Best Buy has discounted the Apple AirPods, iPad Mini, iPad Pro, and MacBook Air. Better hurry, though: We don’t have to tell you that offers on Apple hardware are few and far between, so it’s safe to say these deals won’t be around for long — particularly the one that sees the iPad Mini in the sale bin for only $330, down from the usual $400.
— $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 both 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 they 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 your 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 perform 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.
— $330, was $400
The iPad Mini sports a nearly identical design to its predecessor. The bezels are still as chunky as ever, which is baffling considering the rest of the world’s gadgets, including the iPad Pro, have moved on from this outdated design trend. Nevertheless, the iPad Mini is still the best tablet that you can get for its size. It offers speedy performance, fluid software, and a gorgeous display. It’s also the most affordable option in Apple’s tablet lineup. Right now, you can purchase the iPad Mini with 64GB of memory on Best Buy for $330 instead of $400 – a huge $70 of savings.
Despite the lack of an edge-to-edge screen, the iPad Mini’s Retina display with a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution looks great, with sharp details and vibrant colors, and images appear completely natural, thanks to Apple’s True Tone technology. The home button below also serves as the Touch ID lock, and it’s very responsive even for users who have already gotten used to the convenience of Face ID. This tablet is powered by the same chip that’s inside Apple’s latest iPhones — the A12 Bionic processor — which is still one of the fastest mobile processors on the market. It won’t perform as well as the latest iPad Pro’s A12X Bionic chip, but it’s still impressively fast. If you’re looking to do some light editing work on Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Rush, you won’t encounter any problems, although the tiny screen might be an issue.
Unfortunately, the iPad Mini lacks Smart Keyboard support, which means you’ll need to buy a third-party keyboard case (or a detached Bluetooth keyboard) if you want to use it for writing. At least it now supports the first-gen Apple Pencil, which was previously only compatible with the iPad Pro (the second-gen remains exclusive with the iPad Pro). This makes the iPad Mini great for work (or learning) and play.
With a tiny 7.9-inch screen and a product weight of just 0.66 pounds, the iPad Mini is ideal for those who travel a lot and don’t want their hands to grow weary with prolonged use. Get one for $330 on Best Buy today.
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 brand-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 and watching movies. Right now, you can get the 11-inch iPad Pro on Best Buy for $800 instead of the usual $950. 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 more effectively 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.
11-inch iPad Pro — $800, was $950:
12.9-inch iPad Pro — $900, was $1,000:
— $900, was $1,100
The MacBook Air is now thinner and lighter than ever, yet still possesses the same power and solid build quality that is 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, though, 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 get 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 assigned normal daily workflow tasks, 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 be worried about.
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.
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Published at Mon, 20 Apr 2020 16:10:47 +0000