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


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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