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Why I passed on $500 off the MacBook Pro for a MacBook Air on Black Friday

The MacBook Pro 13 is $500 off at Best Buy right now, which would normally be too good of a deal to ignore. But I passed on it in favor of saving $150 on the MacBook Air, which is a machine that normally isn’t as powerful as its Pro counterpart. This year, however, things are different.

Best Buy has steep discounts on the 2020 MacBook Pro 13, but don’t be tempted by them. The models on sale are older Intel-based MacBook Pros, which aren’t as powerful as the most recent M1 MacBook Air. Apple transitioned the MacBook Air to its own M1 processor, which manages to outclass the older Intel machines in performance while offering better thermals and longer battery life.

Macbook Air M1 logo.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends / Digital Trends

The MacBook Pro may have a larger discount, but the M1 MacBook Air is the better deal. These machines are $150 off right now, bringing the base model down to around $850. You can upgrade to a more expensive model — they are also discounted by $150, too — but you don’t need to. The only difference is storage space, so you can save big while getting identical performance.

We gave the MacBook Pro 13 decent marks in our MacBook Pro 13 2020 review, but the M1 changed everything. The MacBook Air M1 earned a near-perfect score when we reviewed it, outclassing older Pro models in performance, battery life, noise — really, in every way possible. And because Apple uses the M1 across both its Air and Pro models, there isn’t a reason to buy the more expensive machine.

The M1 turns the MacBook Air from a budget-focused MacBook into one of the absolute best laptops you can buy. Don’t let the names trip you up — the MacBook Air M1 is just as powerful as the MacBook Pro M1.

Apple recently released new versions of the MacBook Pro, too, which is why we’re seeing such steep discounts on the older models. The new versions aren’t on sale for Black Friday, and they’re thousands of dollars more expensive than the MacBook Air M1. For everyone but creative professionals, the MacBook Air is the right choice.

While $150 off may not seem like much next to the MacBook Pro discount, it’s the lowest price the MacBook Air M1 has ever been. If you’ve been patiently waiting to pick up a new MacBook, now is the time — and the MacBook Air M1 is the best option, so don’t miss this MacBook Air Black Friday deal.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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