It's not the cheapest tablet around, but the iPad mini is sure to be on many Christmas wish lists this year. You can read our review here, and watch our video review, but where's the best place to buy an iPad mini?
Where to buy an iPad mini: cheapest price
If price is your main concern, it's probably worth pointing out that the cheapest iPad mini is the 16GB Wi-Fi only model. This comes in black or white, and the price doesn't include one of Apple's Smart Covers. You'll want to budget for a case or cover of some sort, as there's no protection once it's out of the box.
Note that the Wi-Fi only model does not have a GPS receiver - only the 3G/4G models have GPS.
Price comparison sites
If you're after the lowest price, our usual advice for all gadgets applies. Check price comparison websites such as Kelkoo, Pricerunner and Google Shopping to find the best current deal. However, you'll often find that 'too good to be true' prices are often exactly that: retailers use tricks such as prices that don't include VAT or delivery, or tempt you with free delivery which applies only if you spend thousands of pounds.
It's hard to buy new Apple products at a discount, so chances are you won't find a much better deal this way.
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Another tip is to sign up with one or more cashback website. Examples include Quidco and Top Cashback. These services work by providing a customised link to a retailer's website and - when you buy a product - they're paid a commission for supplying you as a customer. This commission is paid to you. The only catch is that you may have to pay the service a yearly fee (Quidco takes the first £5 of your cashback for example).
There are lots of websites that list all the latest vouchers and discounts, so keep an eye on vouchers for any shops that sell the iPad mini. You can often find a voucher for Tesco Direct, which sells the mini, and you might be able to get £10 to £20 off. Sometimes the discount applies only if you buy an accessory - such as a case - as well.
Where to buy an iPad mini: longest warranty
Discounts are all well and good, but for some people it's crucial to have something to fall back on if something goes wrong. Most retailers will offer the standard one-year warranty, but John Lewis offers an extra year for free (but charges the full retail price of course).
If your iPad mini develops a fault in the first year, you can return it to an Apple store even if you didn't buy it there, but you won't be able to get a refund from Apple - you will have to take it back to the retailer where you bought it. If there's a problem during the second year, you'll have to deal with John Lewis.
You may be aware of talk about the EU statutory warranty which says that products must be warrantied for two years. However, Apple is sticking to the letter of this law, and you'll only get your iPad mini repaired or replaced if you - the customer - can prove the fault existed when you took delivery of the tablet. Faults arising after delivery are covered only by AppleCare Protection.
AppleCare, of course, is simply an extended warranty which will set you back £69 for an extra year's warranty. Given that John Lewis effectively offers this free, you're better off buying an iPad mini there.
Where to buy an iPad mini: best customer support
Few would argue that Apple provides the best customer support for the iPad mini. Although not everyone lives close to an Apple store, those who do can book an appointment at the Genius bar online, turn up at the store and have someone look at the problem.
Apple is well known for its no-quibble attitude and generosity when it comes to replacing defective products with new ones, but that's within the warranty period.
For technical support, you can also use the Genius bar, but there's also an online chat system on Apple's website, and the forums are full of knowledgeable users who will provide swift answers.