The iPad 2 is official, and it's impressive, but it's not as much of an upgrade to the original as some had thought. No Thunderbolt, no SD slot, and no mini-DisplayPort. That might make those of us who have the original take pause before lining up for the new one.
But for those in the market for their first iPad, the lack of a completely overwhelming difference between the older and the newer device might be a good thing. During today's event, Apple's online store, as it typically does, went down. When it came back up, it had ordering information about the new iPad. And it had some new clearance pricing on the original as well.
You can now buy the original 16GB Wi-Fi iPad for just $400, $100 off the normal price. You won't get the cameras, faster processor, or the neat magnetic flap, but you will get the same storage and screen as the iPad 2.
There are other discounted original series iPads, too, including the 16GB with 3G for $500 ($130 off the original price) all the way up to the 64GB 3G version for $730 ($100 off the original price).
But if you want to go even cheaper, you can. The refurb store has the original 16GB version for just $350, all the way up to the 64GB 3G version for just $660. Apple treats its refurbished devices just like any others. They're in brand-new condition, include all the accessories, and have the same warranty. I'm typing this on a refurb MacBook I picked up a couple years ago and it works just fine.
They're not for everyone--many of you are going to want the latest and greatest, that's why you read Crave--but they're a great alternative for everyone else. For $350, anyone can take part in what Steve Jobs today called the "post-PC revolution."