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The best back to school Apple deals right now

Apple MacBook, Apple Watch, Apple iPhone, and Apple iPad from left to right
Back to school Apple deals are heating up the summer (Image credit: Apple)

Apple fans in search of the best back-to-school savings won't have to look too far. Apple and our favorite go-to retailers are currently offering significant discounts on Apple gear. 

So far, the Apple Education Store (opens in new tab) has the best exclusive discounts this back to school season. Students, teachers, and parents instantly save $100 on MacBooks Air and MacBook Pro laptops. Apple is bundling the savings with a free Apple Gift Card (valued at up to $150). This deal drops the MacBook Air M2 to $1,099 (opens in new tab) and throws in bonus cash to spend on accessories.

Besides leading the charge in MacBook deals, Apple has a similar offer for its family of premium tablets. Students can save up to $50 on a new iPad and receive up to a $150 Apple Gift Card. Prices start at $309 ($20 off) for the entry model 10.2-inch iPad.

So if you're looking for the best Apple back to school deals, there are plenty of ways to save. Check out the best deals on our favorite Apple gadgets below.

Back to school Apple deals

MacBook Air M2 laptop on a black table

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Air M2

Our favorite Apple laptop

CPU: Apple M2 | GPU: Apple M2 GPU | RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 13-inch, 1664p | Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds

Elegant redesign
Strong performance
Extra long battery life
Only two ports

Apple's MacBook Air M2 is one of the best laptops for college students. It's elegant, powerful and provides 14 hours of battery life. Normally $1,199, it starts at $1,099 for students via Apple's Education Store. For this price you get a 13.6 inch (2560 x 1664) display, Apple M2 8-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, 8-core GPU and 256GB SSD.

Performance-wise, the MacBook Air M2 surpasses its successor, the beloved MacBook Air M1. In our lab's Geekbench overall performance test, it notched a score of 8,919. This beats the MacBook Air M1's benchmark score of 5,962 by a huge margin. As Apple proudly asserts, its M2 chip is 20 percent faster than the M1 processor. And if you're sitting on an older Intel-powered MacBook Air, that's nearly 40 percent faster for you.

Another highlight of the MacBook Air M2 is its newly integrated 4-speaker sound system. It supports Spatial Audio for improved audio whether you're streaming content or on a video call. For connecting external devices, the M2 MacBook Pro supplies you with two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports. There's also a new MagSafe port on board for easier and safer charging.

If you're looking for a premium workhorse of a machine with long battery life, the MacBook Air M2 ticks all the boxes.

See our MacBook Air M2 review. 

Apple MacBook Pro on a wooden desk next too books and retail packaging

(Image credit: Future)

MacBook Pro M1 Pro

The best MacBook for engineering, coding or creative arts students

CPU: Apple M1 Pro/Apple M1 Max | GPU: Apple M1 Pro (Integrated) | RAM: 16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB/8GB | Display: 16-inch, 3072 x 1920-resolution | Size: 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4.3 pounds

Sleek, elegant design
Excellent performance
Stellar battery life
Ports-a-plenty
No USB-A port

If you can afford to splurge, chances are the M1 Pro-charged MacBook Pro is on your back to school wish list. More powerful than the M2 MacBook Air, it's well-suited for college students whose coursework requires demanding applications.

The MacBook Pro 14 normally goes for $1,999 and it starts at $1,849 at Apple's Education Store (opens in new tab).  It features a 14.2-inch (3024 x 1964) Liquid Retina XDR display, Apple's M1 Pro 8-core chip, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. For graphics handling, it packs a 14-core GPU which makes it suitable for gaming. 

This brawny machine scoffed at everything we threw at its during real world tests. Even with 70 open Google Chrome tabs with a few streaming 1080p YouTube videos and Twitch streams couldn't slow it down. It scored an astonishing score of 12,477 in Geekbench overall performance tests.

Connectivity is abundant on the MacBook Pro 14. It includes an HDMI port, SDXC card reader and a trio of Thunderbolt 4 ports. There's even a headphone jack and MagSafe charger which frees up a Thunderbolt 4 port if necessary.

Read our full MacBook Pro 14 review. 

Apple iPad 2021 review

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)
(opens in new tab)

Apple 10.2 inch iPad

The best value iPad tablet for students

CPU: iPadOS 15 | Display: 10.2-inch, 2160 x 1620-pixel | Storage: 64GB, 256GB | Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Ports: Lightning, Headphone

Outstanding performance at this price
Excellent battery life
Bright, vivid 10.2-inch display
Lacks Wi-Fi 6 or 5G support

Starting at $329, the 9th generation iPad is Apple's cheapest tablet. For students who want a more flexible device for school, the 2021 iPad is a solid value. It supports Apple Pencil (1st generation) for taking notes, marking up documents or sketching. Attach a Smart Keyboard (sold separately) and the iPad becomes a super portable productivity laptop.

By no means does the iPad sacrifice performance for price. The base model features a 10.2-inch Retina display with True Tone, A13 Bionic chip, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and stereo speakers. It sports an 8MP wide angle primary camera on the back and a 12MP ultra-wide front camera. Touch ID and Apple Pay offer secure login and payments.

During testing, the iPad easily juggled a dozen Google Chrome tabs with no signs of slowing down. Two of the aforementioned tabs were playing 1080p YouTube videos while streaming music in the background. The iPad didn't even flinch.

Overall, the 10.2-inch iPad is solid but whether you want a flexible tablet PC or companion device for your MacBook.

Read our full Apple iPad review. 

best Apple headphones and earbuds: AirPods 2

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Laptop Magazine)

Apple AirPods 2

The best AirPods for the money

Size and Weight: 1.6 x 0.7 x 0.7 inches, 0.14 ounces (per bud) | Battery Life (Rated): 5 hours, 24 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth Range: 60 feet (18 meters) | Special Features: Automatic switching, audio sharing, "Hey Siri" voice activation

Lightweight, comfortable design
Faster connection on iOS devices
Hands-free Siri integration
Clean, neutral sound
Limited controls

Despite their age, Apple's 2nd generation AirPods should not to be slept on. Although they've been succeed by the AirPods 3, they're still among the best wireless earbuds around. 

The AirPods are comfortable to wear, provide good sound and twice the talk time of the 1st-Gen AirPods. In fact, the AirPods 2 are powered by Apple's latest H1 chip, the same one found in the AirPods Pro. This makes for fast and convenient Bluetooth pairing, especially to iPhones. 

Typically, the AirPods 2 retail for $159, however, we've seen them dip to as low as $89 back in July. Since then, they've been holding steady at $99 for back to school season. That's a solid deal if you're looking for sub-$100 wireless earbuds. 

Read our AirPods 3 vs. AirPods 2 comparison (opens in new tab)

Apple AirPods 3 with charging on a black leather surface against a brick wall backgound

(Image credit: Future)

Apple AirPods 3

AirPods with superb sound

Size and Weight: 1.21 x 0.72 x 0.76 inches (earbud), 0.15 ounces | Battery Life (Rated): 6 hours, 30 hours (with charging case) | Bluetooth Range: 33 feet (10 meters) | Special Features: Always-on Siri, Automatic Switching, Audio Sharing, Spatial Audio, Enhanced Find My

Extremely comfortable
Great audio
Improved battery life
No ANC

If you have more room in your budget, the 3rd generation AirPods are a great option. Almost identical to the AirPods Pro, they feature Adaptive EQ, spatial audio, and enhanced Find My AirPods.

We love these AirPods for their, extremely comfortable fit, audio quality and improved battery life. 

One of the best features of the AirPods 3 is automatic switching between devices. In one test, our reviewer instantly went from a video meeting on a MacBook Pro 14 to an iPhone 13 Pro Max's music playlist without missing a beat. 

Read our full AirPods 3 review

Hilda Scott uses her combined passion for gadgets and bargain shopping to bring you the best prices on all things tech. She has a bachelor’s degree in film and media studies from Hunter College and 11 years of tech and entertainment journalism. Her work has been featured on Tom’s Guide, iTechPost, Examiner.com, Parlemag, Enstars, and Latin Times. When she's not scouting for the best deals, Hilda’s catching up on her favorite TV shows and pro-wrestling matches.