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If you’re hoping to buy an iPad, an Apple Watch, or a MacBook this holiday season, you may want to strike soon.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still a few weeks off, but we’re starting to see great deals on Apple products now.
Costco will be lowering the price of a 13-inch MacBook Pro by nearly $300 today, for example. And Sam’s Club will be offering up to $150 in savings on select iPads and up to $40 off Apple Watches in a members-only one-day sale Nov. 9. And if you purchase a new iPhone that day, the retailer will toss in Sam’s Club gift cards worth up to $650 (depending on such factors as the quality of your trade-in).
Walmart has a 9.7-inch iPad with a generous 128 gigabytes of storage space on sale for $299. That model usually sells for $429.
And Best Buy recently trimmed the price of numerous iPad models by up to $200. You can still find some available to those with a (free) Best Buy membership in the deals section of the retailer’s website.
But we’ve spotted price reductions on iPads and MacBooks launched this year as well.
Here are some of the more notable deals available right now (or in the days ahead). And remember, if you don't see what you’re looking for on this list, you can often find great deals on smartphones, laptops, and tablets in Apple’s refurbished program.
Apple Airpods 2
The deal: $144 at Walmart
CR’s test results: Apple AirPods (2nd Gen) with Wireless Charging Case
Apple’s Airpods—by far the best-selling true wireless headphones out there, even if our testers found the sound quality to be boomy, grainy, and dry—very, very rarely go on sale. So while this deal at Walmart only takes $15 from the usual price of $159, it's still worth looking at if you’ve been thinking of giving (or getting) a pair for the holidays.
The deal: $199 at BestBuy
CR's test results: Apple HomePod smart speaker
The HomePod speaker normally sells for $299, making it a hefty investment compared with other smart speakers, but it's also one of just five models to receive a Very Good rating in sound quality from our testers. This deal at Best Buy knocks $100 off the list price, and makes the HomePod, briefly, somewhat of a budget option if you want a smart speaker with quality sound in your home.
Apple may be releasing a new MacBook model soon, which would explain recent discounts on the 2019 MacBook Air and the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro of 2018. (Apple is now throwing in a year of free Apple+ TV service to anyone who buys a new MacBook, no matter where you make the purchase.)
13-Inch MacBook Air (2019)
The deal: $900 at Amazon
CR’s test results: MacBook Air MVFH2LL/A
That’s $100 off the list price, for a model with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, and 128GB of solid-state storage. Thanks to the brightness levels and Apple’s True Tone technology, which adjusts the colors slightly depending on ambient lighting, the screen on this laptop earned an Excellent rating from our testers.
13-Inch MacBook Air (2018)
The deal: $899 at Amazon
CR’s test results: MacBook Air 13-inch
Our testers recommend this model, which has nearly identical specs. The only significant differences between this laptop and the 2019 option are the absence of that True Tone display and a slight step down in battery life. The version for sale on Amazon sports a slightly faster processor, too (1.8 gigahertz vs. the standard 1.6 GHz). That’s not enough to make this a great machine for labor-intensive tasks such as video editing, but it’s still nice to have the extra oomph.
12-Inch MacBook (2017)
The deal: $999 at Adorama
At $300 off the list price, this is a steep discount on the 2017 MacBook, the last refresh Apple made to the base MacBook before replacing it with the MacBook Air. You get 256GB of solid-state storage, which should give you plenty of breathing room for storing media and large files. The downside is the MacBook has only one USB-C port and no USB-A ports, meaning you’ll probably be buying at least one dongle if you want to charge your computer and use any accessory (mouse, thumb drive, printer, etc.).
13-Inch MacBook Pro
The deal: $1,200 at Costco (online only)
This offer starts Nov. 7. The model usually sells for just under $1,500. It appears to be a 2018 MacBook Pro, which is, of course, plenty powerful. It has an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB of solid-state storage, and a battery that provides you with around 16 hours of web browsing. As long as you’re not planning to play high-end video games and edit lots of high-resolution videos, the laptop will do just about anything you ask of it.
If you’re looking for an iPad that won’t break the bank, this should be a good holiday season. The sixth-generation 9.7-inch iPad, released in 2018, has been discontinued by Apple and discounted by retailers to make room for the new 10.2-inch seventh-generation iPad.
9.7-Inch iPad With 128GB of Storage
The deal: $299 at Walmart
CR’s test results: 2018 iPad 9.7 (4G, 32GB)
That’s more than enough storage for many seasons of TV to binge-watch during your next road trip—plus $130 off the list price on a WiFi-only model that usually sells for $429. Our testers took a look at the 32GB model and recommend it.
10.2-Inch iPad With 32GB of Storage
The deal: $299 at B&H Photo Video
This is Apple’s new iPad at $30 off the list price. Beyond a larger screen, the main advantage of the model is the support for Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover, which attaches magnetically to the unit and doesn’t require pairing or charging like Bluetooth keyboards—a handy leap forward if you foresee yourself doing a lot of emailing or word processing.
11-Inch iPad Pro With 64GB of storage
The deal: $674 at Amazon
If you want an even larger iPad, you can get this WiFi-only model for $125 off the list price at Amazon right now. Beyond the larger screen, faster processor, and support for Face ID, the other big advantage of the new iPad Pro is the long battery life—our testers clocked it doing nearly 16 hours of straight video playback before dying.
The Series 3 and 4 watches are both receiving good discounts right now, as shoppers look toward the Apple Watch 5.
Apple Watch Series 3 With an External Battery Charger
The deal: $219 at Walmart
CR’s test results: Apple Watch Series 3 (38-mm) GPS + cellular
Apple now charges $300 for this model, which features a 38-mm face, GPS, and cellular connectivity, so this deal is worthwhile even without the battery charger. Once paired with your iPhone, the watch lets you make and receive calls, either by speaking directly into it or through a wireless headset. And Walmart says the external power bank, which can be used to charge the watch and other devices, usually retails for about $30. (If you don’t need it, think of it as an easy gift for someone else.)
Apple Watch 4
The deal: $429 at Walmart
CR’s test results: Apple Watch Series 4 (44-mm) GPS + cellular
If you’re in the mood for a slightly fancier smartwatch, this one comes with GPS and cellular connectivity, too, but it has the larger 44-mm face, which our testers found easier to read and view photos on. It usually sells for $530.
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