The Best Tablet for Lightroom & Photo Editing

Last Updated on 17 May 2023 by Proactive Creative

Editing is an essential step for any photographer. But did you know that you could edit your photos on a tablet with Lightroom? Using a tablet is much more convenient and portable at times than a laptop. So, here’s a roundup of the best tablets for Lightroom!

Not just any tablet will do photo editing in Lightroom or Photoshop. You need a powerful, responsive tablet with a high-quality display. Plenty of storage space is also critical when you’re working with RAW files. 

Read on for the best tablets for photo editing in Adobe Lightroom. Plus, I’ve included a buying guide to help you choose the right tablet for photography and editing. 

Buying Guide to the Best Tablet for Adobe Lightroom

Here’s everything you need to know to pick the best graphics tablet!

Display Quality

First of all, the display is crucial when you’re buying a tablet for viewing and editing photos. You should look for a tablet with a high pixel count so that the images look sharp and accurate. 

Other important factors include a wide color gamut, so your photos are bright and true to life. 

The size of the screen is another thing to consider. The bigger the screen, the easier it is to work on your photos. But a smaller tablet is handy if you want to work on location and pack light. 

Look out for a tablet with a bright screen, usually measured in nits. A brighter screen will allow you to work from anywhere, even outside on a sunny day. 

Processor & RAM

The next essential factor is the power and performance of your tabler for Lightroom. It’s the processor (or CPU) and the RAM that will determine how well Lightroom will run on your tablet.

So, aim to buy a tablet that has as much RAM as possible. I would recommend at least 8 GB, as Lightroom is a very demanding program. You need plenty of processing power for Lightroom to function smoothly/ That’s especially true when working with large files.

As for the CPU, the more cores it has, the better. That will ensure it can handle multitasking and running the Adobe apps.

Long Battery Life

If you plan to work on location, you’ll want a tablet with long battery life. Lightroom is very intensive and can eat through your battery quickly. And the last thing you want is to be caught out with a flat battery halfway through your workday.

Many of the latest tablets can last up to 10 hours or even longer. If you do your research, you can find a tablet that will allow you to edit all day.

Operating System

You should consider which operating system the tablet runs on before buying it. Depending on the operating system, you may be limited to the apps available for you to download.

For example, you can’t get the full Lightroom Classic on Chrome OS, but you can on iOS. So, consider whether you want to use the Lightroom mobile app or the full desktop app on your tablet. (Find out the differences between Lightroom CC and Classic here).

If you have a MacBook, it makes sense to go for an iPad, as they sync seamlessly. But for Windows users, an Android or Windows tablet might be better.


Finally, you’ll need a tablet that works with your budget. The best tablet for you will depend on where you are in your journey right now and how much money you have to spend.

If you’re a student or just dabbling in a hobby, your needs won’t be the same as a professional photographer. A pro will need the most powerful tablet around to keep up with client projects. 

So, figure out how much you can spend on your tablet. I’ve got budget and premium recommendations below, so there’s something for everyone.

The Best Tablets for Photo Editing in Lightroom

Apple iPad Pro 12.9

Best Apple Tablet

BesApple iPad Pro 12.9

(Image credit: Apple)

If you’re an Apple fan, it’s hard to beat the iPad Pro with its amazing 12.9-inch screen.

The large display is ideal for editing photos, as you don’t have to keep zooming in and out. Thanks to the Liquid Retina display, your photos will look vivid and sharp. And the True Tone technology and wide color gamut ensure that your photos are true to life and accurate. 

The screen is also nice and bright, allowing you to work outside or in harsh lighting. The anti-reflective coating protects your eyes and makes it easier to see what you’re working on. 

And as it’s much more lightweight than a laptop, it’s convenient for working on location. As it’s so slim and compact, you can take it anywhere. That comes in handy when you want to show photos to clients or do a little editing between shots. And with a long battery life of up to 10 hours, you won’t get caught by a flat battery.

The iPad Pro has a powerful Apple M1 8-core CPU chip with 8-core GPU. That means even demanding apps like Lightroom boot insanely fast. Using Lightroom on your iPad Pro is intuitive and fluid. You shouldn’t experience lags, making it a fantastic tool for photographers. 

While it’s not as speedy as a laptop for batch editing, you still have plenty of control. Combine it with the Apple Pencil, and you can be as precise as you like. They work together like a dream, with super-fast responsivity and no parallax.

Uploading your photos to Lightroom is a little trickier than with a laptop. First, you must transfer them to the device and then upload them to Lightroom. So, there are a few more steps to your workflow. But it’s not a deal-breaker.

One other drawback is that this iPad Pro only has one USB port. So, you can’t charge it simultaneously by transferring photos to another device, which is sometimes a little annoying. 

But overall, the iPad Pro is a superb device for photo editing (as well as all your other needs). Lightroom is smooth and responsive, and working with the Apple Pencil is seamless. 

It is pretty expensive, though – especially when you factor in the stylus and keyboard folio. Whether it’s worth the price is for you to decide, depending on your budget and needs.


  • Dimensions: 8.46 x 11.04 x 0.23 inches
  • Resolution: 2732 x 2048 pixels
  • Weight: 1.39 pounds
  • OS: iOS 12
  • CPU: A12X Bionic chip, M12 coprocessor
  • RAM: 4 GB 
  • Storage: 256 GB


  • An amazing display makes your photos look gorgeous and vibrant
  • The powerful chip allows Lightroom to boot fast and run smoothly 
  • The Apple Pencil allows you perfect precision as you edit photos


  • It’s very expensive
  • Uploading photos to Lightroom is a little time-consuming

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Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Best Windows Tablet

Microsoft Surface Pro

(Image credit: Microsoft)

If you’re after a Windows tablet, check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. This is another premium-range tablet suitable for professional photographers.

The Surface Pro 7 has a gorgeous screen with vivid colors and a high resolution. With the included kickstand, you can adjust it to the perfect angle to work. While the USB-A and USB-C ports make connecting to other devices or charging your portable tablet easy.

The 10th Gen Intel Core processor packs a punch. Plus, it also has a generous 8 GB of RAM. So, it can handle Lightroom CC without any issues. If you prefer to run Lightroom Classic, you may experience some delays. But that’s to be expected when using a tablet rather than a desktop computer. 

This Surface Pro 7 weighs slightly heavier than the iPad Pro or Galaxy Tab S7. But it’s still pretty compact and portable, making it a good choice for commuting or travel. And with super-long battery life and fast charging, you can work all day on the go.

You can buy the Type Cover keyboard separately to make your Surface Pro even more versatile. When you add the keyboard, it can compare to many slim laptops for power and performance. It’s also possible to connect it with a monitor using the Surface Dock 2. 

One thing to consider is the storage space you get with the Surface Pro 7. At 128 GB, it’s pretty limited. That will fill up quickly when you work with RAW files.

And to write or work on the screen with accuracy, there’s the Surface Pen. It’s responsive, pressure-sensitive, and comfortable to hold. But all these accessories come separately and will cost you extra. That adds up quickly, so the Surface Pro 7 isn’t a budget option.

But it does provide a superior photo editing experience. If you have the cash to spare, you’ll love the Surface Pro 7’s amazing features and versatility.


  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33 inches
  • Resolution: 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds  
  • OS: Windows Home
  • CPU: Quad-core 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1035G4 Processor
  • RAM: 8 GB 
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD


  • Excellent high-resolution screen & vibrant colors
  • Long battery life & fast charging
  • It has two USB ports and a handy kickstand


  • It’s not cheap – and you’ll pay extra for any accessories or a digital stylus
  • The storage space is small for a photo editing tablet

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

Best Samsung Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

(Image credit: Samsung)

Next up is Samsung’s flagship tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. It was released in August 2020 and is one of the best Android tablets for editing photos in Lightroom. 

This tablet is cheaper than the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and the iPad Pro. But when it comes to features and performance, there’s very little difference. So, it’s worth taking a closer look at the Galaxy Tab S7! 

The octa-core CPU on the Galaxy Tab S7 ensures that it can handle Adobe CC apps with ease. So, you can expect a smooth and seamless workflow in Lightroom.

Even better, this tablet comes with the S Pen. So, you don’t need to spend extra money on accessories. The Galaxy Tab S7 pairs perfectly with this stylus for optimal control and precision as you work. 

Plus, the display has a super-high resolution, so your images will look crystal clear. And while the storage space is quite small, you can expand it to 1TB with an SD card. So, that’s a quick and easy workaround, allowing you to upload as many photos as you need.

It’s easy to import photos to Lightroom on this tablet, and you can also edit RAW files. But uploading the photos can take a little longer than on an iPad, as Adobe is optimized to work best on iOS. Once they’re ready, you can get to work. 

As this is an Android tablet, you’re limited to the apps available on the Google Play Store. That means you can’t run the full desktop versions of Lightroom and Photoshop. But as the mobile apps are catching up, there isn’t a huge difference between the two versions now anyway.

The great battery life is ideal when you’re working on location. You can edit all day without needing to stop and plug in, which is very handy. 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is one of the best tablets for photo editing around. Although it doesn’t have the speed of the iOS system, it’s a close competitor to the iPad Pro. And as it’s quite a bit cheaper, you’re getting great value for money! 


  • Dimensions: 11.22 x 7.28 x 0.22 inches
  • Resolution: 2800 x 1725 pixels
  • Weight: 1.27 pounds
  • OS: Android 10 (upgradeable to Android 11)
  • CPU: Octa-Core (3.09 + 2.4 + 1.8 GHz)
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB (expandable up to 1TB with SD card)


  • Superb photo editing capabilities
  • A gorgeous high-resolution display and long battery life
  • It’s cheaper than the iPad Pro or the Surface Pro 7
  • You can expand the storage up to 1TB


  • It can’t run the Lightroom Classic program – you’ll have to stick to the mobile app

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Google Pixel Slate 12.3″

Best Low-Cost Tablet

Google Pixel Slate 12.3

(Image credit: Google)

If you’re looking for a cheap tablet for photo editing, the Google Pixel Slate fits the bill. It’s the biggest Google tablet yet and works just as well for photo editing and entertainment.

The large 12.3-inch screen allows you to work precisely on the smallest details of your images. You can see them up close and in perfect clarity, as the display boasts 6 million pixels.

The battery lasts up to 12 hours on a full charge. And if you’re running low, you can get a quick boost of 2 hours in just 15 minutes of charging.

For more versatility, you can add on the Pixel Slate Keyboard. This keyboard is quiet, responsive, and feels great to type on. It even has a full-size trackpad.

The Google Pixel Slate has a sturdy build and an anodized aluminum body. It also has two USB-C ports, which is rare for such a slim tablet. That’s useful, as you can charge your tablet without having to disconnect from your camera.

While it’s not the most powerful tablet, it can run Lightroom CC. And it comes with plenty of RAM, which speeds up the process and lets you access your photos without much delay.

But the storage space is the biggest drawback. With just 64 GB, that’s tiny when you’re working with huge RAW files. It’s a pain to keep having to transfer files to the cloud. So, you’ll need to consider whether that will be a deal-breaker for you.

The Google Pixel Slate isn’t without some downsides. But it has some great specs and features that make it a good photo editing tablet. If you can get over the small storage space, it’s a great budget tablet for Lightroom.


  • Dimensions: 11.45 x 7.95 x 0.27 inches
  • Resolution: 3000 x 2000 pixels
  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • OS: Chrome OS
  • CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Storage: 64 GB 


  • You get a large, high-res screen to work on
  • It pairs well with the Pixelbook Pen and the Pixel Slate Keyboard for more control
  • It’s sturdy and durable, with a long battery life


  • The Pixel Slate isn’t as powerful as the premium tablets out there
  • You may get some lags in Lightroom
  • It has a very limited storage space

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Asus Zenpad 10.1

Best Budget Tablet

Asus Zenpad 10.1

(Image credit: Asus)

The Asus Zenpad is another fab tablet for photo editing on a budget. This model is smaller than the other tablets on this list but has advantages. It’s even more compact and portable, so it fits in any bag and won’t weigh you down. The slim, brushed metal design is sleek and stylish but also hardwearing.

While the specs aren’t as impressive as the high-end tablets, it’s also a lot cheaper. So, that’s to be expected for the price you pay.

If you want to get started with Lightroom with limited funds, the Asus could be what you need. 

It’s a smart tablet with a great display. While it was designed for entertainment, your photos will also look amazing on it. And with a 10.1-inch screen, you still have plenty of space for creative work. At this size, 1920 x 1200 pixels provide crystal-clear images. That works out at 224 pixels per inch so you can see every detail without any pixelation. 

The Asus Zenpad only has 2 GB RAM, though. So, you might need some patience if you want to run Lightroom or Photoshop. These apps are very intensive, so it could cause some lags as you wait for them to load. 

As for the storage, it has hardly any space with just 16 GB. But you can expand it with an SD card, which you’ll want to do immediately. Otherwise, you’ll run out of space for your photos in no time.

This tablet is a good choice for students or anyone on a budget. It’s great to get started with photo editing without blowing your savings. But remember that you may want to upgrade as you get more experienced and want a smoother workflow.


  • Dimensions: 9.91 x 6.77 x 0.35 inches
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Weight: 1.03 lbs
  • OS: Android 7.0
  • CPU: ARM Cortex-A53
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB


  • A lightweight, budget tablet 
  • It has a great screen with 224 pixels per inch
  • Battery life of up to 9 hours


  • It’s not the most powerful tablet
  • It only has 2GB RAM and a tiny amount of storage space

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The best tablets for Adobe Lightroom, photography & photo editing

The Wrap Up

Now, you know all there is to know about using Lightroom on a tablet. And you should have a good idea of which tablet will work best for you! 

I picked these tablets out for their display, performance, and portability. So, any of these tablets should work well for photo editing in Lightroom!

Let me know which one you go for, and drop any questions below! Then, make sure you head over and follow me on Pinterest. That way, you’ll stay up to date on all the latest products, tips, and trends for creative professionals.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Outmane is the founder of Proactive Creative. He is an artist/designer.


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