If you need help picking between a tablet or laptop, then you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up five early Memorial Day sales for you to choose from, with rare discounts of up to $260 off on devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro that you can’t afford to miss. With prices starting from $699, there’s an option for every budget.
— $699, was $959
With the power of a laptop packed into one compact 12.3-inch tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offers the best of both worlds as a two-in-one hybrid you can take anywhere. It’s powered by a tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor with 4GB of RAM, so you can use it for basic office functions such as typing up documents, researching on the web, and various other multimedia purposes. However, it isn’t equipped to handle intensive work like video editing or hardcore multitasking. This makes it pale in comparison to dedicated computers’ hardware, but if you need something lightweight that can get the job done, weighing in at only 1.7 pounds, then this is what you need.
The Surface Pro 7 has an SSD with 128GB capacity for all your content and documents. This might be a bit restrictive if you’ll be installing heavy-duty programs with enough files to take a sizable chunk of your storage, so just stick to simple applications and you shouldn’t have any problems. Thankfully, its 10.5-hour battery life allows you to take it wherever you go without it needing to be constantly charged. Additionally, if you have other devices to connect to, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 has both Type-C and A ports for well-rounded connectivity without the need for adapters. Another advantage this hybrid has over a laptop is its front and rear cameras, letting you take HD photos and videos, hassle-free. To seal the deal, this offer comes with a free Type Cover keyboard with a trackpad for the full pseudo-laptop experience. If you’re interested, check it out on Best Buy where it’s on sale for $699 from $959.
Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (256GB, Wi-Fi, 2018) — $799, was $949
Since its initial release in 2010, the iPad has been a staple in the tablet market as a pioneer for premier innovation, and Apple has only continued to push it further than ever before with the iPad Pro. Our roundup has two iPad Pros with different release dates, so it wholly depends on whether you prioritize power over price. The 2018’s 11-inch iPad Pro isn’t the latest model, but by no means is it outdated. It’s powered by Apple’s second-latest tablet processor, the A12Z, with 4GB of RAM, making it capable of quick navigation and exceptionally fluid multitasking. It doesn’t suffer from visible lag on-screen either, thanks to the Liquid Retina display that eliminates pixelation entirely, coupled with its 2,388 x 1,668 resolution.
The 2018 iPad Pro can store up to 256GB, which is far more than the average busybody would know what to do with. More demanding apps are a different story, however, as the iPad Pro is capable of tasks like video editing at the same level as some dedicated desktops. Unfortunately, this iPad Pro doesn’t have any LTE connectivity, so you’ll have to settle for Wi-Fi alone. This shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t really need another mobile device with LTE though. It has a single Type-C port, which might limit you in terms of what you can and can’t connect to, but considering you can get up to 10GB-per-second transfer rates and support for external displays with 5K resolution, it’s a small price to pay. The 10-hour battery life can also get you through most of the day without needing to charge. If you’re interested, you can check out the 2018 iPad Pro on B&H Photo where it’s discounted by $150, leaving it at $799.
Apple 11-inch iPad Pro (128GB, Cellular + Wi-Fi, 2020) — $919, was $949
In a side-by-side comparison with its predecessor, the 2020 iteration of the iPad Pro would win by a landslide. It should come as no surprise that we’ve ranked the iPad Pro as the best tablet on the market today. Under the hood, it packs Apple’s latest processor for tablets — the eight-core A12Z — which is second only to the iPhone 11’s A13. Performance-wise, the iPad Pro is capable of outclassing some higher-end laptops, allowing users to perform incredibly hardware-taxing activities such as video editing in 4K resolution and dedicated gaming. While it’s no MacBook Pro, as a tablet, it’s totally unmatched in terms of all-around capabilities with more than enough style to complement its substance.
The storage size isn’t as great as the 2018 iPad Pro on our list, having only 128GB to its name, but it should be sufficient for holding over a hundred applications and thousands of photos. If you ever find yourself needing more space, you can always opt to purchase an iCloud upgrade. The iPad Pro has also adopted Apple’s newest 10-megapixel ultra-wide camera for excellent high definition photos and videos. If you’ll be taking calls or attending teleconferences, it has five different microphones to capture every noise in its direct vicinity while automatically filtering any unwanted noise for clear and crisp communication. For wireless connectivity, the iPad Pro has both Wi-Fi and LTE support, so you never have to worry about suffering from life off the grid. Being the latest (and greatest) iPad Pro on the market, price drops like these come once in a blue moon, so we suggest you don’t hesitate to take it out for a spin. You can find it on B&H Photo where it’s discounted at $919 from $949.
Apple MacBook Air (2019) — $929, was $1,099
If a tablet just doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot you’re looking for, then the Apple MacBook definitely should. 2019’s 13.3-inch model of the MacBook Air offers portability along the lines of an iPad, weighing in at only 2.75 pounds, allowing you to take it wherever you need to be, so you never have to worry about lugging around a hefty brick just to stay on top of work. It uses an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM for decent multitasking capabilities, and it uses a Retina display with 2,560 x 1,600 resolution for visibly lag-free operation. The sound quality of its stereo speakers isn’t remarkable, as it is still somewhat lacking in depth and fullness per beat, but for everyday usage, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
In terms of storage, the MacBook Air has a 128GB SSD for all your documents and program files, as well as quick file transfers and minimal loading times. Unfortunately, the MacBook Air is not equipped to handle heavy video editing, gaming, and animating due to its low-end Intel UHD Graphics 617 card. However, for simple clerical work and other similar tasks, you shouldn’t have any issues. This includes teleconferences, thanks to the three built-in microphones and webcam providing clear audiovisual communication from your end. The two Thunderbolt ports are a bit limited, but this is easily solved with additional adapters. If you want a reliable laptop that you can take with you wherever you go, then the MacBook Air should do the trick. You can check it out on B&H Photo where it’s discounted at $929 from $1,099.
Apple MacBook Pro (2019) — $1,149, was $1,299
Now, if you want the best laptop Apple has to offer, with more robust functionalities than its Air counterpart, then the 2019 MacBook Pro is what you’re looking for. It’s powered by an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM for everything you would need from a powerful standard-usage laptop, capable of handling moderate multitasking with ease. The 13.3-inch Retina display renders images in 2,560 x 1,600 resolution for high-quality resolution without any pixelation, and the Intel Plus Graphics 645 card is capable of basic video editing and gaming. The speakers aren’t anything fancy, but they get the job done.
The MacBook Pro comes with a 128GB SSD for all your storage needs, such as your documents and program files, and it has two Thunderbolt ports for local connectivity. It’s a bit limiting in what you can and can’t store, but this is easily remedied with an external storage device or an iCloud upgrade. Where the MacBook Pro shines is in its innovative Touch Bar that replaces the function keys on the keyboard. Instead of keys, the Touch Bar automatically adapts to provide whatever functions you might need based on what you’re doing, with options like volume, playback, and brightness being a constant. This way, you can save on space and maximize efficiency, all while not having to worry about unwanted keyboard clutter. Plus, it allows you to really get the most out of every program for unmatched style and substance. If the MacBook Pro ticks all your boxes, then check it out on B&H Photo where it’s currently on sale for $1,149 from $1,299.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- Surface Go vs. Surface Pro 7
- Best cheap laptop deals for March 2021
- MacBook Pro vs. iPad Pro
- Best cheap Best Buy laptop deals for March 2021
- Apple MacBook Pro vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 7