Not every tablet deal you’ll come across this Black Friday is as good as it might seem. We’ve sorted through the marketing mayhem to highlight deals that are really worth snapping up, and paired it with our top tips on choosing the right tablet for your needs.
If you’ve been looking to buy a tablet this year, and you’ve waited until November to start shopping, Black Friday deals could save you a lot of money.
We’ve only highlighted deals on tablets that score well in our independent lab tests, so you can be sure of getting a good product at a good price – although we recommend you take a look at our expert reviews to make sure it’s right for you.
The best Black Friday deals: we’ve rounded up the very best offers on tech and home products in one place
Black Friday tablet deals: what our experts have found so far
There are plenty of tablet deals to be had during the Black Friday 2020 sales. Here are a selection our experts were particularly impressed with. We’ll keep updating this page as new deals arrive.
Apple iPad 10.2-inch, £389, £40 off
We liked: Nice, fast tablet
We didn’t like: Large and unwieldy
iPad deals are few and far between right now; Costco is currently the one place where you can make a genuine saving on Apple’s tablets. You’ll need to be a member (which involves paying an annual fee, starting at £15 for online-only shopping), but the discount is a good one. It’s £40 off the 128GB model, bringing it down to £389.
It’s worth noting that the 32GB model at RRP is still cheaper (£329), but if you want more storage then the 128GB version is the way to go.
Amazon Fire 7, £15 off, now £34.99
We liked: Easy to use, very cheap
We didn’t like: Not the fastest
Always one of the cheapest tablets around, the Fire 7 has hit a new low price this Black Friday. It’s just £34.99 at various retailers including Amazon and Currys.
(A recent Which? investigation into Currys PC World suggests the firm has an issue with how it handles complaints about faulty products. So do consider this before making a purchase.)
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, now £499, save £120
We liked: Fast processor, comes with a stylus
We didn’t like: So-so battery
The Galaxy Tab S6 is from Samsung’s 2019 range of tablets. It has a fast processor, a stylus included in the box and a high-resolution screen. It’s often on discount, but not by this much.
At full cost, it’s one of the more expensive tablets on the market, but it’s currently on offer at Argos for a very good price of just £499.
Three tips to make the right choice of tablet
Before you leap in and buy the first tablet that’s on heavy discount, it will pay to consider what it is you need from your tablet.
1. Size matters
Picking the right size entirely depends on what you’re planning on using your tablet for. As a rule, the more you take your tablet out and about, the smaller the size you should go for, as big tablets can be cumbersome to lug about.
If you’re sticking around at home and want a device for using on the sofa, or to prop up to watch a show (or check a recipe) when you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen, you’ll benefit from larger-screen devices. Clicking on the links in the bullets below will take you to our reviews of each tablet.
- 7 inches: The smallest tablets you can buy. Ideal for commuting, and about the size of a paperback book. The Amazon Fire 7 is a 7-inch tablet.
- 8 inches: Still good for taking on the move. This is the size of the iPad Mini and Amazon Fire HD 8.
- 9-11 inches: These tablets are still portable, but best suited to home use thanks to their large screens and extra bulk. The iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro, Amazon Fire HD 10 and Lenovo Tab E10 all fall into this category.
- More than 11 inches: Most tablets this big come with optional keyboard accessories for using them as laptops, and they’re typically very powerful and expensive. These include the biggest iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface Pro 7.
2. Consider which operating system will work best for you
There are four main operating systems for tablets. There’s more detail in our guide to how to buy the best tablet, but here’s the skinny:
- Android: There are loads of models to choose from starting from under £100 to more than £500. They vary in quality significantly, and not all apps are optimised to run on a big screen.
- Fire OS: This is Amazon’s version of Android. It runs nicely on Fire tablets, but the selection of apps available is slightly more limited than on Android and iPadOS.
- iPadOS: Previously known as iOS, this is the tablet-specific version of Apple’s mobile operating system that’s found on iPhones. It has loads of apps that are specifically designed for larger screens.
- Windows 10: Pretty much the same as Windows 10 on your laptop, but with the option to make the screen easier to use with your fingers or a stylus.
3. Don’t spend more than you need to
You’re here looking for a Black Friday tablet deal, so you definitely want to spend less than RRP, but equally you shouldn’t cut costs so much that you end up with a tablet that won’t meet your needs.
These are the main price ranges for tablets (before sales discounts) so you can get an idea of what to expect.
- Less than £100: The cheapest tablets you can buy, but these have improved markedly in recent years. Amazon’s Fire tablets are among the most popular of this price range. No tablet under £100 is particularly fast, though, so these are best for reading and watching videos and less so for heavy web browsing.
- £100-200: This is a sweet spot for finding a tablet that delivers the basics without having to compromise significantly in any particular area. Some tablets in this price range will be available with optional docks and voice recognition so you can use them as a smart home assistant.
- £200-400: This is the range in which you’ll start finding iPads as well as some higher-end Samsung models that should deliver sprightly performance, lovely screens and good speakers.
- £400 or more: Tablets in this price range are typically compatible with snap-on keyboards that let you use your tablet as a laptop. These machines are fast, with great screens and top-notch battery life for working away from home all day.
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