Apple announced its newest laptop, the 15-inch MacBook Air, this Monday during the brand's annual Worldwide Developers Conference — and there's already at least one retailer offering a nearly $50 discount on pre-orders. Apple set the retail price at $1,299, but right now Amazon is listing it for $1,249.99. You won't see big red discount numbers or really any indication that its on sale, other than the fact that it's cheaper than at any other retailer. The discount applies to the 256GB storage configuration in either Silver or Midnight. The larger, 512GB versions are also $49 off, but only in the Starlight or Space Gray colorways.
Amazon has a history of promoting discounts that are small but notable (hey, $50 is $50) on new and desirable products, in the hopes that you buy your new device from its site over the competition. Apple's announcement came after many months of speculation that the company would put out a laptop with a screen large enough for serious productivity, without making people spring for the extra cost (and potentially superfluous processing power) of the Pro model laptops.
Our deputy editor Cherlynn Low was on the ground at WWDC and had a chance to put her hands on the newest MacBook. She was impressed by how light and thin it is at just 3.3 pounds and measuring under a half-inch thick. She reported that the Liquid Retina display was rich, vibrant and sharp. A demonstration of its processing power seemed speedy enough — that's not surprising as it has the same M2 chip as the 13-inch MacBook Air, which performs remarkably well. But we'll need to get a unit in for testing before we can properly evaluate it.
In the meantime, here's what the new 15-inch MacBook Air offers: A 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display, a 1080p camera and a promised 18-hour battery life. The M2 chip in the base model has an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU, instead of the optional 8-core GPU you can get with the 13-inch version. It has the same 8GB of RAM as the smaller model (which is configurable to 24GB) and the same storage options, either 256GB or 512GB (both configurable up to 2TB of SSD). The MBA 15 sadly didn't add any additional ports — you'll get just two Thunderbolt 4 ports with a MagSafe plug for power and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
When you pre-order now, your new MacBook Air should ship out next week.