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Get an iPad Air 2 with free lifetime data for $313.84

From the Cheapskate: There's a bit of hoop-jumping involved, but isn't that part of the fun? And, for just a little more, you can get a 64GB model. Plus: a killer deal on sports headphones and free YA audiobooks!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.


Stay with me, cheeps -- today's deal requires a bit of instruction.

Not too long ago, an iPad discount was a rare thing. Lately, however, I'm seeing all kinds of deals on Apple's tablets, suggesting the market is getting saturated to the point where margins must be cut.

Of course, most of the deals are on models at least a few generations old -- and almost always of the 16GB, Wi-Fi-only variety. But not today: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Groupon has the refurbished unlocked 16GB iPad Air 2 (WiFi + GSM Cellular) for $333.88 shipped. That's after applying coupon code SALE3 at checkout.

groupon-ipad-air-2-all-colors.jpg

Refurb coupon code cashback = one pretty amazing deal on a 4G iPad Air 2.

Groupon

Even better, opt for the 64GB model, which comes down to $381.58 after the coupon code. Alas, it appears all the 128GB models are already sold out. Both those prices include sales tax, so your mileage -- and percentage -- may vary. (I'm in Michigan.) If you don't get hit up for tax, let me know where you're located. I'm a bit curious if it's Groupon levying the charge or the third-party seller.

Yes, I know, the headline says "$313.84." And "free data." I'll come back to those things in a minute. For now, just recognize that Apple charges $529 and $629 for these iPads new, not including whatever not-free data plan you might choose.

But before I go any further, take note: The warranty coverage (which is provided by the third-party seller, not Groupon) lasts just 30 days. With most refurbished products, you get 90 -- and Apple-certified refurbs are covered for a full year. So, yeah, bit of a dice-roll here. But my feeling is if it's in good condition out of the box, it'll most likely stay that way.

Okay, so, how to get that $313.84 price? Simple: Instead of going straight to Groupon, head to Ebates. That cashback service is currently offering a 6-percent rebate on all Groupon purchases. This drops your effective price to $313.84 or $358.68 if you opt for the 64GB model.

(Not familiar with Ebates? Read my recent post about that and other cashback services.)

Now, about that free data. Back in February I shared the "secret" of how to get a free data plan for your iPad. Short version: Buy a SIM card from T-Mobile (currently $3.99), pop it into your iPad, then sign up for their free 200MB-per-month plan. Bam. Done. Sounds too good to be true. Isn't.

About the iPad Air 2 itself: Until a few weeks ago, it was Apple's flagship tablet. But just because there's now an iPad Pro 9.7 doesn't make the Air 2 any less compelling. It's still one of the best tablets on the planet, period.

Would I pay $629 for the 64GB cellular model? Uh, hello! Cheapskate here! But when it's a refurb with a coupon code and a rebate, for right around $350? That's something to think about. So tell me what you think about it.

Hunky dude not included.

Mpow

Bonus deal: Way back in October, I shared a deal on the Mpow Magneto Bluetooth sport earbuds, joking (weakly) that "Wolverine probably wouldn't like them." Apparently the Mpow folks took me seriously, because they've renamed the product Wolverine! And dropped the price: You can now buy the Mpow Wolverine Bluetooth sport earbuds for $14.99 (shipped free with Prime) when you apply coupon code ZVVH3M8E at checkout. Last time around, they were $28.99. Update: This code now seems to work only with the gold and silver color options.

(Be sure to check that Patazon is the listed seller for this deal. If you see a different seller -- which likely means Patazon has run out of stock -- the coupon code won't work.)

During my brief testing, I thought the earbuds sounded great (especially for the price) and liked the option of pairing with two different devices. If you grabbed a pair yourself, hit the comments and share your thoughts. Inquiring cheeps want to know how these rate.

Bonus deal No. 2: Calling all parents, teachers and young adults! For a limited time, Audiobooks.com is offering three free YA audiobooks when you sign up for a free trial, and existing subscribers can take advantage as well! The selected titles are the firsts in their respective series. Make sure to follow the instructions closely on the signup page.