May 24, 2024

Best MacBook deals for March 2023

With multiple configurations and various models to choose from, finding a deal on a Mac equipped with an M-series chip is not all that difficult. It’s sometimes a slightly different story for the MacBook Pros with beefier M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs, but with a little luck, you can score those excellent laptops for as much as $500 off. As for the most recent batch of M2-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, they, too, get their fair share of modest savings with some regularity. And with the recent introduction of M2 Pro and M2 Max 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, it’s probably just a matter of time until you can save some money on those refreshed models, too.

Here, we’ll run through the discounts that are currently available for Apple’s latest laptops and the Mac Mini, all of which run Apple’s own silicon. If you come across any deals on older, Intel-based configurations still lying around, we strongly recommend avoiding them. While the last bastions of Intel Macs are compatible with macOS Ventura, they’re getting pretty old and not really worthwhile, even at a steep discount. Rest assured: there’s really no downside to opting for a Mac with Apple’s own chips, save for the sickos out there that swear they still need Windows Boot Camp.

Alternatively, purchasing refurbished is another way to save money on an Apple computer. Apple’s refurbished store provides a one-year warranty on all products and generally offers discounts of up to 15 to 20 percent off the price of a new unit. If you’re looking for a new model, however, here are the best MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini deals available.

The best MacBook deals

The best MacBook Air deals

The MacBook Air is Apple’s entry-level laptop. It’s best suited for typical productivity work, with a comfortable keyboard, excellent trackpad, and all-day battery life. The redesigned M2 version of the MacBook Air is out, but even with the arrival of that pricier model, the 2020 version with an M1 processor and fanless design remains in the lineup as the budget option. For most people, the M1 Air ticks all the right boxes when it comes to performance and price, which is why it’s the one we recommend for budget-minded MacBook seekers in our guide to the best laptops, even with the M2 model now available.

The base MacBook Air with the M1 chip comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. It typically sells for $999, but Best Buy currently has it for $799.99 ($200 off). That’s as good as it gets on the M1 model, and even more than two years after its release, it’s hard to beat that value for performance and battery life in an affordable laptop.

The MacBook Air is the most impressive laptop I’ve used in years

$800

The MacBook Air is Apple’s entry-level laptop, which comes outfitted with the company’s new M1 chip in one of three different colors (silver, space gray, and gold).

As for the newer, fancier M2 MacBook Air, the base model with 256GB of storage and an eight-core GPU has dropped as low as $999 in the past, though the MagSafe-equipped laptop is currently bereft of any deals. However, Amazon is selling an upgraded configuration with a 512GB SSD and 10-core GPU for $1,299.99 ($200 off) in silver and starlight (low stock).

The new MacBook Air is a super slim and light laptop with a 1080p webcam that’s actually usable, as well as a handy magnetic charger that frees up one of its precious two USB-C ports. Its M2 processor didn’t kick-start a revolution like the M1 generation, but it’s a great performer for any user outside of more demanding creatives.

It does have some slight downsides, like slower storage in the base configuration and a notch cutout in its otherwise excellent screen. But even so, there hasn’t been a more travel-friendly laptop offered by Apple since the days of the polarizing 12-inch MacBook, and this one’s good enough to be the No. 1 laptop we now recommend in our buying guide.

The M2 MacBook Air is opened, facing the camera. Its display is on, showcasing a psychedelic purple and black wallpaper created by The Verge’s art and illustration team.

$1300

The redesigned MacBook Air is a thin, lightweight device powered by Apple’s latest chip. The M2 model also touts a 1080p webcam and a better display than its predecessor, while retaining features like long battery life and MagSafe charging.

The best MacBook Pro deals

The MacBook Pro line has been split into two different segments — for the time being. The M1-powered MacBook Pro of 2020 and its 2022 replacement with the M2 processor remain the Touch Bar holdouts. These are siblings to the 2020 MacBook Air, with similar designs save mostly for a fan that allows them to run at peak performance for longer.

At this point, it’s best to avoid the older 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro and opt for the newer M2 version with its exceptional battery life. Yes, it’s still plagued by the Touch Bar, and its base model has its shortcomings when it comes to speed, but we’re occasionally seeing discounts on the newer laptop.

Right now, the best deal on the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro is Best Buy’s $200 discount on the 256GB model with 8GB of RAM. That drops the price from $1,299 to $1,099, which matches its lowest price to date. That said, the 512GB model is also discounted by $200 at Best Buy, dropping it to $1,299. These are both excellent deals if a Touch Bar-equipped Mac still floats your boat, but those of you who do intensive creative work may still be better served spending a little more on the more capable 14-inch MacBook Pro if you can stretch your budget (see below).

The Apple MacBook Pro 13 2022 seen from above.

$1099

The latest iteration of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the last Touch Bar holdout. It has two USB-C ports, like the M1 MacBook Air, and now comes equipped with the M2 CPU and is configurable with up to 24GB of unified memory.

As for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, we’re in a transitional moment. The M1 Pro / M1 Max models from late 2021 are being replaced by the M2 Pro and M2 Max models, which are mostly a spec-bumped refresh with the 16-inch M2 Max MacBook Pro also showcasing some excellent battery life gains thanks to the efficiency of the new chips. As good as the new generation is, however, we’re not yet seeing consistent discounts on the new models. Sure, the base 14-inch MacBook Pro with M2 Pro briefly went on sale for $200 off, but it was a blip of a deal that came and went, and now the only discount to be found is just $50 off at Amazon. For now, the 2021 MacBook Pros remain fine machines, and they can be had for a fair bit cheaper.

Currently, the 14-inch base model with the M1 Pro chip and 512GB of storage is on sale for $1,699 ($300 off) at B&H Photo and Best Buy. That’s $100 more than the absolute lowest price we’ve seen on the laptop. As for the 1TB version, it’s currently discounted to $1,999.97 (nearly $500 off) at Amazon or $2,099 ($300 off) at Best Buy. That $500 discount at Amazon is the biggest drop we’ve seen, but hopefully, we’ll see more deals like that before M1 Pro / M1 Max MacBooks are phased out.

$1699

The 14-inch MacBook Pro is a stellar laptop in many ways, with a brilliant display, a great keyboard, fast specs, and several useful ports.

As for the 16-inch MacBook Pro from 2021, it’s on sale at Amazon and Best Buy with 512GB of storage and an M1 Pro chip for $2,099, which is an excellent $400 off. An equally good $400 discount is available on the 1TB variant at Best Buy, dropping the price to $2,299, while Amazon has it for $2,399. Those $400 discounts on the 16-inch base model are as good as it gets for such a workhorse laptop. If you cherish a beastly MacBook for performance, appreciate a big screen, and are in the market to make a purchase now, this deal is for you.

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro on a table

$2099

The 16-inch MacBook Pro from 2021 is a creative powerhouse equipped with Apple’s last-gen silicon. Configurable with either the M1 Pro or M1 Max, the 16-inch screen can be lent out to up to three external displays and a 4K TV simultaneously, thanks to its vast array of ports.

Our reviews of Apple’s M1 Pro and Max MacBook Pro lineup were absolutely beaming with praise. Whether it was the beautiful display or the remarkable performance and battery life they exhibited, these premium laptops are investments that we still recommend — at least, until the newer M2 generation starts seeing discounts. It’s great to see the return of more ports and an SD card reader, as well as MagSafe charging, to some Mac laptops we can once again say are well poised for actual pros. Just mind the notch — or better yet, make it more useful with software.

The best Mac Mini deals

The new Mac Mini comes in a base configuration with Apple’s M2 processor or in a more powerful configuration with the M2 Pro. It’s an excellent upgrade to one of the most affordable yet performant desktop computers you can get (as long as gaming isn’t your priority). The M2 model Mac Mini starts with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for $599, while the M2 Pro model features a superior processor plus 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for $1,299. The latter model also features an expanded port selection, from two USB-C ports to four. It’s almost like getting an M2 Pro-powered MacBook Pro 14 but in desktop form. Though keep in mind if you buy either Mac Mini, you have to provide your own mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

The base configuration of the M2 Mac Mini is currently on sale for $549 ($50 off) at Amazon and B&H Photo. It’s not a massive discount, but it’s the cheapest price we’ve seen so far on the desktop machine. The M2 Pro model isn’t seeing any discounts right now, though we did see it get discounted by $100 when it was available for preorder, so we’re sure more deals are to come down the pipeline.

A photo of Apple’s 2023 Mac Mini.

$549

The revised Mac Mini for 2023 starts at $599 for an M2-powered model with an eight-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. The Mini can also be had with the M2 Pro chip, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and more robust port selection for $1,299.

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