Early Prime Day Apple MacBook deals: MacBook Pro M1 at lowest price yet with $199 discount


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This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

You can save $200 on Apple’s new M1 MacBook Pro right now on Amazon and up to $100 on the M1 MacBook Air. Apple made a significant move last fall away from Intel chips toward its own Apple silicon M1 design, and we’re seeing some big discounts on the new M1-powered machines. With their current price breaks, the baseline and step-up MacBook Pro models are at their lowest prices ever. And there are even deeper discounts available on Apple’s older Intel-based MacBooks.

The MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro lines received the M1 update, but the big 16-inch MacBook Pro still uses an Intel Core i7 or i9 chip. Apple still sells two higher-end configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel parts and has stated that it will support all the Intel-powered Macs for years to come. 

While you might be tempted by a discount on an Intel-based MacBook, it had better be significant to convince you to get that instead of a new M1 MacBook. Our tests of the M1 machines show a significant performance increase over their predecessors. Plus, the M1 MacBook Air boasts a fanless design for silent operation.

Read moreA pro photographer tests Apple’s M1 MacBook

Pricing for new M1 MacBooks

The new MacBooks maintain the pricing of the models they replaced: the new MacBook Air starts at $999; the new MacBook Pro starts at $1,299. There are a couple of ways to grab either at a discount.

Want to go the refurb route? You can now find refurbished M1 MacBooks on Apple’s Certified Refurbished Mac page. Refurb inventory changes rapidly so you may not always see an M1 MacBook Air or Pro listed. It’s worth keeping an eye out, however, because you can lock in substantial savings of up to $200. CNET’s resident Cheapskate, Rick Broida, is a big fan of refurbs, particularly Apple’s — which are often as good as new.

Want to buy new? The baseline M1 MacBook Air model has a $49 discount and the step-up model with a 512GB solid-state drive has a $100 discount on Amazon. There are bigger savings on Amazon for the M1 MacBook Pro; the baseline model is discounted by $150 and the step-up model with a 512GB SSD is $200 off. One benefit of paying full price and buying from Apple, however, is you can customize the machine and add more RAM or a higher capacity SSD, whereas the models sold on Amazon and other retailers are fixed configurations.

It’s also worth noting that the Apple Store offers students an educational discount, which can trim hundreds of dollars from the price of a new laptop or tablet.

Keep reading to see the best prices currently available for Apple’s current and previous-generation MacBooks. We update this list periodically.

Read moreTesting out the entire new Apple Mac M1 lineup

MacBook discounts, compared

Model w/ CPU (and storage capacity) List price Best price (current) Best price (all-time)
New MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (256GB) $999 $949 $899
New MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,249 $1,149 $1,100
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (256GB) $1,299 $1,150 $1,149
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,499 $1,300 $1,349
MacBook Air w/ 10th-gen Core i3 (256GB) $999 $949 $850
13-inch MacBook Pro w/ 8th-gen Core i5 (256GB) $1,299 $1,049 $1,049
16-inch MacBook Pro w/ 9th-gen Core i7 (512GB) $2,399 $2,399 $2,079

*Note that “all-time” means the best price that we’ve seen at an Apple-authorized retailer in the product’s lifetime.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The new, fanless MacBook Air starts at $999 and features Apple’s M1 processor that has an eight‑core CPU, seven‑core GPU and 16‑core Neural Engine. The system also supplies 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It lacks the Touch Bar (which could be viewed as a net positive) but features a 13.3-inch Retina display, Touch ID and the Magic keyboard. Amazon is selling it with a $50 discount, which is only half the savings we saw for this model last month.

Read our MacBook Air (M1) review.

 

Apple

The step-up MacBook Air model has a list price of $1,249 and delivers the M1 processor with a slight difference from the baseline model — it has an eight-core GPU versus the seven cores you get in the model above. More significantly, it doubles the storage capacity with a 512GB SSD. You can get this model in gold at a $100 discount; silver and space gray offer half the savings.

Read our MacBook Air (M1) review.

 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro uses Apple’s new M1 processor, which is an eight-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores, an eight-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine. The baseline model also features 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a Retina display, the Magic keyboard and the Touch Bar with Touch ID. The baseline config is currently $99 off at Amazon in either silver or space gray, which is less than the $150 discount we saw last month.

Apple

The step-up MacBook Pro model doubles the storage capacity with a 512GB SSD and costs $1,499 from Apple, both the silver and space gray models have an even steeper discount. The price is listed at $1,349, but you get an extra $49 off at checkout for a total of $199 in savings. 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The baseline Intel-based MacBook Air model features a 10th-gen Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD as well as the updated Magic Keyboard. It’s currently selling for $50 less than its $999 list price in silver at B&H. This discount shouldn’t be enough to tempt you over the new M1-based Air, especially since students may be eligible for a discount on the new M1-based model with the Apple Store’s educational discount.

Read our 2020 MacBook Air review.

 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The baseline Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro has a list price of $1,299 and is currently selling for $250 less than that at B&H. It features an eighth-gen 1.4GHz Core i5 processor along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. (The step-up model with a 512GB SSD is also $200 off at B&H.) Either way, I’d still spend a bit more for the newer M1 MacBook Pro if your budget allows. Or opt for the new M1 MacBook Air for even less.

Read our 2020 MacBook Pro hands-on.

 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

The current 16-inch MacBook Pro was the lone MacBook line not to receive an M1 upgrade. It features a ninth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics and a 512GB SSD. It boasts a bigger screen with a higher resolution than its smaller, 13-inch sibling. This model in space gray was selling at a $200 discount at Amazon, but those savings have disappear. (The step-up model, which bumps up the CPU to an eight-core Core i9 chip, the GPU to the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M and the storage capacity to 1TB, is currently $300 off at Amazon.) Unless you have an urgent need for a giant MacBook Pro, it would be prudent to wait until Apple delivers an M1 update to this line.

Read our 16-inch MacBook Pro review.

 



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