The cheapest way to buy an iPad from Apple

Why going refurbished pays off, and how to get more value from an iPad Mini.

The Internet prophecies were true. Apple’s Cupertino event, held last week, served as a launch platform for a new generation of iPads.

Headlining the range was a redesigned iPad Air 2. The tablet comes with a slim 6mm thick waistline, a brand-new A8X processor and Apple’s Touch ID finger scanner. Apple proudly promoted the tablet as being the thinnest in the world.

The changes made to the iPad Air 2 provide a stark contrast to those made in the Mini 3. The Mini tablet is no thinner or faster. The only difference is the addition of Touch ID, and that’s an add-on that comes at a pretty penny.

Australians interested in buying the Touch ID enabled iPad Mini will have to pay $130 more than the Mini 2. That’s a 26 per cent premium on an identical tablet, save for the finger scanner. This is a feature most people have lived fine without.

Price conscious customers should consider the year-old iPad Mini 2. The tablet still has the same screen, processor, dimensions and connectivity. Not coming with Touch ID serves the tablet’s price well, as it now costs less at $369.

More money can be saved still if customers buy refurbished. Apple repairs its faulty products and sells them at a discount, but only after the company makes them like-new again.

The company strips the old casing, replaces all of the faulty components with authentic Apple parts, tests them, throws in a new battery, and then wraps the good-as-new product in a new body.

Apple has enough confidence in its refurbished iPads that the company offers “the same 1-year warranty as a brand new iPad”.

Shoppers with a budget looking to score more internal memory without breaking the bank should consider buying refurbished. Take the Wi-Fi only variant of the iPad Mini 3, for instance. Apple offers it for $499 with just 16GB of internal memory. Alternatively, the refurbished iPad Mini 2, equipped with quadruple the memory at 64GB is being sold for $40 less at $459.

Read more: Spec Showdown: Apple iPad Air 2 v Google Nexus 9

Apple hasn’t announced an on-sale date for its upcoming range of iPads. Pre-orders opened on 18 October, while Apple estimates the tablets will go on sale in Australia “starting next week”.

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Tony Ibrahim

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