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Apple's 256GB iPad drops to a new low of $399

Both WiFi and Cellular models are cheaper than ever right now.

Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Apple's base iPad is the most cost-effective way to get an iOS device, and now you can pick one up for even less than usual. In a rare sale, most models are down to record-low prices at Amazon right now. Key among them are the 256GB iPad for $399, which is $80 less than usual, and the base, 64GB version remains on sale for $299 as well. As for cellular models, you can pick up the 64GB tablet for $400 thanks to an extra $30 coupon that's automatically applied at checkout, or the 256GB version for $550.

Buy iPad (64GB, WiFi) at Amazon - $299 Buy iPad (256GB, WiFi) at Amazon - $399 Buy iPad (64GB, Cellular) at Amazon - $400 Buy iPad (256GB, Cellular) at Amazon - $550

It may not look as slick as the iPad Air or the latest iPad Pros, but it's hard to argue the utility of Apple's most affordable tablet. We gave it a score of 86 when the latest model came out last year, and we consider it to be the best budget tablet you can get. It has solid performance and an excellent, 14-hour battery life, and since Apple upped the base amount of storage to 64GB from 32GB, you'll have a good amount of space even if you pick the cheapest option. That's important for those who download tons of apps and games, or those who plan on using the iPad to hold all of their personal, work or school documents. While we think some of the more advanced iPads make better laptop replacements, the base tablet would make a good on-the-go device if you pair it with accessories like the Smart Keyboard or the first-generation Apple Pencil.

The most dated things about the iPad are its chunkier bezels and the physical Home button that supports TouchID, although some may prefer the latter to FaceID. Otherwise, the slab has a 2,160 x 1,620 resolution Retina display with True Tone, an 8-megapixel rear camera and an updated 12MP front-facing camera with support for Center Stage, which will come in handy if you FaceTime a lot with friends and family. While it doesn't have many of the extra features you'll find on the iPad Air, those are fair trade-offs considering its low starting price.

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