The best Cyber Monday tablet deal I've found so far this year isn't for an iPad, but a Samsung tablet I love. I've been using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE for several months as a work device, and this sale makes it an easier recommendation for those looking for a practical tablet among the Cyber Monday deals, even if you're an iPad fan.
Android tablets aren't established in the way Apple tablets are. In fact I can't think of anyone outside of my tech journalism buddies who owns a tablet that isn't an iPad or an Amazon Fire. However even I, a dedicated Mac, iPhone and even iPad user, have grown to adore this tablet.
First off, it's much more attractively priced. The 2021 Tab S7 FE (Wi-Fi/U.S.) is $429 on Amazon (opens in new tab)($100 off the $529 price) and the Tab S7 FE (5G/U.K.) is down to £449 on Amazon (opens in new tab) (£140 off the £589 MSRP). Yes, the $579 iPad Air has seen similar discounts, but it's a) already a year old, and b) those deals are long gone.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE: was $529 now $429 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
This WiFi-only version of Samsung's 12.4-inch tablet offers a bright and sharp display, a long-lasting battery and a stylus in the box. You can choose to pay more to increase its storage from 64GB to 256GB, or to bundle in Samsung's keyboard cover.
You get a lot more tablet for your money too. The Tab S7 FE's 12.4-inch frame is larger than any iPad (save the 12.9-inch iPad Pro), and it features skinny bezels, which the 9th-generation iPad has still yet to shed.
And that entry-level iPad hasn't gotten any sales so far this season (and we're hunting for them on our Cyber Monday iPad deals roundup). And while we've seen discounts of $100 or more on the iPad Pro, those are for models that are much more expensive and cost-prohibitive. The most frequent iPad Air and mini deals we've found are around $50 off, and not exactly thrilling.
The Tab S7 FE also has a longer, skinnier design than an iPad, and its front-facing camera is located on the long side of the display, making it much easier to use horizontally when using it with a stand or keyboard cover.
I had heard horror stories of how bad Android tablets were to use, and perhaps that's true for tablets running stock Android. Samsung tablets however run OneUI, which is a heavily modified version of Android, and I found it still runs just as well on a larger display as it does on a smartphone-sized one, making smart use of the extra space with resized app interfaces and a simple-to-use multi-app display mode.
My favorite part of the whole experience though is the S Pen. For one, it's included in the box, unlike an iPad where it's $100 extra. It also comes with a physical button to enable extra functions, and Air Command controls which offer app and feature shortcuts without even touching the screen. Another handy benefit is that it doesn't use an inbuilt battery, so it's always ready to go, unlike the battery-powered Apple Pencil.
A stylus is a key accessory for any tablet, and fortunately writing with the S Pen is wonderful. I don't mind the first-gen Apple Pencil I use with my own 7th-gen iPad, but since it's a hard-tipped "pencil" rather than a "pen," it doesn't offer much feedback when you write. The soft-tipped S Pen however does, and as a result it feels so much nicer to write with. It's made the Tab S7 FE invaluable as my notepad for taking notes in meetings or jotting down quick ideas to check again later.
It's not a complete no-contest in favor of the Samsung tablet. Even the base iPad is much more powerful than Samsung's tablets courtesy of Apple's mighty A-series chips, and all iPads benefit from excellent displays, longer-lasting batteries and effective cameras. Plus it'll be hard to say no to an iPad given how well it will play with iPhones, AirPods and Macs via Apple's Continuity system.
If you're not wedded to the Apple walled garden though, this is a deal I heartily recommend. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE has become my regular work companion both at my desk and during my commute, and this would easily become yours too if you need something to cover the duty of a laptop, a notepad and a streaming device. It's not class-leading in every respect, but it's so effective for its price, the Tab S7 FE is hard to say no to this Cyber Monday.