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Best Apple MacBook deals: Save $149 on an M1 MacBook Air, $100 on M1 MacBook Pro

You can get Apple's latest MacBook for as low as $850 right now at Amazon.

Last week's Apple event introduced the iPhone 13Apple Watch 7iPad Mini 6 and a new entry-level iPad but nary a new MacBook. Apple introduced the first MacBooks with its own Apple silicon M1 chip last fall, and new models could be announced as early as next month. New 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros are expected, along with a revamped MacBook Air. The new machines could introduce an M2 (M1X?) processor, and the next MacBook Pro models are rumored to announce the return of the MagSafe charger, the HDMI port and the SD card slot -- while jettisoning the Touch Bar in favor of physical keys. 

It's probably best to wait to see if an October Apple event materializes before plunking down for a new MacBook, but if you're ready to buy a first-gen M1 MacBook, you'll find big price breaks right now -- some of the biggest to date, in fact. You can save $149 on a M1 MacBook Air and $100 on a M1 MacBook Pro. Amazon is selling the MacBook Air for as low as $850 and the MacBook Pro for as low as $1,199. For some MacBook deals on Amazon, you'll see an initial discount with additional savings added at checkout.

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 new M1 MacBook Air models are discounted by $149 right now on Amazon, while the MacBook Pro discounts have shrunk to $99 or $100 -- down from the $150 price breaks on offer earlier this month 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 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 $850 $750
New MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,249 $1,100 $1,000
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (256GB) $1,299 $1,199 $1,050
New MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,499 $1,400 $1,250
16-inch MacBook Pro w/ 9th-gen Core i7 (512GB) $2,399 $2,285 $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. The rose gold model is currently selling at a $149 discount at Amazon -- $49 off initially plus an additional $100 at checkout.

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. Like the baseline model, the 512GB model is $149 off in space gray or gold at Amazon -- $100 up front and another $49 at checkout. Most people will benefit from the added storage space; a 256GB drive fills up fast.

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 $100 off at Amazon in space gray -- down from the $149 discount we saw earlier this month.

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 in silver with a $99 discount at Amazon. As with the baseline model, this discount is smaller than the price break of $149 that was on offer earlier this month. 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.

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 $114 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.