The best deals to get an iPad Mini for less

Here are a few simple tips and deals to check out - with tablets on offer for as little as £59 up front.

Tablet PCs are the must-have gift this Christmas, with a touchscreen selling every second in the UK, according to High Street retailers.

But Apple's iPad Mini is the most expensive of the 7-inch tablets -  with prices starting at £269 for the WiFi only 16GB model and running to an eye-watering £529 for the 64GB WiFi and 3G/4G model, it’s out of reach for many budgets.

And as it’s so new, we’re unlikely to see any significant drop in price soon. But there are other ways to make savings on the price…




Buying tips
Here are a few simple tips and deals to check out before you make your Mini purchase.

WiFi or cellular?
WiFi only iPad Minis are £100 cheaper than their equivalently sized 3G-ready siblings and that’s before you factor in data costs, so it’s worth deciding when and where you’ll use yours.

If it’s primarily at home or work, or in public places where WiFi hotspots are common, the WiFi only model represents an instant saving with little to no inconvenience. Consider too that you if you have a compatible smartphone, you can use that as a mobile hotspot to get online using your existing contract’s data allowance.

Storage capacity
Are you going to load your iPad Mini to the gills with music, movies, books and photos so you have access to all your media wherever and whenever you want it? If so, the 64GB model is the one for you.

If you’re happy to manage your media with another device and store less, opt for a 16GB or 32GB model.

Apple charges a lot of money for a little more space, so the best money-saving tip of all is just to opt for the smallest capacity, and manage the memory carefully.



                                      [Related: Get deals on iPad Mini]


Best mobile contracts

If you’ve decided you want 3G/4G iPad

Mini to get online anywhere, there are a wide selection of tariffs from

all the networks to choose between. You’ll pay a fee for the tablet,

then (much like a phone contract) a monthly charge for data.

For buyers who aim to use the device 'on the go', the deals are actually not bad, with 'up front' fees as low as £59. You'll have to sign up for a two-year-contract, though, so unless you're using the data, you will pay over the odds in the long run.

For

heavy data users on the go, a decent contract plan that serves up lots

of data is the best bet, and for that Three is currently delivering the

best deals. The 16GB model is out of stock at the time of writing but

due in soon.

iPad Mini 16GB
Tablet: £59
Data: 15GB
Monthly charge: £29
Contract length: 24 months

Tablet: £99
Data: 15GB
Monthly charge: £25
Contract length: 24 months

iPad Mini 32GB
Tablet: £99
Data: 15GB
Monthly charge: £31
Contract length: 24 months

Tablet: £169
Data: 15GB
Monthly charge: £25
Contract length: 24 months

iPad Mini 64GB
Tablet: £169
Data: 15GB
Monthly charge: £31
Contract length: 24 months

Tablet: £239
Data: 15GB
Monthly charge: £25
Contract length: 24 months


Cashback
Cashback deals and websites are a great way to make savings online, whether they deliver cash in hand rewards, discounts or in-store credit. Check out Quidco and TopCashBack, which are free to join and offer deals with lots of iPad Mini retailers.

Via Quidco you can get £10 off a £300 spend at PC World and 5 per cent cashback, while Topcashback is currently offering 4 per cent cashback on the purchase price of the iPad 4 from the Apple Store.

It’s not only the cost of the actual tablet, there are deals with major network operators on contracts too. These deals do change regularly so it’s worth spending some time checking what’s available and where.




                               [Related: Get deals on iPad Mini]

Voucher codes
In a similar vein to cashback offers, there are some amazing deals to be found on voucher sites like VoucherCodes and HotUKDeals. Just visit the site, search for an iPad Mini and if there’s a voucher available for any applicable retailer it will link you to it. At the time of this article we found a 16GB iPad Mini WiFi for £259 through Tesco with 259 Clubcard points (worth around £10) included. Deals do change fast though.

Second hand
The iPad Mini is so new there are very few second hand deals around at the moment (those available are more expensive than new as they’re available without the wait), and they’re not yet available to buy on the refurbished Apple page. But sites like www.usedmac.co.uk, eBay and of course Amazon will always have something available, and the longer you leave it the better the deals will get.


Contract deals

Here we’ve listed the best current UK deals for home broadband (if you opt for for a WiFi only iPad Mini), network contracts for heavy data use and SIM-only offers for more sporadic data use.

Best home broadband
Currently, the best available deal for unlimited home broadband comes from TalkTalk, which thanks to a half price for nine months deal costs £3.25 a month on top of a pretty typical £14.95 a month line rental. The 12-month contract includes connection fee, wireless router and unlimited weekend and evening calls to UK landlines in the price.

If you’re already an EE, Orange or T-Mobile customer with your phone, you can get a better deal with EE’s fibre broadband introductory offer. For £5 a month plus a £14 line rental, you’ll get unlimited broadband, free wireless router and connection and unlimited weekend and evening calls to UK landlines.




                               [Related: Get deals on iPad Mini]

Best SIM-only deal
A SIM-only deal is useful if you’ve got a 3G/4G compatible iPad, need a SIM, but want to avoid a long contract. Of the main operators, Orange and Three (again!) have the best deals.

Three offers 1GB and 10GB monthly SIM plans for £7.50 and £15 a month respectively on a 30-day rolling contract.

Orange offers 250MB anytime and unlimited BT WiFi access for £5 a month, or 1GB anytime and 1GB quiet time (for use between midnight and 4pm) plus BT WiFi access for £10 a month. Alternatively, you can opt for a pay for what you use plan costing 5.1pence per MB up to a limit of £40 a month.  Both these tariffs are 30-day rolling contracts.