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Black Friday Tablet Deal Predictions 2017: Over $100 Off Current-Gen iPads

Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft all refreshed their tablet offerings recently, so there's never been a better time to update your old slate.

Update: Black Friday deals are now live! Check out our tablet page for the top deals.

Last year, we saw amazing deals on Apple iPads, Microsoft Surface hybrids, Amazon Fire tablets, and Android slates that spanned a range of price points. Whether you have hundreds of dollars to spend, or less than $50, you're sure to find a tablet that fits your budget on Black Friday.

So, what can you expect from Black Friday tablet deals? We've created a "cheat sheet" with the top tips you need to know when shopping. Savvy consumers who want more information should scroll down for our in-depth analysis.

After reading our tips, consider signing up for the DealNews Select newsletter to keep track of the latest deals in your inbox, or download our app to have them at your fingertips.

The Cheat Sheet: Black Friday Tablet Predictions

Prices to Expect

  • Current-gen iPad Pro from $499 (10.5") and $650 (12.9")

  • Current-gen 9.7" iPad from $204

  • 128GB iPad mini 4 for $329

  • Current-gen Surface Pro from $600

  • Amazon Fire 7 for $33

  • Amazon Fire HD 8 for $50

  • Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition for $76; Fire HD 8 Kids Edition for $106

  • Basic Android tablets from $28

4 Quick Tips You Need to Know

  • You'll find the best iPad deals at Target, Best Buy, Walmart, MacMall, and Verizon.

  • Consumer Reports recently said it can no longer recommend Microsoft tablets and laptops — including the current generation of devices.

  • Amazon recently refreshed its Fire tablet lineup, making them an even better value.

  • Look to retailers like Walmart for the most affordable Androids.

Want more details on how, what, where, and when to buy tablet deals this Black Friday? Then check out our full analysis below.

what to buy

What to Buy

Over $100 Off Current-Gen iPads

Apple has a bunch of new iPad models to choose from. At its Worldwide Developer's Conference in June, the tech giant introduced new 10.5" and 12.9" iPad Pros (priced from $649 and $799, respectively). In March before that, Apple introduced an upgraded 9.7" iPad, which starts at $329. All those models — plus the 7.9" 128GB iPad mini 4 (which starts at $399) — will see sharp discounts this Black Friday.

Last year, Target and MacMall both had great deals on the then-current iPad Pro. Target sold the entry-level 9.7" iPad Pro for $449 (a $150 discount), and MacMall dropped the price of the 12.9" model by as much as $149.

You could get a new iPad this Black Friday for as low as $204. Even the highest-end models will still be $150 off.

This year, we're predicting that the new 10.5" and 12.9" Pros could see the same $150 drops, bringing them down to $499 and $650, respectively. These new models offer upgraded specs, including Apple's new A10X Fusion chip. You can also use them with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard (both of which are sold separately).

If those prices are out of your budget, note that we should also see discounts on more affordable models. Based on last year's Black Friday sales, retailers could knock $125 off the new 9.7" iPad, bringing it down to $204. We expect to see the 128GB iPad mini 4 for $329, or $70 off.

Surface Is a Risky Buy, but Cheap

Frankly, you might want to think twice about buying a Surface tablet at all. In August, Consumer Reports said it can no longer recommend Microsoft tablets and laptops "because of poor predicted reliability in comparison with most other brands." Their survey estimated that 25% of Microsoft tablets and laptops will "present problems within two years of ownership" — including the current-gen Surface Pro.

Microsoft, of course, disagrees with those findings, stating that they "stand firmly behind the quality and reliability of the Surface family of devices."

Still feel like taking the plunge? Last year, Microsoft had the best deals on the Surface Pro 4, which first hit shelves in October 2015. The brand sold the 256GB Core i5 Surface Pro 4 bundled with a Type Cover for just $999, which is a whopping $500 off! The 128GB Core i5 version was also available for $799 ($200 off). Staples matched the latter deal, while Best Buy offered the 128GB Core m3 Surface Pro 4 with a Type Cover for $600 ($400 off). Costco slashed $250 off a Surface Pro 4 bundle that included both the Type Cover and a Surface Pen.

This year, the Surface Pro 4 could drop to $500, while the brand-new Surface Pro would cost just $99 more.

Looking for the new Surface Pro? If history repeats itself, we may see the new Surface Pro going for as little as $599 this Black Friday. What's more, the previous-gen Surface Pro 4 may drop below $500.

Fire Tablets at 'Impulse Buy' Prices

Amazon refreshed its Fire tablet lineup this May. The Fire 7 got beefier specs, but retained its $50 price point — earning it a spot on CNET's list of the best budget tablets. The Fire HD 8 also got a slight spec bump, but the biggest change was a price cut to $80. The company also released Kids Editions of both slates, priced from $100 and $130, respectively.

Amazon Fire tablets are already priced extremely well, but during Black Friday they'll hit "impulse buy" territory.

These budget tablets are already a great value, but on Black Friday we expect them to hit "impulse buy" territory.

Last year, Amazon took $30 off the previous-gen Fire HD 6 and 8. The promotion brought the price of the Fire HD 6 down to $70 for 8GB and $90 for 16GB. Meanwhile, then-current Fire 7" tablet was reduced to $33 ($17 off), and the 7" Kids Edition dropped to $75 ($24 off).

This year on Black Friday, expect Amazon to sell the Fire 7 at that same $33 price point, the Fire HD 8 for $50, the Fire 7 Kids Edition for $76, and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition for $106.

Expect More Android Doorbusters

We expected off-brand Android tablets to hit $40 on Black Friday in 2016. Then Walmart surprised even us, offering the RCA 7" 16GB Android Tablet at the doorbusting price of $28. That's the best price we've seen for any budget Android! The next lowest price we saw for similar models last year was $35.

SEE ALSO: 10 Ingenious Uses for a Super Cheap Tablet

Meanwhile, Samsung Galaxy Tab devices also dropped pretty low. Office Depot & Office Max and Walmart sold the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab E Lite for $70 (down from $120). Best Buy had the 8" Galaxy Tab A for $129 and the 9.6" Galaxy Tab E for $150. Walmart had the 10.1" Lenovo Tab3 for $99 ($51 off). This year, we can once again expect to see great deals on Galaxy Tab devices and budget Android slates.

Just don't expect these cheap tablets to perform like a new iPad.

when to shop

When to Shop

It's All in the Ads

Whether you're shopping in-store or sticking with online sales, the best tablet deals are often short-lived doorbusters.

Last year, we saw the highest concentration of noteworthy, Editors' Choice iPad deals on Thanksgiving. And these sales started early — we listed one Best Buy sale on the iPad Air 2 at 3 am ET! Apple fans should load up on coffee and be prepared to hit the sales at the stroke of midnight on Turkey Day.

iPads will debut very early on Thanksgiving, while Android deals will be scattered across the week.

Android shoppers have a little more breathing room. Last year, all of the Editors' Choice Android deals were concentrated around Thanksgiving and Black Friday, with some sales going live even earlier in the week. One thing is clear from our research: by Cyber Monday, the best offers were basically gone.

Deals on Amazon Fire tablets may be a little more rare, but competition with Amazon can yield some serious price lows. On Thanksgiving, Amazon itself had the best deals on its slates. Then on Cyber Monday, Target undercut the mega-retailer, offering the Fire 7" tablet for just $28. Looking forward to 2017, we're betting that a similar scenario will play out again.

Lastly, the Microsoft Surface is unlikely to show up as a doorbuster, but it's still more likely to see discounts on Black Friday itself.

where to shop

Where to Shop

Skip the Apple Store

First of all, there's no guarantee that Apple will even have a Black Friday promotion this year. After all, the Apple Store didn't have one in 2015.

If an iPad is what you're after, you'll find the best deals at Target, Best Buy, and MacMall. If you want a Surface device, check out the Microsoft Store, Staples, and Best Buy for the best deals.

Amazon itself will have the best prices on Fire tablets, but watch competitors like Target (especially on Cyber Monday). If you're in the market for a budget-friendly Android, check out Walmart, Office Depot & Office Max, and Best Buy.

What are you hoping to see with tablet deals this year? Let us know in the comments, or check out all our Black Friday predictions below.

Excited for Black Friday deals? Consider subscribing to the DealNews Select Newsletter to get a daily recap of all our best deals; you never know when a Black Friday price will be released! You can also download our app, or check out all our features for more buying advice.

Contributing Writer

Angela is a DealNews contributor focused on consumer technology. You can also find her byline at Follow her on Twitter at @amoscaritolo.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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