Amazon’s second major sales event for Prime members this year is underway, and it’s brought a few noteworthy tablet deals along with it. Prime Big Deal Days, as Amazon calls it, includes discounts on various iPads, Amazon Fire slates and the Google Pixel Tablet, among others. For your convenience, we’ve rounded up the best iPad and tablet deals we could find during this October Prime Day sale below.
Note that not every discount is exclusive to Prime members, and there’s always a chance we see lower prices come Black Friday. Some recent reports say that Apple may release new iPads in the coming months as well, with updates possible for the iPad Air and iPad mini in particular. Nevertheless, if you need a new slab right now, here are the best bargains we’re seeing.
Apple iPad Air
Photo by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget
The iPad Air is on sale for $500, which is $99 less than buying from Apple directly. We may see a refresh at some point soon, but for now, we think the existing iPad Air is the best blend of price and performance in Apple’s tablet lineup. It gets you a similarly elegant design as the iPad Pro for less cash, with an M1 chip that’s powerful enough for work and heavy games, a pleasing 10.9-inch display, a USB-C port and support for the latest Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard. This model only has 64GB of storage, however, and its display is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. We gave the iPad Air a review score of 90 last year.
Apple iPad (9th gen)
Photo by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget
The 10.2-inch iPad is down to $249, which matches the best price we’ve seen and comes in $80 lower than Apple’s list price. This is the budget pick in our iPad buying guide, and we gave it a score of 86 when it arrived in late 2021. It uses Apple’s older design language, so it’s stuck with thick bezels, a Home button, a Lightning port and a non-laminated display. This model comes with just 64GB of non-upgradeable storage as well. That said, it’s still fast enough for casual media consumption, gaming and multitasking, and its display is still a step up from the screens on most cheaper tablets. It can last more than 10 hours per charge, plus it’s the last iPad with a headphone jack. Most importantly, it gets you access to Apple’s wide app library, strong customer support and years of OS updates at the lowest price possible.
Apple iPad (10th gen)
Photo by Nathan Ingraham / Engadget
The 10th-gen iPad is available for $399, which is a price we’ve seen before but still $50 off Apple’s MSRP. We gave this 10.9-inch slate a review score of 85 last year. It sits in something of a middle ground between the 10.2-inch iPad and iPad Air: It’s not as cheap as the former, but it lacks the laminated display, M-series chip and accessory support of the latter. Notably, it only works with the first-gen Apple Pencil. Nevertheless, it looks and feels almost identical to the Air, it’s far from slow, and its landscape-oriented selfie camera makes it more convenient for FaceTime calls. If you absolutely can’t pay up for the iPad Air, it’s a fine compromise.
Apple iPad mini
Photo by Valentina Palladino / Engadget
The smallest iPad in Apple’s lineup, the 8.3-inch iPad mini, is currently on sale for $400. That’s roughly $50 less than its usual street price and $99 off Apple’s list price. This is another iPad that’s due for a refresh, but for now it remains the best compact tablet on the market, with all the usual perks of modern iPads in a design that’s easier to hold with one hand. We gave it a score of 89 back in 2021. As with the other non-Pro iPads, the big downside is its 64GB of default, non-upgradeable storage.
Amazon Fire HD 8
Amazon’s Fire HD 8 is down to $60 for the Prime Big Deal Days event, which is $5 more than the tablet’s all-time low but still $40 off its list price. This discount applies to the model with 32GB of storage; if you need more space, the 64GB version is on sale for $75. Either way, the Fire HD 8 is likely the cheapest competent tablet for most people: It’s slower than the Fire HD 10 and its display is limited to a 1,280 x 800 resolution, but it’s lightweight, it can last more than 10 hours on a charge and it’s still quick enough for basic streaming and reading. It’s not the best value at its standard going rate, but for $60, it’s hard to do better.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus
The base Fire HD 8 is good enough for most budget buyers, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, the Fire HD 8 Plus adds an extra gigabyte of RAM (3GB total) and wireless charging support. It’s down to $70 for a 32GB model, which is $5 more than the lowest price we’ve seen but $50 off its typical going rate. The Plus model still isn’t outright fast or capable of serious gaming, but the extra GB can make navigating Fire OS just a bit smoother. The wireless charging support, meanwhile, is best utilized with Amazon’s own dock, which helps if you want to use the tablet like a pseudo smart display.
Google Pixel Tablet
Photo by Cherlynn Low / Engadget
The 128GB Google Pixel Tablet is down to $409, which is $90 off and a new low. The 256GB model is also on sale for $509. While we think Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S9 works better purely as a tablet, Google’s 11-inch slate still gets you a sharp LCD display, a speedy Tensor G2 chip and an easy-to-hold design that weighs just over a pound. Its big hook, however, is that it can attach to an included charging speaker dock and double as a Nest Hub Max-style smart display. Android still isn’t as optimized for large screens as iPadOS, but if that extra functionality sounds useful to you, the Pixel Tablet is worth a look. We gave it a score of 85 in June. (The Galaxy Tab S9, meanwhile, isn’t on sale as of this writing.)
Amazon Fire Max 11
The Fire Max 11 is Amazon’s largest and most performant tablet, with an 11-inch 2,000 x 1,200 resolution display, an aluminum frame, a respectable octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. It has the same software limitations and lock-screen ads as any other Fire slate, so it’s a tough sell at its usual $230, but now it’s on sale for $150, which matches its all-time low. If you already use a bunch of Amazon services and don’t want to shell out for an entry-level iPad, it could make sense — just don’t expect to get any real work done with it.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2021)
The last-generation version of the Fire HD 10 is on sale for $75, which ties its all-time low. We can’t recommend this one too strongly, as Amazon released an updated model of its 10.1-inch tablet just last month with faster performance, a lighter design, slightly improved cameras and stylus support. The new model isn’t discounted as of this writing, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see a deal by Black Friday. If you just can’t wait until then, however, the old Fire HD 10 is still an upgrade over the Fire HD 8, with a more spacious 1080p screen and snappier performance. It’s typically retailed around $120 in recent months.
Amazon Fire 7
The Amazon Fire 7 is down to $40 for Prime Big Deal Days, which is another all-time low and $20 below its typical street price. We strongly recommend paying extra for the Fire HD 8 if you can; by comparison, this 7-inch tablet has a lower-resolution (1,024 x 600) display, a slower processor and less RAM. But if you just want a second screen for dirt cheap, this is a $40 tablet that’s actually functional, so it might work for (very) light use cases.
Microsoft Surface Pro 9
Photo by Devindra Hardawar / Engadget
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9 is down to $1,800 for a model with a Core i7-1265U chip, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. That’s $100 or so off its usual going rate. You likely know where you stand on the Surface Pro at this point: It’s still not especially comfortable to use on your lap, but it remains the gold standard for 2-in-1s that behave and perform like a laptop more than a traditional tablet. While this version isn’t a huge shake-up, it’ll be a nice bump for those upgrading from a three- to five-year-old model. Just note that this deal doesn’t include a keyboard or stylus. We’re reaching the time of year where Microsoft would usually introduce a new model, but as of this writing it’s not clear when a potential Surface Pro 10 might arrive. For now, the Pro 9 is the top Windows pick in our guide to the best tablets.
Your October Prime Day Shopping Guide: See all of our Prime Day coverage. Shop the best Prime Day deals on Yahoo Life. Follow Engadget for Prime Day tech deals. Learn about Prime Day trends on In The Know. Hear from Autoblog’s experts on the best Fall Prime Day deals for your car, garage, and home, and find Prime Day sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.
This post originally appeared on TechToday.