Apple made a significant move last fall away from Intel chips toward its, and we’re already seeing price breaks on the new M1-powered machines. You’ll find discounts on Apple’s new and , and there are deeper discounts available from retailers on Apple’s older Intel-based MacBooks — up to $300 off the step-up model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. And for the first time, Apple is now offering refurbished M1 MacBook Airs for a $150 or $190 discount.
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. And Apple still sells two higher-end configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel parts and has stated that it willfor years to come.
While you might be tempted by a discount on an older, Intel-based MacBook, it had better be significant in order to pass on a new M1 MacBook.show a significant performance increase over their predecessors. Plus the M1 MacBook Air boasts a fanless design for silent operation.
Pricing for new M1 MacBooks
The new MacBooks maintain the pricing of the models they replaced. The new MacBook Air starts at $999, and the new MacBook Pro starts at $1,299.
Apple this week began selling refurbished M1 MacBook Air models. Previously, only Intel-based MacBooks were available as cost-saving refurbs. And while the M1 MacBook Pro isn’t available as a refurb, you can get a refurbished M1 MacBook Air from Apple for a discount. A refurbished baseline M1 MacBook Air is $849 for $150 in savings, and a refurbished step-up model of the M1 MacBook Air is $1,059 for $190 in savings. CNET’s resident Cheapskate is , particularly Apple’s, which are often as good as new.
Want to buy new? Currently, you’ll find a $50 discount on the step-up $1,249 model of the M1 MacBook Air on Amazon. (The baseline MacBook Air was discounted by $49 two weeks ago, but that price break has disappeared.) Both M1 MacBook Pro models are currently discounted — the baseline model by $80 and the step-up model by $100.
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 solid-state drive, whereas the models sold on Amazon and other retailers are fixed configurations.
It’s also worth noting that the, 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.
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||$999||$950|
|New MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (512GB)||$1,249||$1,199||$1,175|
|New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (256GB)||$1,299||$1,219||$1,199|
|New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (512GB)||$1,499||$1,399||$1,399|
|MacBook Air w/ 10th-gen Core i3 (256GB)||$999||$929||$850|
|13-inch MacBook Pro w/ 8th-gen Core i5 (256GB)||$1,299||$1,099||$1,049|
|16-inch MacBook Pro w/ 9th-gen Core i7 (512GB)||$2,399||$2,149||$2,079|
*Note that “all-time” means the best price that we’ve seen at an Apple-authorized retailer in the product’s lifetime.
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.
The step-up MacBook Air model 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. Amazon’s prices are currently jumping around, and — strangely — list discounts that don’t line up with the Apple Store price. This model is currently selling for $1,200 on Amazon, which is $50 less than you’d pay from Apple.
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 $80 off at Amazon, but if you want to upgrade the RAM on a new MacBook Pro you’ll need to buy from Apple.
The step-up MacBook Pro model doubles the storage capacity with a 512GB SSD and costs $1,499 from Apple. Amazon has it right now for $1,399, which is the lowest price we’ve seen for this model.
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 $70 less than its $999 list price at B&H in gold or silver. 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.
The baseline Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro has a list price of $1,299 and is currently selling for $200 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.
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 is selling at a $200 discount at Amazon. (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.