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The weekend’s best deals: New Apple iPad Air, tons of PC games, and more


The weekend’s best deals: New Apple iPad Air, tons of PC games, and more

Ars Technica

It’s the weekend, which means it’s time for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best tech deals from around the web includes an early discount on Apple’s newest iPad Air, the 64GB version of which is down to $570 at Amazon. That’s just a $30 discount, but it’s notable given that the tablet only began shipping last week. The one caveat is that Amazon is showing shipping delays as of this writing; if you need to have the device within the next couple of weeks, you may still be better off paying full price at Apple. But if you were planning on picking up the tablet anyway and are willing to wait, it’s a nice little savings.

We gave the new iPad Air a positive review last week, calling it “the best tablet for most people who can afford it.” While it isn’t a major overhaul compared to the previous model, it upgrades to Apple’s M1 system-on-a-chip, which is the same SoC used in the iPad Pro and MacBook Air, among other pricier Apple devices. It’s exceptionally quick as a result, to the point where performance shouldn’t be an issue for years to come. The included USB-C port now delivers faster transfer speeds, too, and the front-facing camera is now a 12 MP unit (up from 7 MP) that supports Apple’s “Center Stage” feature.

The iPad Air’s closest competition still comes from Apple itself. The 11-inch iPad Pro includes twice as much storage by default (128GB), better speakers, and a brighter display that supports a higher 120 Hz refresh rate, but it costs about $180 more. The entry-level iPad, meanwhile, is far more affordable at $329 and still performs well for everyday tablet tasks, but it’s not as powerful on the whole and uses a more dated design. For those willing to pay a bit more, the new iPad Air is a strong middle ground: it still has a great display for media consumption, and when paired with the right accessories, it’s as powerful as the current iPad Pro for getting more involved work done.

Beyond that, our roundup also includes a sweeping new “Spring Sale” at Epic Games’ PC gaming storefront. We’ve marked our favorite deals of the bunch below, but the sale includes good prices on former Ars game of the year winners HadesCeleste, and Control, plus other Ars-approved hits like Untitled Goose GameHorizon Zero DawnKena: Bridge of SpiritsInscryption, and Disco Elysium, among many others. A handful of these deals are also available at other storefronts such as GOG and Humble.

Elsewhere, we have deals on the just-released Switch game Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Amazon Fire HD tablets, recommended noise-canceling headphones and wireless gaming mice, external hard drives, Anker USB-C chargers, and much more. You can check out our full curated roundup below.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Featured deals of the day

The 2022 iPad Air.
Enlarge / The 2022 iPad Air.

Samuel Axon

Electronics deals

Apple's AirPods Max are expensive, but their noise cancellation and audio quality are among the best we've tested from a wireless headphone.
Enlarge / Apple’s AirPods Max are expensive, but their noise cancellation and audio quality are among the best we’ve tested from a wireless headphone.

Jeff Dunn

Amazon's Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet with its included bumper case.
Enlarge / Amazon’s Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet with its included bumper case.

Jeff Dunn

Laptop and desktop PC deals

Samsung's 970 Evo Plus (top) and 980 (middle) are fine midrange consumer SSDs.
Enlarge / Samsung’s 970 Evo Plus (top) and 980 (middle) are fine midrange consumer SSDs.

Jim Salter

TV and home entertainment deals

The Razer Viper Ultimate is a lightweight and highly accurate wireless gaming mouse.
Enlarge / The Razer Viper Ultimate is a lightweight and highly accurate wireless gaming mouse.

Jeff Dunn

Gaming deals

Microsoft's Xbox Series X console.
Enlarge / Microsoft’s Xbox Series X console.

Video game deals

The subversive deck-building game <em>Inscryption </em>made our list of the best games of 2021.
Enlarge / The subversive deck-building game Inscryption made our list of the best games of 2021.

Devolver Digital

<em>Untitled Goose Game </em>is a silly puzzle game about being an annoying goose.
Enlarge / Untitled Goose Game is a silly puzzle game about being an annoying goose.

Panic

The just-released <em>Kirby and the Forgotten Land</em> is a breezy and straightforward 3D adventure.
Enlarge / The just-released Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a breezy and straightforward 3D adventure.
Anker's ultracompact PowerPort III Nano can charge newer iPhones at their maximum speeds.
Enlarge / Anker’s ultracompact PowerPort III Nano can charge newer iPhones at their maximum speeds.

Corey Gaskin

Accessories and miscellaneous deals



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