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 laptops, we’d encourage you to start checking now.
Are Black Friday laptop 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.
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 laptop 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 laptop 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 and John Lewis. It’s also worth checking the likes of Newegg, Gearbest and eBay.
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 Samsung, Microsoft and Huawei 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 laptop 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:
2. Apple iPad Air (2020, 64GB, cellular)
Now: £669 (£40 off)
A modest discount on the latest iPad Air with cellular connectivity. Sure, Black Friday/Cyber Monday might prove even more lucrative, but with iPad discounts being hard to come by at the best of times, we didn’t want to let this Amazon reduction pass by unnoticed.
Discount varies by colour, so double check before purchase.
3. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 (128GB, cellular)
Now: £691.32 (£27.68 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 tidy discount right now. There’s also money off the Tab S7+ 5G, if you want a bigger display and faster connectivity.
4. Amazon Fire HD 10 + keyboard + MS365
Now: 164.97 (£97 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 2021 Fire HD 10 tablet.
5. Apple iPad Pro 11in (2021, 128GB)
Now: £720 (£29 off)
The M1-powered 11in iPad Pro is a thing of beauty and this 128GB WiFi-only model just received its first Amazon discount. You can even find reductions on other storage capacities too.
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite (64GB)
Now: £299.99 (£49.01 off)
The capable Galaxy Tab S6 Lite boasts a 10.4in display, AKG-tuned audio, S Pen support and right now, you can nab the WiFi-only model with a nice price cut on Amazon.
9. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite (32GB)
Now: £139.99 (£9.01 off)
Samsung’s compact and affordable Tab A7 Lite hasn’t been out on the market all that long but it’s already seeing discounts from retailers, including Amazon. An 8.7in display and a sizeable 5100mAh battery make this a great portable media machine.
10. Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (2020, 32GB)
Now: £200 (£19 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 off in this latest Amazon deal.
If you’re looking specifically for a new Surface Go or Surface Pro, check out the latest Surface deals below. However, be aware that foldables and laptops are also included here.
1. Microsoft Surface Duo (256GB)
Now: £729 (£720 off)
The dual-screen Surface Duo didn’t arrive in the UK until February, but it’s already been heavily discounted. These latest prices are the best we’ve seen, with £720 off the 256GB model closely followed by a £670 saving on the 128GB variant. We’d still recommend the former, given how little extra you’re paying for double the storage.
2. Microsoft Surface Duo (256GB, locked to AT&T)
Now: $434.95 ($965.04 off)
If you don’t mind being locked to the AT&T network, this is an incredible deal on the first-gen Duo. The $434.95 asking price represents an incredible 69% saving on what you’d have paid just over a year ago. The Duo has its faults, but it’s a steal at this price.
3. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go (i5, 8/256GB)
Now: $699.99 ($200 off)
This excellent US deal gets you $200 off the top-spec Surface Laptop Go – that’s the one we recommend most people opt for. In exchange you get an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, although Best Buy matches the Microsoft Store on price.
6. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go (i5, 8/256GB)
Now: £821.22 (£77.78 off)
This is an excellent deal on the Surface Laptop Go, a great laptop for students. Save almost £80 on the top-spec Intel Core i5 model with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (13.5in, i5, 8GB, 512GB)
Now: £1208.03 (£60.97 off)
The Surface Laptop 4 launched back in April, but this excellent discount is the best we’ve seen so far. The retailer has dropped the price of the entry level 13.5in Intel model to £1208, saving £60 on the RRP. In exchange, you get a Core i5-1135G7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
8. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (i5, 16GB, 256GB)
Now: £1,259 (£140 off)
This mid-tier Surface Pro 7 has been heavily discounted now its successor has arrived. Get £140 off an i5 model with 16GB RAM and a 256GB SSD from the Microsoft Store – but various other out of stock configurations suggests it won’t be available for long.
9. Microsoft Surface Book 3 (15in, i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
From: Best Buy
Now: $1,799.99 ($500 off)
Deals on the 2020 Surface Book 3 remain rare, but this is an excellent one if you’re based in the US. Best Buy has slashed $500 off the RRP of a high-end 15in model – it’s rare to see configurations like this available for under $2000.
10. Microsoft Surface Go 2 (Intel Core M3, 8GB, 128GB) Essentials Bundle
Now: £778.98 (£94.99 off)
The Surface Go 2 Essentials Bundle offers a decent saving when compared to buying the items separately. Adding a Microsoft 365 subscription, Type Cover, Surface Pen and protective sleeve the Intel Core M3 model saves almost £95 when compared to buying separately.
Both these roundups are regularly maintained, so check back soon to see more offers. You may also be interested in other articles from our Black Friday section.
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