Apple’s M1 MacBook Air drops to $799, plus the rest of the week’s best tech deals
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The week is nearing its end, which means it’s time for another roundup of the week’s best tech deals. Among the highlights, Amazon currently has Apple’s still-powerful M1 MacBook Air down to an all-time low of $799, while the M1 iPad Air is available for the second-best price we’ve tracked, at $519. A couple of streaming services we like in Paramount+ and Peacock are running sizable discounts for new subscribers, plus Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are down to a new low. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today.
Apple MacBook Air M1
Though it’s a couple years old at this point, Apple’s 2020 MacBook Air is still a dependable notebook for lighter workloads and casual use. Its chassis is still slim and sturdy, its keyboard and trackpad remain excellent, its battery can still genuinely last all day, and its M1 chip is still plenty quick for the essentials. We gave it a review score of 94 back in late 2020.
To be clear, the laptop is a harder sell these days at its standard $999 MSRP. And if you can afford to upgrade to Apple’s newest Air with the faster M2 chip, you should: it will get you a bit more performance, an updated design with slimmer bezels (and a notch), a noticeably improved webcam and speaker system, and fast charging support. We gave that device a score of 96 earlier this year. It’s also worth noting that this discounted SKU only includes 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, so it’s really not ideal for more involved tasks like video editing.
But at $799, it’s a good value as an everyday laptop and a more affordable route into macOS. This deal matches the lowest price we’ve tracked and comes in about $120 off the typical street price we’ve seen in recent months.
Apple iPad Air
The newly announced 10th-generation iPad will likely steal a bit of its thunder, but at this deal price of $519, we expect Apple’s iPad Air to remain a worthwhile tablet for the right person. This discount matches the second-lowest price we’ve tracked, coming in at $80 off Apple’s MSRP and about $40 off the device’s usual street price online.
While the new iPad features a near-identical design, a speedy A14 Bionic chip, and unique perks like a landscape-oriented webcam, it doesn’t support Apple’s second-gen Pencil stylus (hello, #donglelife), and it lacks the full lamination and wider color gamut of the Air’s display. The Air’s M1 chip is still a decent ways faster for more involved tasks, too. Overall, we gave the iPad Air a score of 90 upon its launch this past March.
The new iPad starts at $449, and its sacrifices may not be that big of a deal for many. We’ll have to test the new device before giving any definitive recommendations, but for those willing to pay for the more futureproof M1 chip, laminated display, and better Pencil support, the fifth-gen Air should still represent a decent value when it’s discounted to this extent. Just don’t feel the need to upgrade if you already own a fourth-gen model.
Samsung Pro Plus microSD card
If you need new storage for your camera, GoPro, Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, or whatever else, this deal matches the all-time lowest price for the 128GB model of Samsung’s Pro Plus microSD card. This U3, V30-rated card isn’t the absolute fastest option in a vacuum, but with rated read/write speeds of 160MB/s and 120MB/s, respectively—and real-world performance that should be close to that, based on reviews around the web—it’ll be performant enough to handle 4K photos and video, continuous recording, and the like. It also comes with a 10-year limited warranty. This deal is about $4 below the usual street price we’ve tracked in recent months. If you don’t need quite as much performance and you really want to save a buck, note that the 128GB version of Samsung’s slightly-slower Evo Select card is available for $16.
This is the lowest price we’ve seen for the action-adventure game Metroid Dread, which we’ve named one of our favorite Switch exclusives. This is a tense and challenging experience by default, so it’s not necessarily for everyone, but we also found it to be surprisingly welcoming to series newbies who aren’t well-versed in the usual hallmarks of “Metroidvania” game design. The game doesn’t reinvent that formula, but it plays the notes well, and it goes out of its way to keep players moving along, if that’s what you value. There’s also an easier “rookie” difficulty for those who want to enjoy the story and slick sci-fi aesthetic without feeling quite as stressed all the time.
Dread just had its first anniversary earlier this month and takes only 10-ish hours to beat, so it could stand to be cheaper, but larger discounts on first-party Nintendo games are still rare. Typically, the game has hovered between $50 and $60 online in recent months. This deal comes as part of a wider Switch game sale, though Dread is the clear highlight. Among the other notable video games we’re seeing this week, the cyberpunk cat adventure Stray is down to a low of $24 at the PlayStation Store, while the “no-brainer” PS5 bundle Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is back to a low of $30.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are an Android-friendly set of true wireless earbuds we recommend, and right now you can grab a pair for $50 off with the code ENGN50 at smart device retailer Wellbots. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen to date and about $45 off the earbuds’ average street price in recent months. We gave the Pixel Buds Pro a review score of 87 this past July. Their call quality is middling, and competitors like Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II or Apple’s AirPods Pro will be better depending on your priorities, but Google’s pair still provides a nice blend of effective active noise cancellation, good battery life (at 7-11 hours of continuous use, depending on how much ANC you use), a compact fit, and punchy, bass-forward sound. At this deal price, they’re a fair bit cheaper than their closest rivals.
Google Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro + $100-200 gift card
There’s always a chance we see bigger discounts on Google’s new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones as we get nearer to Black Friday, but if you need a new Android phone today, note that the pre-order deals we highlighted a couple weeks back are still available after the devices’ launch. That means Amazon, Target, and Best Buy are all still offering a $100 digital gift card with the $599 unlocked Pixel 7, or a $200 gift card with the $899 unlocked Pixel 7 Pro, at no extra cost. If you know you’ll use any of those stores for holiday shopping anyway, that’s a solid bonus to go with what our review called “the best bargain in flagship phones” as it is.
We gave the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro scores of 90 and 92, respectively, for offering class-leading cameras, solid battery life (particularly with the smaller Pixel 7), vibrant OLED displays, and Google’s typically clean take on Android. They aren’t performance powerhouses, and Google is only promising three years of Android OS updates per phone, but the whole packages are still highly competitive for the money. These deals should heighten that.
Peacock Premium subscription (1 year)
Here’s a quick PSA for those who’ve been thinking of checking out NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service: up through November 19, new subscribers can get a year of the service’s “Premium” tier for $20. Peacock has run a few sales like this in recent months, but if you missed those, this is still a $30 discount from the usual going rate of an annual plan. It also works out to $1.67 a month, which is a nice drop from the typical $5 cost of a monthly plan. Just enter the code FALL22 at checkout to see the discount.
Note that this deal is not applicable to current or returning subscribers, and that “Peacock Premium” is the service’s ad-supported tier. (The $10-a-month or $100-a-year “Peacock Premium Plus” tier removes ads and lets you download shows for offline viewing, but that one is not currently discounted.) You can view the offer’s full terms here, but keep in mind that your subscription will be set to auto-renew at the normal $50 annual rate by default until you cancel your service. Whether you need another streaming subscription in the first place is up to you, but if you’re looking to watch Premier League games, re-runs of The Office, WWE live events, Bravo reality shows, or anything else in NBC’s library, this deal brings a more affordable entry point.
Paramount+ subscription (1 year)
Like Peacock above, Paramount Global’s Paramount+ service is also running a deep discount on annual subscriptions, with both its ad-supported “Essential” tier and (mostly) ad-free “Premium” tier available for 50 percent off. That drops the price down to $25 or $50, respectively, for a year of service. The discount should apply automatically if you use this promo page, but if you don’t see the offer, use the code UEFA50 at checkout. (The promotion is based on the service’s coverage of UEFA Champions League soccer.)
Paramount says this offer is available to both new and returning subscribers—but again, not existing ones—and that it’ll throw in one of Amazon’s 1080p Fire TV Stick Lite streaming sticks with the sign-up. The latter isn’t nearly as robust as recommended 4K streamers like Google’s Chromecast with Google TV or Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K, but it’s a perk nonetheless.
Again, if you’re suffering from subscription fatigue, Paramount+ isn’t essential, but we do recommend it in our guide to the best streaming services for the aforementioned soccer coverage, originals like Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Lower Decks, kid-friendly Nickelodeon fare, and several other shows from the company formerly known as ViacomCBS. Note that with the Premium tier, you also get a stream of your local CBS station and the ability to download select shows for offline viewing. Paramount says this offer will be available until November 3, and again your subscription will be set to auto-renew at its standard price by default until you cancel your service.
This is a good deal for those looking to keep things simple, but we’d be remiss not to note that it’s still technically possible to get repeated months Paramount+ for free if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops. TechHive has a good breakdown of how this works, but in short, Paramount has been dishing out coupon codes that give a free month of service to new and returning subscribers, every month, for years. Over that time, it’s been possible to continually use those codes to get free Paramount+ service—even the higher-priced Premium tier—so long as you let your “trial” membership expire and don’t let the service recognize you as an active subscriber.
This means you can create an account, get a free month through a coupon code, cancel your subscription before you’re actually charged (it’s usually best to wait a day or so to avoid nullifying your free trial), then repeat for the next month with whatever new promo code Paramount+ has doled out. The website Doctor of Credit typically lists whatever promo code is active now; as of this writing, for instance, it’s FINALFIGHT. This process might not be worth the hassle for many, and Paramount could close this loophole at any time. But if you’re okay putting in a bit more work, free is free.
2021 Apple TV 4K
$100 is the best price we’ve seen for the 2021 edition of the Apple’s 4K streaming box, beating the previous low by $10. Now, this is a very much an inventory-clearing situation for Apple, as the company just announced a refreshed model this week that includes a faster A15 Bionic SoC (the 2021 model here uses an A12 chip), double the base storage (from 32GB to 64GB), support for HDR10+ video, a slightly more compact design, and a Siri remote that charges over USB-C instead of the usual Lightning.
The new model will start at $129, while a 128GB model that also adds an Ethernet port and Thread mesh networking support will be available for $149. If you can afford to get either of those, it’s generally always better to buy the latest model you can. But if you’re looking to save a few bucks, the 2021 model’s A12 chip is still far from slow for everyday streaming, the 32GB storage should be enough if you aren’t playing Apple Arcade games, and the overall UI will be the same. If you’re looking for a more affordable 4K streamer, meanwhile, consider one of the picks from our recently updated guide to the best streaming devices.
65-inch LG C2 OLED TV
LG’s C Series of high-end OLED TVs has long been commended for offering near-perfect contrast ratios with deep and uniform black tones, notably vibrant colors, wide viewing angles, and low input lag. This year’s C2 model is widely said to continue the trend, and it’s fitted with gaming-friendly features like full-bandwidth HDMI 2.1 ports and the ability to play in 4K at up to a 120Hz refresh rate.
This deal from Amazon-owned retailer Woot brings the 65-inch C2 within $50 of the best price we’ve tracked. The full discount should apply at checkout. Black Friday historically brings the lowest prices on TVs each year, but at $1,597 (pre-tax), this is a particularly sizable $200 off this model’s usual street price online over the past month.
While we don’t usually review TVs at Engadget, it’s worth mentioning that other reviewers we trust have listed Samsung’s new S95B TV as having a superior “QD-OLED” panel that can get brighter and provide more vivid colors than the C2’s more traditional OLED display can offer. This makes it better-suited to well-lit rooms in particular. That TV lacks support for Dolby Vision HDR, however, and as of this writing, its 65-inch model costs $400 extra.
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