The best Black Friday MacBook deals: what can we expect in 2019
Welcome to our guide to getting the best Black Friday MacBook deal. Owning a MacBook is, for many designers, the impossible dream. They’re so thin and pretty and swish, but goodness, they’re expensive. But the great news is there’s just a few weeks to go until the big retail event, meaning there’s a very good chance you can grab your very own MacBook for less.
The main event is on the 29 November, with Cyber Monday following on 2 December, but you might not need to wait until then. Each year we’ve seen retailers get in on the action earlier, which means getting one of the best Black Friday MacBook deals or even a cheeky Cyber Monday MacBook Pro bargain could be closer than you think.
To help make sure you don’t miss any cracking Black Friday MacBook deals, we’re constantly scouring the web, and will update this article with the best prices as soon as they go live. In the meantime, below you’ll find the best deals around right now, plus what discounts we saw last year and what kind of offers we might expect to see this year.
If you’re a bit stuck on which MacBook you should buy, we’re here to help with that too. It largely depends on your requirements and what you will be using the machine for, but the key things to consider are screen size, memory and the amount of power you require (processor/chip). For more in-depth advice, jump to the bottom of this article for the MacBook features and specs that creatives should look out for section.
A quick word of advice: Decide just how much you want to spend on a Black Friday MacBook deal (or a MacBook on Cyber Monday, of course), and when you see one within that budget, go for it. The very best deals don’t hang around for long so it’s best to grab them as soon as they come up. Bookmark this page and check back to make sure you know what to expect and you can jump on the best Black Friday MacBook deals before they sell out.
The best Black Friday MacBook deals in 2018
Last year we saw some incredible Black Friday MacBook deals and the bargains continued with some great MacBook Cyber Monday deals too. This included MacBook Pro models being reduced by up to almost $600, and $200 off various MacBook Air and iMac models. Here are further details on some of the best deals we saw last year.
EXPIRED Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar:
£2289.97 £1699.97 at Laptops Direct
Save £590: A saving of almost £600 on this MacBook Pro, this was one of the best Black Friday MacBook deals we saw last year. Here’s hoping we see lots more like this in 2019.
EXPIRED MacBook Pro (15.4-inch, 2017):
$2799 $2399 at B&H Save $400: This full-fat 2017-vintage MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, had a whopping $400 knocked off the retail price. You won’t be surprised to know they flew off the shelves.
EXPIRED MacBook Air (2017)
$1,000 $800 at Best Buy
Save $200: For those who didn’t mind an older model MacBook Air in the basic configuration, this deal from Best Buy was a corker. Only available in limited qualities, these didn’t hang around long.
EXPIRED Apple iMac (21.5″, 8GB RAM, 1TB):
$1099 $899 at Jet
Save $200: Ok, so not technically a MacBook, but last year saw a huge $200 knocked off this iMac with 21.5-inch widescreen display, 7th-gen Intel Core processor, and super-fast graphics. Want more iMac news? Check out our dedicated best Black Friday Apple deals post.
EXPIRED MacBook Air 2017 (256GB SSD): £949 £779 from Very
Save £170: Another cracking MacBook Air deal, Very shaved £170 off the retail price, putting the powerful device down to less than £800. Bargain.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday MacBook deals 2019: What we expect to see
The standard MacBook is a popular choice, and it’s easy to see why. If portability is your thing, it’s worth noting that the most up-to-date 12-inch MacBook is both thinner and lighter than the old 13-inch MacBook Air, with better specs and a Retina display.
What this popularity means, though, is that you’re unlikely to see much in the way of massive Black Friday or Cyber Monday MacBook deals on the standard models. However the introduction of new 2019 models means there may well be great bargains to be had on last year’s still highly capable models. Keep your eyes peeled, and be prepared to act fast, as these deals are likely to get snapped up quickly.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday MacBook Pro deals: What we expect to see
If last year’s Cyber Monday and Black Friday MacBook Pro deals are anything to go by, you could make some major savings on the top-end models in Apple’s MacBook range this year, especially if you’re prepared to make do with an older model. On lesser laptops this might be an issue, but even an old MacBook Pro is ludicrously powerful compared to the average laptop, making it well worth taking a punt.
The MacBook Pro’s high price – especially on, say, the Touch Bar models – means it’s easier for retailers to deliver a huge temporary price cut and still turn a profit, so if you’re looking for a powerful creative laptop it’s worth bearing in mind. You’ll still be paying out quite a bit for it, but it’ll be worth the expense.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday MacBook Air deals: What we expect to see
The 2019 MacBook Air is here. It’s gorgeous, though still perhaps a tad too small for many creatives, but it’s also unlikely to be on offer this year as it’s so new.
This revamped model is a good sign for those looking for the older MacBook Air, however, as we expect there to be some fantastic Black Friday MacBook Air deals on offer this year as retailers clear out their old stock.
The downside to plumping for an older Air is that it’s the least powerful MacBook you can get, and it’s not even the thinnest and lightest any more. However if you simply have to have that MacBook cachet but you’re on a budget, it’s the obvious choice.
How to get the best MacBook deals on Black Friday
Preparation is key when it comes to getting good Black Friday MacBook deals, or picking up a MacBook Cyber Monday bargain, especially when you bear in mind that a lot of retailers can’t wait for Black Friday, and so start shipping their bargains well in advance of the big day. In the run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday we’ll be keeping tabs on new deals as they appear, so keep checking back for offers that you won’t want to miss.
You’ll need to decide whether it’s a standard MacBook you want, an Air or a full-fat MacBook Pro. If you’re planning to use your new MacBook as an all-round work machine then it’s worth holding out for a good deal on a Pro as it’ll be able to cope with just about everything you throw at it. If you’re less of a power user then the ordinary MacBook should suit your needs, and while the older Air’s more limited it should be the one to go for if you want a MacBook at rock-bottom prices. The latest Air may also be for you if you prioritise a portable and thin machine over screen size.
Beware of older models – they’re likely to see the biggest discounts but they’ll be packing less power than more up-to-date machines. Although you could consider getting an SSD to speed things up. And of course, use a bit of common sense while shopping; look out for cashback offers, always check the guarantee and make sure you keep your receipt in case of faults or buyer’s remorse.
MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air features and specs that creatives should look out for
There might only be three main models of MacBook to choose from, but there are plenty of variations in the line that are well worth noting when you’re looking for Black Friday MacBook deals. Firstly, the CPU: the MacBook Air’s is the least powerful of the lot, although the brand new 2019 version improves things with a dual-core 8th-generation Core i5 processor, with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz. Older models feature an old Intel Broadwell chipset running at 1.6GHz, or 1.8GHz for more recent models.
Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro boast beefier 8th and 9th generation chipsets; with the latest Pro really turning up the heat: up to 2.7GHz quad-core Core i7 in the 13-inch Touch Bar model, while the 15-inch Touch Bar version goes up to a 2.9GHz six-core Core i9.
Lower end MacBooks – the older Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro – only give you 128GB SSD, which is likely to mean that you’ll need to invest in some external storage; the new MacBook Air starts with 128GB but can be specced up to a whopping 1.5TB SSD if you have the budget. All other MacBook models feature 256GB SSD; bear in mind that if you work with large files then you’ll probably burn through that pretty quickly.
If you’re going to need to plug peripherals into your new MacBook, check the number of available ports; the standard MacBook only has one USB-C port, while most MacBook Pros have four. The latest MacBook Air features a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the older model has three ports: they’re USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 2, and while they shouldn’t give you any problems, bear in mind you might need an adapter for more recent peripherals.
Display-wise, all the MacBooks apart from the original Air feature crisp Retina displays. And they’ll all serve you well in terms of battery, but watch out for MacBook Pros with a Touch Bar; Apple claims that this makes no difference but our friends at TechRadar have found that the Touch Bar can take a fair toll on battery life.
3 MacBooks and MacBook Pros to look out for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
01. MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid-2018)
The best MacBook money can buy
CPU: 6-core Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 540X – 560X, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16 – 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display | Storage: 512GB – 4TB SSD | Dimensions: (H x W x D): 34.93 x 24.07 x 1.55cm
Loads of RAM
If you need all the power you can handle and don’t mind paying for it, the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro is the only way to go. Powered by a six-core Intel Coffee Lake processor and with the option of AMD Radeon Pro graphics, there’s little this machine can’t cope with. Storage options go from 512GB up to 4TB of SSD, and you can have 16 or 32GB RAM. In short it’s a mighty creative powerhouse that won’t let you down, assuming you have the means to afford it.
02. MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, mid-2018)
Entry-level MacBook Pro with plenty of power
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions: (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.49cm
Lots of storage
You may have read complaints about the temperamental Butterfly keyboard on recent MacBooks; the latest MacBook Pro still features it, but it’s an improved version with less noise and more reliability. This model also features a Touch Bar that’ll give you time-saving, context-sensitive commands for various apps, as well as an up-to-date CPU and plenty of storage and memory options. If you want an entry-level MacBook Pro, this is the one to go for.
03. MacBook (2017)
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core m3 – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12-inch Retina (2,304 x 1,440) IPS | Storage: 256GB – 512GB PCIe SSD | Dimensions: (W x D x H): 11.04 x 7.74 x 0.14~0.52in
Long battery life
Don’t need the power of a Pro? This vanilla MacBook should suit you nicely; it’s super-portable and lightweight, with a 12-inch Retina screen, and as long as you don’t mind paying the extra it’s a much more attractive prospect than the ageing MacBook Air. It’s low on ports, but that’s the price you pay for such a slimline machine, and if you need a reliable MacBook that you can take anywhere then this is really the only choice in town.