Best cheap MacBook deals of October 2020
Fall is here and we’re seeing some of the best MacBook deals right now, ahead of Prime Day 2020.
So whether you’re bargain hunting for the entry level MacBook Air or the power-user friendly MacBook Pro, you’ve come to the right place. We’re currently seeing solid discounts on various configurations of Apple’s stylish, premium notebooks.
Following the release of the 2020 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, Apple unveiled plans to develop its own CPUs. This translates into price drops on previous-gen MacBooks too, so now’s the time to take advantage of excellent savings.
B&H for example is taking $400 off select MacBook Pro machines. For a limited time, the retailer has the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Core i9 CPU on sale for $2,399. Usually, this power user dedicated machine retails for $2,799, so this deal saves you $400. It’s the lowest price we’ve ever seen for this laptop and one of the best MacBook deals available right now. In fact, it undercuts Amazon’s current sale price by $100 before its best Prime Day MacBook deals roll in.
The MacBook on sale packs a 16-inch (3072 x 1920) Retina display, a 2.3-GHz 9th Gen Intel Core i9 8-core CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 1TNB SSD. Rounding out its hardware specs is a Radeon Pro 5300M GPU with 4GB of graphics memory.
We’re here to make sure you never have to pay full price for a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro from the Apple Store. Here are the best MacBook deals you can get right now.
Best MacBook deals today
Best MacBook Pro 2020 deals (Image credit: Apple)Best MacBook Pro 2020 deals
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina LCD | CPU: 1.4 GHz/1.7 GHz/2.0 GHz/2.3 GHz quad-core 8th Gen or 10th Gen Core i5 or Core i7 | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Video: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | Weight: 3.1 lbs. | Feats: Touch ID, Touch Bar, True Tone LCD | Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (four)
New Magic Keyboard
No 14-inch panel
The base model Apple MacBook Pro 2020 starts a $1,299 with 13.3-inch Retina display, 8th Gen Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
Design-wise, the latest MacBook Pro 2020 borrows from the latest MacBook Air 2020. Apple fans will be glad to know that the dreadful Butterfly keyboard is gone for good. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro uses the Magic keyboard with traditional scissor switches.
Another major revamp to the MacBook Pro 2020 is the hardware bump to 10th Gen Intel CPUs. Interestingly, Apple still offers 8th Gen chips on the lower-end models to keep the starting price ($1,299) down. If you want the best performance speed and have room to splurge, we recommend you opt for the MacBook Pro with 10th Gen CPU, which starts at $1,799.
Best deals on 13-inch MacBook Pro 2019 (Late 2019 model) (Image credit: Laptop)Best MacBook Pro 13-inch deals (Late 2019 model)
Faster quad-core performance
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina LCD | CPU: 2.4GHz quad-core Core i5 or 2.8GHz Core i7 | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Video: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | Weight: 2.7 lbs. | Feats: Touch ID, Touch Bar, True Tone LCD | Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (four)
Four Thunderbolt ports
Still pricey for what you get
Need a MacBook Pro with muscle? The 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro is equipped with a snappier Core i5-8279U quad-core CPU and offers 256GB of storage. And instead of just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, it has an array of four. This base model looks identical to the cheaper 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s priced at a steep $1,799.
In our MacBook Pro 13-inch review, we discovered that it delivers better performance than the base model mentioned above. In our tests, we saw no lag as we juggled between 17 open Chrome tabs while running Skype, Slack, and Pixelmator simultaneously.
Historically, we’ve seen this model drop as low as $1,499 over the holiday season. Outside of the holidays, we’ve seen MacBook Pro deals take $100 to $200 off its regular price.
Best Macbook deals on 13-inch MacBook Pro 2019 (Image credit: Laptop Mag)Best MacBook Pro 13-inch deals (base model)
Upgrade to quad-core power
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina LCD | CPU: 1.4GHz quad-core Core i5 or 1.7GHz Core i7 | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Video: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 | Weight: 2.7 lbs. | Feats: Touch ID, Touch Bar, True Tone LCD | Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (two)
Noticeably faster than MacBook Air
Slightly improved keyboard
Pricey for what you get
The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro comes in a variety of flavors and configurations for power users to choose from. The $1,299 base model packs a 1.4GHz Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. The highest configuration is fitted with a 1.7GHz Core i7 CPU.
In our Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 2019 review, we found that it performs better than the 2019 MacBook Air. That’s because it’s powered by either a Core i5-8257U or Core i7-8557U CPU. Both processors are noticeably faster than the dual-core Y-series CPU found in the MacBook Air.
To gauge its performance, we transcoded a 4K clip to 1080p in a video-editing test. The MacBook Pro took just 14 minutes and 42 seconds versus 36 minutes on the Air.
It’s also worth noting that Apple fitted the 13-inch MacBook Pro with its quieter and slightly more comfortable 4th-gen Butterfly keyboard. More importantly, a material upgrade to its mechanism prevents inadvertent double presses.
Best MacBook deals on 16-inch MacBook Pro (Image credit: Laptop Mag)Best MacBook Pro 16-inch deals
Apple’s big screen MacBook Pro
Screen: 16-inch 3072 x 1920 Retina LCD | CPU: 2.6GHz six-core Core i7 or 2.3GHz eight-core Core i7 | Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8TB | RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB | Video: Radeon Pro 5300M to Radeon Pro 5500M | Weight: 4.3 lbs. | Feats: Touch ID, Touch Bar, True Tone LCD, Dolby Atmos | Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (four)
Radically improved Magic Keyboard
Immersive 16-inch display w/ slim bezels
No 4K option
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a beast. The base 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399, which was the same cost of the 15-inch MacBook Pro it replaces. This price gets you a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a Radeon 5300M GPU. The next tier up costs $2,799 and nets you a blazing-fast Core i9 CPU, faster Radeon Pro 5500M graphics, and a massive 1TB SSD.
Besides its obviously larger screen, the 16-inch MacBook Pro boasts a Magic Keyboard. Apple finally ditched the problematic Butterfly keyboard for a scissor mechanism. It also added a concave to the keycap structure and a rubber dome underneath for support. This redesign makes for a better typing experience with 1mm of travel compared to less than 0.8mm previously.
Performance-wise, this MacBook Pro didn’t disappoint and took just 8 minutes to transcode a 6.5GB 4K video to 1080p, just like the Dell XPS 15.
Deals on the expensive 16-inch MacBook Pro are easier to find than you would think. Actually, the deals started trickling in soon after its release and the best markdown we’ve seen so far took $250 off the bast model, dropping it down to $2,149.
Best MacBook deals 15-inch MacBook Pro (Image credit: Future)Best MacBook Pro 15-inch deals
Screen: 15.4-inch 1440 x 900 LCD | CPU: 2.2GHz 6-core Core i7-8750H | Storage: 256GB | RAM: 16GB | Video: Radeon Pro 555X | Weight: 4.02 lbs. | Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (4)
Sharp, colorful display
Still uses Butterfly keyboard
No USB Type-A ports
Apple no longer sells the 15-inch MacBook Pro which was released in June 2019 starting at $2,399. The base model includes a 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, 256GB of SSD storage and a Radeon Pro 555X graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
In our MacBook Pro 15-inch review, we liked its superior speed, sharp, colorful display, and powerful sound. Although it has no USB Type-A ports, its quartet of Thunderbolt 3 ports enabled fast file transfer speeds.
There’s also a maxed-out version of the 15-inch MacBook Pro 2019, which costs $6,549. It packs a 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9980HK processor (the 2.4-GHz version), 32GB of memory, a 4TB SSD and a Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card with 4GB of HBM2 memory.
Best MacBook Air deals
Best MacBook deals on Apple MacBook Air 2020 (Image credit: Future)Best MacBook Air 2020 deals
Apple’s newest base model laptop
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina LCD | CPU: 1.1 10th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processor | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Video: Intel Iris Plus | Weight: 2.8 lbs. | Feats: Magic Keyboard | Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (two)
Great battery life
Clicky and comfy Magic Keyboard
USB Type-C ports only
Performance could be better
Pricing for the new 2020 MacBook Air starts at $999 which is $100 cheaper than the previous-gen model’s entry price. This year’s base model packs a 13.3-inch (2560 x 1600) Retina Display, a 1.1 GHz 10th Gen Intel Core i3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive.
In our MacBook Air 2020 review of the Core i5 variant, the laptop showed no signs of lag in our real worl performance test. Even while juggling 30 open Google Chrome tabs, Adobe Photoshop image resizing, Apple’s new laptop held its own.
Best Macbook deals on Apple MacBook Air 2019 (Image credit: Laptop Mag)Best MacBook Air 2019 deals
Apple’s dual-core, entry-level machine
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina LCD | CPU: 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5-8210Y | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Video: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | Weight: 2.7 lbs. | Feats: Touch ID | Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (two)
Retina, hi-res screen
Underwhelming performance for the price
Pricing for the base 2019 MacBook Air starts at $1,099. It packs a 13.3-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz Core i5-8210Y CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. Yeah, we know that price tag is a tough pill to swallow; however, cheap MacBook Air deals are fairly easy to find.
Oftentimes, Amazon and Best Buy have the base MacBook Air on sale for $899 or $999. During the holidays, the cheapest MacBook Air price we saw was $799. If the 128GB of storage is too paltry for you, the 256GB MacBook Air is also regularly on sale and normally dips to down to $1,099, which is the cheapest it’s ever been.
In terms of performance, in our Apple MacBook Air 2019 review, the Core i5-8210Y dual-core CPU offers just enough oomph for your day-to-day tasks. We opened up a dozen Chrome tabs and streamed a YouTube video at 1080p simultaneously. The MacBook Air didn’t lag at all.
Best MacBook deals on 13-inch MacBook Air (2017) (Image credit: Future)Best MacBook Air 2017 deals
Screen: 13.3-inch 1440 x 900 LCD | CPU: 1.8GHz dual-core Core i5-5350U | Storage: 128GB | RAM: 8GB | Video: Intel HD Graphics 6000 | Weight: 2.9 lbs. | Ports: USB 3 (two), Thunderbolt 2, SDXC slot
Cheapest Mac you’ll find
Uses dated Core i5-5350U CPU
Apple discontinued the 2017 MacBook Air, however, you can still buy it from Amazon and Best Buy. You may be raising an eyebrow at us for bringing up the 3-year old Apple notebook with a dated 5th-gen Intel CPU, but that’s because the 2017 MacBook Air has aged well.
First of all, it’s the last Mac of its kind with a keyboard that we like and recommend. Unlike the shallow keys found on Apple’s current MacBooks, the 2017 MacBook Air’s keyboard offers a pleasant typing experience. Secondly, it has two USB ports, a Thunderbolt 2 port, and an SDXC card slot. Battery-wise, a single charge will get you roughly 10.5 hours of use.
The only drawbacks are the non-Retina display and dated design, but it’s still an excellent machine for basic, everyday computing. In our MacBook Air 2017 review, we liked its long battery life and solid performance. It streamed a 1080p YouTube video while browsing through 12 Safari tabs without even a stutter.
On the deals front, this model hit an all-time price low of $649 on Black Friday 2019. It will be a long while before we see it priced that low again. However, it’s frequently on sale and east to find at $749.
MacBook deals at retailers
Round up of today’s best deals
Macbook Pro 13-inch (2020)
Apple 13″ MacBook Pro w/Touch…
Apple Apple 15″ MacBook Pro…
Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air with…
Apple 13 Inch MacBook Air…