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I just bought the $249 iPad on Black Friday (and you should, too)

Apple iPad
(Image credit: Future)

We all have a loved one who is impossible to shop for during the holiday season. This person usually buys whatever they want for themselves throughout the year, and their response to, "What do you want for Christmas?" is usually, "Oh, nothing!" That person is my mom. 

(Mom, stop reading now. Thanks.)

This year, she's getting an iPad. The Black Friday deal that discounted the 32GB 2019 base model iPad from $329 to $249 was just too good to pass up. (If you're trying to avoid Amazon this holiday season, both Walmart and Best Buy are price-matching Amazon's deal.)

iPad (2019) 32GB: was $329, now $249 @ Amazon
Apple's base-model iPad was already a great bargain for the price, but Amazon's $80 discount makes it a must-buy. With a 10.2-inch display, 12-hour battery life and compatibility with Apple's Smart Keyboard Cover and Apple Pencil, this iPad is the best tablet for most people.View Deal

The best gift I have ever given my mom (aside from my love, of course) is a classic photo of the two of us — toddler-aged me reaching up to give her a kiss — that I dug up from the family archives and had blown up and framed. There were waterworks. I crushed it. But I can't hit an emotional home run every year. This holiday season, I decided to give her something more practical.

My mom has been talking about needing a new iPad since January. Her current model, the 16GB iPad Air circa late 2013/early 2014 is, frankly, a little busted. After retiring a couple years ago, she began using her tablet for just about everything. But the Air is now sluggish six years in, and she's running out of storage for all of her apps. We're going on a cruise to Alaska next summer, and there's no way she'll have enough space to save Netflix shows or download a few movies to watch offline while we're at sea without deleting her beloved crossword apps and games.

But I couldn't decide which iPad to buy. The iPad Pro is beautiful but expensive (even at its discounted $799 price for Black Friday). It's also excessive for her daily needs: web-browsing, lightweight game-playing and social media-posting. The 10.5-inch iPad Air is more my speed, but also a little on the pricier side at $499. I wasn't sure she would notice the slightly larger 10.5-inch screen, slightly thinner body and more powerful A12 Bionic processor enough to warrant the higher price.

(Image credit: Future)

Black Friday made the decision for me. The 2019 iPad, which sister site Laptop Mag declared the best iPad for most people, is $80 off for the 32GB model, now $249, and $100 off for the 128GB version, now $329, making it exponentially cheaper than the new iPad Air (which, even on sale, is still $469). The iPad and the iPad Air have comparable battery life, close to 12 hours of continuous web-surfing in our testing, so you don't have to spend $220 more on an iPad to get great battery life.

This iPad is not only ultra-affordable, I can also rope my siblings into buying the accessories for a complete Christmas package. The 2019 iPad is compatible with Apple's $159 Smart Keyboard Cover and the $99 first-gen Apple Pencil.

The iPad already offered plenty of bang for your buck at $329. At its new Black Friday price, this tablet is the best gift you can buy (even for yourself).