Limited time iPad mini sale, $295 down from $329

Michael Santo's picture

An eBay seller is offering Apple's mini tablet offering -- the iPad mini -- for the price of $295, down from the normal manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $329.

To be clear, it's not a minature (mini) sale on iPads, but rather an iPad mini sale. The buy-it-now deal (not an auction, Buy It Now) is available here. This is a deal on the 16GB, wi-fi only model.

The seller, bigvalueinc, has 62183 feedback reviews, with 98.2 percent positive feedback. We've spotlighted other eBay auctions here recently, and as before, a key in the question as to whether or not to opt for a deal is the reliability of the seller.

Naturally, sellers such as Newegg (who also sell on eBay along with their own huge retail site) would be no-brainers in terms of safety. Thus far, the deals we've spotlighted have had dealers with ratings above 99 percent.

bigvalueinc has an overall positive rating percentage of 98.2 percent. That's lower than we would generally opt for, honestly. We tend to want to deal only with people with ratings over 99 percent, but this is a rare deal: it's not normal for the iPad mini, its bigger sibling, the iPad, and the iPhone to be discounted.

Naturally the question "Why?" arises, with the obvious answer: Because the iPad and iPad mini are expected to be refreshed later this year.

The iPad mini was first released last year. It's Apple's answer to smaller, 7-inch Android tablets and has a 7.9-inch diagonal screen, which Apple used as ammo against Android tablets. There are, of course, numerous 8-inch Android tablets as well as the iPad-fighting 10-inch models.

Dimension wise, the iPad mini has the following specs: Height of 7.87 inches (200 mm), Width of 5.3 inches (134.7 mm), Thickness of 0.28 inch (7.2 mm), and Weight of 0.68 pound (308 g).

The device has an A5 dual core processor. Notably, current iPads carry X processors (e.g., the iPad 3 sported 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.

The iPad mini does not yet have a Retina display, but it's unclear if it will receive one with this refresh. It's expected to at least have a faster processor, and perhaps an update to support the still-draft 802.11ac specification for wi-fi.