We’ve reviewed hundreds of tablets and laptops in the span of the 14 years that we’ve been in the business and we can say with utmost confidence that the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, iPad Pro, and MacBook Air are some of the best devices that you can get for working and learning from home. Right now, all three are available at Best Buy on the cheap. Save up to $200 when you get them today.
iPad Pro — from $700
If you’re looking for something powerful to replace your laptop, take a look at the iPad Pro, our choice for the best tablet of 2020. It has a lot going for it, including a drop-dead gorgeous screen, aesthetically pleasing slim bezels, and nearly desktop-grade performance (although this model isn’t the new one).
This tablet comes in two sizes; the 11-inch model and the massive 12.9-inch model. Naturally, the larger iPad Pro costs more but it’s essentially the same as the smaller one underneath the hood (same processor, specs, battery life, etc.). Although it is unwieldy, we do love using it for drawing or watching movies. Right now, you can get the 11-inch iPad Pro at Best Buy for $700 instead of the usual $800, while the 12-inch version costs $200 more.
Appearance-wise, the iPad Pro keeps up with the current design trend seen in most electronic devices. The iPad Pro’s bezels are slim and symmetrical. Although it feels massive, it is lightweight enough to use with one hand (well, almost). Just like the iPhone X, the home button is now missing. Unlocking the screen is done through Face ID, and you have to navigate the interface through swiping and gestures. In portrait orientation, you’ll find the power button and the volume rocker on the right edge. Unfortunately, just like the latest iPhone, this one doesn’t have an audio jack.
Its Retina LED display has a 2,388 x 1,668-pixel resolution and is breathtaking. Images look super sharp, colors are vibrant, and it gets plenty bright even when outdoors. While the blacks aren’t as deep as the OLED display on the iPhone XS, it’s still stunningly gorgeous. It supports HDR content and has a 120hz screen refresh rate, so watching videos and working on this tablet is an absolute blast. Battery life is one of its strong suits. On a single charge, the iPad Pro can easily last the whole day with normal usage.
The iPad Pro is a workhorse of a portable device. It is powered by the powerful A12X Bionic processor. Playing graphically demanding iPad Pro games was fast and fluid, and Apple even claims the chip can process graphical input more effectively than the Xbox One. Multitasking also wasn’t an issue, as the iPad Pro can deftly handle heavy programs like Photoshop with relative ease. While you might still want a desktop or laptop to run other programs, the iPad Pro is better for professionals compared to the iPad Mini, iPad, and iPad Air.
Probably the biggest draw to the iPad Pro is its exclusive compatibility with the second-gen Apple Pencil. The other iPads only support the first-gen Apple Pencil, which you have to plug into the Lighting port to charge and which is always in danger of snapping in half. The Apple Pencil 2, on the other hand, can be charged wirelessly and magnetically attaches onto the frame of the iPad Pro.
11-inch iPad Pro — $700, was $800:
12.9-inch iPad Pro — $900, was $1,000:
— $799, was $959
While there haven’t been many significant changes in the numerous iterations of the Microsoft Surface Pro line, we still wholeheartedly recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. Of course, you’re better off getting the Surface Pro X with its tangible refinements both in hardware and performance, but it’s one of the most expensive machines in the market. What you get with the Surface Pro 7 is what we’ve already come to expect: A gorgeous display, top-notch build quality, updated processor performance, and outstanding battery life. And finally, we’ve got a USB Type-C port! This means fewer cables in general since the USB-C port can handle power delivery, video output, and data transfer at the same time.
As always, Microsoft made sure that the Surface Pro 7 looks terrific, if a tad outdated. Its aluminum chassis is sleek, stylish, and sexy, although the bezels still haven’t been cut down. They remain large and visible from outer space. Still, this is one stunning device that’s guaranteed to make heads turn.
You probably already know that the detachable Type Cover keyboard is practically a mandatory purchase, and normally it’s sold separately. That’s because as a tablet alone, the Surface Pro 7 doesn’t make much sense. We’re happy to report that this deal comes bundled with it. The keyboard remains gratifying to use, with a layout that never looks cramped, keystroke that’s precise and snappy, and a touchpad that’s simply one of the best we’ve had the pleasure of gliding our fingers on. Another peripheral you might want to save up for is the Surface Pen, the best-in-class stylus with 4,096 levels of sensitivity and even a built-in eraser.
Nothing has changed when it comes to screen quality, and that’s a good thing. The Surface Pro 7’s 12.3-inch (2,736 x 1,824 pixels) screen is as stunning as the Surface Go’s and Surface Book 2’s – one of the best screens you can find on a 2-in-1 system. Furthermore, for a laptop of this size, the front-facing speakers can easily fill a room with music and provide adequate audio for watching movies.
Microsoft touts the Surface Pro 7 as a true laptop replacement, and it definitely has the processing power to back that up. Even this unit’s entry-level Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM make it a multitasking beast, although we admit its G4-level Iris Plus graphics chipset doesn’t make it much of a gaming machine.
Shockingly, the Surface Pro 7 did not inherit the best thing that has happened to the Surface Pro 6: Its stellar battery life. Although it was able to last a respectable eight and a half hours in our web browsing test, this is an hour shorter than its predecessor. You’ll definitely be able to squeeze out a full day of work with it. Just don’t expect to watch a Netflix movie or TV episode once you’re at home without reaching for the power cable.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 with the Black Type Cover is currently on sale on Best Buy for $799 instead of $959 – a massive $160 off.
— $900, was $1,100
The MacBook Air is now thinner and lighter than ever, yet still possesses the same power and solid build quality typical of Apple devices. Today, though, there are other MacBooks and laptops out there that are thinner and lighter. Even if it’s not the featherweight champion anymore, the MacBook Air still has an excellent build quality, thanks to its eco-friendly aluminum chassis. This is one sleek-looking laptop, with the same clean aesthetic as the rest of its MacBook kin. The latest version of the MacBook Air normally retails for $1,100, but right now you can purchase it on Best Buy for $900 — a huge $200 off.
This MacBook Air looks almost exactly like the previous one, with a few significant hardware and software upgrades. The older version is outfitted with a single Thunderbolt 2 port and two USB 3 ports; the latest one has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports instead. Although both models have a 13-inch LED-backlit screen, the newer MacBook Air’s display is further improved by Apple’s True Tone technology. The screen now has the power to adapt to your environment’s ambient light to make images appear more natural, with accurate colors that aren’t oversaturated. It’s not the best screen we’ve encountered on a MacBook, though (that honor goes to the MacBook Pro), since it doesn’t go as bright as we hoped for, but it still looks fantastic.
Working alongside an Intel i5 processor, this MacBook Air has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory. It proved speedy and performed well when tasked with normal daily workflow, like streaming videos, working in Photoshop, word processing, and web browsing. We did, however, notice a bit of a slowdown when we had multiple browsers, apps, and programs open simultaneously, but not enough to raise concern.
The MacBook Air can last up to eight hours with light web browsing. While not exactly a bad number, that falls well short of Huawei’s MateBook X Pro, which managed 9.5 hours in our test.
If you’re determined to buy a MacBook but don’t want to shell out too much money, then the MacBook Air is for you. It’s a well-rounded portable laptop that boasts a solid performance and premium build quality. Get the latest version of the MacBook Air for $900.
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