The deal is for the 16GB WiFi only model of the iPad mini. The retailer is selling the devices -- really, from a third party vendor -- for $306.99, $35 off its normal retail price of $341.99. That price, though, is slightly higher than the price you would expect at Apple, which sells the WiFi only 16GB iPad mini for $329.
Rakuten does charge sales tax in some states.
Still, even compared to the lower Apple Store price, consumers would get over $20 off the iPad mini price, which -- and this is true -- is rare. A sale on any Apple iDevices is rare, except when a new model is (ahem) approaching. Many expect a new iPad mini to appear either later this month or next month, before the shopping season.
At the same time, Rakuten.com has a 10 percent off promotion for computer and electronics items. However, the promotion does not extend to this item (i.e., you can't stack this deal and the 10 percent off promo code -- we tried).
The iPad mini is Apple's answer to low-cost Android devices such as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. Unlike those devices, the iPad mini has a 7.9-inch screen (both of those ship with 7-inch screens, although the Fire has larger 8.9-inch models, too), and when it introduced the mini in 2012 Apple made sure to spotlight the extra screen real estate that the 0.9-inches provided.
There are, of course, numerous 8-inch Android tablets (such as the recent Galaxy Tab 3 8.0) as well as the full-sized iPad-fighting 10-inch models.
Dimension wise, the iPad mini 7.87 inches (200 mm) tall, with a width of 5.3 inches (134.7 mm) and a thickness of 0.28 inch (7.2 mm). It weighs about 0.68 pound (308 g).
The device has an A5 dual core processor. Notably, it does not yet have a Retina display. Current iPads -- all sporting Retina displays -- carry X processors (e.g., the first Retina iPad, the iPad 3, shipped with an A5X processor). Thus, it can be seen that -- processor-wise -- the iPad mini is behind the iPad 3 in terms of performance. The A5 was previously used in the iPhone 4S. It is also used in the fifth-generation iPod touch.
In addition, it has a 5MP rear-facing camera and a 1.2MP front-facing webcam, for FaceTime conversations.
The wi-fi only version of the iPad mini supports 802.11a/b/g/n wi-fi (on both bands, meaning 802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz). It also supports Bluetooth 4.0.
It is unclear if this year's revision of the iPad mini will come with a Retina display or not. It's expected to at least have a faster processor, and perhaps an update to support the still-draft 802.11ac specification for WiFi, but recent rumors have pointed to supply issues as preventing a widespread rollout of a Retina iPad mini.