Black Friday is going to be a great time to grab an M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

Apple MacBook Air (M1,2020) Rear Lid
(Image credit: Future)

With the long-awaited announcement of the new MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), we can confidently say that this year is going to see some absolutely amazing Black Friday MacBook deals on the smaller M1 MacBook models. 

If last year's Black Friday deals on Apple's MacBook Air (M1) and 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1) are any indication, this year's sales are going to be some real bangers, with hundreds off the retail price of two of the best laptops ever made.

If you've been hoping to grab one of these premium Apple laptops, you're going to have a lot more luck than finding a new Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), which is going to see huge, sustained demand after they're released next week. While we might see some deals on those laptops as well, all signs point to the biggest saving coming to last year's M1 models, for a number of reasons.

Supply chain, shmupply chain

In case you haven't heard, there's an ongoing supply chain crisis going on around the world right now. Cargo containers can't unload their Black Friday and Cyber Monday merchandise while warehouses can't move out existing goods to make way for the new merchandise as logistical snags are cascading through the entire supply chain at the worst possible time.

But the supply chain's woes could be your best friend right now if you're looking for an early deal on last year's MacBook offerings. Retailers have had a full year to build up an inventory of M1 MacBooks in their warehouses, so there is more available stock of last year's MacBooks than this year's newest model.

Even worse (for retailers, that is), demand for last year's MacBooks are expected to tank now that Apple is releasing its most powerful MacBook yet just in time for Black Friday

While everyone is going to be clamoring for new MacBook Pro 16-inch laptops which might be delayed due to supply chain hiccups, M1 MacBooks are taking up valuable warehouse space even now, putting even more pressure on retailers to move out last year's models than normal.

From now through Black Friday and even beyond, we're expecting to see huge price cuts on MacBook Air (M1) and 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1) models as a result, which makes the next six to eight weeks the best time ever to grab one of these incredible products. So if you're looking for a perfect laptop to throw in that new backpack you bought for the return to school or office, there's never been a better time to pick up a new M1 MacBook.

M1 MacBook Air

(Image credit: Apple)

1. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The best Apple laptop

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
+
Battery life is great
+
Silent in use

Reasons to avoid

-
Fanless design could impact performance

The Apple MacBook Air (M1) is one of the best Ultrabooks ever made thanks to its gorgeous Retina display, phenomenal battery life, whisper quiet operation, and powerful performance from Apple's M1 chip. Already one of Apple's most affordable products – relatively speaking, obviously, this is still an Apple laptop after all – we saw great Black Friday deals on the MacBook Air (M1) last year and it was only a few weeks old at that point. We're seeing even better deals right now and we're expecting these to last all the way through Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

M1 MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

2. MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

Apple’s little MacBook Pro gets a big refresh

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit Retina display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm

Reasons to buy

+
Huge battery life
+
Great performance
+
Can run iOS apps

Reasons to avoid

-
Still lacks ports

The 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1) meanwhile, combines the portability of an Ultrabook with the performance of a mobile workstation so you can stay on top of your work wherever you are.

While this laptop runs a bit more expensive than its thinner counterpart, the need to clear inventory right now is so critical that we're seeing this MacBook Pro model getting some of the steepest price cuts its had all year, and we expect this trend to last through Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).