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Back to school sales offer big discounts on MacBook deals with free AirPods thrown in

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MacBook deals are seeing some fantastic price cuts in the latest back to school sales. From the latest MacBook Pro and Air models to big discounts on older versions, there's plenty of reductions on luxury Apple laptops right now. Plus, if you're a student you'll also find free AirPods thrown into the mix as well. 

The latest MacBook Air has dropped down to $899 this week at a number of retailers (£949 in the UK). Among them is Apple, which is also offering a free pair of AirPods with every MacBook purchase. That means you can save cash and bag some extra value by shopping Apple direct, especially considering this configuration has been listed for $999 in the past. 

If you're looking for MacBook Pro deals, you'll be shopping at B&H Photo for a 13-inch model or Amazon for the massive 16-inch powerhouse. The former is still holding well at $1,179 for the 2019 model, a great sales price that's stuck around for a few weeks now. Of course, if you're after Dolby Atmos speakers, the Magic keyboard and double the storage you can also save $100 on the 2020 version, with similar savings available at Amazon in the UK. 

If you need some serious power, however, there's still time to save $300 on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. This model did drop below $2,000 a couple of weeks ago, but that price certainly didn't last long. That means this is your best shot at picking up a 16-inch MacBook deal for the foreseeable future.  

We're rounding up all these MacBook deals just below, but you'll find plenty more prices further down the page as well. 

MacBook deals: US

Today's best MacBook deals in the US

2020 MacBook Air | AirPods | $899 at Apple
Grab the 2020 MacBook Air with a free set of AirPods for just $899 at Apple right now. That's a fantastic offer considering this laptop was previously listed for $999. There's also some considerable power in this entry model - a 10th generation i3 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.
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2019 13-inch MacBook Pro | $1,499 $1,179 at B&H Photo
If you'd like a little more power you can pick up this 2019 MacBook Pro, offering up a 1.4GHz i5 processor, with the same 8GB RAM / 256GB SSD configuration as above. You're saving $320 here, and you can even save on a range of Adobe and Microsoft Office 365 software when you build up a bundle as well.
View Deal

2020 13-inch MacBook Pro | $1,499 $1,399 at B&H Photo
If you're only here for the latest MacBook Pro deals, you'll find the 2020 model available for $100 off at B&H Photo as well. You're picking up the same 1.4GHz i5 processor as the 2019 model above, but doubling your storage space up to 512GB and picking up the Magic Keyboard and Dolby Atmos speakers.
View Deal

2020 16-inch MacBook Pro | $2,399 $2,099 at Amazon
Amazon has cut $300 off the price of this premium 16-inch MacBook Pro. That means you can grab big specs for less right now, with the particular model sporting a 9th generation hexacore i7 processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.
View Deal

MacBook deals: UK

Today's best MacBook deals in the UK

MacBook Pro / Air 2020 | AirPods | Save at the Apple Education Store
UK shoppers will have to have their student cards ready, because Apple is only offering its free AirPods to verified students in the UK. If you have a UNiDAYS account, you stand to save some considerable cash on your laptop as well as discounted AppleCare+ and other accessories as well.
View Deal

2020 MacBook Air | £999 £949 at Currys
Currys has cut £50 off the price of its range of MacBook Air laptops this week, returning the line to a previous sales price that proved very popular earlier in the month. With some serious power packed into this entry-level model you're not skimping on the specs either.
View Deal

2020 13-inch MacBook Pro | £1,299 £1,099 at Amazon
Amazon's own MacBook deals are also offering £200 off the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro. If you're after speedier performance, more ports, and that all-important touchbar, this is worth the extra cash over the Air.
View Deal

More MacBook deals

We're rounding up plenty more MacBook Pro deals and MacBook Air sales right here on TechRadar, but if you're after something a little more flexible you can take a look at the best iPad Pro deals going as well. 

Date

02 Aug 2020

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    Kobo – the brand behind some of the best ereaders available – isn’t sitting still. Barely six months after unveiling the productivity-oriented Kobo Elipsa, there are now two more ereaders joining the ranks. The company has just announced that the Kobo Sage and the Kobo Libra 2 are now available to pre-order directly from the maker, and will be on shelves starting October 19.

    The Sage and Libra 2 follow in the footsteps of the Kobo Forma and Kobo Libra H2O, respectively, and would seem to indicate that the asymmetrical design that was introduced in their forebears has been a winner for Kobo. We're generally big fans, as it means there's a nice large area to grip and hold onto, with no risk of accidentally tapping the screen.

    They’re the very first Kobo ereaders to come with Bluetooth support, meaning Kobo fans will finally be able to pair a set of wireless headphones with the devices to listen to audiobooks. 

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    (Image credit: Kobo)

    With the addition of Bluetooth, Kobo’s new Libra 2 is going to be a much better alternative to the Amazon Kindle Oasis than the first-gen Libra H2O, especially since the new version now also comes with a whopping 32GB of storage. 

    Everything else that we loved about the Kobo Libra H2O has been brought over to the Libra 2, including the 7-inch E Ink display with its 300ppi resolution, asymmetrical design and IPX8 certification for waterproofing.

    Priced at $179.99 / £159.99 / AU$279.99 at launch, the Libra 2 is only $10 / £10 / AU$30 more than the Libra H2O’s launch price, and a lot cheaper than the 8GB Kindle Oasis’ $249.99 / £229.99 / AU$399 price tag.

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    Kobo Libra 2 ereader

    Kobo Libra 2 (Image credit: Kobo )
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    Kobo Sage in PowerCover with Stylus

    Kobo Sage (Image credit: Kobo)

    Read, write and listen

    The new Kobo Sage also boasts a big industry first, being the first mainstream ereader to come with stylus support – although unlike the larger Elipsa, the Kobo Stylus won't be included as standard with the Sage; it'll need to be purchased separately. 

    Our main gripe with the Elipsa was that a 10.3-inch ereader was just too unwieldy to write on when used handheld, it needed to be on a table for a comfortable writing experience. As an 8-inch option with the asymmetric shape, the Kobo Sage could be a lot easier to handle with a stylus for anyone who likes to make notes while they read.

    The stylus isn’t the only accessory to set the Kobo Sage apart – there’s a brand-new PowerCover that can be purchased separately that will charge your device while you’re on the move. It’s essentially a magnetic sleepcover with a built-in battery, which sounds like a useful accessory as the Kobo Sage has a 1,200mAh battery as opposed to the Libra 2’s 1,500mAh option.

    And other than a larger screen (8 inches as compared to the Libra 2’s 7 inches), everything else about the two new Kobo ereaders is pretty much the same. The Sage also comes with 32GB of internal storage, Bluetooth connectivity, and an IPX8 certification that makes it waterproof for up to 60 minutes in two meters of water. 

    The differences, however, make the Sage a lot more expensive than the Libra 2, launching with a price tag of $259.99 / £249.99 / AU$439.95. If you’re keen on adding the Kobo Stylus and the PowerCover, then you’re looking at an additional $39.99 / £39.99 / AU$69.95 and $79.99 / £69.99 / AU$129.99 respectively.

    Sleepcovers for both new Kobos are also available to buy separately.

    Kobo Sage with Kobo Stylus

    (Image credit: Kobo)

    Analysis: Getting ahead in the ereader race

    Kobo has been consistently bringing us new ereaders since 2010, starting with the aptly named Kobo eReader. The company hasn’t slowed since then, evolving quite quickly from the basic Kobo Glo to the ultimate Kobo Elipsa. 

    Amazon, on the other hand, hasn’t seen the need to refresh its line of ebook readers quite as regularly; perhaps it doesn't need to, as its Kindles remain the most popular ereader brand on the market today. 

    It took Amazon three years to refresh the Kindle Paperwhite, and the tech giant isn’t very regular with firmware updates either. The biggest overhaul of the user experience has only just rolled out, having last been updated way back in 2016.

    In comparison, Kobo has far more frequent firmware updates, and there’s usually something new added to the UX when new hardware is launched. For example, the book navigator that launched with the Kobo Libra H2O quickly made it to the older and basic models, and we’re expecting to see a similar setup on the Sage as is used in the Elipsa to add notes and annotations. We're yet to test the new devices, so keep a lookout for our full review.

    Kobo has even kept its pricing competitive with Amazon – the latest 6.8-inch Paperwhite is now more expensive than the 2018 model thanks to its bigger screen and USB-C charging port, but for a little extra money you could get the Libra 2 with far more storage and a slightly bigger screen, not to mention the one-handed convenience of the page-turn buttons that Amazon pioneered in the Oasis.

    While Amazon only has three Kindle models to choose from (new generations keep replacing the older ones), Kobo has taken its hardware catalog to six different devices across different budgets. We say six, because Kobo has informed us that the Libra H2O will slowly be phased out starting in November, but the device will still be supported with regular firmware updates for a long while yet.

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