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Here’s a quick PSA for anyone who has been looking to pick up Apple’s iPad mini: The 64GB version of the diminutive tablet is back on sale for $400 at Amazon and Best Buy, matching the lowest price we’ve tracked. Though we’ve seen the 8.3-inch slate hit this price several times in the past year — including for most of the recent holiday season — this discount is still about $30 off the device’s average street price in recent months and $100 less than what you’d pay from Apple directly. Just note that, as of this writing, only the Starlight and Purple models are available for this price at Amazon.
We gave the iPad mini a review score of 89 when the device launched in late 2021, and we currently recommend it in our iPad buying guide. It’s still the only truly compact iPad Apple sells, and for those who have smaller hands or just want a slate they can comfortably use with one hand, it’s arguably the best tablet in its size range, period. It follows the same design language as most other iPads, with squared edges, a USB-C port, no Home button, a Touch ID sensor and a bright display. (Plus, no headphone jack, sadly.) Its A15 Bionic chip isn’t as powerful as the laptop-grade M1 and M2 chips found in the iPad Air and iPad Pro, and it doesn’t have a Smart Connector port for Apple-made keyboards, but it’s more than fast enough for reading and streaming, and it does support the latest Apple Pencil.
Broadly speaking, most people are still better served by the Air or more affordable 10.2-inch iPad. We wish there was more storage for the price, too, and it’s worth noting that some users have found issues with the display while scrolling. But if you aren’t looking to use your iPad for work and you specifically want a small tablet, the mini remains a good buy. And while the device has been on sale for nearly a year and a half, recent reports suggest that any refreshed model won’t arrive until late 2023 at the earliest and isn’t likely to bring major hardware changes.
If you only need an iPad for the basics and don’t want to spend quite as money, though, note that the 10.2-inch iPad is also on sale for $250 at Best Buy. That also represents an all-time low. This model is a bit longer in the tooth in terms of design, with thicker bezels, a Lightning port and a lesser display than pricier iPads like the mini. For those who only use their tablet casually, though, it is by far the most wallet-friendly way into iPadOS.