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Third-gen iPad now a bargain £315, only available refurbished

Apple has killed off the third-generation iPad with the iPad mini and a new iPad -- but the current model is now a refurbished bargain.

The iPad is dead -- long live the iPad. Apple has killed off the current iPad, replacing it with the iPad mini and a new full-size iPad. But the current model is hanging around long enough to bag you a refurbished bargain.

Alongside the smaller 7.9-inch iPad mini, Apple has refreshed the specs of the full-size 9.7-inch model. It's now known as the iPad with retina display, and packs a new A6X processor and 4G Internet.

The iPad with retina display replaces the previous model, the third-generation iPad. That third-gen model was known as 'the new iPad' when it was launched barely seven months ago, which makes it now the... old new iPad? I swear, Apple is just messing with us with these names.

Anyway, the third-gen is no longer for sale new from Apple, online at least. If you want a brand spanking new iPad, the version with the A6X chip is the only option. Oh, and it's not on sale until a week on Friday.

Apple is selling refurbished third-generation iPads, however, and this is where our bargain sense starts tingling: they start at just £315 -- £85 cheaper than the new version.

Bargain basement 

For £315 you get a Wi-Fi-only 16GB third-generation iPad, which still has a retina display and dual-core A5X chip and is, lest we forget, less than a year old. A 32GB model costs £370, and the 64GB version £440.

Add 3G to your 16GB refurb for a total cost of £415, bag a 32GB 3G model for £470 or max out on the 64GB 3G model for £540.

Refurbished models are devices returned to Apple by unhappy customers. They're tested and cleaned and any defective parts are replaced, and they come with a new box, battery and outer shell -- plus the same one-year warranty as a new device. I don't imagine these deals will hang around long, so don't hum and haw too long.

Sure, three hundred quid isn't peanuts, but it's significantly less than a brand new box-fresh model, and is a hefty discount for a device that's less than a year old. It's even cheaper than the older iPad 2! If you're not fussed about 4G and can live with not having the very latest kit, this is the iPad to go for.

As much as that's a decent bargain -- by Apple standards, anyway -- it's bound to be galling for anyone who paid top whack for the third-generation iPad over the past few months. Sorry chaps. If you bought one in the last two weeks, you can take it back and swap it for a new one -- so it can be snapped up by someone on the refurb programme.

What do you think of Apple's prices? Have you ever bought a refurbished product, and was it worth every penny or a false economy? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.