tablets comes in a variety of forms including apps like Photoshop Express, Draw, Lightroom, and the iOS app.
Whether you do digital illustration, photo retouching, or editing, a good Photoshop tablet offers endless possibilities. After reading this you’ll be wondering how you ever managed without one.
Table of Contents
This table gives a quick overview of tablets that can run photoshop, but there are more in-depth reviews a little further down.
Apple iPad Pro
2388 x 1668 Pixels
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
2736 x 1824 Pixels
New Apple iPad
2160 x 1620 Pixels
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
2560 x 1600 Pixels
Wacom Cintiq 22
1920 x 1080 Pixels
XP-PEN Artist13.3 Pro
1920 x 1080 Pixels
Wacom CTL4100 Intuos
Wacom Intuos Pro
Wacom Cintiq 16
1920 x 1080 Pixels
Google Pixel Slate
3000 x 2000 Pixels
A graphics tablet is a great addition to your PC that allows you to draw in photoshop. There are some fantastic options available but the best graphics tablet for Photoshop is the Wacom Intuos Pro, and the Wacom CTL4100 Intuos is a close second.
The best Wacom for Photoshop is the Wacom Cintiq 22. The on-screen display and precise pen take editing, retouching, and designing to a whole new level. Wacom also has some budget-friendly alternatives that work perfectly with Photoshop.
A pen tablet revolutionizes precision in Photoshop. The best pen tablet for photo editing, retouching, and drawing is the Apple iPad Pro. It’s a powerful device that runs perfectly with the Photoshop iOS app. There are also other tablets that perform similar functions if you’re not an Apple fan.
Editing on-the-go is easy and convenient with the right tablet. The Google Pixel Slate is the best tablet for photo editing, allowing you to see your photos in incredible detail. There are various other tablets that also offer incredible quality for photo editing.
The best tablets for Photoshop need great storage, a few gigabytes of RAM, incredible resolution, decent battery life, and of course a capable creator. Below we’ve reviewed some of the best tablets for Photoshop.
The Apple iPad Pro is a powerful tablet with incredible resolution and a fast processor. It fits comfortably in your lap and travels well.
The Apple iPad uses the Photoshop app which is pretty similar to the desktop program. It’s efficient and when combined with the Apple Pencil you can do a lot with it. Painting and retouching are incredible with the precision of the Pencil.
The most frustrating aspect is the lack of express keys or keyboard shortcuts. These usually speed up the process and allow quick access to tools. Unfortunately, on the iPad, you have to do this the long way.
The iPad app opens Photoshop files with ease and allows exports to PNG, JPEG, PNG, or TIFF. It works great on its own as well as with the desktop program. All in all, the iPad Pro is the best pen tablet for photoshop and is a great investment for artists, designers, and photo editors.
The Microsoft Surface is a device that allows you to use it as either a laptop or a tablet. This versatility means you can run either the desktop or the tablet version of Photoshop. The desktop version will require a mouse and a keyboard to use effectively.
The device is lightweight and has an impressive battery life. Unfortunately, Photoshop can be quite demanding and drains the battery quite quickly. The resolution is fantastic, allowing you to see your designs in graphic detail.
Its built-in Kickstand allows you to use the tablet in either a laptop, tablet, or studio mode. The surface pen allows you to draw on one end and erase with the other. The pen allows for precision editing that’s just not possible on a computer.
Overall, the tablet is powerful enough to edit RAW photos on full-powered editing software which is quite a task.
If you can’t afford the iPad Pro, the New iPad is a great alternative that works with the Apple Pencil and keyboard. It’s got amazing color accuracy and is engineered for both performance and responsiveness.
This power device allows for drawing and design on-the-go. Like the iPad Pro, it works with the Photoshop iOS app which allows you to do almost everything the desktop version can do.
It’s got a great processor, decent storage, and a battery that lasts a good amount of time.
The screen resolution is great for viewing and editing photos and unless you’re planning on editing video in 4K, you won’t need the Pro.
The Galaxy Tab S6 is a 2-in-1 device that has the mobility of a tablet with the power of a PC. It has an amazing display that will do your photos and design work justice.
In tablet mode, you’ll be able to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Express. To access desktop mode you’ll need to buy the keyboard. With this equipped, you’ll be able to access the desktop version of Photoshop.
This fast device handles Adobe programs well. It’s got more than enough storage for all your PSD files and a processor that can open them with ease. The S6 can even handle processor hungry RAW files.
The S pen comes with the tablet and allows you greater control when editing and creating. The pen is comfortable and fits neatly into the back of the tablet. The battery charges incredibly fast, ensuring you can do what you need to do when you need to do it.
The Wacom Cintiq 22 is an affordable pen display tablet that works with the Pro Pen 2. It’s a huge upgrade from the Intuos Pro with a paper-like surface feel. The device connects to your Mac or Windows computer using a 3-in-1 cable.
It comes with foldable legs to allow for an optimal working position. If you need more flexibility, you’ll need to buy the adjustable stand though. The pen doesn’t need batteries or charging to work which is a huge plus.
The tablet doesn’t have any programmable express keys but the pen does, which leads to an efficient workflow.
The Pro Pen 2 makes use of 1892 pressure levels and 60-degree tilt recognition. It also has a low activation force, meaning it recognizes even the smallest lines. The pen offers amazing precision which takes Photoshop to a whole new level.
This device is the perfect addition to an already Photoshop-capable PC.
The XP-PEN Artist 13.3 is a slim, lightweight Photoshop drawing tablet that makes editing photos a whole lot easier. The tablet connects to your laptop or computer and is compatible with both Mac and Windows. It has a large screen but the tablet itself is slim and lightweight, making it easy to travel with.
The tablet works with a battery-free pen that is far more accurate than a mouse and opens up a world of possibilities with Photoshop. It uses 8192 pressure levels which allow complete control over the lines you draw.
The express keys and dial allow for an efficient workflow. You can easily customize the buttons to correspond with your favorite Photoshop tools. Unfortunately, the tablet doesn’t allow touch and sometimes the drivers can be a bit buggy.
All in all, the XP-PEN Artist 13.3 is one of the best budget-friendly tablets for Photoshop, especially if you’re editing photos.
Wacom is well-known in the world of digital art and editing. The Intuos series is their most affordable range and is great for beginners who want a taste of digital editing.
The Intuos Pro doesn’t have a screen and relies on your computer to work. The tablet registers the pen moving across the tablet similar to a trackpad. The tablet is slim, wireless, and allows you greater control over brushes and tools in Photoshop.
There are 5 express keys on the tablet, one of which turns the tablet on and off. The other 4 are completely customizable and can be tailored to different Photoshop tools. The stylus is light and battery-free, with two express keys.
The surface of the tablet is quite rough which means the pen nibs wear down quickly. After heavy use, the tablet does show scratches. Besides this, it’s a great editing pad for photoshop.
After using Photoshop with the Wacom Intuos, you’ll wonder how you ever used Photoshop without it. This graphics tablet is a great way to design, retouch, and edit images. It doesn’t have any lag (which is a common problem with drawing tablets).
It connects to your computer via Bluetooth and the pen uses electromagnetic resonance to charge. It features 8192 pressure levels on the multi-touch surface. It has programmable express keys that allow you to do more with the tablet itself.
The tablet surface also allows you to zoom, scroll, and navigate with your fingers like on a touchpad. It uses the Pro Pen 2 as a stylus which is very responsive. It feels quite natural when drawing and editing. The biggest flaw with this tablet is that the nibs do wear down quickly.
All in all, this is one of the best drawing tablets for Photoshop.
The Cintiq 16 is a valuable addition to your laptop that allows for precise photo editing, retouching, and design in Photoshop. The tablet relies on a wired connection to your laptop or computer which limits where you can work. The power of the tablet also relies heavily on the power of the device that it’s plugged into.
It’s quite a big tablet that allows for large scale drawings. The tablet screen has a paperlike feel to it which complements the drawing experience. It also has an anti-glare coating that makes it easy on the eyes and prevents scratching. It has a decent resolution for Photoshop but can’t compare to other top tablets on the market.
The stylus supports 1892 levels of pressure sensitivity and supports tilt recognition. The programmable buttons on the pen allow for immediate access to your favorite tools. It would, however, be better if there were more buttons on the actual tablet.
Google’s Pixel Slate is a lightweight, powerful little tablet with incredible resolution. You’ll be able to view, edit, and retouch photos, artworks, and designs.
It works with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Sketch but unfortunately can’t run the full version of Photoshop (the app is only available on Apple). The other Photoshop apps work well though and allow you to edit photos in amazing detail.
One of the best things about this little tablet is that it can run for 2 hours on a fifteen-minute charge, perfect when you need a little extra juice. The Pixel Slate Pen allows for more precise editing and drawings but does cost a little extra.
Overall this tablet is more than capable of editing photos but until Adobe releases the full version of Photoshop for tablets you’ll have to stick with the basic apps.
There are a couple of things to look out for when it comes to the best photoshop tablet such as the display and resolution, storage capacity, technical specifications, and battery life. There are two types of tablets that’ll work with photoshop – graphics tablets, and stand-alone tablets.
If you choose instead to buy a stand-alone tablet you’ll need to download the Photoshop App for iOS. If you choose to buy an Android tablet you’ll need to download the Photoshop Lightroom App or Photoshop Express App on your device.
Seeing what you’re working on is vital when it comes to Photoshop. A good screen makes a huge difference, allowing you to get up close and personal with every aspect of your artwork. The display is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a tablet.
The screen size of your tablet will determine how much working area you have and the dimensions of the screen impact the overall size of the tablet. The most popular size is around 10 inches but you can get tablets that are bigger and smaller. The size of the screen doesn’t affect the tablet’s capabilities but rather depends on your preference.
The screen resolution is measured in pixels and refers to how much detail is shown on the screen. The higher the resolution, the better the overall screen quality. For Photoshop you’ll want to invest in a screen with a high resolution, especially if you’re planning on editing or retouching.
Just like computers, the technical specifications determine whether your tablet will be able to run Photoshop efficiently. The three most important things to look for are the processor, RAM, and internal storage.
The central processing unit or CPU is the brain of your tablet. It’s responsible for how fast your tablet processes instructions such as opening apps. The faster the CPU the better when it comes to Photoshop.
The Random Access Memory or RAM improves the performance of the processor, especially if you’re working with large design files. A good tablet should have at least 2GB of RAM but it can go up to 16GB.
Another factor that affects the functioning of your tablet is the amount of storage space. The bigger your storage the better, especially if you’re editing RAW photos. A good Photoshop tablet should have around 32GB of storage.
Most tablets come with a rechargeable battery. The battery life of tablets varies between models; in most cases, a tablet battery will last 8 to 10 hours and take around 3 hours to charge. The longer the battery life the better. There’s nothing worse than your tablet dying mid-project.
While the best Photoshop tablet is the iPad Pro, there are plenty of other worthy competitors in the market. Editing, retouching, and designing are more than possible on a tablet. In fact, in some cases, it’s easier, more effective, and more comfortable to work than on a laptop.
With a proper Photoshop tablet, you’ll be able to create with precision from almost anywhere.
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