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Huge Apple savings: $100 off the latest iPad Pro, $200 price cut on M1 MacBook Pro and more

Apple’s 2021 back-to-school promo boils down to “buy select Mac or iPad models, get a free pair of AirPods.” That’s pretty good, but there are plenty of great Apple discounts even for folks without students in the family. Other Apple authorized resellers — including Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart — often have significant discounts of up to $100 or more. Case in point: 

  • The new 2021 iPad Pro is currently $100 off, the first real discount since its May release. 
  • The M1 MacBook Pro (the most current model) is back down to $1,100 at Amazon, a $200 savings versus what you’d pay at the Apple Store.
  • For the same $1,100, you can get an M1 MacBook Air with twice the storage of the Pro (512GB vs. 256GB)

Pro tip: Unlike the earlier Intel models, there’s not a big performance delta between the current M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. So getting the Air with double the storage is probably the best option for most users.

Apple deals available now

Scott Stein/CNET

When is spending a grand considered a discount? When you’re buying a brand-new iPad Pro. This is the flagship model in Apple’s 2021 line, with the fancy mini LED screen. It’s still not as flexible as a Mac, but if you’re in a creative field (art, filmmaking, photography, music), buying with this first-ever discount will give you an extra $100 to invest in pricey extras like the Apple Pencil and the add-on keyboard. Read our iPad Pro 2021 review. 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Apple’s newest iteration of the MacBook Pro boasts the high-performing M1 chip, running faster than ever and making Mac history with a 20-hour battery life. It has a cooling fan (unlike the Air), but chances are you’ll never hear it spinning up, thanks to that ultra-efficient M1 chip. (Note that updated versions of the MacBook Pro with larger 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros are rumored to be coming soon — but they’ll certainly cost more.) 

Stephen Shankland/CNET

The baseline MacBook Air is more or less “always” on sale for $50 off at Amazon and elsewhere, and sometimes dips down to $100 off ($900 total). But the better buy is the step-up MacBook Air model, which offers an improved M1 processor with an eight-core GPU versus the seven cores you get in the base model, as well as double the storage (512GB vs. 256GB). 

David Carnoy/CNET

This is a similar story to the iPad Pro: The AirPods Max are still really expensive, but they’re also at their lowest price to date: $478. Unlike past discounts, this price is currently available on all five colors. Read our AirPods Max review. 

Juan Garzon/CNET

Since its release in 2020, Apple’s newest iPad has frequently fluctuated in price between $300 and $330, so it’s a good idea to grab one around Prime Day before the price surges again. With its speedy processor and compatibility with trackpads and keyboards, CNET’s Scott Stein calls the new-and-improved basic tablet “the best iPad value by far.”

César Salza/CNET en Español

The Apple Watch is essentially a wearable iPhone, and the Series 6 might even have the iPhone beat in one respect: The screen stays on so you can glance at it anytime. The Product Red model has remained at this discounted level for quite awhile. Just be aware that a Series 7 upgrade is expected as soon as September.

David Carnoy/CNET

If you’re looking for the noise-canceling feature of AirPod Pros but are not a fan of the in-ear design or price tag, you gotta jump on these Beats Pro Solo. Originally retailed at $300, these headphones are now half off.

The inclusion of Apple’s H1 chip means that it will pair easily with Apple devices just like AirPods. Android users can get this feature via app. Note: It only charges via Lightning port and doesn’t come with a cable or adapter to be used as a wired headset. Previously an issue at full price, but we can be more forgiving at this price. Lastly, these are also compatible with Apple Spatial Audio, if you happen to subscribe to Apple Music. 

Read our Beats Solo Pro review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

For just under $200, you can invest in a pair of Apple’s top-of-the-line wireless earbuds. The sound is crisp, the fit is snug and the noise cancellation really works. (If you want a better deal, hold on for these to drop to $190 or less, which they frequently do.) Read our AirPods Pro review.

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