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19 tablets that would make great gifts, starting at $70

Finding the perfect tablet to give as a gift can be daunting, with many available options. ZDNET has found the best tablet gift ideas so you don't have to.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Trying to find the right tablet to give as a gift for birthdays, celebrations, and special events can be a chore (although, it shouldn't be), especially when there are so many options available to you.

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 handle in our daily lives as the celebration creeps closer, you won't necessarily have the time to conduct long hours of research to find just the right tablet for your loved one. 

Check out our top picks below if you're stuck for ideas regarding tablets suitable to give as gifts over 2023.

Must read:

The best tablet gift ideas in 2023

Below are tablet gift ideas ZDNET has found, so far, this year. 

  • Price: $1079
  • Tech specs: 14.6-inch QHD display | 12GB RAM 256GB storage

One of our top picks for a tablet as a gift is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. Currently on sale for $1079 at Best Buy ($120 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-inch QHD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 processor, 256GB SSD storage, and 12GB RAM.

  • Price: $100
  • Tech specs: 8-inch HD display 32GB storage | 2GB RAM

A cheaper option and a suitable gift for e-readers and content streamers is the Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet. The 2022 model comes with reasonable specifications, including an 8-inch HD display, 2GB RAM, and 32GB storage. In addition, the tablet is compatible with Amazon services alongside a variety of apps such as Spotify, Netflix, and Disney+. You can expect up to 13 hours of battery life.

While this option is ad-supported, you can pay slightly more to remove lockscreen ads or to upgrade to 64GB storage. 

  • Price: $1424 (save $75)
  • Tech specs: 13-inch touchscreen PixelSense display | 16GB RAM | 512GB storage

Microsoft's Surface Pro X tablet is a great option as a gift if the device is also intended to be a productivity and work 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-inch touchscreen PixelSense display, a Microsoft SQ2 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage, and two cameras suitable for video calling. LTE connectivity is optional. 

  • Price: $69
  • Tech specs: 8-inch HD display | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage

A tablet that won't break the bank and will provide hours of entertainment for whoever is lucky enough to receive one as a gift is the Lenovo Tab M8. 

This affordable tablet has a compact 8-inch 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.

  • Price: $129
  • Tech specs: 8.7-inch display | 3GB RAM | 32GB storage

If you're hunting for a budget-friendly Android tablet, you should consider heading over to Walmart to pick up the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite. This compact Samsung tablet is equipped with an 8.7-inch 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: 11-inch 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-inch 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 the recipient is a content creator or enjoys using design-focused apps. You can purchase the Apple Pencil stylus for further control over artistic creations. 

  • Price: $700 (save $230)
  • Tech specs: 12.3-inch PixelSense display 8GB RAM | 128GB storage

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ could be an excellent gift option if you're looking for a reasonably-priced tablet for someone who needs a device for work and personal use. 

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ tablet comes with a 12.3-inch 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: $449 (save $80)
  • Tech specs: 12.4-inch display 4GB RAM | 64GB storage

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE is a great gift option to consider if the recipient is a student or who needs a device for personal studies. This model, currently on sale at Walmart with an $80 discount, comes with a large 12.4-inch 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: 7-inch 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: 6.8-inch display | 8GB storage | Ad-supported

Sometimes, there's nothing more enjoyable than getting cozy in the living room and reading a book. If you are trying to find a gift for someone who agrees, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is an excellent option. The Paperwhite is designed for reading e-books and features an e-ink display designed to mimic traditional paperback books -- as far as possible -- and to reduce eye strain.

Also: How to loan a Kindle book

The Paperwhite is also 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. 

  • Current price: $400 (save $80)
  • Tech specs: 10.2-inch display, Wi-Fi connectivity, 256GB SSD storage

The standard iPad with Wi-Fi connectivity is a more affordable iPad gift option than the iPad Pro range. Available at Best Buy with an $80 discount, this 2021 tablet comes with a 10.2-inch display, A13 processor, 3GB RAM, and 256GB storage.

  • Price: $90
  • Tech specs: 10-inch 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 has a 10-inch 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 in 2023

Below are tablet deals that are 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 use as a traditional laptop, one geared toward creative apps, or an entry-level tablet for basic online tasks and browsing. 

While choosing these products, we tried to include options to suit a range of budgets and purposes. As some of us only use a tablet for reading, ZDNET also included e-readers.

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, often considered a great choice for productivity and creative applications.

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.

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