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Best Apple MacBook deals: M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro at lowest prices yet

You'll find the big discounts on Apple's latest MacBooks right now on Amazon -- and even bigger savings on the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple introduced the first MacBooks that use its own Apple silicon M1 design last fall, and new models are rumored to be on the horizon. New 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros could appear later this year, along with a revamped MacBook Air. The new machines could introduce an M2 processor, and the next MacBook Pro models are rumored to announce the return of the magnetic MagSafe charger, the HDMI port and the SD card slot -- while jettisoning the Touch Bar in favor of physical keys. 

If you're ready to buy a first-generation M1 MacBook, you'll find big price breaks right now. The biggest to date, in fact. The M1 MacBook Air and M1 MacBook Pro models are selling on Amazon at discounts of $100 to $199 to drop the prices to the lowest we've yet seen.

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; the company 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 buy new? The baseline M1 MacBook Air has a $150 discount on Best Buy, and the step-up model with a 512GB SSD has a $150 discount. This Student Deals discount is amplified by $100 if you add in the My Best Buy discount, making it the lowest price we've seen so far. Both M1 MacBook Pro models are discounted by $199 on Amazon. 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.

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 $750 $750
New MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,249 $1,099 $1,099
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (256GB) $1,299 $1,100 $1,100
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,499 $1,300 $1,300
16-inch MacBook Pro w/ 9th-gen Core i7 (512GB) $2,399 $2,000 $2,000

*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, which has an eight‑core CPU, a seven‑core GPU and a 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. Best Buy is selling it at a $250 discount to bring the price down to $750 -- a return of the lowest price we've seen for the baseline M1 Air.

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 for a lowest-we've-seen-yet $1,099.

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 $199 off at Amazon, the biggest price break we've seen to date.

Apple

The step-up MacBook Pro model doubles the storage capacity with a 512GB SSD and costs $1,499 from Apple, but you can get it for an all-time-low $1,300 right now with Amazon's current $199 discount. Most MacBook Pro users will benefit from the larger solid-state drive.

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 and is currently $399 off 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 $499 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 despite these models dropping to all-time low prices.

Read our 16-inch MacBook Pro review.