How to find the best Black Friday iPad deals

(Image credit: Future)

Black Friday iPad deals are just around the corner, but if you're wondering how to make the most of the sale, we're offering up all our tips and tricks to make sure you don't walk away from this year's discounts empty-handed. We've been covering the annual holiday sales for years now, and picked up a few tips and tricks to finding the best Black Friday iPad deals along the way. 

We're sharing all our experience right here, rounding up all the retailers to check in on, how you should decide which iPad to chase, and how to make sure you're getting the best price possible. Navigating these waters can be tricky, but knowing exactly what you want to get out of your new tablet (and how much you're willing to pay for it) can simplify things enormously. 

Not only are we showing you how to find the best discounts, then, but also making sure you're getting the best value possible. Read on for our top tips on how to find the right iPad for the right price. 

1. Find the right iPad for you

iPad lineup 2021

(Image credit: Future)

There are a number of different iPad models lined up in preparation for Black Friday this year, which each one offering a slightly different appeal. That means finding the right iPad for you is going to be critical in getting the best offer possible. 

In essence, the iPad you should be aiming to pick up on Black Friday should be the cheapest one that meets the needs of how you will use it. For the vast majority of people, that will mean the 9th generation 10.2-inch iPad will be at the top of the hit list. It's best for those after an everyday device for streaming, browsing the web, and checking up on some emails. However, if you're going to be playing heavier games and taking more notes, then the iPad Air might be the better option, thanks to its boosted processor, Apple Pencil second-generation support, and slightly larger screen. 

From there, you'll move up to the 11-inch iPad Pro if you're going to be using your device for larger-scale media editing and multi-tasking between heavier apps like Adobe. Or, if you need to do all that while also looking to replace your laptop, you'll be looking to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro instead. 

The iPad Mini 6 inhabits a middle ground between power and portability. The main reason you'll likely pick up this model in this year's offers is for its smaller form factor - its 8.3-inch display will easily fit into smaller bags for better portability. However, you're actually picking up more power under the hood than the 10.2-inch model and the iPad Air 4, so there's no compromise on computing performance either.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
What is each iPad best at?
Header Cell - Column 0 iPad 9th generationiPad 10th generationiPad AiriPad MiniiPad Pro 11-inchiPad Pro 12.9-inch
MSRP$329 / £369$449 / £499$599 / £699$499 / £569$799 / £899$1,099 / £1,249
Web browsingYYYYYY
Simple workflowsYYYYYY
Multi-tasking NLightYNYY
Media editingNLightLightLightYY
Row 8 - Cell 0 Row 8 - Cell 1 Row 8 - Cell 2 Row 8 - Cell 3 Row 8 - Cell 4 Row 8 - Cell 5 Row 8 - Cell 6

2. Set your budget, but stay flexible

online shopping

(Image credit: Pexels)

Once you're able to focus your efforts on the right iPad for you, it's time to set your budget. This is where your research into each iPad model will come in handy, even if you know which one will suit you best. You can expect to pay less than the MSRP of the tablet of your choice, however we often find that the more expensive a device is, the heavier the discount percentage. That means the next model up may be just $100 / £100 more when we're in the heat of Black Friday iPad deals - offering far better value overall. 

This is where your flexibility comes in. Knowing which specs or features you're happy to bend your budget for will ensure that you're getting the best value out of these offers, rather than just the lowest price possible. For example, we regularly see larger storage configurations just knocking on the door of prices set for much smaller tablets. You could easily spend just $40 / £40 more and double your storage, so make sure you're checking deals around your budget as well. 

3. Know where to look for the best Black Friday iPad deals 

There is a range of retailers all offering Black Friday iPad deals this year, but knowing which ones to check first will significantly up your chances of securing the best prices on the shelves. Not only that but knowing your retailers will also give you the confidence to know when you've spotted the deal for you. 

In general, Amazon is your best bet. We regularly see record low prices appearing on this site that other retailers can't match, and the online giant has a reputation for automatically price matching anyone undercutting it at the same time. 

However, as the most popular online shopping destination, stock can move quickly here. That's why we'd fall back to Best Buy, Walmart, or B&H Photo in the US (or Currys, Laptops Direct, or Very in the UK) if the model you want is running late on shipping or off the shelves altogether. 

US retailers

UK retailers

4. Get to the sales early

alarm clock

(Image credit: Pexels)

The very best Black Friday iPad deals will fly off the shelves. We haven't seen any offers on the cheaper 10.2-inch or Air models so far this year, but if they do appear they will likely sell out particularly quickly. 

That means you'll need to be in the right place at the right time to catch any cheaper models that do take a price cut. Keep an eye on your favorite retailers and stay tuned.

If the first wave of sales isn't fruitful, however, stick around. We often see flash sales offering up some of the lowest prices of the sale during the day itself, but you'll need to be in the right place at the right time to take advantage of them.

5. Check your price history

While you're browsing Black Friday iPad deals, it's important to make sure that the discount is actually as good as the retailer suggests. You can use tools like Honey or Camel Camel Camel (for Amazon) to track the price history of a product and ensure you're getting the best discount of the year before you proceed. While we generally see record low prices over Black Friday, that might not be the case with every discount so it's definitely worth double-checking. 

6. Price-check with other retailers

Once you've found the perfect deal for you, it's worth spending a little time checking in on other retailers. In general, we find that stores do price match each other when a new record low is hit, but it's worth making sure you're actually getting the best price possible straight away. 

Plus, once those record lows are hit we often see retailers looking to gain a competitive edge by offering additional incentives. This could be anything from speedy delivery to free software and accessories, so check other stores for any extra goodies before committing. 

We're also rounding up all the best Black Friday laptop deals on the market, and, of course, highlighting all the best Black Friday gaming deals as well. Or, check out what we expect from Black Friday gaming laptop deals if you're after something a little more powerful. 

Tabitha Baker
Managing Editor - Hardware

Managing Editor of Hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards, headsets and mice that come with them), PS5, and trying to find the perfect projector.