If you’re looking into upgrading or expanding your home office with nothing but the best tech, you’ve come to the right place. Best Buy and B&H Photo Video are offering several must-have Apple products at astonishingly discounted prices. Save up to $200 when you get the Apple AirPods, iPad 10.2, iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro today. Discounts on Apple hardware are few and far between so you better hurry and act fast.
Apple AirPods with Charging Case — $140, was $160
Since hitting stores back in December of 2016, Apple’s AirPods have dominated the market for true wireless earbuds. And why wouldn’t they? They’re astonishingly easy to operate (well, for iOS users anyway) and have rock-solid connectivity, making these the must-have earbuds for diehard Apple fans. Unfortunately, if you already have the wired EarPods (you do if you’ve got an iPhone), you probably won’t be impressed with the AirPods’ sound quality – because they sound almost exactly the same. What you’re really paying for is the complete freedom from wires. Right now, you can get the AirPods with wired charging case at Best Buy for $140 instead of $160.
The AirPods look like the EarPods with the wires cut off. This design has been quite polarizing, having its own fair share of admirers and detractors. While their lack of cords and compact size is quite convenient, it’s important to know that these aren’t sweatproof (you can take the Samsung Galaxy Buds to the gym, and they’re cheaper) and are extremely prone to falling out. And unlike most true wireless earbuds, the AirPods don’t come with differently sized silicone eartips that you can attach so they’ll fit your ears perfectly. And this brings us to another very important consideration: If you’re absent-minded or clumsy, you may want to steer clear of these. Lose the case and you’ll have no way to charge them. Lose one AirPod and you’ll have to purchase a new one, though you’ll still be able to take calls and listen to music or podcasts with just one AirPod.
The AirPods come with a white charging case and a standard-issue USB-to-lightning charging cable. You won’t find a USB wall plug here, but that’s fine since you probably already have plenty of those lying around. Out of the box, the AirPods already have a fair amount of juice in them, and this is where the magic happens. If your iOS device’s Bluetooth is activated, simply opening the case and taking the AirPods out will make a pop-up appear on the screen for immediate pairing. The AirPods are also very easy to operate. Inside them are accelerometers and other sensors that determine when the buds have been inserted and removed from ears. Removing one AirPod will automatically pause music, and tapping the exterior of either AirPod will summon Siri. You can ask her to set a reminder, schedule an alarm, place a call, or adjust the volume of your music up or down. Weirdly enough, you can’t command her to skip a track on your Spotify playlist or make her do any type of song navigation. You’ll have to do that manually.
As mentioned, the AirPods aren’t the most impressive-sounding true wireless earbuds out there. These certainly won’t appear on any audiophiles’ list. The bass has adequate presence but lack punch, treble sparkles but is not particularly refined or detailed, and the mids left us wanting more presence and warmth. Still, the bottom line is, if you like the sound of EarPods, you’ll be perfectly happy with how the AirPods sound.
In terms of battery life, the AirPods are touted to deliver up to five hours of listening time and two hours of talk time on a single full charge. Of course, it all boils down to the degree of usage. With multiple charges from the AirPods case, Apple says you can expect a total of 24 hours of listening time or 11 hours of talk time. Perhaps most notably, the AirPods charge fairly quickly – just 15 minutes of charging will provide three hours of listening time or an hour of talk time.
If you’re a fan of the EarPods’ sound but hate wires, then the AirPods should be right up your alley. Get them with a wired charging case for $140 on Best Buy today.
Apple AirPods 2 with Wireless Charging Case — $170, was $200
What’s the difference between the first and second generation of AirPods besides the wireless charging case upgrade? Not much, to be honest. They look exactly the same, although there are some notable improvements underneath the hood, including the H1 chipset, longer talk time, and support for voice-activated Siri. They also remain ridiculously easy to operate and set up for iOS devices, although the lack of waterproofing or workout features is baffling considering the price point. Right now, you can get the AirPods 2 with wireless charging case for $170 (down from $200) at B&H Photo Video.
The latest AirPods rock the same golf-tee shape of their predecessors. A lot of people seem to like this design (considering how immensely popular they are), although if you ask us they look like the old EarPods with the wires cut off. Compared to its wired counterpart, the wireless charging case now has its LED lights on the front, which allows you to see charging status when the case is placed atop a Qi charging pad. Apple claims that the case can carry the same amount of reserve charging it did three years ago, offering up to 24 hours, which still beats most competitors.
The onboard controls are the same as before – for better or worse. Each AirPod works autonomously, which means they don’t run out of juice at the same time. They auto-pause audio immediately when you take one out — but only with Apple devices. As usual, they don’t have volume and song-skipping default controls, offering only play and skip forward with a double-tap. You can assign play/pause, next track, and previous track controls in your iPhone’s Bluetooth settings on either earbud if you want to, though. To change the volume, you can simply ask Siri to turn it up or down for you. If you have an Android phone, though, you’re stuck with doing it manually.
Speaking of Siri, voice-activated control wasn’t possible with the old AirPods. You can thank Apple’s new H1 chip for this, alongside lower gaming lag, and its “50% faster” connection for phone calls — although we didn’t really notice any difference compared to other true wireless earbuds, including the original AirPods. Apple also claims that the chip can significantly reduce the distortion of your voice in windy conditions for superior call quality. We tested this in moderate wind, and it actually worked. Despite all these extremely welcome new additions, it’s hard to forgive Apple for the fact that it still hasn’t made the AirPods sweatproof. For that, you’ve got to pay a premium price for the Airpods Pro, which also boast active noise-canceling.
When it comes to sound quality, the AirPods 2 fall under the “Not bad” category. The sound quality reminded us a lot of the wired EarPods. It’s far from terrible, and we do appreciate the softness and warmth it lends to certain songs, but that’s not exactly what you’re looking for when you’re listening to hip-hop, rap, and other beat-driven genres. It’s a very safe sound signature, designed not to offend anyone.
You get a modest update with the AirPods 2. If you’re an iPhone user, these are the best true wireless earbuds to get, especially if you’re after convenience. If you already have the old AirPods, you don’t need to buy these.
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iPad — $309, was $329
The standard iPad’s bezels are still obscenely large (slimming them down would have made it look a tad more contemporary), but this tablet now boasts a bigger 10.2-inch screen compared to the previous model’s 9.7-inch display. In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6’s trimmed bezels look fetchingly modern, and so do those of the iPad Pro. None of this means that the iPad feels cheap, though. It has a nice substantial weight to it, plus it sports a 100% recycled aluminum enclosure which is good for the environment. Instead of Face ID, which remains exclusive to the iPad Pro and the latest iPhones, you get Touch ID, although that’s not exactly a deal-breaker for most users. What sets this apart from the older iPad 9.7 is support for the Smart Connector so you can use it with Apple’s Smart Keyboard (sold separately).
As mentioned earlier, this device offers a slight increase in screen size. The LCD panel’s pixel density is the same at 264 pixels per inch, although it looks sharp, and is colorful and very bright. And thankfully the headphone jack has not been removed, unlike the iPad Pro. You don’t have to go hunting for a 3.5mm-to-Lightning jack once your Bluetooth headphones lose power.
Strangely, the iPad 10.2 didn’t get a processor upgrade, unlike the rest of the iPad lineup, which now boasts the A12 Bionic chipset. However, this tablet’s A10 Fusion processor still packs plenty of power. Multitasking with several apps open won’t be an issue, and navigating the new iPadOS is buttery smooth. The previous iPads ran with just a slightly altered version of the iOS, but the iPadOS is an entirely different beast. You have the ability to use multiple apps in the Slide Over menu, a revamped home screen layout that includes the Today View widgets, desktop-grade Safari, and multi-window apps. You can now even use Split View on the same app, like having two Google Docs open side by side.
The first-gen Apple Pencil is compatible with this iPad, and it remains an excellent and responsive tool. There’s still no way of storing it, though, unlike the second-gen Apple Pencil which magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro, and it’s still in danger of snapping in half every time you charge it through the Lightning port. Finally, the battery life was pretty good. You’ll be able to use the iPad for a maximum of three days with intermittent use, or a full workday if you’re going to use it as your primary device.
Despite its shortcomings, the iPad 10.2 is the best tablet that you can buy on a limited budget. It is powerful, has a fantastic operating system, and serves up solid battery life. You can get it with 32GB of memory at B&H Photo Video for just $309 instead of $329, a cool $20 worth of savings.
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iPad Pro — from $800
If you’re looking for something powerful to replace your laptop, take a look at the iPad Pro, our choice for the best tablet of 2020. It has a lot going for it, including a drop-dead gorgeous screen, aesthetically pleasing slim bezels, and nearly desktop-grade performance (although this model isn’t the new one).
This tablet comes in two sizes; the 11-inch model and the massive 12.9-inch model. Naturally, the larger iPad Pro costs more but it’s essentially the same as the smaller one underneath the hood (same processor, specs, battery life, etc.). Although it is unwieldy, we do love using it for drawing or watching movies. Right now, you can get the 11-inch iPad Pro at Best Buy for $800 instead of the usual $950, while the 12-inch version costs $100 more.
Appearance-wise, the iPad Pro keeps up with the current design trend seen in most electronic devices. The iPad Pro’s bezels are slim and symmetrical. Although it feels massive, it is lightweight enough to use with one hand (well, almost). Just like the iPhone X, the home button is now missing. Unlocking the screen is done through Face ID, and you have to navigate the interface through swiping and gestures. In portrait orientation, you’ll find the power button and the volume rocker on the right edge. Unfortunately, just like the latest iPhone, this one doesn’t have an audio jack.
Its Retina LED display has a 2,388 x 1,668-pixel resolution and is breathtaking. Images look super sharp, colors are vibrant, and it gets plenty bright even when outdoors. While the blacks aren’t as deep as the OLED display on the iPhone XS, it’s still stunningly gorgeous. It supports HDR content and has a 120hz screen refresh rate, so watching videos and working on this tablet is an absolute blast. Battery life is one of its strong suits. On a single charge, the iPad Pro can easily last the whole day with normal usage.
The iPad Pro is a workhorse of a portable device. It is powered by the powerful A12X Bionic processor. Playing graphically demanding iPad Pro games was fast and fluid, and Apple even claims the chip can process graphical input better than the Xbox One. Multitasking also wasn’t an issue, as the iPad Pro can deftly handle heavy programs like Photoshop with relative ease. While you might still want a desktop or laptop to run other programs, the iPad Pro is better for professionals compared to the iPad Mini, iPad, and iPad Air.
Probably the biggest draw to the iPad Pro is its exclusive compatibility with the second-gen Apple Pencil. The other iPads only support the first-gen Apple Pencil, which you have to plug into the Lighting port to charge and which is always in danger of snapping in half. The Apple Pencil 2, on the other hand, can be charged wirelessly and magnetically attaches onto the frame of the iPad Pro.
11-inch iPad Pro — $800, was $950:
12.9-inch iPad Pro — $900, was $1,000:
13.3-inch MacBook Air — $900, was $1,100
The MacBook Air is now thinner and lighter than ever, yet still possesses the same power and solid build quality typical of Apple devices. Today, though, there are other MacBooks and laptops out there that are thinner and lighter. Even if it’s not the featherweight champion anymore, the MacBook Air still has an excellent build quality, thanks to its eco-friendly aluminum chassis. This is one sleek-looking laptop, with the same clean aesthetic as the rest of its MacBook kin. The latest version of the MacBook Air normally retails for $1,100, but right now you can purchase it on Best Buy for $900 — a huge $200 off.
The MacBook Air looks almost exactly like the previous one, with a few significant hardware and software upgrades. The older version is outfitted with a single Thunderbolt 2 port and two USB 3 ports; the latest one has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports instead. Although both models have a 13-inch LED-backlit screen, the newer MacBook Air’s display is further improved by Apple’s True Tone technology. The screen now has the power to adapt to your environment’s ambient light to make images appear more natural, with accurate colors that aren’t oversaturated. It’s not the best screen we’ve encountered on a MacBook, though (that honor goes to the MacBook Pro), since it doesn’t go as bright as we hoped for, but it still looks fantastic.
Working alongside an Intel i5 processor, this MacBook Air has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory. It proved speedy and performed well when tasked with normal daily workflow, like streaming videos, working in Photoshop, word processing, and web browsing. We did, however, notice a bit of a slowdown when we had multiple browsers, apps, and programs open simultaneously, but not enough to raise concern.
The MacBook Air can last up to eight hours with light web browsing. While not exactly a bad number, that falls well short of Huawei’s MateBook X Pro, which managed 9.5 hours in our test.
If you’re determined to buy a MacBook but don’t want to shell out too much money, then the MacBook Air is for you. It’s a well-rounded portable laptop that boasts a solid performance and premium build quality. Get the latest version of the MacBook Air for $900.
13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar — $1,199, was $1,299
The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro is a thing of beauty and remains the most luxurious laptop out there. It’s sturdy as a rock and features an all-aluminum unibody that lacks any visible seams aside from those on the bottom. However, there are quite a few things that stop us from fully recommending it. Although it does boast a fantastic display and top-tier processor and hard drive performance, its frustrating lack of ports and lackluster keyboard need to be fixed. Right now, the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with 7th-gen Intel Core i5 processor is available on B&H Photo Video for a huge $100 below its usual price. Get it for $1,199 instead of $1,299.
Let’s start with the good stuff. The MacBook Pro’s Retina display is terrific. Boasting a pixel resolution of 2,560 × 1,600, the screen is not only super high definition but also ridiculously bright, colorful, and rich in contrast. With a maximum brightness of 548 lux, it doesn’t matter if you’re going to use this in the brightest room on the planet — you’re bound to see everything. Images look extremely realistic and colors are fantastic thanks to True Tone technology. Finally, the contrast ratio is excellent. The MacBook Pro can deliver perfect blacks next to the whitest of whites without trouble.
We also don’t have any major complaints when it comes to performance. In our processor and hard drive tests, the MacBook Pro was able to give outstanding numbers that are among the best we’ve ever encountered. However, this laptop isn’t for gaming. Graphically demanding games like Civilization VI ran poorly with lots of glitches. We blame the Intel integrated graphics chip and Apple’s OpenGL support, which hasn’t been updated significantly for years.
Even though we’re super happy to see that the MacBook Pro still has a headphone jack, Apple decided that USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 is the future and has ditched every other port. Yes, USB-C is all you get, two on each side for a total of four. Although the simplicity of the port selection does have some benefits (every port is a charging port, so you can plug the wall adapter into whichever is more convenient), you’re going to need lots of adapters for any other peripheral you’re planning to attach. Want to use an external display? You need an adapter. External hard drive? Adapter. Wired input of any sort? Adapter. Ethernet? Adapter. SD card? Adapter. The biggest crime of all? You can’t even plug an iPhone into it without purchasing an adapter.
The keyboard is also not very good. While it’s definitely an improvement over the older MacBook Pros thanks to improved key travel, it continues to suffer a stiff, abrupt bottoming action that can make long typing sessions tiresome.
This MacBook Pro includes the Touch Bar (units that don’t have this feature tend to be cheaper) but it’s honestly not very useful. It’s great to look at, and that’s about it. Yes, it provides a quick way to scroll through lists and can also be useful if you’d like to scroll through a video, but it is limited by its size. The miniature content previews it displays are helpful but are so small that it’s often hard to tell tabs apart, even with just three or four open. Opening even more tabs renders each of them impossible to tap. Sadly, it’s just not very integral to the MacBook experience.
Despite its flaws, its hard to discredit the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro’s incredible build quality, lightning-fast performance, and stunning display. Get it for $1,199 on B&H Photo Video today.
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