Finding the best MacBook Pro deals in 2021 is a great way to equip yourself with one of the best laptops around without having to pay full price. While Apple hardware generally comes at a premium and serious discounts are rarely available, if there's a deal to be had on a MacBook Pro of any spec, here's where you can find out about it.
Apple regularly updates its MacBook laptops, and 2020 saw the 13-inch MacBook Pro getting some serious attention, firstly with the release of the 2020 model with 10th generation Intel processors, and then again later in the year with the arrival of the MacBook Pro 13-inch M1 model, which has impressed pretty much everyone with its new Apple silicon bringing improved performance and battery life.
A 16 and 14-inch model of the M1 MacBook Pro are expected to arrive this year, and that's great news for anyone after enhanced performance in a bigger laptop; it also means that we're likely to see price cuts on older models. If you need a larger hunk of Apple hardware in your life and don't mind putting up with slightly lesser performance, we'll likely see discounts on the older 16 and 15-inch MacBook Pros when the new models come on sale.
- Browse MacBooks at Apple.com
Still not sure which device is right for you? Don't miss our comprehensive guide to the best laptops for graphic design and the best laptops for video editing. And for more Apple savings across more than MacBooks, check out our guide to the best Apple deals in 2021.
The best 13-inch MacBook Pro deals
The best 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro deals (2020)
Apple's move away from using third-party CPUs and GPUs in the MacBook series in favour of its own silicon caused more than a few raised eyebrows when it was announced, but the results speak for themselves. So far we've seen Apple's M1 chip in the latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and as our MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review demonstrates, it's an impressive upgrade.
While it looks pretty much the same as the previous 13-inch MacBook Pro, complete with a Touch Bar and the same 13-inch Retina display, the M1 model comes with a serious performance boost – at times it comes close to that of the much more expensive 16-inch model. It's fast and responsive in day-to-day use, and it copes admirably with really heavyweight design tasks. Editing 8K video in Final Cut Pro? Easy. Many top creative apps have been updated with M1 versions that really take advantage of the new architecture, and Apple's Rosetta 2 tool means that it'll run pretty much every existing Mac app. And as an added bonus, you can now install and run your iOS apps as well.
It's perfect for taking out and about with you, with an astonishing battery life that means you can work for an entire day (and maybe two) without having to plug it in. And we've found that the M1 MacBook Pro takes some serious punishment before it gets warm enough for the fans to kick in. Our only real criticisms are the shortage of connectivity, with only two Thunderbolt ports available, and the fact that if you want to bump it up from the basic 8GB memory and 256GB SSD, the price starts to rocket. That said, until Apple unveils a 16-inch M1 MacBook Pro, this is the best MacBook on the block.
Cheap MacBook Pro deals: 13-inch (2020)
The M1 MacBook Pro is a blazing-fast piece of kit, for sure. But if you have heavyweight design needs it may not quite fit the bill thanks to its maximum 16GB memory and miserly pair of Thunderbolt ports. In which case, you may have to make do with the 2020 model, released about six months before the M1.
It looks the same as the M1 and offers mostly the same features, the big difference being that it has an Intel CPU and graphics. However what'll endear it to power users is its increase capacity; the basic model comes with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, but if you're prepared to pay, you can go all the way up to 32GB memory with 4TB of storage. Not only that, all the 2020 models come with four Thunderbolt ports rather than the two on the M1.
As an added bonus, while these are the only configurations that Apple's selling, you can still shop elsewhere to get the 2020 models with lower memory and storage specs that the M1 replaced. We wouldn't advise it a the moment, though; with the M1 model already available at a discount, the saving you'd make doesn't really justify the drop in performance.
Cheap MacBook Pro deals: 13-inch (2019)
Apple previously updated its 13-inch laptop in 2019, and these updates made the 13-inch model feel like more of a decent option for creatives, rather than just the laptop you go for when you can't afford to get the 15 or 16-inch versions.
The base model comes with a 1.4GHz quad-core 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, so better than the most basic MacBook Air model. Like the new MacBook Air, it has Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 8GB memory. There's 128GB SSD storage, and all models come with a Retina display and a Touch Bar and Touch ID – useful for if you keep forgetting your password.
Of course, you can upgrade all of this and end up with a speedier 2.4GHz processor and up to 2TB of storage at the top end.
This model's now discontinued by Apple, but there's still old stock to be found (not necessarily at the sort of discount you might be hoping for, though). If you want 13 inches of Apple laptop at a lower price, however, you could do a lot worse than the M1 MacBook Air.
Cheap MacBook Pro deals: 13-inch (2018)
Apple’s cunning marketing team cleverly priced the 2018's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to make it much better relative value than an upgraded entry-level 2018 model. Crucially, it upgrades the seventh-generation Intel dual-core processor to a 2.3 GHz eighth-generation quad-core chip, which will make a massive difference in all media editing and design software, cutting rendering times by a whopping 50 per cent.
It has a few other neat extras too, with 256GB of SSD storage as standard, a True Tone display and more powerful Intel Iris Plus graphics, which will make a small improvement in some tasks. That makes its rather high asking price a tad easier to swallow.
The best 16-inch MacBook Pro deals
Cheap MacBook Pro deals: 16-inch (2019)
Apple debuted the 16-inch MacBook Pro in November 2019 (read our MacBook Pro 16-inch review), just a few months after refreshing the 15-inch MacBook Pro model (July 2019). It's currently the largest and most powerful notebook that Apple sells. It boasts a larger 16-inch Retina display surrounded by slimmer bezels, so it's basically the same dimensions than the 15-inch model, but with extra screen real estate.
Otherwise, the 16-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with Intel's 9th-generation 14-nanometer Coffee Lake Refresh chips, which are the same chips that were used in the 15-inch models released earlier the same year.
The entry-level 16-inch MacBook Pro is powered by Intel's 6-core 2.6GHz Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.5GHz, while the higher-end model features Intel's 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Core i9 processor with 4.8GHz Turbo Boost.
Apple offers two stock configurations cost $2,399 (£2,399) and $2,799 (£2,999). Both model tiers include Intel's built-in UHD Graphics 630, alongside either one of two dedicated graphics cards: an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of memory, or an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB memory. Both can also be upgraded to an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU with 8GB of memory.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro supports up to 64GB of RAM, which is double the maximum amount of RAM that can be had in the previous 15-inch models. Apple also introduced a new fan design in this model, which allows the laptop to run at a higher power for sustained periods of time.
Altogether, whichever tier you go for, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is an absolute beast of a portable machine that will make short work of all but the most demanding video rendering tasks.
Wondering whether to go for this or the smaller model? Explore our MacBook Pro 13" vs MacBook Pro 16" comparison.
The best 15-inch MacBook Pro deals
Cheap MacBook Pro deals: 15-inch (2019)
Apple updated its 15-inch MacBook Pro in 2019 with faster 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors, bringing eight cores to MacBook Pro for the first time. This MacBook Pro offers two times faster performance than a quad-core MacBook Pro and 40 percent more performance than a 6-core MacBook Pro.
This model also comes with another update to Apple's Butterfly keyboard, which have gone through a few generations of tweaks now in response to reliability issues.
Otherwise, the base specifications for the other aspects of the 15-inch MacBook Pro didn't change from the 2018 models. You get the same display accompanied by AMD’s Radeon Pro 555X/560X-series or Radeon Pro Vega GPUs, with the top-of-the-range model configurable with the Radeon Pro Vega 16 or 20 chip.
The RAM and SSD options include 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD on the base model, with 32GB of RAM and SSDs ranging from 512GB to 4TB available as upgrades.
Now superseded by the 16-inch MacBook Pro (not to mention the 14-inch M1 model that should be arriving in the next few months), the 2019 15-inch MacBook Pro is no longer available through Apple. Shop around, though, and you might find some worthwhile discounts.
Cheap MacBook Pro deals: 15-inch (2018)
The 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro is showing its age now, but it's still a good machine for heavy lifting in media editing and design software. The two available 15-inch models have 16GB of memory as standard, with six-core processors, starting with a 2.2GHz (4.1 GHz Turbo) Intel Core i7, with either 256GB or 512GB of SSD storage.
This offers seriously fast performance that will go absolutely unused in day-to-day tasks like email, but will be brilliant for media work, with super fast exporting of video and plugins that just go like the clappers.
Unlike the 13-inch model, the 15-inch MacBook Pro also comes with discrete AMD Radeon Pro graphics, with 4GB of dedicated video memory, while the highest tier comes with even more powerful Radeon Pro Vega graphics.
With this kind of performance in a laptop, the 15-inch MacBook Pro can replace your desktop completely, notably outperforming any of Apple’s pre-2019 iMacs.
If you’re considering upgrading the storage you can get up to 4TB, but this comes at such a high price that it’s much better value to stick to a more modest capacity and make use of a Thunderbolt external storage device. On the other hand, the memory upgrade to 32GB is definitely worth every penny if you’re looking at using the MacBook Pro for high-end media work.
Apple updated the 15-inch MacBook in mid-2019 (above), but the 2018 model is still a fantastic machine with enough power for most creatives and video editors.
Why not upgrade your storage with a hard drive or SSD? See the best hard drive and SSD deals.
Where can I find the best MacBook Pro deals?
It's worth considering Apple's official refurb store, where Apple sells its older models at a discount of up to 15%. They have new batteries and screens, so you won’t see any scratches and they look as good as new, plus you get a year’s warranty. Stock availability varies, but it’s a great way to find some brilliant deals on Apple's laptops, including the 12-inch MacBook that Apple no longer lists on its front-facing store.
There's also some great savings to be had on the latest hardware as well, with some excellent recent Apple laptop deals. To make things easier, we've scoured the internet to find the best cheap MacBook Pro deals – so if you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop then you’re in the right place.
Our system checks the prices of every MacBook model at all major, reputable online retailers, so you can be sure that the deals you see here are the very best you’ll find. But if you’re not fully sold on a MacBook Pro, take a look at our best MacBook Pro alternatives for some great prices on other machines.