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Today’s best deals: iPad Air, recommended board games, and gaming mice

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

The time has come for another Dealmaster. Our latest roundup of the best tech deals from around the web includes a handy deal for Apple’s newest iPad Air, which is down to $559 at Amazon and Walmart. Outside of a very brief drop to $549 last month, this is the lowest price we’ve seen for the 10.9-inch tablet, which only launched in March and goes for an MSRP of $600.

As we’ve noted before, the new Air is a good middle ground between the cheaper 10.2-inch iPad and the higher-end iPad Pro. It lacks the higher refresh rate, better speakers, and greater storage space (at 128GB) of the latter, but its M1 chip makes it virtually as fast, its USB-C port and front-facing camera are improved over the previous generation, and its ample display and accessory support keep it well-suited to both media consumption and casual work. The base iPad is still the best value for most, but if you’d prefer to avoid that tablet’s more dated design and lower performance ceiling, the M1-equipped Air should be a better buy than the Pro until the latter receives a refresh. You can read our review for a deeper dive.

Besides iPads, our deals roundup includes a strong discount on Terraforming Mars, a popular board game we’ve previously recommended in our ultimate board game gift guide. It’s available for $38 as of this writing, which is the lowest price we’ve tracked in well over a year. We included this one in the “heavier fare” section of our gift guide, so it’ll likely be a bit too complex, lengthy (at two-plus hours a game), and challenging for relative newbies. But for more involved players, it should provide an engaging and deeply replayable card-drafting game, one where players are tasked with turning the red planet green. Again, you can have a look at our review for more details.

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