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Best Apple MacBook Black Friday deals: Save almost $200 on the M1 MacBook Air (Update: Expired)

You can get Apple's latest MacBook for as low as $800 right now.

Update, 8:35 a.m. PT: Most of these prices have now expired, but we expect them to return later this month.

Apple just announced its latest, greatest MacBook Pro models -- but for many users, the MacBook Air is still the sweetspot. The good news is that the current MacBook Air model is back on sale and within $50 of its best price ever. With prices starting at $800, in fact, the Air already appears to be sold out at Amazon. 

These are the latest 2020 version of the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, both of which use Apple's fast M1 chip. Our tests of the M1 machines show a significant performance increase over their Intel predecessors, which are increasingly tough to find and should be avoided for most users. Plus, the M1 MacBook Air boasts a fanless design for silent operation.

Note that the 13-inch MacBook Pro doesn't give a huge performance boost over the Air. If you're looking for more power for serious video editing, media creation or other CPU-intensive tasks, opt for the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models instead.

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 latest MacBook Air starts at $999 before discounts; the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299. There are a couple of ways to grab either at a discount.

Want to buy new? Third-party retailers are where you'll nearly always find the best price. But one benefit of paying full price and buying from Apple is that 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.

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, up to $200. Rick Broida, CNET's Cheapskate emeritus, is a big fan of refurbs, particularly Apple's -- which are often as good as new.

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 MacBook laptop deals currently available for Apple's current and previous-generation MacBooks. We update this list periodically.

Read moreTesting out the 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 $800 $750
New MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,249 $1,050 $1,000
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (256GB) $1,299 $1,199 $1,050
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,499 $1,250 $1,250

*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 latest MacBook Air starts at $999 and features Apple's M1 processor, which has an eight‑core CPU, a seven‑core GPU and a 16‑core Neural Engine. The fanless 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. We're currently seeing these for about $200 off, or within $50 of their best price ever.

Read our MacBook Air (M1) review.

 

You're receiving price alerts for Apple MacBook Air M1 (256GB, space gray)
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. That's a nice upgrade, as the 256GB model above will fill up quickly for many people. 

Read our MacBook Air (M1) review.

 

You're receiving price alerts for Apple MacBook Air M1 (256GB, space gray)
Dan Ackerman/CNET

The 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro uses Apple's 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. 

Apple

The step-up MacBook Pro model doubles the storage capacity with a 512GB SSD and costs $1,499 from Apple. Nearly every MacBook Pro user will appreciate the larger SSD. 256GB of storage is criminally small on a Pro-level laptop designed for creative work.

You're receiving price alerts for MacBook Pro M1 2020 (512GB SSD): $1,250