With new 2020 MacBook Air now unveiled, discounts are coming to older models

With new 2020 MacBook Air now unveiled, discounts are coming to older models


03-macbook-air-2019-and-macbook-pro-2019

The new 2020 MacBook Air.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple has announced a new MacBook Air with some significant updates. For $999, the 2020 version of Apple’s most portable laptop features the Magic Keyboard first introduced on the 16-inch MacBook Pro, 10th-gen Intel processors, a new Force Touch trackpad and 256GB of storage for the entry-level configuration. All of that is indisputably great — with the possible exception of the processor. The previous entry-level model featured Intel’s eighth-gen dual-core i5 CPU; the new one comes with Intel’s 10th-gen dual-core i3 chip, and upgrading to the Core i5 will tack on an extra $100. Oh, and the webcam specs remains inexplicably ancient, still stuck at a mere 720p resolution.

Still, the new price point and feature set is likely to have a dramatic impact on the price of all those 2019-era MacBook Air laptops currently on store shelves — eventually. At the moment, B&H Photo has the lowest price, $899, for the entry-level 2019 model that comes equipped with an older but more powerful eighth-gen dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. 

Apple doesn’t change the name of its laptops from generation to generation, which can lead to confusion — especially when you’re buying from third party retailers. For example, Amazon is currently selling a 2017-era model for $750 — casually labeling it as a “previous model” — while its catalog also contains a 2019-era model that’s still called “New MacBook Air.” These confusing listings will likely be cleaned up over the next few days. Bottom line: I’d hold off buying an older MacBook until retailers recalibrate their pricing. But if you do need to buy one right now, pay careful attention to the specs. (B&H Photo is very good at labeling the vintage of their Apple products.)

Otherwise, we’re still seeing the same kind of deals we’ve been seeing for weeks. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is on sale at Best Buy for $1,100. (It’s dipped as low as $1,050 in recent weeks.) And the 16-inch MacBook, which was on sale for $300 off last week, is now back to $2,199 at B&H

MacBook discounts, compared

Model List price Best price (current) Best price (all-time)
MacBook Air 2020 (256GB SSD) $999 $999 $999
MacBook Air 2019 (128GB SSD) $900 $900 $800
13-inch MacBook Pro 2019 (128GB SSD) $1,300 $1,100 $1,050
16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 (128GB SSD) $2,399 $2,199 $2,100

Sarah Tew/CNET

Best Buy has trimmed $200 from the entry-level 2019 MacBook Pro. (You need to be logged into a My Best Buy account — they’re free — to see the sale price.) This is a solid deal, though we’ve seen this model on sale for $1,050 recently.

Read our 13-inch MacBook Pro preview.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A greatest-hits compilation of MacBook features, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro features a bigger screen, with a higher resolution; upgrades to processor, GPU, RAM and storage options; and a much-improved keyboard. This isn’t the largest discount we’ve even seen — that would be the $300 discount from a weeks back — but it’s a solid deal on the entry-level configuration.

Read our 16-inch MacBook Pro review.


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