This story is part of, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
If you or someone on your gift list are in the market for a tablet, there’s rarely a better time to buy than the weekend after Thanksgiving.tablet deals abound at all different prices, from more economical options like Amazon’s Fire tablets to premium-priced devices like Apple’s iPads.
Fire tablets are available from Amazon (of course), as well as other vendors such as Best Buy and Target, with prices pretty much in line with discounts we saw last month during Prime Day. So far, the best iPad deals also seem to be found at Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy, as well as membership warehouses like Costco.
First we’ll take a look at the best deals available on Amazon Fire tablets.
Amazon has come a long way from the first Kindle Fire tablet. The Amazon Fire HD 10 is Amazon’s biggest tablet with a 10-inch screen size and powerful speakers (and it now charges via USB-C). Just like its smaller 8-inch sibling, the Fire HD 8, the tablet is 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, but instead Amazon’s Android-based Fire operating system, and pull apps from the Amazon App Store. You can still get apps from Google Play, but 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.
The Fire HD 8 was updated earlier this year 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 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.
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.
Read our Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus review.
Fair warning: We really think you should pay up for a Fire HD 8, which is a much better, faster tablet than the entry-level Fire 7. But at $40, this non-HD 7-inch model is going to be tempting for a lot of folks.
This child-friendly version of the Fire HD 8 tablet 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.
This has all of the same extras as the HD 8 above, but it’s the childproof version of the smaller, more affordable Amazon Fire 7. You’re getting a 7-inch screen instead of 8, and a less robust processor.
And here are the best deals we’ve found on Apple iPads.
Apple’s 10.9-inch iPad Air has 64GB of storage, and it’s a solid device for the price. In fact, it delivers a good chunk of the iPad Pro experience for far less money than that model. That great value just earned it our Editors’ Choice award. It’s been floating at $30 to $40 off at Amazon and Walmart, but often only for certain colors.
Read our iPad Air review.
The larger iPad Pro models are currently discounted on Amazon. You can save $100 on the 128GB and 256GB or $149 on the 512GB and 1TB models. But just keep in mind we expect iPad Pro upgrades in 2021.
Read our 2020 iPad Pro review.
The eighth-gen iPad features a 10.2-inch display powered by the A12 chip. The 32GB model has a list price of $329 but it’s often seen at $299, which is also Apple’s education discount price. We saw it dip to $279 earlier at Costco, and that’s now available at Best Buy — albeit only for curbside pickup. Amazon’s prices have been bouncing all over the place, and now it’s only about $10 off on some colors. Perhaps better deals will return for Cyber Monday.
Read our iPad 2020 review.