Top Stories: Black Friday Deals, Redesigned MacBooks, Hands-On With Apple's M1 Macs

With Apple's holiday hardware lineup seemingly all set, attention this week turned to the shopping end of things with Apple and other retailers rolling out their Black Friday deals.

Top Stories 38 Feature

That wasn't the only news this week, however, as we've continued to learn more about Apple's new M1-based Macs and we've even heard some fresh rumors about redesigned Mac notebooks coming next year, so read on below for details on the biggest stories of the week!

Black Friday Deals on Apple Products Continue: AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads, and More

There was a lot of focus this week on Black Friday, the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season, and there were a number of solid deals to be had on AirPods, Apple Watch, and more, including some modest discounts on Apple's latest M1-based Macs.

General black friday 20 sale feature
Many of the deals are continuing through the weekend and even into next week, so if you haven't yet taken advantage of the opportunity, check out our Black Friday roundup, our top picks post, and our other coverage.

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

As usual, Apple doesn't have the best deals for Black Friday, offering bonus Apple gift cards with the purchase of select products rather than straight cash discounts.

apple shopping event 2020 banner
Apple's four-day shopping event runs through Monday, and while the gift card offer isn't valid on Apple's latest products, there are a few solid deals like a $100 gift card with the purchase of a full-size HomePod.

M1 Macs Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. 13-Inch MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Apple's new Macs with the M1 chip began arriving to customers earlier this month, but if you're still trying to decide on which one to buy, we've put together a hands-on comparison video for the machines.

mac mini macbook pro macbook air
Given that they share Apple's M1 chip, all three Macs deliver breakthrough performance compared to their Intel-based equivalents, and benchmark results show they even outperform the highest-end 16-inch MacBook Pro.

In our tests, even the base model MacBook Air with 8GB delivered very fast performance, making it a suitable option for most customers. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro has an extra GPU core enabled, a brighter display, better speakers, and a fan, for those considering going up a level. And of course, the Mac mini is the ideal choice for desktop users.

Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon Expected to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors.

new m1 chip
Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design, and reliable leaked "L0vetodream" says that the redesign is not only for Apple Silicon models, suggesting we may also see new Intel-based models.

Kuo did not specify which MacBook models will be getting redesigns, but he previously claimed that redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple Silicon and an all-new design would launch in the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021. A redesigned 24-inch iMac and a smaller version of the Mac Pro have also been rumored.

Kuo also expects third-generation AirPods to launch in the late second quarter of 2021. He has previously claimed that the design of these AirPods will be "similar to AirPods Pro," but likely without active noise cancellation.

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

All of the M1 Mac models use essentially the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech recently shared a video highlighting the performance differences between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro.

8k raw to 4k export m1 macbook
The video includes a series of benchmark tests, ranging from Geekbench and Cinebench to RAW exporting tests. Geekbench and Cinebench benchmarks didn't demonstrate a difference in performance between the 8GB and 16GB models, but other tests designed to maximize RAM usage did show some differences.

And if you're still on the fence about whether to get one of the new M1-based 13-inch MacBook Pro models or stick with a tried-and-true Intel-based model, make sure to check out our buyer's guide to help understand the differences.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Top Rated Comments

jerryk Avatar
9 months ago

I went to the store to play around with an M1 MacBook.
opening apps was not as fast and snappy as they claim on this web site.
although it had only 8GB RAM.
I'm going to PASS on the M1
I LOVE my i9 iMac and i9 MacBook Pro

I think Intel can still innovate and make AWESOME processors.

Not interested in paying lots of money to update my software just cause of design. not gaining any features.
Not me. Order MacBook Air M1. Sold 2019 16" MBP. Looking forward to enjoying not hearing fan noise and more than 4 hours battery life. Probably will add 14" MBP M1x/M2 when they become available. As long as Office and Adobe CC runs I am good.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VermontsFinest Avatar
9 months ago

I went to the store to play around with an M1 MacBook.
opening apps was not as fast and snappy as they claim on this web site.
although it had only 8GB RAM.
I'm going to PASS on the M1
I LOVE my i9 iMac and i9 MacBook Pro

I think Intel can still innovate and make AWESOME processors.

Not interested in paying lots of money to update my software just cause of design. not gaining any features.
You may be in denial.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applicious84 Avatar
9 months ago
Can this please become a top story? I really think that keyboard lag needs to be fixed. Fan sites, support sites, all sites should get together to push Apple to fix some of their most important software:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251834251?page=1
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freeangel1 Avatar
9 months ago
I went to the store to play around with an M1 MacBook.
opening apps was not as fast and snappy as they claim on this web site.
although it had only 8GB RAM.
I'm going to PASS on the M1
I LOVE my i9 iMac and i9 MacBook Pro

I think Intel can still innovate and make AWESOME processors.

Not interested in paying lots of money to update my software just cause of design. not gaining any features.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ds6778 Avatar
9 months ago

You may be in denial.
Right? The “LOVE” in caps screams he’s in denial and there may be some cognitive dissonance at play.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ds6778 Avatar
9 months ago

I went to the store to play around with an M1 MacBook.
opening apps was not as fast and snappy as they claim on this web site.
although it had only 8GB RAM.
I'm going to PASS on the M1
I LOVE my i9 iMac and i9 MacBook Pro

I think Intel can still innovate and make AWESOME processors.

Not interested in paying lots of money to update my software just cause of design. not gaining any features.
M1 is better. It’s ok.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

M2 MacBook Pros 10 Core Summer Feature

Redesigned MacBook Pro Models With 10-Core Apple Silicon Chip Said to Launch as Early as This Summer

Tuesday May 18, 2021 5:39 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with an improved iteration of the M1 chip as early as this summer, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The new chip is said to include a 10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two energy-efficient cores, with 16-core or 32-core GPU options. Gurman said the next-generation Apple silicon chip will also support up to...
13 16 inch MBP Solo Pro Sale 2

Deals: Sales Emerge for 16-Inch MacBook Pro ($350 Off), M1 MacBook Pro ($100 Off), and Beats Solo Pro ($150 Off)

Monday February 22, 2021 6:54 am PST by
In today's deals we're tracking a few offers on Apple's MacBook Pro family, including up to $350 off the 16-inch MacBook Pro, with one of the best prices on the 1TB model that we've seen in a few weeks. Additionally, there's a 50 percent off sale on the Beats Solo Pro happening this week on Woot, all of which you can find listed below. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these ...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Redesigned MacBook Pro Models May Not Ship to Customers Until Late 2021

Friday June 4, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
The long-rumored and highly anticipated redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon will enter its phase of mass production in the first quarter of next year, according to industry sources cited in a paywalled DigiTimes report. According to the report, the smaller 14-inch MacBook Pro will enter "volume production" in the fourth quarter of this year, while the larger 16-inch model is...
m2 feature

Apple Silicon M2 Chip Coming to Wave of New Macs

Monday May 24, 2021 2:27 am PDT by
Apple's more powerful "M2" chip is set to come to a wave of new Macs, bringing significant performance and efficiency improvements to a range of new models, according to recent reports. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman previously said that Apple is working on higher-end Apple silicon chips that are expected to "significantly outpace" the performance of the latest Macs that still contain Intel chips,...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Next-Generation 16-Inch MacBook Pro Seemingly Filed in Regulatory Database Ahead of WWDC

Thursday June 3, 2021 8:30 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, each with a mini-LED display and an improved iteration of the M1 chip. The notebooks are expected to feature a new design with a flatter top and bottom and more ports, including the return of an HDMI port, SD card slot, and a magnetic power cable. Rumors also suggest the Touch Bar will be retired in favor of...
Apple new macbookpro wallpaper screen 11102020

Apple Isn't Done With the 13-Inch MacBook Pro Yet

Saturday June 5, 2021 1:21 am PDT by
Despite expectations that Apple was looking to focus on redesigned 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models later this year, it now seems that Apple still has plans for the smaller, entry-level MacBook Pro. The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro was last updated in November last year with the M1 chip. This model is the entry-level MacBook Pro in the lineup, with the more expensive Intel models, last updated in ...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

At Least One New MacBook With Apple Silicon 'Likely' at WWDC, Says Morgan Stanley Analyst

Friday June 4, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
We're just three days away from Apple's annual developers conference, WWDC, but rumors are still divided as to whether new MacBook Pro models with Apple silicon will be announced at Apple's opening keynote on Monday. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty weighed in on the matter in a research note shared with MacRumors today, claiming it's "likely" that Apple will announce at least one new...
Flat MacBook Air Feature 1

Next MacBook Air Will Feature Faster Apple Silicon Chip With Up to 10 Graphics Cores

Tuesday May 18, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
Apple is working on a high-end version of the MacBook Air that will feature an improved iteration of the current M1 Apple silicon chip, featuring improved graphics, but the same number of high efficiency, and high performance cores, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple updated its 13-inch MacBook Air alongside the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini with the M1 Apple silicon chip in...
macbook air deals

Deals: Shop All-Time Low Prices on M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (Up to $199 Off)

Friday May 7, 2021 6:42 am PDT by
Today we're tracking a handful of deals across Apple's M1 notebook lineup, including a return of all-time low prices on all models of the M1 MacBook Air. For the MacBook Pro, you'll find a new record low price on the 512GB model thanks to an automatic coupon on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: All-Time Low Prices Hit Apple's M1 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Notebooks (Up to $149 Off)

Friday April 23, 2021 5:47 am PDT by
Amazon has discounted every model of Apple's M1 MacBook family today, including the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, taking up to $149 off these notebooks. All discounts in this article have been automatically applied and do not require a coupon code. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps...