The best cheap Apple laptop deals of 2018: MacBook, Air and MacBook Pro deals


Looking for a cheap Apple laptop? We’ve searched high and low to find the best cheap MacBook Pro deals, MacBook deals and MacBook Air 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 online retailers, so you can be sure that the deals you see here are the very best you’ll find.

If you’re not fully sold on a MacBook – they’re expensive, we know – take a look at our alternative laptop deals for some great prices on machines that won’t put you in the red.

But if it’s a cheap Apple laptop you want, we’ve got you covered (cheap for Apple, anyway). And don’t forget that you can save a wad of cash by trading in your old MacBook Pro to Apple for up to $2,500, if you live in the States.

Read on – or use the jump links above – for the best cheap MacBook Pro deals, MacBook deals and MacBook Air deals of 2018…

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar deals

Apple updated its MacBook Pro with Touch Bar laptop in 2017 with speedy new 7th-gen Kaby Lake processors, bringing increased performance for 4K work, video editing and heavy-duty image editing.  

Aside from power, though, there aren't any many differences between the 2017 and 2016 versions: the stunning Retina display and overall size are the same. So if you're looking for a cheap MacBook Pro and budget is tight, the 2016 model is a good bet while stock lasts. 

Available in 13-inch and 15-inch versions (and we’d recommend the larger 15-inch model for creative work), the most notable feature of these Pro models is the Touch Bar. The mini-LED display is designed to replace the Function keys, and brings handy photo-editing and video-editing tools to the keyboard. This is also the thinest and lightest MacBook Pro yet. It represents a marked improvement over the previous generation, upping RAM speed as well as improving the keyboard, among other features. 

MacBook Pro deals: 13-inch, no Touch Bar

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is a cheaper, entry-level alternative to Apple’s MacBook Pro with Touch bar, above. It doesn’t have the Touch Bar or Touch ID, and it has a smaller storage capacity of 128GB, rather than 256GB. But other than that the specs are similar: the 13-inch MacBook Pro is incredibly lightweight and packs an incredible punch. This is a MacBook Air rival with a pro spec.

When Apple updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2017, it didn’t make many changes. The beautiful Retina screen and size are the same as the 2016 version, but the newer model is more powerful, with a 7th-gen Kaby Lake processor. That means that if you’re looking for a cheap MacBook Pro and don’t need the faster processor, the older one is worth a look while you can still buy it. If you need the extra power, plump for the 2017 version.

MacBook Pro deals – with Retina (2015)

The 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina boasted seriously impressive specs when it launched, and still looks good now. Sporting an Intel Core i7 2.2 Ghz processor, 16GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Pro graphics (plus an AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics chip) with 2GB of dedicated VRAM, it’s capable of handling pretty much anything you chuck its way. Throw in 512GB of super fast flash storage, a new Force Touch trackpad and, of course, the stunning Retina display, and this is still a brilliant (and now) cheaper Apple laptop for creatives.

The 13-inch 2015 Retina MacBook Pro comes with a 2.7 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 128 of PCI Express-based flash storage and 8GB RAM – although if you're planning to run memory-intensive apps like Photoshop with big images, or will be doing digital video or digital audio work, we’d recommend bumping it up to 16 GB.

The best MacBook deals (2017)

The 12-inch 2017 MacBook boasts a better processor (7th-gen Kaby Lake processors with m3, i5 and i7 options), better graphics and a better typing experience than the 2016 edition, although the sharp, colour-accurate screen and compact dimensions are the same. The second-generation butterfly mechanism is also an improvement, with a more reassuring travel to the keys, and there’s a decent sized Force Touch trackpad below the improved keyboard. However, the MacBook lacks ports, with only has one USB-C port for charging and data transfer. You’ll need to buy an adaptor separately. 

It’s a better choice than the MacBook Air, below, with newer chips and a high-res Retina display. The 13-inch MacBook Pro makes for a better comparison though: if you need better graphics, a faster processor or Thunderbolt 3, go for the Pro. But if you want a lighter machine and ultra portability, the 2017 MacBook is a premium machine that travels incredibly well.

The best MacBook deals (2016 and 2015)

With Intel Core m3, m5 and m7 processor options, the 2016 MacBook isn’t as fast as the newer 2017 version, but it’s a lot faster than the 2015 model – and more than capable of whizzing through lesser-demanding tasks without complaint. It boasts Apple’s pixel-perfect Retina display and the same, compact dimensions as the newer 2017 model. If you don’t mind the lower specs, this is a fantastic cheap Apple laptop (well, cheap for Apple, anyway).

The best MacBook Air deals

In 2017, the MacBook Air received its first update since 2015: it now comes with a faster processor speed of 1.8GHz (up from 1,6GHz), more default RAM (increased to 8GB from 4GB) and better battery life. The MacBook Air’s screen is a 13.3in (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, with a resolution of 1,440 x 900 pixels and a pixel density of just under 128ppi (pixels per inch). It isn’t as crisp as the MacBook and MacBook Pro’s Retina display, but it isn’t bad for most uses, and needs less power.

10 years after it was first launched as the next-generation laptop you could fit in an envelope, the MacBook Air is showing its age. If you’re looking for power, go for the Pro, above. But if you’re after a cheap Apple laptop, then it’s still the most affordable way to experience macOS 10.13 High Sierra on a laptop. 

Why not upgrade your storage with a hard drive or SSD? See the best hard drive and SSD deals.

Related articles: