It's amazing to think how fast Apple's iPad has become a fixture not just on the technology front, but as part of everyday life in North America. It's downright difficult, if not impossible, to walk into a coffee shop, library, or classroom without seeing one of these nifty gadgets put to good use.
Of course, all that ubiquity (or should we say iBiquity) might make you feel like you've missed out on the latest digital wave if you don't have one yourself. That's where we at dealnews come in; this week we bring to you a handful of iPad bargains that will get you in the thick of the iPad revolution without breaking an iSweat — or, if you prefer, in the blink of an "i."
Refurbished Apple iPads: 16GB WiFi + 3G
Price: From $399 with free shipping
Lowest By: Up to $130 off
Is It Worth It?: Veterans of Apple and the Apple Store know that their gotta-have-it items rarely (if ever) receive significant discounts. So if you want an iPad, here's your chance to jump at one. Refurbished Apple Store products perform every bit as well as new ones, and they come with a full 1-year Apple warranty. Both generations are available, and if you want the newest model, try the refurbished Apple iPad 2 64GB WiFi Tablet in Black or White or White for $649. (It's a deal so good that you'll need to excuse this writer while he orders one for himself.)
Rotating Stand Case and Smart Cover for Apple iPad 2
Price: $17 with free shipping via coupon code "161KZT"
Lowest By: $2
Coupon Expires: September 23
Is It Worth It?: Now's the time to move on this deal! This rotating stand has only one drawback: It comes in brown — not the smartest color for folks who swear by Apple's silver, black, or white chic. But for the rest of us, the stand's utility makes it a great bargain, and just the thing to prop an iPad 2 in place. The case also boasts a hard-shell exterior to protect your precious investment. How cool is that? (You could look up the answer on your iPad 2, but it's probably wiser to just go ahead and order one.)
Joby GorillaMobile Ori Stand for iPad
Price: $27.83 with $5.99 s&h
Lowest By: $16
Is It Worth It?: Originally priced at $55, this swivel stand for 1st-generation iPads also doubles as a carrying case and is plenty sturdy to withstand dings and bumps on behalf of your tablet. It easily pivots between landscape and portrait views, and offers a classy touch of origami-inspired design (hence the name "Ori") in the way it folds and unfolds effortlessly. The trick with anything iPad is to avoid going broke on accessories or gear, but not compromise on design or durability. The Ori delivers on both fronts — and it looks like plenty of fun to use.
Refurb XtremeMac InCharge Duo for iPad / iPhone / iPod
Price: $29.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $15
Is It Worth It?: While you may appear a little too wired using this thing in public if you've got your iPhone and iPad hooked up at the same time, who cares how you look when you can solve the vexing problem of keeping your iThings charged? This stand can power an iPad and iPhone at the same time, and the InCharge Duo also supports an array of products and models, including iPods, both generations of iPad, and the iPhone 3G or 4. Theoretically, you could use this as a viewing stand as well, but we recommend putting it to use first and foremost as a charging device.
Simple Mobile Micro SIM Card for iPad / iPhone
Price: 99 cents with free shipping
Lowest By: $1
Is It Worth It?: If you need a SIM card for your iPhone or iPad, it's hard to imagine a better deal than this one. The Simple Mobile card is a gateway to a contract-free monthly plan with unlimited talk and texting, starting at $40 per month. Higher tier plans also include web data allowances. For more information, visit mysimplemobile.com.
Front page photo credit: L. Marie via Flickr