Back when I was studying at college and money was tight, I spent a year using an iPad 2 with the classic keyboard dock as my 'laptop'. However, there came a point where I simply had to upgrade to a proper laptop in order to be able to work effectively.
What I really wanted was a MacBook, but I couldn't afford even the cheapest new model – and there was no such thing as a Prime Day deal at the time. I ended up buying one from Apple's refurbished store (opens in new tab), and I wasn't disappointed – and if you're a hard-pressed student like I was, or you just want an Apple laptop without stumping up the full price, I'd urge you to go the same route.
Good as new
When some people see the word 'refurbished laptop' they imagine a second-hand machine with a few scratches on the lid, maybe some dead pixels on the screen, and keys that badly need a clean. But this couldn't be further from the reality if you buy an Apple Certified Refurbished product.
Apple has a page that explains in detail (opens in new tab) how every refurbished product is cleaned, tested, and given a new battery. Certified Refurbished devices also come with a one-year warranty.
It does explain that the product may be running an older version of macOS, iOS or iPadOS, as was the case with the MacBook I bought, but you only need to go to System Preferences > Software Update to download the latest version.
I remember that back in 2011 my refurbed MacBook Pro 13-inch arrived in a white box with the cables supplied, and it looked like new – it was difficult for me to tell the difference between it and a brand-new model. It was loaded up with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and was £300 cheaper than the latest MacBook at the time; and while it had an older Intel processor, I was just happy that I was back on macOS again, having owned an iMac when I was younger.
The MacBook served me well for three years until I was able to afford a new MacBook Air, and I had no issues with it during that time. It was a zippy machine that did everything I needed it to – and it helped me get a degree.
So don't be put off by the 'refurbished' label – it's not a taboo, and you're likely to end up with a good-as-new device while pocketing a considerable saving.
If you can't find anything to suit in Apple's Refurbished store – or if I haven't convinced you, and you simply have to have a brand-new MacBook – we've found a couple of deals for you below.
MacBook Pro 16-inch (M1 Pro, 2021):
$2,699 $2,449 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save $200: The specs offered by this 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD 2021 MacBook Pro 16 mean it's never going to be cheap, but with a $200 discount, this is a great offer if you're after Apple's mighty MacBook Pro.
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2020, M1):
£1,499 £1,439 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save £60: While this model of the MacBook Pro is now two years old, and a newer model has just be released, this remains a very good laptop thanks to the M1 chip. This model comes with 8GB memory and 512GB SSD.
Looking for a Prime Day bargain? We've got you covered with our round-up of all the best deals.
Prime Day deals
- Alexa devices: Fire TV Sticks from $12 and more (opens in new tab)
- Apple: Apple Watch 7 at cheapest price yet (opens in new tab)
- Apple: AirPods Pro drop to under $170 (opens in new tab)
- Cell phones: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra - save $360 (opens in new tab)
- Headphones: up to $125 off Sony headphones and earbuds (opens in new tab)
- Laptops: $200 off 14-inch MacBook Pro (opens in new tab)
- Portable Power: 30% off 10,000mAh power bank (opens in new tab)
- PS5: register for the next PS5 restock (opens in new tab)
- Smart home: Echo Show 5 smart display for $34.99 (opens in new tab)
- Smart speaker: Save 60% on 4th gen Echo Dot (opens in new tab)
- Smartwatch: Amazon Halo View up to 55% off (opens in new tab)
- Speakers: JBL portable speakers from $29.95 (opens in new tab)
- Storage: up to 39% off Samsung SSDs (opens in new tab)
- Tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 - save up to $120 (opens in new tab)
- TVs: Smart TVs from $89 (opens in new tab)