It’s fair to say that tablets tend to age more slowly than smartphones and, as a result, not necessitate replacing quite as regularly. Nonetheless, you might have long been holding onto a tablet that you originally bought several years ago and is finally showing its age.
Of course, you might still fret about what financial outlay could be necessary for buying a new slate; however, should these predictions come true, you may find just the right bargain come Black Friday.
In June, Apple refreshed its iPad line-up with the additions of new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. Given the staggering amount of power that the A10 Fusion processor in each machine can unleash, you could understandably deem these iPads out of contention for Black Friday deals.
However, DealNews still predicts that the 10.5-inch model’s base price could drop from $649 to $499, while the 12.9-inch slate, which starts at $799, could fall to $650. If your use of a tablet wouldn’t require the A10 Fusion chip’s power, you could instead opt for the 9.7-inch iPad, the relatively wallet-friendly $329 price of which could be slashed right down to $204.
Alternatively, if you like your tablets even smaller than this, then consider that the 7.9-inch iPad Mini, which now has 128GB as its sole storage option, could fall from $399 to $329 in starting price.
If you are still regularly using even a second- or third-generation iPad from 2011 or 2012 with little fuss, then you will be able to vouch for the impressive long-term reliability that iPads often seem to have. However, this reliability might not quite extend to Microsoft Surface tablets…
In August, the watchdog site Consumer Reports announced that it no longer recommended Surface tablets, as studies suggested that 25% of them could “present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership.” Countering this claim, Microsoft has insisted that it detected much lower failure and actual return rates than 25%.
However, if you remain undeterred from buying a Surface tablet, Black Friday discounts on the Surface Pro 4 last year suggest that, this Black Friday, the current-generation Surface Pro could see its price dropped as low as $599. Meanwhile, the Surface Pro 4 could – where stock remains available – fall under $500.
The Amazon Fire range already consists of many budget-friendly tablets, but the prices could shrink even further for Black Friday. In May, both the Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 were re-released with more powerful specifications but still priced respectively at $50 and $80. We also saw the releases of Kids Editions of these tablets – the prices for those were respectively from $100 and $130.
The Kids Editions are so-called as they come with features intended to make them especially suitable for children. For instance, parents can set controls to restrict what content is accessed, while each slate features a Kid-Proof Case to help prevent breakages.
Judging from past form with older Amazon Fire models, it shouldn’t surprise if the Fire 7 Kids Edition becomes $76 and its Fire HD 8 counterpart is cut to $106, as DealNews predicts. Amazon has already confirmed the Black Friday prices for the non-Kids versions of these tablets: $29.99 and $49.99.
Samsung Galaxy Tab
There were some pretty good deals on Samsung tablets last Black Friday. For example, the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite was being sold for $70 – instead of the usual $120 – at both Walmart and Office Depot & Office Max. This device is part of Samsung’s entry-level tablet range.
Meanwhile, at Best Buy, that device’s slightly larger counterpart – the 9.6-inch Galaxy Tab E – was $150. The same retailer stocked the 8-inch Galaxy Tab A – a small but high-end slate which takes stylistic cues from the Samsung Galaxy A series phones – with a $129 price tag attached.
Since last Black Friday, the only new tablet introduced by Samsung has been the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S3. Therefore, with the rest of the line-up aging, prices might fall even lower than they were last year. DealNews has stopped short of making specific predictions, simply saying that “we can once again expect to see great deals on Galaxy Tab devices”.
Other Android tablets
Android seems to have rather fallen by the wayside as a tablet operating system, with many of its apps not properly optimized for large tablet screens. Furthermore, the productivity-focused enhancements in iOS and Windows and the financial accessibility of Amazon’s Fire OS – which, nonetheless, is based on open source Android – have chipped away at Android’s tablet relevance.
Still, if you are fairly undemanding about what you want in a tablet, take comfort that Android tablets were available in a good choice of price brackets during the previous Black Friday season. Therefore, we can very easily expect the same situation again this year.
Perhaps the lowest price that retailers offered for an Android tablet during that last season was $28 for the 7-inch RCA 16GB tablet. Given Black Friday’s ability to surprise, we wouldn’t bet against seeing, next time around, the same or a similar tablet offered at a price that is even lower… but not too much lower. Any tablets available for a lot lower might be only “doorbuster” deals.
Tablets available as part of those deals could be snapped up especially speedily; however, keep in mind that, if you do get one yourself, you shouldn’t expect it to run as smoothly as a new iPad.
For the best deals on any kind of tablet, start shopping early, as those deals tend to be “doorbusters” that quickly see stock shortages. You are likely to notice this whether you visit a bricks and mortar store or restrict your shopping to online channels.
Judging from recent history, some of the most exciting deals might even break cover shortly after midnight on Thanksgiving. Being committed enough to your bargain-hunting to stay up until the early hours could pay off spectacularly.