Apple deals discount new iPad Air, iPad Pro, AirPods, Pencil, and more

Ars Technica


Today’s Dealmaster is headlined by a handful of good price drops on various Apple devices. The entry-level iPad Air, for instance, is back down to $500 at various retailers. That equals a deal we first saw last month but nevertheless remains $100 off Apple’s MSRP and tied for the best price we’ve tracked. If you need more storage, the 256GB model is also discounted to a joint-low of $650.
If you’d rather step up to the higher-quality hardware and M1 processor of a new iPad Pro, though, various models of those recently released slates are $100 off their standard going rates as well. Of particular note, this brings the 11-inch Pro down to $700, a price we’ve only tracked a couple of times before. That’s still undeniably pricey for a tablet that still isn’t quite capable of being a true laptop replacement for most, but as we noted in a recent Dealmaster, the Pro does give you such upgrades a brighter and smoother 120 Hz display, a faster chip, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and slightly better mics, cameras, and speakers. The Air is still likely the better value for most, as its accurate display and A14 Bionic chip are still luxurious for most tablet needs. But if money is less of an object, the Pro is a superior piece of hardware all the same.
Besides tablets, our deals roundup also has Apple’s Pencil stylus for $100, which again ties the best price we’ve seen. It’s still a convenient and accurate tool for sketching and note taking, but note that this is the second-gen model, which means it’s only compatible with recent iPad Pro models and the newest iPad Air mentioned above. Meanwhile, the MagSafe wireless charger, which we’ve tested and recommend for iPhone 12 users, is still down to $30 at Amazon-owned Woot.

We’ve also got a couple deals on Apple-made headphones, as both an AirPods bundle with a wireless charging case and the recently launched Studio Buds from Apple subsidiary Beats are down to $130. Both deals mark the lowest prices we’ve tracked. Be advised, though: reports suggest Apple plans to release a redesigned version of its base AirPods later this year, so unless you need a pair with wireless charging functionality today, it might be worth holding off. The Studio Buds should be more future-proof, and they earned a largely positive review from us back in June. On the other hand, another true wireless pair we like, Jabra’s Elite 75t, is on sale for $90 today, for those who aren’t hitched to the Apple wagon.

Finally, Target is currently running a deal that doles out a $10 store gift card at no extra cost when you spend at least $100 on a digital Apple gift card. We’ve seen the retailer run similar promotions in the past, but if you were planning on getting some Apple money anyway, it’s a nifty little bonus.

If you’re not living in Apple World, today’s roundup has plenty more on offer, including the Ars-approved Kindle Paperwhite for a near-low of $85, a new low on the recommended Fitbit Sense smartwatch, the usual smorgasbord of video game deals, good prices on USB chargers and wireless mice we like, and more. You can find those and the rest of our curated selection below.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Featured deals of the day

Apple's 2020 iPad Air remains an excellent option for those who want more than the entry-level iPad can provide but don't want to pay an iPad-Pro-level price.
Enlarge / Apple’s 2020 iPad Air remains an excellent option for those who want more than the entry-level iPad can provide but don’t want to pay an iPad-Pro-level price.

Samuel Axon

Laptop and desktop PC deals

  • Lenovo Yoga 9i 2-in-1 laptop—Intel Core i7-1185G7, 14-inch 4K, 16GB LPDDR4X RAM (soldered), 512GB SSD for $1,349.99 at eBay and Best Buy (normally $1,750).
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T14 (2nd gen) laptop—AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U, 14-inch 1080p, 16GB DDR4 RAM (soldered), 512GB SSD for $1,189.50 at Lenovo (use code: THINKBIGDEALS—normally $2,000).
  • Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 2-in-1 laptop—Intel Core i3-10110U, 13.3-inch 1080p, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC for $329.99 at Amazon (normally $375).
  • Lenovo Yoga 6 2-in-1 laptop—AMD Ryzen 7 5700U, 13.3-inch 1080p, 16GB DDR4 RAM (soldered), 512GB SSD for $699.99 at Best Buy (1TB for $730 at Newegg—normally $900).
  • Apple MacBook Air (2020) laptop—Apple M1, 13.3-inch 2560×1600, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $899 at Amazon and Best Buy (normally $960).
For most students in search of a new laptop for the upcoming school year, the M1 MacBook Air should more than hold its own.
Enlarge / For most students in search of a new laptop for the upcoming school year, the M1 MacBook Air should more than hold its own.

Lee Hutchinson

Our review found Samsung's 980 SSD (middle) to be a solid midrange drive for most consumers.
Enlarge / Our review found Samsung’s 980 SSD (middle) to be a solid midrange drive for most consumers.

Jim Salter

TV and home entertainment deals

  • 75-inch Hisense U6G (2021 model) 4K HDR LED TV for $1,049.99 at Best Buy (no HDMI 2.1, VRR—normally $1,250).
  • 65-inch Sony X90J (2021 model) 4K HDR LED TV for $1,298 at Amazon and Best Buy (My Best Buy members only—normally $1,500).
  • Apple Siri Remote (2nd gen) for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD for $49.97 at Verizon (normally $59).
  • PS5 console owners only: Apple TV+ 6-month membership for free at PlayStation (must redeem on PS5—normally $30).
  • New subscribers only: Amazon Music Unlimited 3-month membership + Paramount Plus Premium 3-month membership for $1 at Amazon (requires Amazon Prime account—normally $54).
If you can't pay up for a more premium pair, the Beats Studio Buds are a solid set of noise-canceling true wireless earbuds.
Enlarge / If you can’t pay up for a more premium pair, the Beats Studio Buds are a solid set of noise-canceling true wireless earbuds.

Jeff Dunn

Electronics deals

For those who aren't hitched to the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Sense is a recommended alternative that excels with activity tracking.
Enlarge / For those who aren’t hitched to the Apple Watch, the Fitbit Sense is a recommended alternative that excels with activity tracking.

Corey Gaskin / Ars Technica

Though it's due for an upgrade, Amazon's waterproof Kindle Paperwhite remains a nice piece of hardware bolstered by an extensive library of ebooks.
Enlarge / Though it’s due for an upgrade, Amazon’s waterproof Kindle Paperwhite remains a nice piece of hardware bolstered by an extensive library of ebooks.

Valentina Palladino

Logitech's MX Master 3 is an high-performing and surprisingly versatile wireless mouse for office work.
Enlarge / Logitech’s MX Master 3 is an high-performing and surprisingly versatile wireless mouse for office work.

Jeff Dunn

Video game deals

The open-world samurai game <em>Ghost of Tsushima </em>was one of our favorite titles of 2020.
Enlarge / The open-world samurai game Ghost of Tsushima was one of our favorite titles of 2020.

Sucker Punch / SIE

Its script has some questionable moments, but <em>It Takes Two</em> is one of the more inventive couch co-op games in recent memory and a standout title of 2021 so far.
Enlarge / Its script has some questionable moments, but It Takes Two is one of the more inventive couch co-op games in recent memory and a standout title of 2021 so far.

Hazelight

The endless looping RPG <em>Loop Hero</em> is one of our favorite games of 2021 thus far, earning an Ars approved badge in our review.
Enlarge / The endless looping RPG Loop Hero is one of our favorite games of 2021 thus far, earning an Ars approved badge in our review.
The HyperX Cloud Alpha is a comfortable and fairly balanced sounding gaming headset for less than $100, with a good detachable mic to boot.
Enlarge / The HyperX Cloud Alpha is a comfortable and fairly balanced sounding gaming headset for less than $100, with a good detachable mic to boot.

Jeff Dunn

Gaming deals

Splendor is an accessible
Enlarge / Splendor is an accessible “engine-building” board game with rounds that only take about 30 minutes.

Ars Technica

  • HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset for $69.99 at Amazon and GameStop (normally $85).
  • Razer BlackWidow TE Chroma v2 tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard—Razer Orange, Razer Green, or Razer Yellow switches for $67.50 at Amazon (normally $90).
  • Splendor board game for $22.49 at Amazon (normally $30).
  • Dice Forge board game for $23.80 at Amazon (normally $29).
  • Pandemic board game for $16 at Amazon (normally $30).
Apple's MagSafe Charger aligns easily with the help of magnets and delivers a 15W charge to the iPhone 12.
Enlarge / Apple’s MagSafe Charger aligns easily with the help of magnets and delivers a 15W charge to the iPhone 12.

Corey Gaskin

Accessories and miscellaneous deals

If you're in the market for a white noise machine, the LectroFan is a compact and recommended choice.
Enlarge / If you’re in the market for a white noise machine, the LectroFan is a compact and recommended choice.

Jeff Dunn

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