If an Apple laptop is at the top of your wish list this holiday season, you could save a bit of money by checking out some of the Black Friday sales. Whether you’re in the market for a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or MacBook for yourself or for a loved one, you can score discounts as high as $650 by shopping around.
In years past, the best bargains on Apple’s laptops were found by shopping at retailers other than Apple. That means that unless you’re looking for the experience of Apple Store elves clad in red and green t-shirts, your pocketbook will be better served by going elsewhere. But before you spend your hard-earned cash, be sure to read our reviews and buying guides prior to heading to the stores on Black Friday. In the meantime, here are some of the best bargains on Apple’s notebooks this holiday:
MacBook Pro (2018)
If you want Apple’s most powerful laptop, most retailers will offer some savings on this year’s MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar in 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch display sizes. These models have the Touch Bar included, as well as the third-generation butterfly keyboard and 8th-gen processors. The high-end, 15-inch models even include a six-core processor, which makes it the most powerful MacBook ever made.
- Best Buy: The big-box retailer advertises up to $250 off of the MacBook Pro, so models, configurations, and selections can vary by stores. Best Buy’s MacBook Pro Black Friday page won’t be live until the sale starts on November 22.
- B&H Photo and Video: Compared to Best Buy, B&H is only offering a modest $100 to $150 off of the current 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar. However, you may be able to save even more if you live outside of New York or New Jersey, as B&H doesn’t charge sales tax when items are shipped outside of those two states.
- Adorama: Adorama is offering discounts ranging between $100 to $300 off of its MacBook Pro inventory this year. At the high-end, Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive is now priced at $2,499, down from $2,799, while the 13-inch model enjoys a $100 discount, taking the price down to $1,699 for a Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB solid-state drive. Like B&H, if you live outside of New York and New Jersey, Adorama won’t charge you sales tax.
MacBook Pro (2017)
If you don’t necessarily need the latest or greatest from Apple, going with last year’s mid-2017 MacBook Pro models will generally give you even bigger savings. Though you’re getting a slightly older 7th-generation Intel processor instead of this year’s 8th-generation silicon, you’ll likely find steep discounts on models with upgraded memory or storage. Be aware that you’ll only get a second-generation keyboard with butterfly switches and all the troubles that those keys bring by going with last year’s model. In addition, this is the only MacBook Pro you can get without the Touch Bar, which we never really liked very much anyways.
- B&H: Going with last year’s model will save you up to $650 off of a 15-inch MacBook Pro or $400 off of the smaller 13-inch model. Either way, you’re still getting a pretty powerful system and saving some cash in the process. The mid-2017 13-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel dual-core Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive is $1,899 after the discount, while the mid-2017 15-inch model is $650 off, bringing the final price down to $2,149 for a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 discrete graphics configuration. Again, if you’re not living in New York or New Jersey, you’ll also save on sales taxes.
- Adorama: You’ll find savings of $50 to $600 off of last year’s MacBook Pro models. Adorama offers a wide range of discounts, depending on the configuration. A 13-inch mopdel with a Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD retails for $1,699 after a $600 discount. If you want discrete graphics, going with a 15-inch model, Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, and AMD Radeon Pro 555 graphics will cost you $2,199 after a $400 discount. For those who don’t care for the Touch Bar, Adorama’s deal on the 13-inch model with 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and Core i5 processor without Touch Bar or Touch ID will cost you $1,249 after a $50 savings.
MacBook 12-inch (mid-2017)
Given that Apple’s MacBook rivals — the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — were both recently refreshed this year, there aren’t as many deals on the 12-inch Mac laptop this year. However, if you look hard enough, you’ll still be able to score some nice savings if you’re going for a MacOS-equipped notebook that’s lightweight and compact. Like the 2017 MacBook Pro, you’ll only find the second-generation keyboard with butterfly siwtches on the MacBook Pro, where issues with sticky keys have been widely documented.
- B&H: Select configurations of Apple’s 12-inch MacBook are on sale for up to $100 off right now. The 1.2GHz dual-core Intel Core m3 model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage retails for $1,199 after discount, while an upgraded model with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB storage is $50 off for a final price of $1,899.
- Adorama: You’ll find a limited selection of MacBook models on discount, and the biggest savings we found is for $50 off the Space Gray model with an Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage. After the discount, the notebook retails for $1,249.
MacBook Air (2018)
The MacBook Air is one of the most popular laptops among Apple fans, and for good reason — the notebook had initially ushered in the popular Ultrabook craze by delivering powerful performance in a thin and light body. This year, the Air was been completely redesigned with a new screen that Apple’s calling all-glass, and it comes with a new third-generation keyboard with butterfly switches. If the Air is beckoning you, here are a few good deals.
- B&H: B&H currently lists this year’s MacBook Air as being a “preorder” item, so it’s unclear how soon you’ll get the item if you place your preoder right now. However, if you’re patient, you can score between $100 to $150 on the laptop, and there are plenty of configurations that are discounted. Apple’s base configuration with a dual-core Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD is now $1,099 after a $100 discount, while a mid-range offering with 16GB RAM and 256GB is $150 off for a final price of $1,449.
- Adorama: Like B&H, the 2018 MacBook Pro models are listed as preorder items on Adorama. If you’re looking for a MacBook Air with upgraded specs, Adorama offers $100 discounts on select models. A configuration with a Core i5 prorcessor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD retails for $1,699 after the $100 discount.
MacBook Air (2017)
In general, we don’t recommend people buy the older MacBook Air. It has a very old processor, as well as a low-resolution screen. Still, if all you care about is the cheapest possible laptop with an Apple logo on it, you can still pick up this older model at some significant discounts. It’s the only MacBook you can purchase with a price south of the $1,000 mark — just be warned about how outdated it is.
- Best Buy: You can score as much as $200 off of last year’s MacBook Air at Best Buy, bringing the price down to just $799. The 13.3-inch laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB memory, and 128GB solid-state drive normally retails for $999. Best Buy’s deal is valid between November 22 and 24.
- B&H: You can save up to $120 instantly off of the mid-2017 Air, and unlike the Best Buy deal, you don’t have to wait until Black Friday to score B&H’s promotion. At its discounted price of $879, you’re getting similar specifications to the Best Buy deal. You can also upgrade to a configuration with a 256GB drive for $1,079, or upgrade to a Core i7 processor and 256GB of storage for $1,249 for a savings of $100. Again, if you’re not a New Jersey or New York resident, you can benefit from not having to pay sales tax.
- Adorama: Last year’s MacBook Air only gets a modest $50 discount at Adorama, bringing the price down to $949 for the model with a Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD. You’ll be able to save on sales tax on top of the savings if you don’t reside in New York or New Jersey.
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