With Black Friday just around the corner, there are already some great deals on MacBook Airs and pros out there, and it’s likely that more are on the way. Don’t hesitate to buy one.
With the recent news that Apple won’t release any new Macs until next year, you may have decided to put that Mac purchase on hold. While you can wait until next year for 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 a few 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 up for deep discounts. The older but excellent M1 Air currently retails for $799 and the new M2 Air for $150. The 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro are both available at $500 off. And the Mac mini is down to $750. Even the 24-inch iMac is $150 off.
To help you shop around, we’ve put together some guides to help you find the best Black Friday deals. We will track deals and post them in the articles below.
If your inclination is to wait, you will be waiting a long time. The speculation is that Apple won’t release new Macs until March 2023 — possibly the end of that month. That’s four long months from now (three months if buying a new Mac is a December holiday gift). This time can be spent reaping the benefits of your new Mac—improved speed, better graphics, and new designs.
When Apple releases new Macs, they’ll be on sale at their regular prices and you’ll need to wait several more weeks (or even months) before you see significant discounts. Macs that are being replaced can also see discounts, but are you willing to wait and see what the odds are that prices don’t drop much more?
Since Apple updates its products regularly, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of always waiting for the latest and best. But you’ll benefit almost instantly with a new Mac and quickly get that money back over the time saved with a better experience.
Further reading: Black Friday could be your last chance to buy a Mac before prices skyrocket
Marginal gains are significant
You mentioned the improved processing speed as an immediate benefit, and this is especially true if you’re upgrading from an Intel-based Mac to a Mac with an M1 or M2 processor. The M1 boost over Intel could be over 30 percent, and even more with the M2.
But the performance improvement from M1 to M2 is relatively marginal—between 10 and 15 percent. You need to do some serious math to notice this difference. Overall (web access, productivity tasks, and common Finder tasks), the difference can’t be felt at all — and that’s the bulk of the upgrades we can expect from next year’s updates.
If you’re using an Intel Mac and want to wait for the M2 versions of the 14- and 16-inch Mac mini or MacBook Pro, you can definitely do that. But unless you’re creating 3D content, making videos, writing apps, or doing other CPU-thrusting tasks, you’re waiting for extra performance that you won’t even notice.
No major changes on the way (with one exception)
If you’ve been waiting to see if Apple will make design changes to its Macs, you’ve been waiting a long time. 14- and 16-inch iMacs, Mac Studios, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros all have designs that are a year or less old. Apple won’t be changing these Macs anytime soon. The 13-inch MacBook Pro probably won’t change, because Apple is using it to address a specific market segment without having to make a huge investment in a new device.
Mac mini fans have a more complicated situation. Apple’s $699 and $899 M1 models feature a design that’s been in use since 2010. Reports say Apple may release a redesigned M2 Mac mini in spring 2023, but some rumors also say the new model could just be a higher end Replacement for your current $1,099 Intel-based Mac mini. Plus, even if the new Mac mini is smaller than the current model, the current Mac mini is very small to begin with. So unless you really need a Mac that’s smaller than the current Mac mini, there’s really no reason to wait.
The only Mac worth waiting for is the new Mac Pro. Apple only offers Intel-based models for now, and when it introduces the M-series Mac Pro, it will likely also have a new design. However, the Mac Pro isn’t the kind of product that goes on sale on Black Friday, it’s also the kind of user who doesn’t wait for sales because they need the power to buy it. Immediately. So Mac Pro subscribers can sit out until 2023.