Need the best tablet for photo editing but for affordable price? Will you use the tablet for Photoshop, Lightroom or storing photos? If yes, I’ve gathered 12 top photo editing tablets and graphic tablets you can use to edit photos fast and easily.
Recently, you needed to have a powerful computer with large screen for editing photos in Photoshop or Lightroom. Today almost all professional photo retouchers and graphic designers use a graphic tablet for editing photos. It can be a graphic tablet, which replaces a mouse, or a full-fledged touchscreen PC. Here is my list of 12 best tablets for photo editing that can be useful for beginning and professional photo retouchers and photographers with different budgets.
Price: about $350
Specs: Active drawing area: 8.7 x 5.8 inches | Stylus touch sensitivity: 8192 level | Connection: USB, Bluetooth | OS: Windows or MacOS
This is a great graphic tablet for photographers and retouchers, that comes with all necessary features for photo editing and digital drawing. The drawing surface is as rough as paper. It has an updated stylus technology that provides a pressure-sensitive 8192 level to ensure accurate use. It has built-in tilt support. I like that the stylus works without a battery, so you don’t have to worry about charging it.
The kit stylus stand has a stylish design and ensures that the stylus is always there when you need it. This is the best tablet for photo editing that comes with a USB port and supports Windows or MacOS. It also supports Bluetooth for connection with mobile devices. You get multi-touch gestures, radial menus, customizable short keys and convenient side switches. The kit includes a tablet, USB-cord, stylus, stylus stand, and battery. All in all, Intuos Pro Medium is an ideal drawing tablet for experienced photographers and photo retouchers.
Price: about $27
Specs: Active drawing area: 4.8 x 3 inches | Stylus touch sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Connection: USB | OS: Windows or MacOS.
If you are not sure that the drawing tablet is something that you will use regularly to justify the cost, the H430P tablet will provide you with all graphic tablet’s features for affordable price. Though the drawing area is small, the stylus is sensitive enough to give you a true idea of the creative benefits that drawing tablets can offer. This is the perfect variant for beginners. If you are comfortable with this device, then you can safely buy a more professional photo editing tablet.
Price: about $75
Specs: Active drawing area: 6.0 x 3.7 inches | Stylus touch sensitivity: 2048 levels | Connection: USB | OS: Windows or MacOS
Wacom Intuos Draw is an entry-level graphic tablet in the new line of Wacom devices. Intuos Draw is an excellent choice for users, who enjoy digital drawing. If your budget is very limited, but you like the Wacom brand, you can’t find the better tablet. Still, the buttons layout isn’t the most convenient. Sometimes it's easier to use the mouse cursor than trying to reach the buttons.
The use of buttons, especially during the active digital drawing, greatly interrupts the workflow. Having worked with this tablet for some time, you’ll probably notice the similarity with more expensive Wacom tablets for photo editing, which have 1024 stylus pressure levels and a smooth work surface.
The stylus does not have an eraser. This is a small minus, but the eraser mode is very useful in some cases. However, the stylus still has two buttons on the case. There is an additional wireless module that you can buy to make the tablet usage easier and more convenient.
Price: about $100
Specs: Active drawing area: 10 x 5.62 inches | Stylus touch sensitivity: 8192 level | Connection: USB-C, wireless | OS: Windows or MacOS
This is another model of the best tablets for photo editing and digital drawing that may become an indispensable device for beginner designers. The drawing surface is slightly bigger than the previous models have, but not as large as the more expensive tablets. I really like the convenient arrangement of 6 buttons on the left side of the tablet, as well as the roller for quick zooming and changing the brush size. The roller will be convenient only for digital artists, while professionals will find the keyboard more useful.
Price: about $360
Specs: Active drawing area: 13.54 x 7.62 inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 8192 level | Connection: USB-C | OS: Windows or MacOS
XP-Pen Artist 15.6 is a graphic tablet with a display. It will not give you the perfect tactile sensations while using like tablets without a screen that imitate paper, but it will allow you to see everything that you draw right under your hand, as it has a display. This is not a stand-alone computer, but simply an imitation of your display on the tablet screen. The corners of the screen are not very sensitive, so if you are working on Windows, you are unlikely to open the programs in the bottom panel.
Price: about $1700
Specs: Active drawing area: 19.5 x 11.5 inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 2048 Levels | Connection: DVI, USB 2.0 | OS: Windows or MacOS
Wacom Cintiq 22HD is a graphic tablet-monitor for professional digital artists, designers, architects and video editors who need trouble-free technology with the widest range of features and a first-class matrix covering the whole range of colors on a sRGB scale. At first glance, this is a large 22-inch monitor with Full HD-resolution of 1920x1080, built on H-IPS.
It may be considered as the best tablet for viewing pictures as it displays over 16.7 million colors and shades and covers 100% on the sRGB scale, as well as 72% on the Adobe RGB scale. The response speed of the panel is 14 ms, and this is enough even for very fast work with a stylus on the monitor surface (hatching, etc.). After installing the drivers, you get lots of possibilities to set up and calibrate the tablet.
The Express Keys panel allows you to set a value or combination of keys for all mechanical buttons that are present on the tablet (left and right sides separately). Switch to the Touch Strip tab and do the same but with the touch area. It can also be synchronized with the buttons, getting several thousands of various combinations.
Price: about $500
Specs: Active drawing area: 17.09 x 9.37 inches| Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 8192 levels | Connection: DVI, HDMI, VGA, USB 2.0 | OS: Windows or MacOS
If you want to do professional photo editing and photo manipulation but a Wacom tablet for photo editing is too expensive, you don’t need to worry, as there are many cheap graphic tablets available on the market. Huion KAMVAS GT-191 is a great alternative to the Wacom Cintiq, which also supports Full HD resolution.
The graphic tablet is fully compatible with tested softwares as Manga Studio, Photoshop, Lightroom, Clip Studio, etc. Another thing that makes Huion a user-friendly tablet is the adjustable stand included into the kit. It supports from 20° to 80° fixation angles. The stylus that comes with GT-191 tablet is Huion PE330.
It has 8192 pressure levels. But unlike the Pro Pen 2 model, which is included in the Cintiq 13 Pro kit, the Huion stylus is rechargeable. In general, the screen size of 19.5 inches and high availability make it one of the best drawing tablets for affordable price.
Price: about $700
Specs: Active drawing area: 15.83 x 10.04 inches | Resolution: 1440 x 900 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 2048 levels | Connection: DVI, HDMI, VGA, USB 2.0 | OS: Windows or MacOS
Ugee 1910B is an affordable ergonomic drawing tablet. Its screen has clear colors, excellent contrast and brightness, and is good enough to become the main screen for your work. Ugee 1910b is one of the best tablets for photo editing and is perfectly compatible with Windows, Mac and various photo editing softwares like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk, Corel Painter and 3D Max.
P505 touch styluses have a quick button for easy pencil/eraser replacement and quick charge function. There are different lines and thumbnail modes that give you space for imagination. I recommend installing a protective display cover before using to protect the display from dust, stains, and scratches.
Price: about $1750
Specs: Active drawing area: 13 inches | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 8192 level | Connection: 3 x USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD | OS: Windows 10
Wacom MobileStudio Pro Tablet PC will provide professional designers, illustrators, digital artists and photographers with the convenience of a mobile tablet, along with all the power of a graphic device. With a wide selection of Intel Core processors and solid-state drives, this is a full-fledged Windows-based computer. It is built using the Cintiq technology but unlike the Cintiq model, it is not just a display.
If you want, you can even connect it to a more powerful PC or Mac in your studio using the optional Wacom Link. This is truly the best tablet for photo editing 2018. For those who work in 3D, the RealSense camera will be really useful, as it allows you to scan items and transform them into a 3D model.
Price: about $1000
Specs: Active drawing area: 12.9 inches | Resolution: 2732 x 2048 | Stylus Touch Sensitivity: Not Specified (with optional Apple Pencil) | Connection: Lightning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | 64GB; OS: iOS
This is the latest model in a series of high-performance Apple tablets. iPad Pro 12.9 can’t be called the best tablet for photographers who use Photoshop or Lightroom for photo editing but this tablet offers significant performance improvements compared to its predecessor, as well as a smaller frame. This luxury Retina LCD screen with True Tone technology offers game console-level graphics, making it an excellent surface to draw your projects.
The new Apple Pencil 2 now offers a magnetic connection and new features that improve workflow, such as double-tapping to switch modes. It is not suitable for everyone as it does not offer the possibility to download full-fledged softwares such as Photoshop CC. So this is an option only for drawing or working with other programs such as Affinity Photo or Pixelmator.
Price: about $450
Specs: Active drawing area: 7.86 inches | Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 1024 (optional) | Connection: USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Intel Atom x5 Z8550, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC SSD | OS: Windows 10
The HP Pro 608 G1 is a professional Windows 10 tablet with a stunning QXGA screen. Though it has only a 7.86-inch screen, it is one of the lightest tablets that can run Photoshop, which you can currently buy for slow photo editing. The high-quality screen is of significant importance when editing photos and this tablet just can’t but impress. The resolution is 2048x1536 pixels.
The 24-bit color depth for each pixel provides vivid visual effects and results in high-definition images for picture editing. The extra stylus offers 1024 sensitivity levels for greater accuracy in Photoshop or Lightroom. However, equipped only with an Intel Atom processor with a clock speed of 1.44 GHz, it is not as powerful as other Windows tablets. Processing RAW files may take some time.
Price: about $650
Specs: Active drawing area: 10.5 inches | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 | Stylus touch sensitivity: 4,096 levels | Connection: USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | 8032 2.35 GHz, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC SSD | OS: Android 8.0
It’s always pleasant when you don’t have to pay extra for the best stylus for photo editing, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 comes with a quality stylus. This is especially as this device is the most expensive Android tablet at the moment similar to iPad Pro. Like previous Samsung tablets, this one also ensures a nice and smooth drawing process. There is also a good set of graphics applications and programs available for Android, although iOS still has a slight advantage in this regard.
|Wacom Intuos Pro MediumOUR CHOICE||CHECK PRICE|
|Huion H430PAFFORDABLE||CHECK PRICE|
|Wacom Intuos Draw||CHECK PRICE|
|XP-Pen Deco 03||CHECK PRICE|
|XP-Pen Artist 15.6FOR LIGHTROOM||CHECK PRICE|
|Wacom Cintiq 22HD-InchBEST 2018||CHECK PRICE|
|Huion KAMVAS GT-191||CHECK PRICE|
|Ugee 1910B||CHECK PRICE|
|Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13FOR PHOTO EDITING||CHECK PRICE|
|Apple iPad Pro 12.9FOR PHOTO STORAGE||CHECK PRICE|
|HP Pro 608 G1||CHECK PRICE|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab S4||CHECK PRICE|
If you planned to buy a tablet for digital drawing or work in Photoshop, then you should keep in mind a few things that will help you select the best tablets for photo editing easily and for your budget.
Price is the most important factor for many beginner designers. If you are just starting to work with a graphic tablet, then purchase a model below $100, which is a great option for training. Work specification – perfect optimization and recognition of random touches of the fingers and the palm while working with a stylus, in order to be able to freely touch and lift the palm at any moment. Almost all modern models are perfectly optimized for this effect.
Speed and convenience – the presence of express buttons, with the ability to customize the functions for each application. Mobility – the possibility to work not at the main workplace. It is important, as the models, which have the display are very heavy and cannot be used without a PC or laptop.
The presence of the display on the tablet (many users don't need it, but some designers prefer to have a display). You also need to decide on whether it will be a full-fledged tablet with good camera resolution or an additional display for a computer. The stylus is also the most important item on the list. The best option is a stylus-based electromagnetic resonance technology (does not require charging) that has a low Initial Activation Force.
To work with a graphic tablet, you need a stylus. There are numerous models you can use and each stylus is designed for different work on a graphic tablet.
The third button may not seem new, but it allows Pro Pen 3D to support panning and zooming in three dimensions, providing 3D artists with unobstructed navigation.
To get a natural feeling, the ink pen lets you put a sheet of paper on a Wacom tablet, and then draw on it with ink, while the tablet captures your movements while drawing. Inking Pen is designed for Intuos tablets only. It can damage the screen if you use Cintiqs and MobileStudios tablet for photographer.
If you don’t like the Apple Pencil or it isn’t compatible with your iPad, this stylish pen works on any iPad (or Android tablet). The pen combining a pointed tip with a plastic circle for registration on a tablet screen looks interesting, but in practice, it works well.
Give your hand the support you need for long-term work. The Art Glove glove is made of high-quality sports compression material.
Make your hand feel even more comfortable with fabric technology. A mixture of fabrics will provide breathability, moisture absorption and evaporative cooling, which is great for intense work.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.