With Black Friday coming up, there are already some fantastic deals on MacBook Airs and Pros, and more are likely on the way. And you shouldn’t hesitate to buy one.
With the recent news that Apple won’t release any more new Macs until next year, maybe you decided to put off that Mac purchase. While you can absolutely 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 if you should buy now or wait until later, here are a few reasons why you should go ahead and 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’ll track the deals and post them in the articles below.
The waiting game
If your tendency is to wait, you’re going to be waiting for a good amount of time. The speculation is that Apple won’t release new Macs until March 2023–probably the end of that month. That’s a long four months from now (three months if your new Mac purchase is a December holiday gift). That time could be spent reaping the benefits of a new Mac–the improved speed, the better graphics, the new designs.
When Apple does release its new Macs, they’ll be for sale at their regular prices and you’ll need to wait several more weeks (or even months) before they see substantial cuts. The Macs that are being replaced could also see reductions, but are you willing to wait and see what the chances are that the prices may not go down much further?
Because Apple updates its products regularly, it’s easy to get caught in a cycle of always waiting for the latest and greatest. But you’ll benefit almost immediately with a new Mac and make that money back quickly through time saved with a better experience.
Further reading: Black Friday might 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 it’s especially true if you’re upgrading from an Intel-based Mac to a Mac with an M1 or M2 processor. The boost of the M1 over Intel can be well over 30 percent, and more with the M2.
But the performance improvement from the M1 to the M2 is relatively marginal–between 10 and 15 percent. You need to be doing some serious computations to notice that difference. In general use (web access, productivity tasks, and common Finder duties), the difference can’t be felt at all—and that’s the bulk of the upgrades we’re expecting 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 can certainly do that. But unless you’re creating 3D content, making videos, writing apps, or doing other tasks that push the CPU, 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 its Macs, you’re going to wait a long time. The iMac, Mac Studio, MacBook Air, and the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro have designs that are just over a year old or younger. Apple isn’t going to change those Macs anytime soon. The 13-inch MacBook Pro probably isn’t going to change, either, because Apple uses it to address a certain segment of the market without having to make a sizeable investment into a new device.
Mac mini enthusiasts have a more intricate situation. Apple’s $699 and $899 models with an M1 feature a design that’s been in use since 2010. Reports say that Apple could release a redesigned M2 Mac mini in the spring of 2023, but some rumors also say the new model could just be a higher-end replacement for the current $1,099 Intel-based Mac mini. Besides, even if the new Mac mini is smaller than the current model, the current Mac mini is pretty small to begin with. So unless you really, really need a Mac smaller than the current Mac mini, there’s not really a reason to wait.
The only Mac worth waiting for is the new Mac Pro. Apple offers only Intel-based models right now, and when it does introduce an M-series Mac Pro, it will probably also have a new design. However, the Mac Pro isn’t the kind of product to go on sale on Black Friday and it’s also bought by the type of user who doesn’t wait around for sales because they need the power right now. So Mac Pro buyers can sit back until 2023.