Black Friday season is well underway, with many retailers holding sales events throughout November and beyond. It means now is a great time to pick up a new tablet, whether you’re looking for portable productivity or just a great entertainment device.

An iPad is the obvious option, with regular, Mini, Air and Pro models to choose from. But Android tablets are having a renaissance in 2021, with excellent options from the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Xiaomi. It’s also worth considering Microsoft’s Surface range, with the Pro and Go lines both offering 2-in-1 functionality.

When is Black Friday 2021?

Black Friday will take place on 26 November this year, closely followed by Cyber Monday on 29 November. Some deals will only be around for a day and others extend across the weekend, but many more have already begun.

When do Black Friday tablet deals begin?

Black Friday season seems to be getting earlier and earlier each year. The most common time for laptop deals remains the week leading up to the big day, so it’s worth shopping around from Friday 20 November.

However, early Black Friday deals have become a big thing in recent years, with companies keen to promote their offers ahead of the rush. Many retailers now use the entire month of November as an opportunity to slash prices. Indeed, if you’re looking for deals on specific tablets, we’d encourage you to start checking now.

Are Black Friday tablet deals real?

Over the past few years, people have become a bit less trusting of Black Friday deals – which is understandable. Some deals are better than others and it’s not always clear which is which.

A few months after going on sale, many products drop in price whether there’s a sales event taking place or not. It’s why you can now get up to £450 off the Surface Pro 7 at the Microsoft Store, even though its successor has only just launched.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

However, some brands and retailers bump prices back up to the RRP shortly before Black Friday. Then, when the new price is announced, it looks like even more of a saving. There’s a chance it’ll still be a great deal, just not to the same extent as the website is making out.

Nonetheless, a slew of new tablets in 2021 means older models are ripe for Black Friday discounts. Apple devices continue to be supported by software updates for several years, so there’s no risk to buying an older iPad if you’re satisfied with the hardware.

You can feel even more confident when opting for a Microsoft Surface tablet. Almost every recent device is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11, which itself will get major annual updates. Even the original Surface Go, the only notable exception, you’ll be able to run Windows 10 without issue until support ends in October 2025.

The situation on Android is slightly more tricky, with some manufacturers still only offering two years of software updates. It’s worth checking with the company you’re considering buying from, although security updates mean a device is often still usable for several years following launch.

How to shop for Black Friday tablet deals

It’s a good idea to decide in advance what tech you’re shopping for and then be open to the best deals when Black Friday gets underway.

For example, if you’re interested in buying a new iPad, have a budget in mind and a feature set that you really want. This way, when a deal comes up, you can quickly check if it’s right for you and jump on it before it sells out.

If you’re looking for a product from a specific brand, you’ll probably have a good sense of what its regular price is. Then decide on what you’ll be willing to pay. Is it worth buying at 10% off? Are you holding out for 25%? Deals could begin as early as the start of November, so begin checking then.

Also look out from curated lists of the best Black Friday deals from specialists. Serious bargain hunters can also sign up to newsletters and download apps from their favourite retailers to get real-time sales alerts.

Where to find the best Black Friday tablet deals

Talking of retailers, there are plenty of candidates when it comes to tablet deals in the UK. The key ones to look out for include Amazon, Currys, Argos, AO and John Lewis. It’s also worth checking the likes of Newegg, Gearbest and eBay.

In the US, check out Best Buy, Target, Walmart and B&H Photo Video.

Sometimes retailers don’t display the RRP, so check the manufacturer’s site or other coverage from launch if you’re unsure. But going direct is also a good option – sometimes prices from the likes of Microsoft, Samsung and Huawei are cheaper than via third-party retailers.

There are also several tools you can use, both to find great deals and discover how good the new price really is.

First up is HotUKDeals, where you can create a range of specific alerts for products you’re interested in. Don’t worry, you’ll only be notified when deals are getting a lot of attention.

If you’re shopping on Amazon, CamelCamelCamel is a great tool. Typing any Amazon product or URL into the search bar will give you an overview of how much the price has changed over the past year or so. It also tells you when and how much its lowest price was – if that’s significantly less than now, it might be worth holding off.

PriceSpy is also an effective way to find a great deal. It compares deals from all the major retailers, so you know you’re getting the best price. What’s marketed as a Black Friday deal on one site may turn out to be cheaper on another.

Best Early Black Friday tablet deals

Several retailers have already launched their Black Friday sales, so it’s worth keeping an eye on deals throughout the month. Here are the best tablet deals available right now in the UK:

1. Apple 12.9in iPad Pro (2020, 1TB)

From: Amazon

Was: £1,469

Now: £1,258.72  (£210.28 off)

Nab a not-insignificant reduction on the top 1TB storage version of the iPad Pro 12.9in from 2020. This isn't a Prime-only deal, so all Amazon customers can buy it, we just don't know how long it'll be available at this price.

2. Apple iPad Air (2020, 256GB, cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £859

Now: £689  (£170 off)

A great discount on the latest iPad Air with cellular connectivity. Given the rarity of worthwhile iPad discounts, there's no guarantee this deal will be around beyond the winter season. Discount varies by colour, so double check before purchase.

3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ (128GB)

From: Currys

Was: £799

Now: £679  (£120 off)

This excellent deal saves you 15% on the usual asking price of the Galaxy Tab S7+, Samsung's latest flagship tablet. Similar discounts can be found on the 256GB model.

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (i5, 8GB, 256GB)

From: Microsoft

Was: £1,169

Now: £899  (£270 off)

This mid-tier Surface Pro 7 has been heavily discounted now its successor has arrived. Get £270 off a black i5 model, with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD from the Microsoft Store, although doubling the RAM on the Platinum variant has a £280 saving.

5. Microsoft Surface Go 2 (Intel Core M3, 8GB RAM, 128GB)

From: Amazon

Was: £619

Now: £457.50  (£161.50 off)

The Surface Go 2 might have launched back in mid-2020, but it remains a great little device. This top-spec model is currently available with a 26% saving on its RRP.

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (128GB, cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £719

Now: £619  (£100 off)

This 4G LTE 11in Tab S7 is an absolute powerhouse, despite being on the lower rung of Samsung's 2020 Tab S ladder. Best of all, it's available with a hefty discount right now.

7. Apple iPad Pro 11in (2020, 1TB, cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £1,419

Now: £1,199  (£220 off)

Apple has discontinued the 2020 iPad Pro (there's the 2021 model to think about) but the tablet is still available from other retailers if you can manage without the M1 chip. This saving from Amazon is among its biggest yet, for the 1TB storage model with WiFi and 4G support.

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (32GB)

From: Currys

Was: £149

Now: £119  (£30 off)

Samsung's compact and affordable Tab A7 Lite features an 8.7in display and a sizeable 5100mAh battery, as well as a tidy discount from Currys right now.

9. Amazon Fire HD 10 (64GB, no ads) + keyboard + MS365

From: Amazon

Was: £309.97

Now: £259.97  (£50 off)

This productivity bundle deal from Amazon includes a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal and a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, paired with the company's own ad-free 2021 Fire HD 10 tablet.

10. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (2020, 32GB, cellular)

From: Amazon

Was: £269

Now: £197.89  (£71.11 off)

Samsung's smart 10.4in 2020 slate – the Tab A7 – features a super sturdy but lightweight 7mm thick metal body, quad Dolby Atmos-certified speakers and a nice discount in this latest Amazon deal for the 4G model.

If you're based in the US, check out the following:

1. Apple iPad Pro 12.9in (2021, 128GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $1,099

Now: $999  ($100 off)

Apple's first iPad Pro to sport its dedicated M1 chipset. Now available with a $100 off on Amazon.

2. Apple iPad Pro 11in (2021, 128GB)

From: Amazon

Was: $1,099

Now: $999  ($100 off)

This is a great deal on Apple's latest 11in premium slate. A saving of $100 on the usual asking price brings this 11in Wi-Fi only model with 128GB of storage under $1,000.

3. Apple iPad 10.2in (2021, 256GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $479

Now: $449  ($30 off)

With a great front-facing camera, a gorgeous display and upgraded internals, this small reduction on the 2021's 10.2in iPad isn't to be sniffed at.

4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (128GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $649.99

Now: $509.99  ($140 off)

A sizeable reduction of Samsung's solid 11in top-tier Tab S7 is now on offer from Amazon.

5. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ (128GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $849.99

Now: $709.99  ($140 off)

The silver model of Samsung's 128GB flagship tablet is now available with a significant discount on Amazon. There are also reductions on the other colourways and the 256GB SKU, however, the discounts there aren't quite as substantial.

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE (256GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $679.99

Now: $619.99  ($60 off)

Samsung's latest Galaxy Tab S7 FE, with 256GB storage and an included S Pen stylus, can currently be snapped up with a 9% discount in this current Amazon deal. You can also save over $40 on the 64GB model.

7. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (128GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $429.99

Now: $367.99  ($62 off)

Amazon's currently offers a $130 discount on the 128GB model of 2020's Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, which means it's now available for under $370.

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (64GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $199.99

Now: $156.99  ($43 off)

Samsung's solid 8in Galaxy Tab A from 2020 delivers a reliable tablet experience and in this deal, packs in double the storage, at 64GB.

9. Apple iPad 10.2in (2019, 32GB, renewed)

From: Amazon US

Was: $399.99

Now: $319  ($80.99 off)

Make a sizeable saving on 2019's still-great 10.2in iPad (32GB) via Amazon right now. This renewed model has been certified by Amazon to be in excellent condition.

10. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (32GB)

From: Amazon US

Was: $159.99

Now: $119.99  ($40 off)

The small but mighty 8.7in Galaxy Tab A7 Lite comes with a useful saving on its RRP right now at Amazon.

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