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Is Amazon Prime Day the right time to buy a new iPad or Android tablet?

iPad 10.2
(Image credit: Future)

Amazon's annual Prime Day 2021 is almost upon us, kicking off on June 21 and lasting until June 22 (it's two days, despite the name). If you're considering buying a new iPad or Android tablet, you've probably saved the date in your calendar already.

The Amazon Prime Day deals will likely bring moderate price cuts - think 10% to 25%, with some good deals exceeding that - to a big range of items. That includes tablets, but other pieces of kit you might buy too, like cases, styli or apps.

If you've browsed our round-up of the best tablets, you likely have a certain slate in mind that you'd be interested in buying. But should you?

Since there's very little time until Prime Day starts, if you're waiting to buy a new tablet or kit for one (or both), it's almost definitely astute to wait for the deals to begin. But there could be reasons to buy now, of course, or even reasons to wait longer to pick up your new kit.

iPad Pro 12.9 2021

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Reasons to buy a tablet now

You need tech urgently
While Prime Day is just a week away at the time of writing, you might need a new tablet or accessory before then. Maybe you urgently need a new slate for work because your old one has broken, or you're about to travel and really want a sturdy case before you go.

Money doesn't matter
If you're in the fortuitous position where money doesn't really matter for you, then neither will Amazon Prime Day. The slight discounts won't be worth you waiting a week to buy something that you could get straight away.

You're not wanting to buy from Amazon
Lots of people boycott Amazon, arguably for a good reason - and as the name suggests, Amazon Prime Day only brings discounts to products on Amazon. If you prefer to buy from other retailers, then there's no point in waiting for Amazon's sales.

Reasons to wait until Amazon Prime Day

There's a good chance of a discount
Not every single product will be discounted during Amazon Prime Day, so there's no guarantee the specific tablet or accessory you have in mind will see a discount. But there will be loads of price cuts, so it's definitely a possibility, which will save you some cash.

You won't be missing out
If you wait until Amazon Prime Day and your chosen tablet doesn't see a price cut, it's not like you'd be missing out on anything by doing so. There's no harm in waiting.

Peripherals and accessories will almost definitely be discounted
As well as the Android tablet or iPad you want to buy, it's very likely cases, styli and power banks will be discounted. They're typically made by third-party retailers, and those names generally introduce broad discounts across their range, so you could see discounts in that region.

Reasons to wait even longer

You don't need new tech just yet
One of the biggest problems with sales seasons is that they can implicitly pressure you into buying things you don't actually need. If you don't think you need to buy a new tablet right away, whether you just don't need it or have an older device that still works fine, don't bother buying a brand-new slate in the sales. There will always be more Prime Days.

Bigger savings later in the year
While Amazon Prime Day might bring some good discounts to products, they probably won't be fantastic - for that, you might want to wait until Black Friday later in the year. Discounts then will be offered by plenty of retailers, so we should see more competitive price cuts, and the natural devaluation of products will mean their pre-cut prices will be lower.

You want a brand-new tablet
If you've looked at our list of the best tablets and best iPads and have instead decided you'd rather wait for a brand-new device, like the new iPad (2021) or Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, ignore Prime Day. The devices won't be on sale then, and nor will accessories for them.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

(Image credit: Srivatsa Ramesh)

What iPad and Android tablet deals could we see?

Below, we've shared a few choice deals from Amazon Prime Day 2020 in the US and UK.

On a typical year, we'd predict Amazon's Prime Day deals by looking at previous years, but it's a little funny in this case. Prime Day 2020 didn't occur in its usual summer spot, thanks to Covid-19, and was instead a late-year affair.

As a result, some tablets had been announced that wouldn't have been out in the summer of the year, and whose successors haven't been unveiled yet. 

So perhaps instead of seeing price cuts on newer versions of the devices below, we'll instead see further price cuts on those same tablets.

Prime Day US deals

Apple iPad Mini (2019): $399 $349.99 at Amazon
You could save $50 and bag yourself the small but mighty iPad Mini in the latest iPad Prime Day deals. Sure, it was over a year old, but that A12 Bionic chip that's nestled under its diminutive hood was still very powerful indeed, and the 10-hours of battery life was also absolutely fantastic.

2020 iPad Pro (12.9-inch, 128GB): $999 $949.99 at Amazon
You could also grab the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro to hit the market for $50 less in the Amazon Prime Day iPad deals. The cheapest version of this device, the 128GB configuration, was available for $949 - perfect if you were looking to make use of iCloud for most of your storage.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite: $349.99 $249 at Amazon
You could save $100 on the 10.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite last year. You're getting 64GB of storage here, with the S Pen included as well. However, the price did quickly rise to $279 as demand shot up.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6: $729.99 $549.99 at Amazon
You could grab the 256GB Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 for just $549.99 last year. That's $50 cheaper than its (then) lowest all time price, making this a standout Prime Day deal in our books. 256GB will be plenty of space for a good amount of apps, files, and larger downloads (so your on the go Netflix collection will be safe here).

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition: $99.99 $59.99 at Amazon
Want a cheaper tablet that your children can use to watch TV, play games and do more, but without the worry that they'll drop it and break it? The Fire 7 Kids Edition may be the perfect choice for you and it was almost half price for Prime Day 2020.
View Deal

Prime Day UK deals

New Apple iPad (2020): £329 £317 at Amazon
You had to move fast to secure this £12 discount on the brand new iPad. This one sold particularly fast, and we haven't seen a similar offer again since.

iPad Pro 11-inch (128GB): £769 £728 at Amazon
We first saw the iPad Pro 2020 drop its price substantially in the Prime Day iPad deals, but since then this £728 sales price has become fairly commonplace. This price was shifting a little throughout the sale, though, so it was definitely one to watch before pouncing.

Amazon Fire 7 tablet: £49.99 £29.99 at Amazon
The Amazon Fire range starts with the 7-inch variant, which, if you're on a budget or looking for a tablet on the smaller side, is a fantastic cheap pickup, especially at this price. With a 7-inch IPS screen, 16GB of expandable storage and 7-hour battery life, the Amazon Fire 7 is a great option for a cheap portable tablet capable of browsing and streaming.
View Deal

All-New Fire HD 8 Plus tablet: £109.99 £84.99 at Amazon
Even more powerful still is the newer Fire HD 8 Plus which features an upgraded 3GB of RAM and now supports wireless charging. Those are some nifty little features, but you'll have to decide whether it's worthy of the slight upcharge yourself. We'd recommend it if you're planning on doing plenty of multi-tasking or even gaming, as you'll get plenty of use out of that extra RAM.
View Deal

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet: £149.99 £89.99 at Amazon
The Fire HD 10 is the biggest tablet currently available in the Fire range and comes with a 10-inch 1080p HD screen that's perfect for movies and streaming. Aside from the 32GB of storage, inside you're also getting a beefed-up 2.0GHz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM, giving it plenty of grunt should you be using your tablet for more than just browsing this autumn.

View Deal

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite Wi-Fi: £349 £299 at Amazon
The Galaxy Tab S6 Lite has a 10.4-inch FHD+ screen, a mid-range Exynos 9611 processor, 4GB of RAM, a fairly large 7,040mAh battery and a bundled S Pen stylus. In Samsung's slate line-up it'd probably best be classed as 'mid-ranged', between the premium Tab S7s and affordable Tab As. This version connects to Wi-Fi networks only.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Wi-Fi: £619 £529 at Amazon
The Galaxy Tab S7 has an 11-inch 2.5K 120Hz display, a top-end Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset, quad speakers, 45W fast charging and an 8,000mAh battery. It also comes with an S Pen stylus. This version only works on Wi-Fi networks, so it doesn't take SIM cards or connect to 4G or 5G networks, and that's why it's the cheapest version of the Tab S7 you can get.

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.