Best Tablet for Photoshop in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 02, 2022 •  Guides

I’ve worked with the computer version of Adobe Photoshop since the mid-2000s, editing and retouching photos and later moving on to digital art, working in a studio and for clients.

With the launch of the iPad Pro, more and more tablets have been powerful enough to run the full version of Photoshop. This is exciting, so it’s only natural that artists and students ask me what tablet they should get for Photoshop.

To save you hours of research, in this guide, I am sharing my experience and the experience of my artist and designer friends using Photoshop on a standalone tablet that runs the operating system independently.

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Top 4 Tablets for Photoshop Compared

These are my picks for the best tablet for Photoshop and photo editing. You will not find Android and ChromeOS picks in my guide because Adobe Photoshop is not available for these operating systems at the time of writing.

My Pick
Windows Pick
Affordable Pick
Professional Pick
Description:

The best iPad for Photoshop and photo editing

Apple M1 Processor for next-level performance :: 12.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, and brightness :: Light and extremely strong :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2021 model

Description:

Best Windows Tablet for Photoshop and photo editing

13 Inch PixelSense Flow touchscreen with 2880x1920 Resolution :: Intel Core i9 processor :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD Storage :: Premium fit and finish :: Great surface for drawing :: Windows 11 :: Late 2021 model

Description:

Best iPad for Photoshop and photo editing if you are on a budget or you are a student / beginner

Latest M1 processor :: 10.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, brightness :: Light & extremely strong :: Premium fit & finish :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2022 model

Description:

Best Professional Standalone Tablet for Photoshop and photo editing

13.3 Inch WQHD Touchscreen Display :: Intel Core i7 :: 16GB RAM upgradeable :: 512GB SSD upgradeable :: Professional artists' choice :: Windows 10 :: Early 2020 model

The bigger model is Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16

My Pick
Description:

The best iPad for Photoshop and photo editing

Apple M1 Processor for next-level performance :: 12.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, and brightness :: Light and extremely strong :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2021 model

Windows Pick
Description:

Best Windows Tablet for Photoshop and photo editing

13 Inch PixelSense Flow touchscreen with 2880x1920 Resolution :: Intel Core i9 processor :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD Storage :: Premium fit and finish :: Great surface for drawing :: Windows 11 :: Late 2021 model

Affordable Pick
Description:

Best iPad for Photoshop and photo editing if you are on a budget or you are a student / beginner

Latest M1 processor :: 10.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, brightness :: Light & extremely strong :: Premium fit & finish :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2022 model

Professional Pick
Description:

Best Professional Standalone Tablet for Photoshop and photo editing

13.3 Inch WQHD Touchscreen Display :: Intel Core i7 :: 16GB RAM upgradeable :: 512GB SSD upgradeable :: Professional artists' choice :: Windows 10 :: Early 2020 model

The bigger model is Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16

Table of Contents

Overview: Best Tablets for Photoshop and Photo Editing in 2022

My Pick: iPad Pro 12.9

My Pick
NEW Apple iPad Pro (12.9″, WiFi, 512GB)

The best iPad for drawing and Procreate

Apple M1 Processor for next-level performance :: 12.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, and brightness :: Light and extremely strong :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2021 model

Get it on Amazon
My Pick
Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

Get it on Amazon

I still feel guilty about later saying that Wacom is better than Apple.

And maybe it isn’t – Apple is incredibly intuitive and offers the finest consumer-level products. 

I may recognize Wacom as a brilliant professional tool for artists, but I would never give up my Apple iPad standalone drawing tablet or MacBook for digital art.

Ok, I feel better. And so, in keeping with our quest to fully realize all of the features and potential of Photoshop and photo editing, which Apple standalone drawing tablet would be the best choice for an artist?

Easy: the Apple iPad Pro, and naturally with the largest screen – 12.9 inches, so that you can see all that you are capable of. 

And, although it is not, strictly speaking, necessary for Photoshop, photo editing, or artwork in general, I would strongly recommend also getting the Magic Keyboard – I find it incredibly handy and use it all the time.

As Photoshop is renowned for its color accuracy and control, its high-resolution capabilities, its control of elements and fine detail, you will want the low latency of the iPad Pro’s ProMotion technology, top-of-the-line processor and 8 GB RAM, and superb color accuracy and saturation, as well as the stunning resolution, of the Liquid Retina display.

What this means to you as an artist is that the iPad Pro will match Photoshop CC perfectly. 

It will perfectly display the industry standard color palettes as well as the subtle shifts and shading between colors that Photoshop is capable of. It will react with fluid quickness when you move the Apple Pencil along the screen, almost seeming to anticipate your gestures. 

It will let you see perfectly what you are doing – even with the most exacting, detailed, high-resolution work.

Plus, the Apple iPad just feels right. The iPad Pro especially has a beautiful overall presentation – the screen pops, the graphics tablet feels good in the hand (as does the Apple Pencil 2), and the Pencil’s nib feels just right on the glass, the perfect level of friction between pencil and screen offers even more control.

It brings you even closer to what Photoshop and you as an artist can ultimately do.

There are more affordable iPads, to be sure – even the most decked out, top-of-the-line iPad Air or iPad Mini is substantially less expensive and will work splendidly with the new Photoshop for iPadOS or any iPadOS software, but I personally want my tools – software and hardware – to be at the highest level, so they will never hold me back.

And that’s what the iPad Pro, and Photoshop CC, are all about and why my choice for the best iPadOS graphics tablet for Photoshop CC on the market today is the Apple iPad Pro, with a 12.9-inch screen and 512 GB of internal storage.

Specifications of Apple iPad Pro 12.9″

Windows Pick: Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Windows Pick
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 13″ Tablet

Best Windows Standalone Drawing Tablet

13 Inch PixelSense Flow touchscreen with 2880x1920 Resolution :: Intel Core i9 processor :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD Storage :: Premium fit and finish :: Great surface for drawing :: Windows 11 :: Late 2021 model

Get it on Amazon
For Surface Tablets
Surface Slim Pen 2

Pressure sensitivity (4,096 Levels) and Tilt recognition :: Perfect weight and balance for drawing :: Haptic support :: Digital eraser :: Compatible with a wide range of Surface models

Get it on Amazon

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is simply one of the very finest Windows 10 tablets available to artists, designers, and photographers. It offers best-in-class performance and incredible material quality and reliability. 

Especially with the optional Microsoft Type Cover, you have a perfect portable computer that is as powerful as any and less expensive than many of its rivals.

But, for our purposes, the Surface Pro 8 is also a great drawing tablet and a great way to get everything possible out of even as advanced a program as Photoshop and photo editing.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 offers an incredibly sharp, bright display with superb resolution and exceptionally accurate and subtle representation of color, light, and shading. That screen interacts with the Surface Pen (must be purchased separately – available here) with quick, responsive, reliable action and perfect precision.

While the screen is not as large as the Wacom 16, or the Wacom 13 for that matter, the 12.3-inch dimensions, in concert with the incredible color fidelity, resolution and depth, and the near-perfect interface with you as an artist, means the Surface Pro 8 comes very close indeed to the Wacoms in really realizing what Photoshop – or any program – is capable of.

And if it will also be your working computer, the Surface Pro 8 may be a better choice than the Mobile Studio Pro graphics tablets. And an even greater bargain overall!

My pick for the best Windows graphics tablet for Photoshop today is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, with a 12.3-inch screen, 8 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD drive for storage.

Specifications of Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Affordable Pick: iPad Air 10.9

Affordable Pick
NEW Apple iPad Air (10.9″, WiFi, 256GB)

Best iPad for drawing and Procreate if you are on a budget or you are a student / beginner

Latest M1 processor :: 10.9-inch liquid retina display for superior color, contrast, brightness :: Light & extremely strong :: Premium fit & finish :: Up to 10 hours battery life :: Early 2022 model

Get it on Amazon
My Pick
Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Second Generation Apple Pencil :: Best Drawing and Painting Experience :: Compatible with: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th, 4th and 3rd generation), iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd, 2nd and 1st generation), iPad Air (5th and 4th generation) and iPad mini (6th generation)

Get it on Amazon

You could argue that I could have selected a Microsoft Surface Go 3, a fabulous standalone tablet, for an affordable pick. In the end, it’s half the price of the iPad Air.

Unfortunately, the Photoshop hardware requirements didn’t let go. The Photoshop on Surface Go 3 was lagging, and the whole experience was not good enough.

The newest iPad Air is different, though. The M1 chip and Photoshop implementation on iPadOS make it run smoothly without lag. It’s a joy to paint digitally, create collages, and retouch photos.

iPad Air’s 10.9″ is a smaller screen than I’d like, but fortunately, the Photoshop user interface is adjusted to the smaller screen, and I was able to set it up well in a smaller size, too.

What is more, Liquid Retina is so high resolution that I have no problem seeing any detail of my work. Add a great SDR brightness, contrast, and amazing color accuracy, and the iPad Air is a great tablet for Photoshop for half the price of the iPad Pro 12.9″ above.

Specifications of Apple iPad Air 10.9″

Professional Pick: Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13

Professional Pick
Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 with Wacom Pro Pen 2

Best Professional Standalone Drawing Tablet

13.3 Inch WQHD Touchscreen Display :: Intel Core i7 :: 16GB RAM upgradeable :: 512GB SSD upgradeable :: Professional artists' choice :: Windows 10 :: Early 2020 model

The bigger model is Wacom MobileStudio Pro 16

Get it on Amazon

Yeah, I know – Wacom makes a bigger one, which is better.

I have to say, though, that if I were recommending the best Windows tablet for Photoshop or buying one for myself, I would go instead for the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13, which for about a thousand dollars less (!) offers only a slightly smaller – but still quite big – screen.

And what a screen it is!

I can’t emphasize how much more you can do with a program like Photoshop CC and a large screen, but this is especially true when that screen has unmatched color fidelity, resolution, and geometry.

You can make the finest imaginable adjustments to color or light, move an item the tiniest amount, and change an element’s size or shape in such a minute increment that, on inferior screens, the changes might be imperceptible.

But on the superb Wacom screen, you will see everything. And, if there is even the smallest error, something out of alignment, a color just barely off, perspective or relationship that is almost there, you will see all of these things as well.

Once you get used to seeing so much more, even the most insignificant problems will be glaringly obvious (not that any error, on this level of professional or fine art, is insignificant!).

But obvious, too, will be the superb colors you have selected, the subtle yet powerful play and movement of light, the perfect balance and flow of elements and composition, the incredibly fine detail and the big picture, and how right everything is.

Could you have achieved this without the killer combination of Wacom and Photoshop CC? Maybe not, but all of this – the talent, the craftsmanship, the eye, and judgment – was in you all along.

There is no question that a tablet on the level of the Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 will not hold you back, but at the end of the day, it’s about realizing just what you, as an artist, are capable of.

This is something that Wacom, Adobe, and Apple understand very well!

Specifications of Wacom MobileStudioPro 13”

Main Criteria for Choosing a Tablet for Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop Compatibility

Before you purchase a new tablet for Adobe Photoshop, you should understand what operating systems it is compatible with.

Because nothing is more frustrating than buying an amazing new drawing tablet and then discovering that Adobe Photoshop doesn’t run on it!

I assume you already know, but just in case. Adobe Photoshop is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, launched in July 2013. This means that all Adobe creative programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and others have not been available for physical sale for quite some time.

You need to have a valid Adobe Creative Cloud, also called Adobe CC subscription, and depending on your tier, you can download all or combinations of Adobe software and apps.

Adobe Photoshop is part of these subscription tiers: Creative Cloud All Apps, Photography, and Photoshop.

I recommend the All Apps subscription if you also plan to use other apps. Or a Photography subscription because it comes with Adobe Lightroom and 1TB of cloud storage.

At the time of writing, in September 2022, Adobe Photoshop’s minimum requirements for the operating system are as follows:

Operating SystemDevice TypesModel Examples
Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909) or laterWindows Desktop computer
Windows Laptop
Windows Tablet
Wide range of Laptops and Desktop computers

Microsoft Surface series
macOS Big Sur (version 11) or later
macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later
MacBook
iMac
Mac

MacBook Pro 16
MacBook Pro 14
MacBook Pro 13
MacBook Air
iMac 24
Mac Mini, Mac Studio, Mac Pro
iPadOS (14.0) or lateriPad

Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
Apple Pencil (1st generation)

🛑 3rd party styluses are not supported!
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (recommended)
iPad Pro 11-inch 
iPad Pro 10.5-inch
iPad Pro 9.7-inch
iPad (5th generation and later)
iPad mini (4th generation and later)
iPad Air (2nd generation and later)
Table: Adobe Photoshop compatibility with operating systems – Source: adobe.com

As you can see, the full version of Adobe Photoshop, which the artists and photographers love, runs only on Windows, macOS, and iPadOS-compatible devices.

Sorry, no Android tablets and no Chromebooks with chromeOS.

Processor, Graphics, and Storage

To run Adobe Photoshop and all its features on a tablet smoothly without interruptions, I had the best experience with these hardware specifications:

Windows Tablet Hardware Specifications for Adobe Photoshop

iPadOS Hardware Specifications for Adobe Photoshop

Stylus Support (Pressure Sensitivity and Tilt Recognition)

When it comes to precise work in Photoshop, such as an artist drawing and painting digitally, graphic designers designing layouts, or a photographer retouching and editing photographs, it becomes clear the tablet needs to support a quality stylus, pen, or pencil.

You should only choose a tablet that works with a pen or pencil that has these features ideally:

Display (Size and Resolution)

Working in Photoshop on your tablet most likely means handling color-intensive projects, such as digital painting and drawing, digital collage, photo editing, retouching, graphic design, etc.

That means you will need a reasonably big, bright screen with high resolution to support your work.

When it comes to size, to work comfortably with Photoshop, I wouldn’t choose a tablet smaller than 13″ inches. Ideally, I’d go for either 16″ or 22″ tablets. That, of course, depends if you want a standalone tablet, pen display, or pen tablet. Because the biggest standalone tablet you can get is 16″

The bigger screen, the better because you can take advantage of all the Photoshop features and menus you need for your creative work. And there is still enough space for the canvas!

You should choose a tablet with the following display specifications and resolution:

FAQs – Best Tablet for Photoshop

What tablet should I get for Photoshop?

To run Photoshop, get a tablet with Windows 10 (and later) or iPadOS (and later). Android and ChromeOS are not supported. I recommend either iPad Pro 12.9″, Microsoft Surface Pro 8, or a professional artists’ and photographers’ choice, Wacom MobileStudio Pro 13 or MobileStudio Pro 16.

Which tablet is best for photo editing?

If you are a Windows user, I think the premium Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the best option. If you are an Apple user, I recommend iPad Pro 12.9″.

Is a tablet or laptop better for photo editing?

Based on my experience, a laptop is better for photo editing in Photoshop because I find it more intuitive to edit and retouch photos with a mouse. I encourage you to try both because you may find editing on a tablet with a stylus pen or pencil much more enjoyable.

Is the iPad good for Photoshop?

Yes, especially iPad Pro 12.9″ is amazing for digital art, photo editing, and retouching in Photoshop. I think iPad Pro’s Liquid Retina screen is second to none and the Apple Pencil experience is so intuitive I sometimes forget I am painting digitally!

Conclusion

I am very happy to use my Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ with Photoshop.

They are great tools for me as a digital artist and help me bring my art and each piece I am working on to higher levels.

And while I am firmly established in the Apple camp, I understand that others prefer Windows computers and tablets.

No matter what a person’s preference is regarding their tablet, though, I truly believe that Adobe Photoshop is for everybody and that any artist, with a little time and practice, can not only easily master this most masterful program but can ultimately use Photoshop to realize their own potential as an artist better.

And if you can find the best graphics tablet for Photoshop and photo editing, one that will help you realize everything it can do, the possibilities are endless. And the levels you can reach are unimaginable.

Any of the selections on my list of best tablets for Photoshop and photo editing available on the market today will do that. 

I hope my guide helped you to choose your new table for Photoshop and you will have a lot of fun with your creative projects!

Other articles in the Drawing Tablets series:

Lis cet article en français 🇫🇷 La meilleure tablette graphique pour Photoshop en 2022

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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