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Best MacBook deals: Save $49 on 14-inch MacBook Pro, $100 on a MacBook Air

Amazon is offering a rare discount on the 14-inch MacBook Pro right now, plus larger price breaks on the smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

The big news with MacBook deals right now is a $49 discount on the 14-inch MacBook Pro. Why is such a small price break big news? For the simple fact that Apple's newest MacBook has been selling at full price, with rare exceptions, since it was introduced last November. Right now you can get the 14-inch MacBook Pro at Amazon for $49 less than you'd pay if you bought it from Apple. There are no discounts to be found, however, for the 16-inch MacBook Pro -- the other model that features Apple's new M1 Pro chip.

If you don't need the power of a Pro model, you can save $100 on the MacBook Air. And you can save $150 on the slightly older 13-inch model of the MacBook Pro. It lacks the M1 Pro processor of its bigger 14- and 16-inch Pro siblings but still features Apple's excellent M1 chip -- a big step up from the previous Intel-based MacBook Pro.

We'll keep our eyes on the prices for all of Apple's current MacBook models and keep this page updated with with any notable drops and deals throughout the year, so be sure to check back.

Pricing for Apple's MacBooks

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,499. If you don't need the power of these high-end MacBooks nor the budget, you can spend less on the M1-powered MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro. The MacBook Air starts at $999, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 when buying from Apple directly.

To recap, you can save $100 on the MacBook Air and up to $150 on the higher-end 13-inch MacBook Pro. 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 moreMacBook Pro 2021 16-inch review: Apple's M1 Max chip meets retro ports

MacBook discounts, compared

Model w/ CPU (and storage capacity) List price Best price (current) Best price (all-time)
13.3-inch MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (256GB) $999 $899 $750
13.3-inch MacBook Air w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,249 $1,149 $1,000
13-inch MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (256GB) $1,299 $1,199 $1,050
13-inch MacBook Pro w/ M1 chip (512GB) $1,499 $1,349 $1,250
14-inch MacBook Pro w/ M1 Pro chip (512GB) $1,999 $1,950 $1,799
14-inch MacBook Pro w/ M1 Pro chip (1TB) $2,499 $2,499 $2,450
16-inch MacBook Pro w/ M1 Pro chip (512GB) $2,499 $2,499 $2,450
16-inch MacBook Pro w/ M1 Pro chip (1TB) $2,699 $2,699 $2,650
16-inch MacBook Pro w/ M1 Max chip (1TB) $3,499 $3,499 $3,499

*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 from Apple 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. It's pretty slim pickings on deals at the moment, but your best bet is Amazon, where you can save $100 on the 256GB model. And you can get the more useful 512GB model for $1,149 at Amazon, which is also $100 less than you'll pay from the Apple Store. Most laptop buyers will benefit from the added storage; a 256GB SSD can fill up fast.

Read our MacBook Air (M1) review.

 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Originally released in 2020, this is the latest model of the 13-inch Pro. It comes equipped with 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. It also features 8GB of RAM, a Retina display, the Magic Keyboard and the Touch Bar with Touch ID. The step-up model with a 512GB SSD is $150 off at Amazon, and you can save $100 on the base model that comes with a meager 256GB of storage.

Apple

The baseline model of the new 14-inch MacBook Pro costs $1,999 and features an eight-core M1 Pro chip, a 14-core GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. The $2,499 step-up model features a 10-core M1 Pro chip, a 16-core GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. The 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display has a 3,024x1,964-pixel resolution. The base model in space gray is $49 off right now on Amazon, a rare price break on this new model for which discounts have been few and far between.

Read our 14-inch MacBook Pro review.

 

Apple

The baseline model of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro costs $2,499 and features a 10-core M1 Pro chip, a 16-core GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512B SSD. There are two step-up models. The $2,699 model upgrades the storage to a 1TB SSD, and the $3,499 model features the M1 Max chip, a 32-core GPU, 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. The 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display packs 3,456x2,234 pixels. We've seen a slight $49 discount on Amazon for the 16-inch MacBook Pro off and on and off in the past, but that offer is currently turned off.

Read our 16-inch MacBook Pro review.