/>
X
Innovation
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Want to gift someone a tablet? Here are 18 great options, starting at $80

Finding the perfect tablet to give as a gift this holiday season can be daunting with so many options available. I've found the best 12 gift ideas so you don't have to.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

Trying to find the right tablet as a gift or to treat yourself can be a chore.

You can choose between an Apple iPad or a Samsung Galaxy; an e-reader like the Amazon Kindle, an Amazon Fire tablet for basic tasks, or a top business device from Microsoft's Surface Pro range. 

The market for tablets is massive, and with everything else we have to prepare as the holiday season creeps closer, you won't necessarily have the time to conduct long hours of research. 

Check out our top picks below if you're stuck for ideas regarding tablets suitable to give as gifts over the holidays. We will be updating our recommendations as Christmas approaches, and we will also be keeping an eye out for the best deals we can find. 

Must read:

The best tablet gift ideas for the holidays

Below are 12 tablet gift ideas ZDNET has found for the holiday season this year. 

  • Price: $849
  • Tech specs or features: 14.6" QHD display | 12GB RAM 256GB storage

One of our top picks for tablets as gifts this holiday season is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Currently on sale for $849 at Best Buy ($350 off), this high-end tablet comes with strong specifications that will see users through years to come.

Best suited as a gift for adults who need a powerful tablet for work, study, and entertainment, this tablet comes with a 14.6" QHD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 processor, 256GB SSD storage, and 12GB RAM.

  • Price: $90 (save $60)
  • Tech specs or features: 10.1" Full HD display 3GB RAM | 32GB storage

A cheaper option and a suitable gift for e-readers and content streamers is the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet. The 2021 model comes with reasonable specifications including a 10.1" Full HD display, an octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage. In addition, the tablet is compatible with Amazon services alongside a variety of apps such as Spotify, Netflix, and Disney+.

While this option is ad-supported, you can pay slightly more to remove lockscreen ads. Furthermore, you can also purchase an optional keyboard case. 

  • Price: $1099 (save $400)
  • Tech specs or features: 13" touchscreen PixelSense display | 16GB RAM | 512GB storage

Microsoft's Surface Pro X tablet is a great option as a gift if the device will also be intended as a productivity tool. As the Windows 11 Home tablet weighs only 1.7 pounds, the device can easily be taken to and from work and can be used to access the firm's Office applications. 

The Microsoft Surface Pro X is equipped with a 13" touchscreen PixelSense display, a Microsoft SQ2 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage, and two cameras suitable for video calling. LTE connectivity is optional. 

  • Price: $89 (original price: $119)
  • Tech specs or features: 8" HD display | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage

A tablet that won't break the bank and will provide hours of entertainment for teenagers and adults alike is the Lenovo Tab M8. 

This affordable tablet has a compact 8" HD display, an octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage. The tablet operates on Android 11. You can expect up to 18 hours of battery life on a single charge with casual use.

At the time of writing, Walmart has slashed the price of the Lenovo Tab M8 to $89, a discount of $30.

  • Price: $140
  • Tech specs or features: 8" HD display | 2GB RAM | 32GB storage

It can be difficult to introduce your kids to modern technology while also keeping them safe. Parental controls are always an option, but if you just want a tablet to set and forget that won't put your kids at risk, you could choose the Fire HD 8 Kids Pro tablet. 

Amazon's tablet comes with an 8" HD display, a quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, and 32GB storage. The tablet allows access to Amazon Kids+ content and is suitable for children roughly between 6 and 12 years of age. 

  • Price: $109
  • Tech specs or features: 8.7" display | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage

If you're on the hunt for a budget-friendly Android tablet this holiday season, you should consider heading over to Walmart to take advantage of a sale on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite. Currently on offer with a $50 discount, this compact Samsung tablet comes equipped with an 8.7" display, an octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB eMMC storage.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite operates on Android 11.

  • Price: $799
  • Tech specs or features: 11" Liquid Retina display | 8GB RAM | 128GB storage

A tablet that would make a great gift for Apple fans is the iPad Pro. The Wi-Fi tablet comes with an 11" Liquid Retina display, an Apple M2 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD storage. Apple's iPad Pro range is particularly valuable as a tool if you are a content creator or use design apps. You can purchase the Apple Pencil stylus for further control over your creations. 

  • Price: $699 (save $230)
  • Tech specs or features: 12.3" PixelSense display 8GB RAM | 128GB storage

With a $230 discount, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ could be an excellent gift option if you're looking for a reasonably-priced tablet for work and personal use. 

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ tablet comes with a 12.3" PixelSense Display, an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD storage. and two cameras. The tablet operates on Windows 11 Home. 

An additional benefit is that this 2-in-1 tablet can also be used as a traditional laptop with the right keyboard accessory. 

  • Price: $169
  • Tech specs or features: 12.4" display 4GB RAM | 64GB storage

A tablet that would suit most students is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE. This model, currently on sale at Samsung with a $380 discount (with trade-in), sports a large 12.4" display -- perfect for streaming movies and gaming -- as well as a Qualcomm processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB SSD storage.

An S-pen stylus is included as a handy accessory for taking notes in class or while using design and creative applications. 

  • Price: $300
  • Tech specs or features: 7" display 32GB storage | Without ad support

The Amazon Kindle Oasis is an alternative to the smaller Paperwhite range. While the Paperwhites are best suited for reading only, the Oasis, which is compatible with Audible, has been designed for reading and audio listening. There is an adjustable warm light, e-ink technology, and Bluetooth connectivity for pairing with your headphones or earbuds.  

As another bonus, Amazon has treated the device to be water resistant and usable (carefully) whilst in the bath. 

  • Price: $140
  • Tech specs or features: 6.8" display | 8GB storage | Ad-supported

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite range is well-known as a top choice if you want a tablet purely for reading e-books. The Paperwhite's main feature is an e-ink display designed to mimic traditional paperback books -- as far as possible -- and to reduce eye strain.

The Paperwhite is a great gift for people who enjoy reading but don't want to drag around numerous books while traveling. While this device is ad-supported, you can pay slightly more for a model without adverts. 

  • Price: $80
  • Tech specs or features: 10" HD display | 3GB RAM 32GB storage

The Hyundai tablet is best for those on a budget. This tablet, available at Target, is a Wi-Fi tablet that is suitable for basic tasks, reading, and apps. This model runs on Android 11 and comes with a 10" HD display, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage. 

An added bonus is the included screen protector, stylus, and wired earbuds for free. 

The best tablet deals during the holidays

Below are other tablet deals I found happening right now.

How did we choose these tablet gift ideas?

The options for tablets are endless. You could opt for an Apple iOS or an Android model, a hybrid device you could also use as a traditional laptop, one geared toward creative apps, or an entry-level tablet for reading and basic tasks. 

While choosing these products, we tried to include options to suit a range of budgets while also keeping potential age ranges and their intended use in mind. 

Are Samsung tablets the best option?

Samsung tablets have been a popular option for years. The Galaxy ranges are great all-rounders and are suitable for accessing most apps, gaming, reading, controlling smart IoT devices, video calls, and more. 

Samsung tablets run on the Google Android operating system. However, if you have an iPhone and other Apple device, you might prefer an iPad.

What are the differences between tablet, tent, and stand modes?

When you're on the hunt for a new tablet, you might come across a few terms used to describe how you can use the product, which may also be marketed as a hybrid laptop. These are:

  • Tablet mode: handheld, using the touchscreen
  • Tent: tablets with the right hinge (up to 360 degrees) you can stand the tablet up in a 'tent' shape. 
  • Stand: some tablets may have an inbuilt stand for you to prop the device up on flat surfaces.
  • Hybrid: hybrid tablets, with the right keyboard, can be used as traditional laptops. 

What type of tablet do I need for work?

The best tablets for business are focused on productivity. 

Microsoft's Surface tablet line is an excellent option if you want to buy a tablet for work purposes as the range -- especially on the higher-end -- has the right specifications and versatility you would want for a tablet to be used both in and outside of the meeting room.

Alternatively, iPads find themselves used in creative fields due to their suitability for many creative apps, and for work-ready options with large screen sizes, Samsung Galaxy tablets are also worth considering.

What are the best gifts by category this holiday season?

Editorial standards

Related

Want a Kindle? This Paperwhite bundle is 41% off ahead for Black Friday
c90

Want a Kindle? This Paperwhite bundle is 41% off ahead for Black Friday

19 solid laptops for everyone on your holiday list (including one for $179)
180

19 solid laptops for everyone on your holiday list (including one for $179)

12 kitchen tools make great holiday gifts (yes, we included the Vitamix)
Image of a young woman using a handheld blender to make a smoothie, Getty image.

12 kitchen tools make great holiday gifts (yes, we included the Vitamix)