No one can work without the right tools, and if they are insufficient, they will irritate you during your design process. Because everyone had different needs, skill levels, and various budgets, the main focus of this article is to introduce you to the top-of-the-line Photoshop tablets and also pocket-friendly alternatives.
Whatever tablet for the design work you choose, it needs to be powerful enough to handle fast multitasking design work without any lag. Portability is another feature that I haven’t forget to include in while creating this list.
And last but not least the ease of use. Your design instrument should be straightforward to use, and its functions need to be easily understood so that you have a smooth design process, without wasting any of your time figuring out the technical side of the device.
Here is the list of the 6 best Photoshop tablets I am going to review:
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Apple iPad Pro
- Asus 10.1
- Microsoft Surface Go
- HP Spectre X360
- Lenovo Flex 14
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 comes with multi-touch functionality for excellent experience while working with Photoshop. The table is the latest in the line and is powered by a Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G4 processor unit. You can work in Photoshop with any interruption with 8GB LPDDR4x RAM and an additional 128GB SSD so that you can store all of your favorite designs.
If those specifications are insufficient, you can choose the Surface Pro 7 model that has 16GB memory, 1TB of storage, and Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1065G7 processor.
No matter which model spec you choose, you can open images, retouch them with different tools, and apply multiple adjustment layers with blazing speed and accuracy.
You can work with this tablet up to 10.5 hours, and when it starts running low on battery, you can recharge it from 0-80% in just over an hour. On top of that, it weighs 1.70 pounds, so you simply pick it up and work in standing position if you need to relive your spine from sitting stress.
Not only can you use Surface Pro as a tablet, but you can also connect the keyboard, and you can start working with it as a laptop.
The surface pen is sold separately, which is a drawback of this product. But no matter if you’re a professional graphic designer or just getting started in this industry, the pen will help to achieve your results faster and smoother. That’s why it is a worthwhile purchase.
2. Apple iPad Pro
If you’re used to the Apple ecosystem, then Ipad Pro is an excellent choice for every designer who wants to run Adobe products on it. A12X Bionic Chip powers it, which is an Octa-core processing unit, and keeps running all advanced processes with ease.
The system is more than efficient when it comes to speed and power. It works without any lag while launching your favorite apps. So, you’ll feel comfortable working not only with Photoshop but with other designing software as well.
In case you’re looking for a reliable long-term device, iPad Pro can be your best bet for everyday design work for years to come.
Let’s get into the aesthetics of this tablet.
All Apple products are known for their state of the art design. A sleek looking device with rounded edges works as a cherry on the cake in addition to its power. What’s more? It comes with two cameras. You can use the primary 12MP camera for scanning sketches and the TrueDepth camera for selfies or FaceTime.
You can choose between two different display sizes; 11 or 12.9 inched display. A 12.9 inched gives you more space to work with Photoshop. Resolution is optimal for every designer who creates designs daily. The 11” has the resolution of 2388×1668 pixels and 2732×2048 for 12” display.
The screen is run by IPS technology, which brings out the best color reproduction of your designs.
The con of the tablet is the purchasing option of the additional tools that you need to have, to work with Ipad Pro smoothly. It comes without a minimalistic designed Apple double-tap function pencil that enables you to change between the tools in seconds.
Besides that, you have to buy a keyboard as well in case you want to transform into a laptopish type of device. But I must say that an additional keyboard also works as tablet support and looks absolutely stunning!
3. Asus Transformer Mini
Asus offers a reasonable option for all of your Photoshop editing work. It comes together with a detachable keyboard and pen. Its battery is impressive, and you can use it up to 12 hours continuously, without any work disturbance.
It is powered by the Intel Core X5 1.44 GHz Quad-core processing unit and 4GB of RAM. The processor has the turbo boost option up to 1.92GHz. It’s not the most pow heavy-duty choice on the list, but it gets the job done if your work is not too processor challenging.
Even though it has a smaller storage capacity of 64 GB, you can easily increase it with the micro SD card, which is a great feature. Otherwise, your disk might get full quickly.
It runs Windows 10 home version, so you have the freedom to install the desktop edition of Photoshop or any other editing software. Having a display of 10.1 inches, this device has a resolution of 1280×800 pixels. In terms of brightness, it works reasonably well, and it peaks at 400 CD/m2.
Now let’s get down to the looks. I can say that Asus Transformer is not the prettiest in this category and won’t turn any heads around when you put it on the table. But if you don’t care about device appeal and you are a beginner that is getting in the field of design plus you would like to try your editing skills on an inexpensive tablet, I would recommend this option.
4. Microsoft Surface Go
Another affordable option comes from the Microsoft Surface line. Besides mesmerizing design, it has a 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Pentium Gold, 8GB RAM, and up to 128 GB SSD storage. That makes it one of the most affordable options for those who find looks of device essential.
Microsoft Surface Go is a younger brother of the Surface Pro. It is fully loaded with features that make it compelling, but it doesn’t fall in the same high-end class as the pro version. In terms of screen size, it measures 10 inches or 1800×1200 pixels. It weighs 1.15 lbs without the type cover and will run up to 9 hours.
The Microsoft Surface Go is an excellent tablet for anyone who is searching for a portable, stylish looking device, with enough power to run through daily Photoshop tasks.
Like the bigger brother, this tablet comes without a pen and keyboard, so it will run your cost of having a fully functional tablet for editing a bit higher.
Next, I will recommend two devices that are not tablets per se but are primary laptops that can be used as a tablet. In that way, your design process will become as effective as it can be.
The first one we’re going to look at comes from the company that got its name from a coin toss – Hewlett-Packard or HP as we know it today.
5. HP Spectre X360
In case you’re existing laptop is a bit old and you’re thinking of replacing it in the near feature, on top of that, you’re searching for a tablet to do all of your design work on, then this device is a perfect choice for you.
As said above, this is not only a tablet where you usually need to purchase additional gear like a pen and keyboard, but it’s a laptop that becomes a tablet once you flip its screen around.
So it’s like a Transformer where you get a car and a robot in one form. In this case, HP Spectre x360 transforms from a laptop into a tablet, so can you can start drawing or editing your photos in seconds.
Compared to the tablets that come without a keyboard, this 2 in 1 device is a bit thicker, which might impact its ergonomy, when you’re using it in a tablet mode. Besides, that with 2.92 lb is not the lightest gadget to carry it around.
HP X360 Spectre comes in two different screen sizes, 15.6” and 13.3”. Both are powered by the 8th Generation i7 Intel® Core™ processor. The powerful processor is not the only strengthy feature about this device, but it’s also packed with NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 graphic card, which renders the most demanding graphics effortlessly.
What is more, you can choose a model that comes with up to 2TB SSD and 16GB of RAM so you can complete the most challenging task without the sweat. Besides that, you will get more than enough space to store numerous files.
In terms of battery power, this device leads the way on this list. Because X360 is 2 in 1 unit, it has a bigger battery that supplies the power up to 17 hrs and 30 min for the 15.6” display, and 22 hrs 30 min for 13” screen.
If you’re looking for a powerful gadget with superb battery life, this option is perfect for you.
6. Lenovo Flex 14
If you find an idea of having a laptop and tablet in one device exciting, let me introduce to the second 2 in 1 design tool on this list that will make your Photoshop work a breeze.
In terms of looks, Flex 14 is not the most fabulous in this crowd of devices, but its strength lies inside. Combined with an excellent price, it is a device that definitely deserves a spot on this list.
Lenovo has built this tablet/laptop with 14” Touchscreen Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 12GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD. So, photo and video editing or advanced multitasking work won’t be a problem for this machine.
The demanding tasks will run down the battery in 8 hours. However, you can recharge the battery to 80% like with Microsoft Surface Pro 7 in just one hour with Rapid Charge technology. This feature is perfect because it will charge your battery up while you grab lunch. After that, you can work on your designs peacefully, even if you don’t have a power socket in sight.
Not only that, but it also comes with a keyboard and pen so that you can create your art on its 14-inch display comfortably.
Like previous HP all in one device, Lenovo Flex with 0.7 inches is not the most ergonomically designed device nor the most beautiful. But if you’re on a budget and you want to get the most bang for your buck, you should consider this choice.
Final Words: Best Tablet For Photoshop
These are my top pics, and you can choose between an affordable option or high-end Apple product. Furthermore, I’ve introduced two devices that are not only tablets but are potent laptops at the same time.
Now it’s up to you to pick up your best option and start creating Photoshop designs.
If you’re on a budget, you can also read my article about Inexpensive Drawing Tablets or other graphic design related articles here on DesignyUp.