Best Black Friday tablet deals: Android and Windows tablets on sale now, $45 Fire tablet returns soon

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

Apple’s venerable iPad dominates the tablet scene. And while many buyers continue to zig toward an iPad, there are a few reasons why you might zag and choose an Android or Windows tablet instead. Perhaps you’re looking for an affordable tablet to wrap and put under the tree this year for your kid. If you use an Android phone, getting a tablet on the same platform makes a lot or sense. And don’t forget about Windows tablets, which are good fits for bridging the divide between work and home.

With the Black Friday season of deals upon us, it’s a good time to go tablet shopping. Many retailers have started to roll out Black Friday discounts, while others have outlined their plans for sales to start closer to the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26. Keep this page saved to keep tabs on the best tablet deals this month from Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and others.

Best tablet deals right now

Discounts are few and far between for Apple’s more affordable iPads. The best deal we are seeing is a $50 discount on the latest iPad Air. Premium Android tablets from Lenovo and Samsung are also on sale, along with a more affordable tablet from Lenovo.   

Microsoft

It’s a generation behind the Surface Pro 8 that arrived alongside Windows 11 last month, but the Surface Pro 7 remains a stellar  two-in-one tablet. This Surface Pro 7 model is $199 off at Amazon and runs on a 10th-gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The 12.3-inch touchscreen has a crisp 2,736×1,824-pixel resolution. This discounted model does not include the clip-on keyboard.

Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 7 review .

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Microsoft released the latest version of its flagship two-in-one tablet when it launched Windows 11 last month. It boasts a larger, 13-inch display from the Surface Pro 7 and a slimmer pen while adding a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports. Inside, this model features an 11th-gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It just received its first price break — you can save $90 at Amazon on the 256GB model. Annoyingly, the clip-on keyboard costs extra.

Read our Microsoft Surface Pro 8 review.

Upcoming Black Friday tablet deals

After scanning the Black Friday ads of the major retailers, we see upcoming deals from Staples and Target that start on Sunday, Nov. 21. At Staples, you’ll be able to save $100 on the baseline 11-inch iPad Pro with 128GB of storage. We have been seeing that same discount at Amazon but not at the present, so Staples might be the way to go. At Target, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite will be $40 off and selling for $120. You’ll also find Amazon Fire HD tablets for half price at Target starting Nov. 21.

Samsung

At its discounted price, this budget Android tablet is a good pick as an affordable entertainment tablet for kids. It features a small (read: kid-friendly) 8.7-inch display with a 1,340×800-pixel resolution protected by a sturdy, metal (read: kid-resistant) enclosure. You’ll be able to get it for $120 from Nov. 21 through Nov. 27 at Target. Note: the keyboard case is not included.

César Salza/CNET

Normally $90, Amazon’s Fire HD 8 will sell for only $45 at Target starting Nov. 21. That will match the lowest price we’ve seen for it, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon match Target’s sale price.  The 8-inch tablet was updated in 2020 with a faster processor, USB-C charging, better Wi-Fi performance, 2GB of RAM (up from 1.5GB) and a bump from 16GB to 32GB of storage in the base model. Its HD screen is sharper than the entry-level Fire 7, but it’s still not nearly as sharp as iPad displays. The HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and slightly better performance, thanks to 3GB of RAM.

Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

We have previously seen this $140 model at Amazon for half price but not at the moment. You’ll be able to get it at Target for $70 starting on Nov. 21 to match its all-time low price. The Fire HD Kids Edition is a child-friendly version of the Fire HD 8 tablet that adds a padded case, parental controls, a two-year warranty and a one-year subscription to Kids Plus (formerly known as FreeTime Unlimited) — which normally costs $3 a month and gives you access to a bunch of kid-friendly content. It’s not really suitable for remote learning, but it’s a much more affordable option than giving a young child a full-on iPad.

Expired deals we expect to return

Amazon has not identified specific Fire tablets for its Black Friday sale, only stating that you’ll be able to “save up to 50% on select Fire HD tablets.” The older Fire HD 8 Plus was selling for half its $110 a few weeks ago, so we might see it return to its $55 price. We’d be surprised to see the newer $150 Fire HD 10 drop to half price, but a return to its previous discounted price of $100 isn’t out of the question.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Fire HD 8 Plus adds wireless charging and more RAM (3GB instead of 2GB), with performance that improves on the standard Fire HD 8. The tablet should charge just fine on most wireless charging pads. Amazon has stated that select Fire HD tablets will be up to 50% off for Black Friday, so we’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus review.

David Carnoy/CNET

Amazon’s Fire HD 10 is the biggest and most powerful tablet that the company offers, and it recently got better. The 2021 revision launched in April with more RAM, a 10% brighter screen and a slightly updated design. Like its 2019 predecessor, the new HD 10 starts at $150. We don’t expect Amazon to cut its price by 50% for Black Friday, but a return to its previous discounted price of $100 is a reasonable guess.

The Fire HD 10 comes packed with benefits for Prime subscribers, making it easy for members to stream and download movies, TV shows and games. The Fire tablets don’t use a pure version of Android: Instead, they use Amazon’s Android-based Fire operating system, pulling apps from the Amazon App Store. You can still get apps from Google Play, even though you’ll have to install the store yourself — meaning gaming enthusiasts have access to all of their favorite mobile games for an excellent gaming tablet experience.



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