With Black Friday coming, there are already some amazing deals on MacBook Airs and Pros, and more are likely to come. And you should not hesitate to buy one.
With the recent news that Apple won’t be releasing any new Macs until next year, you may have decided to hold off on your Mac purchase. While you can certainly wait until next year to get a better model, we think Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to invest in a new Mac. If you’re not sure whether you should buy now or wait until later, here are some reasons why you should make the investment.
It’s a perfect storm of deals
Apple hasn’t released a new Mac since the Air arrived in July, so every model is ripe for deep discounts. The older but still excellent M1 Air is currently on sale for $799, and the new M2 Air is $150 off. The 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro are both $500 off. And the Mac mini has dropped to $750. Even 24-inch iMacs are $150 off.
To help you with your shopping, we’ve put together some guides to help you find the best Black Friday deals. We track the deals and post them in the articles below.
The waiting game
If you tend to wait, you’re going to be waiting a long time. The speculation is that Apple won’t release new Macs until March 2023 – probably at the end of that month. That’s a long four months from now (three months if your new Mac purchase is a December Christmas present). That time can be used to reap the benefits of a new Mac—the improved speed, the better graphics, the new designs.
When Apple releases its new Macs, they’ll be on sale at regular prices, and you’ll have to wait several weeks (or even months) before they see significant cuts. The Macs being replaced may also see reductions, but are you willing to wait and see what the chances are that prices might not drop much further?
Because Apple updates its products regularly, it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of always waiting for the latest and greatest. But you’ll benefit almost immediately with a new Mac and make your money back quickly through time saved with a better experience.
Further reading: Black Friday may be your last best chance to buy a Mac before prices skyrocket
Marginal and massive gains
I’ve mentioned the improved processing speed as an immediate benefit, and that’s especially true if you’re upgrading from an Intel-based Mac to a Mac with an M1 or M2 processor. The boost of M1 over Intel can be well over 30 percent, and more with M2.
But the performance improvement from M1 to M2 is relatively marginal – between 10 and 15 per cent. You have to do some serious math to notice that difference. In general use (web access, productivity tasks, and common Finder tasks), the difference is not noticeable at all—and that’s the bulk of the upgrades we expect from next year’s updates.
If you’re using an Intel Mac and want to wait for M2 versions of the Mac mini or the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, you certainly can. But unless you’re creating 3D content, creating videos, writing apps, or doing other tasks that push the processor, you’re waiting for additional performance you won’t notice.
No major changes on the way (with one exception)
If you’re waiting to see if Apple will make design changes to the Macs, you’re going to be waiting a long time. The iMac, Mac Studio, MacBook Air and 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro have designs that are just over a year old or younger. Apple isn’t going to change these Macs anytime soon. The 13-inch MacBook Pro probably won’t change either, because Apple is using it to address a certain segment of the market without having to make a significant investment in a new device.
Mac mini enthusiasts have a more complicated situation. Apple’s $699 and $899 models with an M1 have a design that has been in use since 2010. Reports say that Apple may release a redesigned M2 Mac mini in the spring of 2023, but some rumors also say that the new model may just be a higher -end replacement for the current $1,099 Intel-based Mac mini. Also, while the new Mac mini is smaller than the current model, the current Mac mini is pretty small to begin with. So unless you really need a Mac smaller than the current Mac mini, there’s no reason to wait.
The only Mac worth waiting for is the new Mac Pro. Apple only offers Intel-based models right now, and when they introduce an M-series Mac Pro, it will likely have a new design as well. However, the Mac Pro isn’t the kind of product that goes on sale on Black Friday, and it’s also bought by the kind of users who don’t wait for a sale because they need the power right now. So Mac Pro buyers can sit back until 2023.