Finding a deal on a MacBook isn’t easy. They’re high-end machines, and Apple keeps a pretty tight watch on how they are priced around the internet. On top of that, there is a large selection of models, including the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and 12-inch MacBook, as well as different sizes and configurations to consider.
Throw in the confusing way these products are often labeled on retailers’ websites — as well as the countless used and refurbished models available — and you’ve got a thorough mess. Not to mention the many cheap iPhone and iPad deals there are to consider.
The best MacBook deals
MacBook Air deals
Before 2018, the MacBook Air hadn’t received a serious update for many years. The iconic silver look may have been revolutionary in 2012, but its thick bezels and lower-resolution screen had become outdated over the years. Even though Apple still sells this version, we only recommend it to people with fairly low computing needs. The fifth-generation Intel processor and DDR3 RAM in the 2017 model will make any kind of significant multitasking or heavy software extremely difficult. Still, it is technically the cheapest way into the Mac ecosystem, and that’ll be enough to attract some buyers.
If you’re in the market for an older model so you can save some cash, the 2017 MacBook Air below is going for $629, saving you $520.
Fortunately, toward the end of 2018, Apple finally gave the MacBook Air a complete makeover, bringing it up to speed with the rest of its MacBooks. This new version has a new look — thinner bezels, a smaller chassis, higher-resolution display, only USB-C, and a few more color options like gold and space gray. It also has some of the mainstays of modern Apple laptops such as the low-travel keyboard, oversized trackpad, and Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
While this is still one of the slower options for MacBooks, the 2018 Air does have completely updated specs, which now include an 8th-gen Core i5 dual-core processor. We found it more than capable of handling day-to-day tasks, just don’t expect to be editing 4K video on it. It has the best battery life of all the MacBooks, and also comes with the lowest starting price of $1,099 — reduced from $1,199 by Apple in 2019.
If you’re in the market for the latest MacBook Air from 2018, it’s on sale for $779, which is a full $420 less than Apple’s price. This deal gets you an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD.
In July 2019, Apple stopped selling the 12-inch MacBook on its website and in its stores, but you can still get it from third-party resellers. There are plenty of reasons to opt for it, too. Compared to the Air, not only is the MacBook’s screen smaller, but the device is also extremely thin and light. It hasn’t been updated since 2017, but it has the modern Mac look, including the large trackpad, butterfly-style keyboard, Retina display, and simplified port selection. Aside from a headphone jack, the laptop comes with just a single Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port. That means you can’t plug in a wired mouse and power at the same time, for example, unless you have an adapter.
The most recent version from 2017 received a bump to dual-core, seventh-generation Kaby Lake Intel processors. Like the MacBook Air, we found it to be fast enough to get through a normal day of productivity and web browsing. We’d recommend the 2018 MacBook Air to most people, but for those who want the absolute smallest, most portable MacBook, this is your best option.
Amazon is currently selling the 2015 12-inch MacBook for $599 — netting you a huge $700 off — which gets you an Intel Core m-5Y31 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
MacBook Pro (16-inch) deals
It had been rumored for months, but there was still a sense of excitement when Apple finally unveiled the 16-inch MacBook Pro in mid-November 2019. Many of the rumored features — the higher-resolution display, the new keyboard, and the Navi graphics — proved to be correct.
That means this is the biggest upgrade to the MacBook Pro line since it was totally redesigned in 2016. It takes features that had become standard in the MacBook Pro 15, like the Touch Bar and USB-C ports, and adds all-new features. For example, you can give it an 8TB SSD, the largest SSD available in any laptop, or if you need a huge amount of memory, there’s a 64GB RAM option. If you’re a pro and need power, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the one to get.
The deals have started already. Best Buy is offering $300 off a new 16-inch MacBook Pro, bringing its price down to $2,099. You get a 9th-generation 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics card.
MacBook Pro (13-inch) deals
With its more powerful specs, the MacBook Pro represents the top of the MacBook lineup. These are laptops for people who want to run heavy applications such as Photoshop or Lightroom — or even just for people who want to multitask like nobody’s business. However, there are several important distinctions you should be aware of, even concerning the 13-inch models.
Apple has now added the Touch Bar to all of its 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models. The Touch Bar is a slim OLED touchscreen that takes the place of the function keys and is purpose-built for navigating MacOS and its software. That addition means your main decision now comes down to internal specs and ports, as well as the size of the chassis. Apple updated almost the entire MacBook Pro range in 2019, bringing 8th- and 9th-generation Intel processors, including eight-core chips to the 15-inch Pro for the first time.
Right now, Amazon is doing a great deal on one of Apple’s 13-inch non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro models from 2017 by knocking a whopping $569 off the price. For $730 you get a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, a 128GB SSD, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. It’s a great deal if you want to save yourself some cash by going without the Touch Bar.
If you want the latest MacBook Pro from 2019, we’ve got you covered there too. Apple updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2019 to come with the latest-generation Intel processors, with slight speed bumps to both the base clock and Turbo Boost speeds.
With the MacBook Pro 16 coming out, prices of older MacBook Pro models have been slashed. You can now save a tasty $949 on the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from 2016, bringing its price down to $850. That gives you a dual-core 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. You also get the Touch Bar with this model, giving you extra functionality and quick shortcuts.
MacBook Pro (15-inch) deals
Now that the 16-inch MacBook Pro has replaced its 15-inch sibling, we should start to see some excellent deals appearing for the MacBook Pro 15 as retailers sell off their stock. That’s great news because this is still an excellent laptop to get if you want a good helping of power and portability. The 15-inch MacBook Pro not only has the fastest processors, but it also includes discrete graphics. You can pair up an eight-core Core i9 processor and an AMD Vega 20 GPU, which should handily push through high-resolution video renders and graphics modeling with ease. All versions of the 15-inch MacBook Pro also come with the Touch Bar and four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports.
In May 2019, it was updated with new processors and a tweaked keyboard. The 2019 model now comes with ninth-generation processors up to the whopping eight-core Core i9 for some serious power. And the deals have started rolling in for the latest version, including the corker we’ve found below.
The price of the 15-inch MacBook Pro normally makes it a tough sell, but not anymore — the price of 2016’s high-end model has been slashed by a huge $1,399, bringing it down to $1,000. What do you get with it? A quad-core 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, a 256GB SSD and a Radeon Pro 450 graphics card.
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