The Lightning-based Backbone One controller is down to its best price yet SuperNayr

If you want to reliably hit headshots and combos on your smartphone, there’s no substitute for a mobile gaming controller that adds proper physical controls. Our favorite for the task is still the Backbone One, and now through March 10th, you can save 30 percent on the original Lightning version in black, which is down to $69.99 ($30 off) at Amazon, Target, and direct from Backbone. You can also pick up the PlayStation Edition, which comes in white and has button labels corresponding to Sony’s controllers, for $69.99 ($30 off) at Amazon, Target, and Backbone.

The original Backbone One supports the iPhone 14 and older, Lightning-based models. (If you own an iPhone 15 variant, you’ll need the Backbone One with USB-C, which isn’t on sale.) It gives your smartphone a stable cradle and flanks it with standard gaming controls that make mobile titles much easier to play, and it includes a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can use wired headphones to enjoy game audio, plus a microphone for chatting. The Backbone One’s buttons don’t have the same satisfying travel and feel as more substantial controllers, but it beats losing focus and having your fingers take up half the screen as you peck around for software controls. It’s also compatible with Backbone’s software, which can help you organize your mobile games and streaming services.

Given Apple just announced a new, M3-based MacBook Air, it sounds as though it might not employ its usual over-the-top pomp for the incoming iPad Air refresh after all. If you’re not interested in the rumored embiggening of the iPad Air before hearing official details, however, you can save a bit by picking up the fifth-gen iPad Air, which is receiving a $150 discount in various storage configurations. The 64GB / Wi-Fi model is available for around $449 at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, while the 256GB / Wi-Fi model starts at $599.99 at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target. Each matches its respective all-time low.

Released in 2022, the fifth-gen Air was first in the line to use Apple’s M1 chipset, which gives it power comparable to the 2021 iPad Pro. It even resembles the more substantial Pro models in terms of hardware design and borrows a few of its features, including a 12-megapixel camera with Center Stage and a USB-C port. In fact, the Air’s 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display fits into a chassis with roughly the same dimensions as the 11-inch iPad Pro (both are even compatible with the same Magic Keyboard).

Compared to Pro models, the iPad Air lacks a lidar camera and Face ID (it uses Touch ID for biometric unlocking). It’s also missing the Pro’s 120Hz ProMotion variable refresh rate display, along with the Mini LED panel found on the 12.9-inch model. There are fewer total speakers, too, with just two compared to the Pro’s four. Otherwise, though, it has all the essentials needed to enjoy iPadOS in a comfortably wieldable form factor, including support for the second-gen Apple Pencil.

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