Apple announced a few upgrades this week during its annual September event, including the newest iPhones. Preorders on the latest and greatest will be shipping shortly. But if your own phone is a little older, this is a great time to get a discount on its current lineup.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-Year Subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
MacBook and iPad Deals
Not sure which MacBook you need? Read our guide first.
This 2022 Air is our favorite MacBook all around, with a bigger (13.6 inches versus 13.3) and brighter display and a better webcam. It still lacks ports, but the Air does get the same MagSafe charging capabilities as the higher-end MacBook Pros to free up the two lone ports. The M2 chip offers a nice performance boost, so we recommend this model if your workload is graphics-heavy and requires a bit more heft.
The older Air is still our budget pick (you have to use the term budget with discretion when it comes to Apple). The price has gone down $50 or so recently, but this is still in line with one of the cheapest prices we tracked. The battery should last you a full workday, and the M1 chip allows it to wake up from sleep instantly, like you’re used to with your phone. Also, there’s no fan, so it should remain pretty quiet. This deal is also available from Best Buy.
We see this laptop peak at about $2,500, although the price started to fall a bit in July. The price is really worth it only for those who need the most powerful computers. It loses the dreaded touch bar, and the mini-LED screens provide deeper blacks and rich colors. And finally, this MacBook has more ports again, including an HDMI port, three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, an SD card slot, and a high-impedance headphone jack.
WIRED has a trove of iPad Mini (8/10, WIRED Recommends) fans, and this $100 discount is a solid deal. It also doesn’t seem likely that a new one will be announced soon, so we think this is still a safe bet. Its 8.3-inch display has slim bezels, and despite the display being larger than the last version, the body is actually a bit shorter. The A15 Bionic processor makes it capable of running any intensive game, and you might be able to get a little work done (though we prefer larger models for full days).
Watch and Headphone Deals
Apple announced three new watches this week: an upgraded SE ($249), a Series 8 ($399), and the Ultra ($799), a super rugged watch for adventurers. Those will be available later this month. Apple has never made a clunker watch and people tend to hold on to theirs for a long time, so it might be worth waiting. But if you just can’t, these ones are discounted.
Like a bunch of Apple products right now, the base price has dropped a bit and fluctuates, but $299 is still a solid price for the best Apple Watch. It has the best water- and dust-resistance of the current lineup, as well as better fall detection and more accurately calculated ebiking. The screen is 20 percent larger too, with a full-size keyboard for easier texting. A few months back, Apple’s WatchOS 9 release included better fitness-focused features.
Note: Apple Watches tend to work pretty well for a lot longer than iPhones. This SE is still perfectly fine, but the new SE will cost just $249 when it’s available on September 16. It includes crash detection and is 20 percent faster. If you can wait, it might be a more worthwhile purchase.
The Series 7 is the best Apple Watch overall, but we think most people will be perfectly happy with the SE. It’s the cheapest option, but it still gets a Retina display, a pretty loud speaker, and a fast processor, plus perks like fall detection. The SE is also best for Family Setupwhich allows children or grandparents who don’t have an iPhone to get the luxury of phone calls, texting, and location sharing.
These headphones are stunning, and their sound is impressive. WIRED editor Parker Hall says the AirPods Max (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are probably the best wireless headphones you’ll ever hear, and they are our favorite noise-canceling headphones, too. You’ll find them for around $500 on Amazon—that’s it $50 less than Apple’s site, but they’re still quite expensive. If you prefer buds, Apple announced new AirPods Pros today for $249, but you’ll probably be fine with it the older AirPods Pro.