I'll be the first to admit this isn't news--Apple has been selling the refurbished 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi for $349 shipped (plus sales tax in some states) for .
So why am I posting it now? Because I have some thoughts to share, and because I don't think this deal will be around for much longer.
Indeed, now that the iPad 2 has arrived, Apple has only a finite number of original iPads left to sell. When they're gone, they're gone, meaning your only option will be the $499-and-up iPad 2.
I've always felt that price point was too high, and I made no secret of my disappointment with Apple's failure to make the iPad 2 more affordable.
But $349? That's a lot more palatable, and I'm willing to cut the iPad some slack because I think it's the best tablet on the market today, bar none. (I like some of the Android-powered hardware, but the overall user experience just isn't the same. Especially when it comes to downloading music and movies.)
I use mine in many eclectic ways, including solving the, , playing awesome games like and , , and even doing a little in the privacy of my own home. (I don't like people gawking at my Downward Dog.)
For what it's worth, I have no trouble getting by on 16GB of storage, though it might be worth an extra $70 to get the 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi (which is $429 shipped). As for 3G, I rarely have a need for it; if you do, the refurbished iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G starts at $479.
Should you worry about the "refurbished" part? Absolutely not. Apple provides the same one-year warranty that new iPads get, and every refurbished iDevice I've ever purchased (and there have been several) looked indistinguishable from new. Worked like new, too.
Bottom line: a $349 iPad is too good to pass up. I don't think the prices will get any lower, but I do think Apple will run out of them soon. Just saying.
Bonus deal: Speaking of massive sellout potential, sellout.woot has a refurbished Philips 32-inch LCD HDTV for $239.99, plus $5 for shipping. I've never seen a TV of that size for anywhere near that price. It's today only, and it will not last, I guarantee it.
Bonus deal No. 2: By now you've probably heard the news about the Kindle with Special Offers, the ridiculously named Wi-Fi Kindle that's $25 less than the regular model. Do I have some thoughts about that? You better believe it.