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The best cheap Apple laptop deals in 2020

Image credit: Apple

Our guide to the best cheap Apple laptop deals of 2019 is here to help you find the best bargains on Apple's quality devices. On this page you'll find the best deals on the latest models of the MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Apple is constantly updating its range of MacBook laptops – though for some models those updates are becoming ever rarer. What that does mean, is that once Apple introduces a brand-new version, you're likely to see older models get a price cut.

For example, the MacBook Air was originally the cheapest way of getting a new Apple laptop, and in late 2018, Apple finally refreshed the slimline laptop, fitting it with the latest components and a Retina display and Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, the 2018 model was more expensive than previous versions of the MacBook Air.

Recently, Apple surprised us all with a new refresh of the MacBook Air, which adds True Tone technology to the Retina display, which automatically adjusts the color temperature for a more natural and comfortable viewing experience. While this is a nice addition, if you're a photographer or digital creative who requires color accuracy in your display, you may want to switch this feature off.

But, the new MacBook Air 2019 model also brough a price cut, with the entry-level MacBook Air now costing $1,099 (£1,099). When the MacBook Air 2019 does release (it's not out quite yet at the time of writing), it means we should see some even better deals for the MacBook Air 2018.

It's also 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, a year’s warranty, and they look as good as new. Stock availability varies, but it’s a great way to find some brilliant deals on Apple's laptops.

There's also some great savings to be had on the latest hardware as well, with some excellent recent Apple laptop deals. To make thing's easier, we've scoured the internet 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.

But if you’re not fully sold on a MacBook, take a look at our alternative laptop deals for some great prices on machines that won’t put you in the red. 

MacBook Air with Retina display (2018) deals 

Until the recent 2018 refresh, the MacBook Air hadn’t been updated in years, languishing behind all of Apple’s other laptop models with an ugly screen and weedy performance from older internal hardware. That made it really affordable, but it was badly in need of modernising.

The 2018 MacBook Air brings some of the sparkle back, reinvigorating Apple’s iconic design with an 8th-generation Core i5 processor, a 13-inch high-resolution Retina display, built-in touchID, a modern Force Touch trackpad, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

It now comes in three colours - Space Grey, Gold and Silver, and retains the thin wedge design that Air has always been known for, giving it a very desirable look and feel.

With a small 128GB SSD and 8GB of memory, the entry-level specification is fine for light computer use, but we’d absolutely recommend upgrading the storage to 256GB when purchasing to avoid running out of space later on.

As we mentioned earlier on, we're going to see a slight refresh of the MacBook Air in 2019, with added True Tone technology for the display. The MacBook Air 2019 will also come with Apple's improved third-generation butterfly keyboard, which Apple introduced in the more expensive models of the MacBook Pro 2019 after numerous reports surfaced of faulty keyboards in older MacBooks.

When the MacBook Air 2019 releases, expect to see some even more tempting offers for the MacBook Air 2018, which still remains a fantastic Apple laptop.

MacBook deals 

Apple’s MacBook is the thinnest, lightest, most portable laptop sold by the company, under 1cm thick and weighing less than 1kg. It doesn’t have any fans and runs completely silently, and can manage 10 hours of battery life, making it a brilliant light machine for working on the go, travel and carrying into meetings.

They’re designed to draw as little power as possible, with a lower performance M3 CPU, so the MacBook is better suited for word processing and email than graphic design and video editing.

Nevertheless it still looks the part on the outside, with a 12-inch Retina display and the same three Space Grey, Gold and Silver colours that the MacBook Air is available in. With the 2018 model, Apple has addressed a common criticism of its first-generation butterfly keyboards, making them more resilient against crumbs and dirt.

And one nice point to mention is that the entry-level model has a generous 256GB of SSD storage.

However, we should point out that Apple will stop selling the 12-inch MacBook on its online store. This could actually be advantageous to anyone thinking of buying the MacBook, however, as it means Apple will start clearing out its stock. This could lead to some really impressive MacBook 12-inch deals. Keep an eye on what other retailers do as well, and even consider a refurb MacBook. 

Also, just because Apple will stop selling the 12-inch MacBook, it doesn't mean it'll stop supporting it, so you can still buy one without worrying that it will soon become useless.

13-inch MacBook Air (original style) deals 

If you look, the original MacBook Air is still available for sale on Apple’s website and is still the most affordable laptop Apple makes. But its lower retail price is something of a false economy, given that the old display has big, thick bezels around the display, has no Retina resolution, and uses ancient TN technology with poor viewing angles, compared with the superior IPS Retina screens found in every other Mac laptop.

Worse, it has an old 5th-generation Intel dual-core processor, which may not be noticeably slower in day-to-day use for basic tasks such as email and web browsing, but is still years old.

If you must have the cheapest Apple laptop going, then go ahead and get the older Air, but since you’re paying modern prices for old laptop technology, we’d still advise checking out our deals, eBay or the Apple refurb store, before buying direct from Apple’s main site.

MacBook Pro (13-inch without Touch Bar 2018) deals

The MacBook Pro comes in three distinct flavours: 13-inch and 15-inch with the Touch Bar, and then another 13-inch model without the Touch Bar. If you’re unaware, the Touch Bar replaces the top set of physical function keys on most keyboards with touch sensitive buttons that change context depending on the application you’re using, although some have questioned how useful it is.

But importantly, the 13-inch MacBook Pro models without the Touch Bar are better value for money, but less powerful than the variant that does have a Touch Bar. The 2018 MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar uses a 2.3GHz seventh-generation dual-core Intel processor, either a Core i5 or a Core i7, and the entry-level model is now priced in the same bracket as the MacBook Air and MacBook.

128GB of storage is standard, so again the advice is to choose more if your budget can stretch to it. And you get 8GB of DDR3 memory, which can be upgraded to 16GB.

Apple has also announced a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro 2019, which will keep the same price as the 2018 model, but will get a power boost thanks to an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 quad-core processor (1.4GHz, with boost to 3.9GHz), which Apple claims makes it twice as powerful compared to its predecessor.

All models of the MacBook Pro 2019 will now come with the Touch Bar and Touch ID (for logging in with your fingerprint), and the 13-inch model gets the True Tone Retina display and Apple’s T2 security chip. As with the MacBook Air 2019, the new MacBook Pro 2019 will come with the improved third generation Butterfly keyboard.

Bear in mind that once you start adding on extras to the entry-level MacBook Pro, the cost naturally skyrockets, which then makes the next tier up seem all the more attractive, given how it will offer significantly better all round performance for media editing and give you more storage anyway. We’d suggest that option if you can afford it - it’s simply better value if you’re after the best possible performance for your money.

Also, when the MacBook Pro 2019 launches, expect the 2018 model to become cheaper.

MacBook Pro (13-inch with Touch Bar 2018) deals

Apple’s cunning marketing team has very cleverly priced the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to make it much better relative value than an upgraded entry-level 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%.

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.

MacBook Pro 15-inch (2018) deals

The 15-inch MacBook Pro will leave such a gaping hole in your wallet that it’s the last choice in terms of value for money on this list, but with the highest possible performance in any Mac laptop, this is what you really need 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, and in November 2018, Apple is launching a further tier 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 current iMac lineup (which has not been updated since 2017).

If you’re considering upgrading the storage, Apple offers 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.

Also, the MacBook Pro 15-inch 2019 lineup is coming soon. These will come with the latest 9th generation 8-core Intel Core i9 processor. The cheapest MacBook Pro 2019 15-inch configuration comes with a 2.3GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 (Turbo Boost up to 4.8GHz) CPU with 16GB memory (RAM), a Radeon Pro 560X graphics (GPU) and 512GB SSD storage for $2,799 (£2,699, A$4,099). 

Again, expect prices for the 2018 models to fall slightly once the 2019 lineup releases. If you can hold on, you could bag yourself a brilliant MacBook Pro deal.

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

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