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Best back-to-school MacBook deals and sales for 2021

Back-to-school laptop deals are upon us and boy, are there plenty of great offers on MacBooks happening right now right now. If you’re keen to embrace the macOS lifestyle at school or college, this is the perfect time to check out all the amazing back-to-school MacBook sales with retailers eager to save you money wherever possible. As is customary at this time of year, the back-to-school MacBook deals are pretty great with offers on the latest MacBook Air as well as the MacBook Pro 13-inch and 16-inch versions. With some speedy hardware to choose from, we thought we’d help you figure out the right MacBook for you with some key buying advice while also listing all the best back-to-school MacBook sales currently out there. There’s something here for everyone.

Today’s best back to school MacBook deals

How to choose a MacBook for school or college

When figuring out what MacBook is right for you, your absolute first port of call to check out needs to be our look at the best MacBook to buy. Here, you’ll find a great overview of all your options for MacBooks so you can quickly check out what works for you before diving into the back-to-school MacBook deals.

Effectively, you have three main MacBook models to choose from. While it’s possible to find deals on older models, we don’t really recommend it. Now that Apple has embraced its M1 chip on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 16, even the best back-to-school MacBook sales on an older Intel-based model just aren’t worth your cash. Stick with the newest varieties and you can’t go wrong. Unless we’re talking about the MacBook Pro 16, of course. Confused? Don’t be. The back-to-school MacBook deals are a great time to get more for your money and we’ll help you narrow things down.

So, what are your options? There’s the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13 and MacBook Pro 16. Each offers strengths and weaknesses.

The MacBook Air is the traditional choice for a student who needs to head between classes regularly. It’s the most lightweight and portable of the MacBooks out there right now. A rock-solid aluminum body and great build quality mean you can toss it into your bag between classes without a problem. Battery life is of the all-day variety and we really mean it with about 15.5 hours of web browsing possible between charges. It’s the ideal laptop to take out and about with you all day while still knowing you can head home and watch some streaming content without needing to hook it up to a power source.

Our MacBook Air buying guide breaks things down extensively but you don’t really have to think too hard here. If you want the cheapest MacBook out there (and likely to be cheaper still thanks to the back-to-school MacBook deals), and portability is everything, the MacBook Air is the one for you. It’s nice and simple like that.

However, if you want a slightly classier experience and don’t mind a tiny bit more bulk, the MacBook Pro 13 is a good bet. It has slightly superior GPU performance and a better Retina display but it’s also a little heavier and bulkier. Still, you do get superior speakers too which is great if you’re streaming a lot of content.

The MacBook Pro also has Apple’s Touch Bar which is a neat replacement for the function keys from before. Best of all is the Touch ID button so you can log into websites and your laptop without needing to type in a password. Battery life is still amazing, too, thanks to the M1 chip’s prowess. Again, our MacBook Pro 13 buying guide will help you truly understand the finer details of the MacBook Pro 13. Basically, it’s the middle range option that’s often discounted as part of the back-to-school MacBook sales. While the MacBook Air is much closer in performance than it used to be, the MacBook Pro does have the perks of the touch bar and the slightly better screen and these things can add up depending on what you need.

Then there’s the MacBook Pro 16. Again, our MacBook Pro 16 buying guide goes into depth, but it’s Apple’s top-end laptop and it’s very powerful. However, it doesn’t use Apple’s M1 chip just yet, which means it’s not quite as potent as it once was. Still, for the money, you get a 16-inch screen and a fairly hefty graphics card and the back-to-school MacBook deals going on right now. If video editing is your game or you want to play some actual games on the move, this could be tempting. It’s not exactly portable though thanks to that hefty 16-inch screen, so this is more something to leave in your dorm than take to class all the time. There are rumors that the MacBook Pro 16 will be updated soon though so you might want to hold off on snapping one up unless the back-to-school MacBook sales are truly too compelling.

Still not sure? Basically, the MacBook Air is the best choice for the majority of students, especially during the back-to-school MacBook sales. Lightweight and highly portable, you’ll be able to take it between classes easily while enjoying amazing battery life. The MacBook Pro 13 is a worthy second choice if you want a slightly superior display. Alternatively, probably give the MacBook Pro 16 a miss unless the back-to-school MacBook deals are simply too strong. Odds are it’s soon to be replaced.

Editors' Recommendations

Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen is a technology writer with over 10 years of experience. She primarily writes about the best deals coverage…
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