The top 4 ways to save money tablets, including how to shop them in the sales

how to save money when buying a tablet
(Image credit: Apple)

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Due to the cost of living crisis tightening our purse strings, many of us are looking for ways to minimise our monthly bills and avoiding buying non-essential items.  As Deals Writer and Shopping Expert at T3, I’ve been looking for the best ways to save money on a plethora of everyday items, including broadband, phones, TVs, laptops, streaming services, headphones and more. In this post, I’ll be tackling ways to save money when buying a tablet.

Tablets have quickly become must-have pieces of tech, mainly because of the rise in home or hybrid working. The best tablets (opens in new tab) are a combination of smartphone and laptop capabilities. They’re functional, portable and are suited to a wide range of tasks, like typing emails, editing documents, sketching and streaming your favourite apps.

I understand that not many people will be looking to buy a new tablet when their monthly bills are getting harder and harder to pay for. But if your child’s birthday is coming up or the tablet you currently use is on its last legs, it could be time to get a new one. To help you buy a new tablet without spending a fortune, here are 4 ways to save money on a tablet.

1. Buy an older model or generation

My first tip when buying a new tablet is to identify what you want from it. Realistically, your checklist is going to be different if you’re buying a tablet for work than if you’re buying one for your children. Always make a list of features that you want like size, storage capacity, battery life, speakers and apps. The brand is also important to think about as this will determine what apps you have access to. So, if you choose one of the best iPads (opens in new tab), you’ll receive Apple features, whereas if you choose a Samsung tablet, you’ll have access to Android apps.

Now you’ve narrowed down your shortlist and what you’re going to use your tablet for, I’d recommend looking for a slightly older model or generation. The majority of the time, the older version of the newest tablet on the market has most of the same features and advancements and comes in a cheaper price. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (opens in new tab) launched in early 2022 so if you’re looking for a Samsung tablet, I’d suggest having a look at the Tab S7 or S6 which will be cheaper and more likely be discounted in the sales… which brings me on nicely to my next tip!

2. Shop the sales

To save money on buying a new tablet, it’s a good idea to look for deals on tablets in the sales. Tablets and Kindles are always involved in sales, especially during sales seasons like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Easter, Memorial Day and Amazon Prime Day.

So, where should you look for tablet deals? One of the go-to places to look is Amazon, specifically on Amazon Prime Day (opens in new tab). Coming up on 12th-13th July, Prime Day is going to have tons of price drops on a wide range of products, including tech like laptops, Kindles and tablets. As Amazon has their own range of tablets, we anticipate there to be tons of discounts on Fire tablets, as well as deals from other brands like Apple, Samsung, Lenovo and Microsoft. Check out our Prime Day Tablet & Kindle deal predictions (opens in new tab) for more.

Other retailers to look at are Currys (opens in new tab), John Lewis (opens in new tab) and Very (opens in new tab) in the UK, and Best Buy (opens in new tab), Walmart (opens in new tab) and Target (opens in new tab) in the US. You can also find cheap tablet deals from mobile retailers like Sky Mobile (opens in new tab), Vodafone (opens in new tab) and EE (opens in new tab) but you’ll have to pay for these monthly on a contract. This is because the tablet will have cellular connectivity rather than WiFi so you’ll have to pay for the data you use on it each month. If you want to pay for a tablet over a few months, you can choose to buy one like this or you can buy a tablet for a larger one-off price. I’d recommend you choose the latter as you won’t have to continue paying for it once you’ve got your tablet.

how to save money when buying a tablet

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Turn your tablet into a laptop with accessories

To cut down on how much technology you pay for, you can turn your tablet into a laptop with tablet accessories. Many homes have more than one piece of tech and this can massively rack up how much you spend. Rather than buying a laptop and a tablet, you can save money by just buying a tablet and additional accessories to turn it into a laptop. This means you cut down on an extra expense and an extra device that you need to maintain. By adding a keyboard, mouse and pen to your tablet, you can add more functionalities to your device. For most tablets, you can also add more storage and expand your memory space so you can use it for longer. Overall, buying an accessory or more storage is much cheaper than buying a whole new device.

4. Choose a refurbished tablet

My final tip is to choose a certified refurbished or open-box tablet. Shopping certified refurbished items (opens in new tab) is a great way to save money and you’re still getting a quality piece of technology. Certified refurbished is where an item like a tablet is inspected, cleaned and fixed to like-new status by the brand. While it may have a few little imperfections, this gives the tablet a new lease of life and means you can save some money on the initial cost, as certified refurbished tablets are typically £100-£200 cheaper than the original retail price.

To find certified refurbished tablets, I recommend you have a look at eBay (opens in new tab), Amazon (opens in new tab) and brands who make tablets, like Apple, Samsung and Lenovo. eBay has a top refurbished rating system and is a reliable source to find second-hand or renewed products. Amazon is also a good retailer to look at and in the lead-up to the Prime Day sale, you can currently find certified refurbished Amazon Fire tablets at a much lower price, including half price discounts on select models.

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