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Get a 128GB iPad Air with 4G LTE for $324.95

From the Cheapskate: It's a refurb, but an unlocked GSM refurb. Apple charges $539 for the exact same configuration. Plus: Get Prince of Persia (for PC) for free!

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.

I'm pretty confident that most Cheapskate readers already own a tablet, maybe even several tablets. I'm also well aware that iPads don't generally fit the "cheapskate" mold, which is why I'm sharing this deal anyway.

Today only, and while supplies last, A4C has the refurbished Apple iPad Air 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular for $324.95 shipped. That's the top-end configuration for the iPad Air, and it comes to you unlocked for GSM networks. It's available in white and silver or black and space gray.


If you know me, you know that I always, always encourage buyers of Apple gear to choose refurbished. But this same configuration would cost you $539 (!) if purchased from Apple proper.

Now, there's a key difference between buying a refurb from A4C and buying one from Apple: the warranty. Instead of one year from the latter, you get 90 days from the former. Deal-breaker? That's for you to decide. Another consideration: Apple's refurbs look like new, while these A4C models "may contain minor scratches and/or slight cosmetic defects."

That doesn't bother me, especially if the tablet is destined for a case anyway. And, let's remember, you're saving over $200. There has to be a little compromise baked in there somewhere.

iPad deals tend to be of the 16GB, Wi-Fi-only variety. Here you're getting a mountain of storage and the option of 4G LTE service.

Speaking of which, I believe it's still possible to get a free data plan for your iPad. Short version: Buy a T-Mobile SIM card (currently $4.99 from Amazon), pop it into your iPad, then sign up for its free 200MB-per-month plan. Bam. Done. Sounds too good to be true. Isn't. (A few folks have reported that T-Mobile isn't offering this anymore, but it's still mentioned in the Q&A section on the Bring Your Own Tablet page. And I'm still getting my free 200MB every month. Follow my instructions and you should be good.)

Overpriced though they may be, iPads are awesome. Yeah, I said it. And, let's be honest, where else are you going to find a tablet with this much storage, plus cellular (still a tablet rarity), for $325 out the door? You can't. So consider handing over your older, slower, non-4G tablet to the kids and upgrading to this.

Your thoughts?


Bonus deal: If you're an iPhone 6 Plus or 6S Plus owner in the market for a new case, here's an interesting option: the Benuo Folio Flip case for $7.94 (shipped free with Prime) when you apply coupon code BIG7SALE at checkout.

Available in black, gold and rose gold, this leather wrap-around case features a magnetic closure, viewing window in front and, arguably best of all, a kickstand. It has an average rating of 4.2 stars from over 700 buyers. I've tried a lot of cases, but never one of these. If you have, hit the comments and share your thoughts.

Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Ubisoft is giving away one PC game per month for the next seven months. And you've got just a few days left to snag the first offering, the PC classic Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. You'll need a Uplay account (also free) and the Uplay PC client. The game would cost you $10 if purchased (and played) on Steam.