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Best Apple MacBook deals for 2020: The new MacBook Air is on sale for $949

That's a $50 discount on the brand-new model.

03-macbook-air-2019-and-macbook-pro-2019

The new 2020 MacBook Air.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple recently introduced a new MacBook Air and it's already on sale. Now selling at B&H Photo (and Amazon) for $949, the 2020 version of Apple's most portable laptop features the Magic Keyboard first introduced on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. There's also 10th-gen Intel processors, a new Force Touch trackpad and 256GB of storage for the entry-level configuration. 

All of that is indisputably great -- with the possible exception of the processor. The previous entry-level model featured Intel's eighth-gen dual-core i5 CPU. The new one comes with Intel's 10th-gen dual-core i3 chip, and upgrading to the Core i5 will tack on an extra $100. Oh, and the webcam specs remain inexplicably ancient, still stuck at a mere 720p resolution. Still, it's a mostly solid upgrade for a terrific laptop now selling at a reasonable price.

MacBook discounts, compared

Model List price Best price (current) Best price (all-time)
MacBook Air 2020 (256GB SSD) $999 $949 $949
MacBook Air 2019 (128GB SSD) $900 $899 $800
13-inch MacBook Pro 2019 (128GB SSD) $1,300 $1,279 $1,050
16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 (128GB SSD) $2,399 $2,225 $2,099

A word of caution: Third-party retailers are still trying to get rid of older MacBook Air laptops. Amazon is currently selling a 2017-era Air for $750 -- casually labeling it a "previous model." The confusing listings will eventually be tidied up, but it's more important than ever to pay careful attention to specs while shopping. 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.

Note: Though we may include Amazon links below -- it often has the lowest price on Apple products -- bear in mind that the retailer is delaying some shipments of nonessential items by up to a month in the US

Here are the best deals we've found for each MacBook Air and MacBook Pro model, regularly updated. 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

The classic MacBook Air makes some big improvements and even cuts the starting price, making it a hard-to-beat go-to for students, creatives and almost anyone else. (And speaking of students, the Apple Store educational discount brings the price of the new MacBook Air down to $899 for eligible buyers.) Read our 2020 MacBook Air review.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

B&H Photo is offering $200 off the previous-generation MacBook Air that Apple released in mid-2019. That makes it about $50 cheaper than the 2020 model, which is also now selling at a discount. 

Last year's edition comes with an Intel Core i5 processor that's older but almost certainly more powerful than the new Core i3 model powering the baseline 2020 model. Other compromises: This 2019 model is equipped with only 128GB of SSD capacity (versus 256GB in the new model), and -- the big one -- you're stuck with the inferior butterfly keyboard. Read our 2019 MacBook Air preview.

Sarah Tew/CNET

B&H Photo has a nominally lower price than the Apple Store for the base model 2019 MacBook Pro. This laptop is now the only one in Apple's current lineup saddled with that pesky butterfly keyboard -- and it's been on sale for $1,050 in recent weeks. Read our 13-inch MacBook Pro preview.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A greatest-hits compilation of MacBook features, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro features a bigger screen with a higher resolution; upgrades to processor, GPU, RAM and storage options; and a much-improved keyboard. We've recently seen this model on sale for $2,100 -- so, if you can, it's worth holding out for a better deal. Read our 16-inch MacBook Pro review.

Now playing: Watch this: Hands-on with the 2020 MacBook Air
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