Best Time to Buy: iPad 2 Accessories

By Aaron Crowe, dealnews writer

The iPad 2 is coming out March 11, as if you needed us to tell you. If you've been out of touch lately or just didn't want to know what's going on in the world — hello, Libya — we're here to tell you that the newest Apple gadget is coming out Friday and there are things you can do to prepare for it, if you're going to brave the lines in stores or the congestion online to buy one.

Even if you're not buying a new iPad tablet for the improvements — two cameras, faster graphics and thinner design, among them — you can get in on the fun by buying the first version of the iPad at a discount. Here are a few deals on iPads and accessories to help you save enough money to afford this latest gadget. These prices were valid as of early Tuesday morning, but may change.

iPad 2

Go straight to the source and buy an iPad 2 direct from Apple, starting at $499 for an iPad 2 with 16GB and WiFi, and $629 for an iPad 2 with 16GB 3G to run on the AT&T and Verizon 3G networks. They're available in black or white, have dual-core processors, have up to 10 hours of battery life and are 33% lighter.

Refurbished iPads

The Apple Store also sells factory refurbished Apple iPad WiFi tablets at an extra $80 to $120 off. With free shipping, these are the lowest total price we've ever seen. Prices range from $349 for a refurbished iPad 16GB WiFi, $479 for a 16GB WiFi and 3G, to $659 for an iPad with 64GB WiFi and 3G, compared to $829 for an iPad 2 with 64GB WiFi and 3G.

Envelope Sleeve

In an exclusive deal for dealnews readers, is selling its Envelope Sleeve for the Apple iPad or iPad 2 in black for $19.95. Use coupon code "dealnews11" for free shipping. It's $5 less than the lowest total price we could find for a similar case. The sleeve has neoprene lining, nylon outer shell, WiFi hotspot or iPhone pocket, magnetic closure, and is TSA approved to remain in the sleeve. The deal ends March 13.

Dual Station Folio

Even though the iPad 2 is sold with its own branded magnetic cover for an extra price, you may want to keep it extra safe with the envelope sleeve above, or something else such as the rooCase Dual Station Folio Case from PC Micro Store for $19.49 with coupon code "RCIPADSBK50OFF" for half off the sale price of $38.99 (coupon has expired). The case comes in smooth black and is model no. RC-PIDDS-SBK. The offer includes free shipping and ties with the lowest total price by $10. The case has two viewing angles for video watching and typing, suede-lined interior and magnetic closure. Act fast on this deal, because the coupon expires after 1,000 uses.

Silicone Case and Screen Protector

In a combo deal for only $5.99 that includes free shipping, is selling a Silicone Case for Apple iPad bundled with a screen protector. It's the lowest total price we could find for a similar combo by $2.

iPad Apps

The iTunes App Store is temporarily dropping the prices of several iPad applications. The task management app Manage is 99 cents ($1 off); the tower defense-type game Three Kinddoms TD — Legend of Shu HD is $1.99 ($1 off), the touch-and-click adventure game Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey HD is $4.99 ($2 off), Flight Update Pro is $6.99 ($3 off), and the project management app Projector is $29.99 ($10 off).

Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked as a reporter and an editor for newspapers and websites. Follow him on Twitter — @AaronCrowe.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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