Apple announced a some updates this week at its annual September event, including the latest iPhones. Pre-orders on the latest and greatest will be shipping shortly. But if your own phone is a bit older, now’s a great time to get a discount on its current range.
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MacBook and iPad deals
Not sure which MacBook you need? Read our guide first.
This 2022 Air is our favorite MacBook, with a larger (13.6-inch vs. 13.3) and brighter screen and a better webcam. It still lacks ports, but the Air benefits from the same MagSafe charging capabilities as the high-end MacBook Pros to free up the two isolated ports. The M2 chip offers a nice performance boost, so we’d recommend this model if your workload is graphics-heavy and requires a bit more heft.
The old Air is still our budget choice (you have to use the term budget with discretion when it comes to Apple). The price has dropped by around $50 recently, but that’s still in line with one of the cheapest prices we’ve tracked. The battery should last you a full working day, and the M1 chip allows it to instantly wake from sleep, just like you’re used to from your phone. Plus, there’s no fan, so it should be fairly quiet. This deal is also available from Best Buy.
We see this laptop peaking at around $2,500, although the price started to drop a bit in July. The price is only really worth it for those who need the most powerful computers. It loses the dreaded Touch Bar and mini-LED screens deliver deeper blacks and rich colors. And finally, this MacBook has even more ports, including an HDMI port, three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, an SD card slot, and a high-impedance headphone jack.
WIRED has a trove of iPad Mini fans (8/10, WIRED recommends), and that $100 discount is a steal. It also seems unlikely that a new one will be announced anytime soon, so we think it’s still a safe bet. Its 8.3-inch screen has slim bezels, and while the screen is bigger than the last version, the body is actually a bit shorter. The A15 Bionic processor makes it capable of running any intensive game, and you might be able to get some work done (although we prefer larger models for full days).
Deals on watches and headphones
Apple announced three new watches this week: an upgraded SE ($249), Series 8 ($399) and the Ultra ($799), a super rugged watch for adventurers. These will be available later this month. Apple has never made clunky watches and people tend to hold onto theirs for a long time, so it might be worth the wait. But if you just can’t, those are discounted.
Like a bunch of Apple products right now, the base price has come down a bit and fluctuates, but $299 is still a solid price for the best Apple Watch. It offers the best water and dust resistance of the current range, as well as better fall detection and more accurate calculation of the electric bike. The screen is also 20% larger, with a full-size keyboard for easier texting. A few months ago, Apple’s WatchOS 9 release included better fitness-focused features.
To note: Apple Watches generally work much longer than iPhones. This SE is still perfectly fine, but the new SE will only cost $249 when it becomes available on September 16. It includes collision detection and is 20% faster. If you can wait, it might be a better buy.
The Series 7 is the best Apple Watch overall, but we think most people will be perfectly happy with the SE. It’s the cheapest option, but still boasts a Retina display, a fairly powerful speaker and a fast processor, plus goodies like fall detection. The SE is also best for the family setup, which lets kids or grandparents who don’t have an iPhone get the luxury of phone calls, texts, and location sharing.
These headphones are stunning and their sound is impressive. WIRED editor Parker Hall says the AirPods Max (8/10, WIRED recommends) are probably the best wireless headphones you’ll ever hear, and they’re also our favorite noise-canceling headphones. You’ll find them for around $500 on Amazon, which is $50 less than on Apple’s site, but they’re still quite pricey. If you prefer buds, Apple today announced new AirPods Pro for $249, but you’ll probably be fine with older AirPods Pro.