Week’s best Apple buys: Cheapest ever refurb MacBook Air

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Great deals on Apple gear -- and an iPhone case for just a buck!
Great deals on Apple gear -- and an iPhone case for just a buck!
Collage: Cult of Mac

We’ve got items big and small in this week’s roundup of best Apple deals. Whether you want to take advantage of all the latest updates from WWDC 2016, or just want an affordable refurb Mac that will get the job done, read on for savings.

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Apple fixes Activation Lock bug with iOS 9.3 update

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Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Get your iOS device up to date fast and easy.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

A fix for the Activation Lock bug that plagued older devices that upgraded to iOS 9.3 has been released by Apple this morning, after the company pulled iOS 9.3 availability on select iPhones and iPads last week.

Apple pushed out iOS 9.3 build 13E237 to iPad Air and earlier models, as well as the iPhone 5s and earlier models. The previous build bricked those models during Activation Mode due to failed password authorization.

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How to decide which iPad is best for you

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Which one is best for you?
Which iPad model is best for you?
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

With the iPad lineup now verging on unwieldy, it’s harder than ever to decide which Apple tablet to buy. Which iPad is best for you? That’s going to depend on your needs, desires and budget — but your iPad buyer’s guide can help!

Do you go for the massive appeal of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro or opt for the smaller-but-newer (and slightly gimped) 9.7-inch iPad Pro? Will a tiny iPad mini suit you, or should you opt for an iPad Air 2, which is still a very capable, thin tablet?

All good questions! We’re here to help you answer them with this handy iPad comparison, just in time for when the new iPad Pro goes on sale Thursday, March 24 (most likely at 12:01 a.m. Pacific, according to Apple Support).

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Laptop or tablet? Brydge the gap with Bluetooth iPad keyboard case [Reviews]

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Brydge
The BrydgeAir iPad keyboard case is the perfect fit for your iPad Air.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

We all like to carry our gadgets around with us, but there are certainly times when being ultra-portable is apropos to the activity at hand. Say, vacation. I want to be able to take along just my iPad, or perhaps get some writing done in the local coffee shop — and the trendy ones usually have tiny tables that aren’t big enough for a full laptop.

The BrydgeAir iPad keyboard case is an impressive Bluetooth accessory and a fantastic match for the iPad Air. The keyboard allows me to be a bit more productive than I would without an actual keyboard, turning my iPad into a small, MacBook-like, laptop-style tablet.

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Speed test puts every iPad ever made under the gun

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Ready, set, unlock!
Ready, set, unlock!
Photo: EverythingApplePro/YouTube

The iPad lineup has seen a ton of changes since Apple introduced its first tablet in 2010. Not only have the form factors evolved ever so slightly, but the internal components have pushed the product line from a cool reading/gaming device into a powerhouse machine that can replace your laptop.

To see just how much iPad has progressed, EverythingApplePro created a speed test using every iPad ever made. It’s no surprise that the iPad Pro comes out on top, but the original iPad off a shocker by beating some of its successors.

Check it out:

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Ultra-portable keyboard turns your iPad mini into a tiny, adorable Macbook

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Portable, gorgeous, and super-useful.
Portable, gorgeous, and super-useful.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Lust List: iPad mini keyboard by Brydge

We all like to carry our gadgets around with us, but there are definitely times when you’ll want to be ultra portable and just take along, say, your iPad mini on vacation. Or, perhaps you want to get some writing done on the airplane:we all know the seat-back tray is way too small for a full laptop.

This ultra-portable Brydge keyboard is a fantastic match for the iPad mini, letting you be a bit more productive than you would without an actual keyboard. It’s designed to match whichever iPad mini you own, turning the whole thing into an adorably small Macbook-like laptop-style tablet.

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iPad Pro hopes, Woz fears Skynet, and British bar fights on The CultCast

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It all started with Stella Artois...
It all started with Stella Artois...
Photo: By Charles F. Price

This week: why we might be in for big iPad upgrades this year; our expectations for the iPhone 6C; the one feature we hope iPhone 6S will get (but probably won’t); Woz is worried about Skynet again; and… is Apple building a machine for time travel? You’ll have to press play to find out…

Our thanks to HipChat for supporting this episode. HipChat’s team communication app helps all teams work together more effectively, and gets you the information you need faster than email. Get HipChat Plus free for 90 days at hipchat.com/cultofmac.

Show notes ahead, and they’re excellent.

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