Don't tell my kid we bought him this Cyber Monday MacBook deal

Apple MacBook Air M1 on light orange background
(Image credit: Apple)

When my kid started saving for his first laptop, he thought he’d be socking away $1000 for a MacBook Air (M1 2020), and so did his mother and I. Then came Amazon Cyber Monday deals, with a $200 price cut that brought his dream machine to $799, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Sure we can teach the kid to save, but we can also teach him to find a better price. Cyber Monday deals can make you a better parent, believe it. 

Sadly, Amazon ended the sale on the M1 Air, but the newer and faster MacBook Air (M2 2022) is only $1049.99, a $150 savings (opens in new tab). That’s the lowest price we’ve seen for the newest entry-level MacBook since it was announced earlier this year. At only $50 over last year’s model, that’s a great Cyber Monday MacBook deal worth buying. 

Today's best Cyber Monday MacBook deal

$1,199 (opens in new tab)

Apple MacBook Air (M2) | $1,199 $1,049.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The new MacBook Air with an M2 chip made quite a splash when it was announced at WWDC 2022, and Apple's latest certainly doesn't disappoint. It easily made our list of the best laptops of the year, and right now, you can get the base configuration with 8GB memory and 256GB storage for just $1,099 at Amazon – an 8% savings off the retail price.

Okay, we’re not going to tell my kid that we bought him a computer. Sure, I’m spilling the beans here, but he’s a teenager and he’s as interested in what I do for work as he is in what I keep in the glove compartment of my car. He won’t read this story. If you know my kid, please keep this a secret. Thanks.

We’re not telling him because he’s done a great job saving. He started getting an allowance transferred to a Greenlight debit card a year ago, and for a few months he spent frivolously, as we knew he would. He found untold power in being able to summon strange desires from Etsy and have trinkets waiting in the mailbox.

Then he got bored. He realized that $20 couldn’t get him much, so he started setting his sights higher. First he considered saving for a Meta Quest 2 (we’ve got info on great Meta Quest 2 deals). Then he had his eye on an Xbox Series S (we’ve also found some great Xbox Series S deals). Now, he’s started to look ahead to high school next year, and that made a laptop his primary goal.

Couldn't let this Cyber Monday MacBook deal pass us by

He didn’t need a new laptop, not really. He has an iPhone 11 and an iPad 10.2 for fun and games. He has a Chromebook from school for homework. There’s an old desktop computer that he can use if he needs to type something. It didn’t occur to me to buy him a $1000 MacBook Air until he asked for one. Or rather, until he made his case.

He learned that his future high school will allow him to bring his own laptop, as school accounts are managed through Chrome and Google. He doesn’t want to be stuck with the cheap school Chromebook. I don’t blame him. I’ve always toted my own laptop to work and school, when allowed, because my personal machine usually outclasses the company handout.

Maybe he didn’t realize who he was speaking to when he presented all of the reasons why he needed a shiny, new MacBook Air (2020) with the Apple M1 chip. He knew his stuff. He knew that he wouldn’t be playing hardcore games without a discrete graphics card, but that the M1 chip was more than powerful enough for Minecraft.

He knew that a 256GB SSD would be plenty of storage space since we also subscribe to a 2TB Apple One account. He didn’t know that his existing monitor could be connected to his future laptop, because he’s never dealt with external monitors or, frankly, USB ports, having relied on the iPhone and iPad his whole life, thus far.

I knew all of that, of course. I’m an enthusiast and a tech reviewer. My kid will never need to justify the desire for a brand new laptop. I’m excited for him to have one. I hope that he explores the capabilities of his machine and takes on new interests and challenges. Mostly, I’m happy to give him some personal digital space.

Teach him to save money or teach him savings

We could make him keep saving and keep the MacBook Air hidden until he has enough to pay for it. His Mom made the purchase, so she’ll decide if he pays full price or gets the Cyber Monday MacBook deal like she did. I think she’ll give him the discount.

He won’t wait long to get it, even though there’s a great lesson in making him save up for something he’ll use and cherish for years. The gifting holidays are coming, and his birthday comes soon after, so if he asked for cash to sock away, he could probably have a new laptop before the end of the school year.

A laptop makes a big difference in school, so we’ll give it to him sooner. Having technology that removes limitations and lets him accomplish what he imagines in a faster and more enjoyable way will result in better school performance. He’s already shown us he can save, and that he’s mature enough to handle technology. I’m excited to give him his first real computer to see how far it will take him.

More Cyber Monday MacBook deals

Philip Berne
US Mobiles Editor

Phil Berne is a preeminent voice in consumer electronics reviews, having reviewed his first device (the Sony D-EJ01 Discman) more than 20 years ago for eTown.com. He has been writing about phones and mobile technology, since before the iPhone, for a variety of sites including PCMag, infoSync, PhoneScoop, and Slashgear. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Theory from Carnegie Mellon University. 


Phil was the internal reviewer for Samsung Mobile, writing opinions and review predictions about top secret new devices months before launch. He worked at an Apple Store near Boston, MA, at the height of iPod popularity. He has been a High School English teacher at Title I schools, and is a certified Lifeguard. His passion is smartphones and wearables, and he is sure that the next big thing will be phones we wear on our faces.