best tablet for photoshop

Best Drawing Tablet For Photoshop 2024 – iPads, Wacom & More

Best Drawing Tablet For Photoshop 2024 – iPads, Wacom & More

Photoshop is Adobe’s market-leading photo editing software, but in order to run smoothly, it needs the right device. Nowadays, the list of devices in contention for the best drawing tablet for Photoshop are ever-growing, with many up to the task.

A tablet that can run Photoshop will give you the freedom to edit photos on the go without having to switch on your laptop. You can even use these in tandem with your laptop to get precision you wouldn’t otherwise get with a mouse.

Photoshop for tablets comes in a variety of forms, including apps like Photoshop Express, Draw, Lightroom, and the iOS app.

Whether you’re looking for a tablet for photo editing, photo retouching, or digital illustration, the options below offer endless possibilities.

TLDR

TLDR: The best tablet for Photoshop is the Apple iPad Pro. Its high-resolution screen and fast processor make editing, retouching, and designing much easier. The Apple Pencil allows you to control Photoshop on the tablet with incredible precision, which can’t be achieved using a mouse or laptop. This portable tablet is light enough to travel anywhere with you and has a battery life that’ll last you hours

Best Drawing Tablet For Photoshop

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 photo editing is the Wacom Intuos Pro. Some close runner-ups include:

Best Wacom Tablet For Photoshop

Wacom produces some of the best tablets that can run Photoshop. They offer a broad range with some great budget-friendly options, too.

From their range, the best tablet for Photoshop is the Wacom Cintiq 22. The on-screen display and precise pen take editing, retouching, and designing to a whole new level. For more alternatives, here are more great products by the brand:

Best Pen Tablet For 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.

Best Tablet For Photoshop Editing

Editing on the move 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.

Best iPad for Photoshop

If you’re an Apple loyalist, then you should opt for the Apple iPad Pro. With this tablet, Photoshop usage on the go is incredibly easy thanks to a quick processor and reliably precise Apple Pen. There are other devices rivaling this one for the title of best iPad for Adobe Photoshop, including the following:

Adobe Photoshop Tablet Comparison Table

This table gives a quick overview of the best tablets for Adobe Photoshop. If you have some more time to spare, there are in-depth reviews on each option later on.

Best Tablets For Photoshop Reviewed

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 are detailed reviews of some of the best tablets for Photoshop.

Apple iPad Pro Review

Apple iPad Pro

Pros
  • Great resolution
  • Efficiently and accurately opens PSD files
  • Portable mini computer
Cons
  • Accessories sold separately
  • High price
  • No keyboard shortcuts or express keys
  • Screen size: 12.9”
  • Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels
  • Processor: Apple M1 chip 
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB
  • Battery: 10 hours with 2.5 hours charging time

The Apple iPad Pro is the best iPad for Photoshop, it even works well as a tablet for note-taking. We found it to be a powerful device with incredible resolution and works quickly thanks to the new Apple M1 chip. It could also fit easily on our laps, making for easy travel.

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. However, we weren’t happy with the fact that the pen was sold separately.

While we found it helpful for working on projects on the go, we constantly wished for express keys to help expedite our processes. Unfortunately, the iPad Pro doesn’t have these when compared to other tablets.

On the bright side, we loved that the iPad app opened Photoshop files with ease. We could export our work 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. Further, if you get the iPad with calling capabilities, you may not need a phone. That is, of course, if you can get over the awkwardness we felt of holding a mini laptop to our ear.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Tablet for Photoshop Editing Review

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Pros
  • Can be personalized
  • Good battery life
  • Tablet-to-laptop versatility
  • Lightweight
  • Incredible display
Cons
  • Photoshop drains the battery
  • Touch functionality isn’t great on the desktop version of Photoshop
  • Screen size: 12.9”
  • Resolution: 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Processor: ‎Intel Core i3-1005G1, i5-1035G4, i7-1065G7; Pro 7+: Intel Core i3-1115G, i5-1135G7, i7-1165G7
  • Storage: 256GB
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Battery:5 hours with 3 hours charging time

At the office, at home, or en route, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 easily adapted to the way we worked. It instantly transformed from laptop to tablet to portable studio, so we could type, touch, draw, write, and work with ease.

With a 10th-generation Intel core processor, it is faster and more powerful than its predecessor the Surface Pro 6. We also found it to possess a longer battery life, lasting up to 10.5 hours between charges. Beware, though, using Photoshop for long periods drains the battery life, and we had to charge more times than we liked.

Like the previous model, the resolution is fantastic and we could see our designs in graphic detail. It also has a built-in Kickstand that allows it to be used as a laptop, tablet, or in studio mode. We could draw on one end and erase on the other with the Surface Pen. Another thing we liked with the pen was that it allowed for precision editing that mouses couldn’t match.

Overall, this Photoshop drawing pad is powerful enough to edit RAW photos on full-powered editing software.

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Apple iPad 9 Review (Wi-Fi + Cellular)

Apple iPad 9 10 Inch

Pros
  • Supports the Apple Pencil and keyboard
  • Lightweight
  • Great Resolution
  • Budget-friendly alternative to the Pro
Cons
  • Some Photoshop features aren’t in the app
  • Can only download Apple-approved apps
  • Not 4K capable
  • Screen size: 10.2”
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1620 pixels
  • Processor: A13 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Storage: Up to 256GB
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Battery: 10 hours with 2.5 hours charging time

If you can’t afford the iPad Pro, the Apple iPad 9 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.

Like its big brother, it comes in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi and cellular iterations. Choosing the latter allowed us to be able to work on the go while keeping in communication with friends and collaborators.

This drawing pad for Photoshop could easily run Adobe Photoshop on iOS, which allowed us to do nearly everything we’d be able to do on a desktop. It also has multi-touch gestures that most drawing tablets don’t have.

It’s got a great processor, decent storage, and a battery that lasts the same amount as the iPad Pro. While it doesn’t have 4K, its screen resolution was good enough for us to view and edit photos.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • S Pen included
  • Fast-charging battery
Cons
  • Keyboard costs extra
  • Stylus falls out of the back easily
  • Pricey
  • Screen size: 11”
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels
  • Processor: Octa Core (3.00+2.50+1.8GHz)
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 8 GB / 12 GB
  • Battery: 12 hours with 2 hours charging time

In case you were asking yourself, “Can you use Photoshop on Samsung tablet?” Yes, you can. The pricey Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is all the proof you need. It has the mobility of a tablet with the power of a PC.

In tablet mode, we were able to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Express. Whenever we needed the full capability of the desktop app, however, we just switched it to its desktop mode (“DeX mode). We did this by simply connecting the keyboard to the device. Unfortunately, we had to purchase this as an extra, which is something we never like doing.

The device’s processing speed was really impressive. We didn’t even notice a significant dropoff between Photoshop for tablets and Photoshop for desktops, thanks to its Octa-Core processors. It also comes with more than enough storage to store all PSD files as well as exports, and it could even handle processor-hungry RAW files.

Its redesigned S pen was included with the tablet, and the 120Hz refresh rate left us impressed with how smooth and responsive the pen felt. While the stylus attaches to the tablet via a magnetic strip which also charges it, we would’ve appreciated an actual slot to insert the pen into for tight security.

Still, it was a worthy travel companion thanks to its long-lasting battery, which took us roughly two hours to charge.

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Wacom Cintiq 22 Review

Wacom Cintiq 22

Pros
  • Incredibly responsive
  • 3-in-1 cable
  • Anti-glare screen
  • Size-efficient
Cons
  • Stand costs extra
  • No express keys
  • No touch facility
  • Screen size: 21.5”
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Processor: N/A
  • Storage: N/A
  • RAM: 1MB
  • Battery: Plug into a computer

The Wacom Cintiq 22 is arguably the best Wacom tablet for photo editing. It works with the Pro Pen 2 and felt like a huge upgrade to the Intuos Pro thanks to a paper-like surface feel.

The device connected to our Mac and Windows computers using a 3-in-1 cable, and the driver was super easy to install. While it’s not for the traveling creative, it’s the perfect buy if you’ll be working from one place as it didn’t take up too much desk space.

It came with foldable legs that allowed us to place it in an optimal working position. Unfortunately, we had to spend extra to get the adjustable stand that afforded us even more positional versatility.

The Pro Pen 2 makes use of 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and 60-degree tilt recognition. It also has a low activation force, meaning it recognized even the smallest lines to give us precise editing. It does have shortcut keys, but there aren’t enough to make up for our disappointment with the lack of express keys on the tablet.

Regardless, rest assured that with this Wacom tablet, Photoshop becomes incredibly easier to use.

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Huion Kamvas 13

Huion Kamvas 13

Pros
  • Express keys
  • Can connect to Android devices for work on the go
  • Pen tilt works well in Photoshop
  • Comes with an adjustable stand
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Has to be plugged into a computer
  • The display doesn’t support touch
  • Doesn’t come with USB-C cable
  • Screen size: 13.3”
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Processor: N/A
  • Storage: N/A
  • RAM: N/A
  • Battery: Plugs into computer

The HUION Kamvas 13 is an affordable graphics tablet that’s certainly in the running for the best drawing pad for Photoshop. This device had everything we were looking for. It had convenient express keys, an adjustable stand, and a perfectly accurate pen.

Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly travel-friendly as we constantly need it to be connected to a device to work. As a workaround, we used it on the go by connecting to an Android device with the Photoshop Express app. Even then, we had to use our own USB cable as HUION doesn’t provide it.

The Photoshop pad and pen are both battery-free, so we never lost valuable time having to recharge. The tilt recognition, pen pressure (and thus accuracy), and minimal lag made for incredible photo editing that made us forget it was a cheap drawing tablet.

If you’re left-handed, you’ll have a hard time using this device, but flipping it around does the trick. It just won’t be as good as for right-handed users, though.

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Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Photoshop Drawing Pad Review

Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Pro

Pros
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Light and portable
  • More accurate than a mouse
Cons
  • Doesn’t have its own screen
  • Relies on a computer to work
  • Tablet is prone to scratches
  • Tablet size: 7.9” x 6.3”
  • Active drawing area: 6” x 3.7”
  • Processor: N/A
  • Storage: N/A
  • RAM: 2MB
  • Battery: Full day with 4-hour charging time

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 Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Pro doesn’t have a screen, so we had to rely on our computer to use it. This also means it wasn’t travel-friendly. Still, it’s arguably the best Wacom tablet for photo editing at this price range.

It fared much better than our mouse as the stylus pen simply glided over the surface and offered much greater control in Photoshop. We were also impressed by its four usable express keys, as well as two more on the pen. This will help you expedite your editing process, much like it did for us.

Unfortunately, it does have a rough surface that had us replacing the nibs quicker than we would’ve liked. After heavy use, the tablet did show scratches.

Still, we were happy with it, thanks to its full-day battery life that took just four hours to fill. It also didn’t take up too much desk space, which is always a win.

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Wacom Intuos Pro Photoshop Tablet Review

Wacom Intuos Pro Small

Pros
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Light and portable
  • Supports touch and stylus
Cons
  • Tablet surface can show scratches over time
  • Pen nibs wear down quickly
  • Doesn’t have its own screen
  • Tablet size: 13.2” x 8.5”
  • Active drawing area:7” x 5.8”
  • Processor: N/A
  • Storage: N/A
  • RAM: 1MB
  • Battery: 15 hours with 4 hours charging time

After using Photoshop with the Wacom Intuos Pro, you’ll wonder how you ever used Photoshop without it. This Wacom pen tablet was a great way to design, retouch, and edit images, all at a budget too.

Unlike other drawing pads, we didn’t have to deal with a ton of cables as it’s one of the wireless drawing tablets that connect via Bluetooth. Boasting a pen pressure sensitivity of 8192, it was incredibly responsive and the express keys helped us work quickly.

The drawing tablet surface has a paper-like feel, which worked well with the Pro Pen 2 for precise editing. The downside with that, though, was that the rough drawing surface wore down the nibs quicker than we would’ve liked.

However, we don’t think you’d regret buying this Wacom drawing tablet thanks to a long-lasting battery life.

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Wacom Cintiq 16 Review

Wacom Cintiq 16

Pros
  • Accuracy
  • Paperlike feel
  • Programmable buttons on the stylus
  • Smooth drawing surface
Cons
  • Relies on a computer
  • No buttons on the tablet
  • Doesn’t support touch
  • Screen size: 15.6”
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Processor: N/A
  • Storage: N/A
  • RAM: N/A
  • Battery: Plugged into a computer

The Wacom Cintiq 16 is a valuable addition to your laptop that allows for precise photo editing, retouching, and design in Photoshop. Unlike the Wacom Intuos Pro, we had to stay physically cemented on our desk due to it needing a wired connection to work. The screen tablet is thus not a great tablet for the traveling digital artist.

Bulky and large, it’s the perfect Wacom Photoshop drawing tablet for digital artists that work with large-scale drawings. We also appreciated that Wacom thought of protecting the user with an anti-glare coating. Another cool touch was the inclusion of a paperlike feel

Like other Wacom tablets, it has a great resolution and comes with the Wacom Pro Pen 2, which is really precise. The stylus has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity as well as shortcut keys, which slightly made up for the lack of shortcut keys on the tablet.

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Google Pixel Slate Photo Editing Tablet Review

Google Pixel Slate

Pros
  • Ultra-high resolution
  • Fast charging time
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Accessories sold separately
  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t run the full version of Photoshop
  • Screen size: 12.3”
  • Resolution: 3000 x 2000 pixels
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core m3 processor/ 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor/ 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Battery: 9 hours (15 minutes charging time for 2 hours battery)

The Google Pixel Slate is a lightweight, powerful little tablet with incredible resolution. Like the Galaxy Tab S7, it can work as a standalone tablet or mini desktop. The keyboard cost us extra, but we found it couldn’t run the desktop version of the Adobe software.

The other Photoshop apps work well, though, and it allowed us to do an incredible photo editing job. It has one of the best resolutions you can ask for from a Photoshop pen tablet and was one of our favorites battery-wise. A 15-minute charge gave us two hours’ worth of battery life, which many photo editing tablets can’t contend with.

The Pixel Slate Pen allows for more precise photo editing and drawings but does cost a little extra. That’s understandable, though; you wouldn’t find these features on a budget tablet.

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.

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Photoshop Tablet Buyers Guide

best photoshop tablet

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 to buy a graphics tablet, you’ll need a graphic design laptop or computer with Photoshop installed. Even cheap drawing tablets will work well with a Photoshop fit computer.

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.

Tablet Photoshop – Screen, Display, and Resolution

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.

Technical Specs

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 minimum.

best pen tablet for photoshop

Battery

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.

Photoshop on Tablet – Summary

If you’re thinking of downloading Adobe Photoshop for a tablet, it is important to get a good tablet that can support the software. From the devices mentioned above, there are plenty of options.

While the best Photoshop tablet is the iPad Pro, there are many 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.

 

Matthew Davison

Written by Matthew


Matt is about 80% nerd, 10% writer, 10% animal lover. His love for PC’s started at the tender age of 4 and his love for animation and motion graphics fairly soon after. You can normally find him behind a computer screen or playing with his dog Rusty.

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Matt is about 80% nerd, 10% writer, 10% animal lover. His love for PC’s started at the tender age of 4 and his love for animation and motion graphics fairly soon after. You can normally find him behind a computer screen or playing with his dog Rusty.