Get a refurbished 16GB iPad for $349 shipped

It's the Wi-Fi-only model, and it comes with the same one-year warranty as a new iPad. At this price, can you afford to pass it up?

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
The original iPad can be yours for as low as $349 out the door (plus sales tax).
The original iPad can be yours for as low as $349 out the door (plus sales tax). Apple

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 the better part of a month.

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 "hidden" crossword puzzles in the USA Today appsharing e-books with my kids, playing awesome games like Back to the Future and World of Goo, attending remote meetings, and even doing a little instructor-guided yoga 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.