The last two weeks of holiday fun is upon us, and as the new school year approaches, so does its accompanying supplies list. More often than not, that list includes some big-ticket items like laptops and tablets.
Arguably the most popular of these are Apple’s MacBooks and iPads. So whether you’re heading back to school or university and keen on getting yourself or your child one of these coveted products, we’re here to help you find a bargain.
While you’ll be hard-pressed to find a discount at Apple, there are back-to-school deals to check out on Apple AU’s Education site. You can save on MacBooks, iPads and more with education pricing, and during the promo period between January 4 and March 13, 2024, you’ll receive an Apple gift card up to AU$240 if you make a qualifying purchase.
We’ve rounded up our top picks of the best back-to-school Apple products and accessories on offer, and other great deals available now at other retailers.
Top education discounts from Apple
Note that to be eligible for Apple AU’s education pricing, you need to be either a full-time or part-time student aged 18 or over with a current student ID card, or a lecturer, teacher or staff member at an Apple-approved education establishment (such as a university or school).
The price of Apple’s latest 14-inch MacBook Pro has been slashed by 5.66%, making it a powerful option for students and parents alike. With 1TB of storage space and 8GB unified memory, this laptop is great for work or studying on-the-go and, depending on the kind of usage it gets, it should have more than enough fuel to last a full day of classes. This offer also comes with a AU$240 Apple gift card to spend on any other MacBook accessories you may need.
If you’re looking for a larger display, or even more powerful processing power from the M3 Pro chip, this discounted 16-inch MacBook Pro for AU$3,949 (down from AU$4,299) may be right up your alley.
In our best student laptops roundup, we named this 13-inch M2-powered MacBook Air as the best choice for most students. It delivers fantastic performance, a vibrant display and more than 14 hours of battery life on a singular charge. It’s super lightweight at just 1.24kg, making it easy to carry around between classes. Again, this little powerhouse comes with a AU$240 gift card, making it easy to spend that extra cash on a cute case or sleeve.
Much like the Pro mentioned above, if you’re in the market for a wider display, the 15-inch MacBook Air is on sale too, for a respectable AU$2,299 (down from AU$2,499).
If you’re going to be doing most of your studying or assignment writing at home, and are looking for an aesthetic desktop, this iMac is for you. Boasting the latest M3 chip, this iMac has more oomph under the hood than its predecessor. Its 24-inch Retina display combined with the new processor makes it the perfect machine for students who need a computer for creative design work or video editing. Available in a few different colourways, complete with matching keyboard and mouse, this iMac is hard to pass up.
Much like the MacBooks above, this iMac qualifies for an AU$240 Apple gift card with the purchase.
This flagship iPad isn't cheap, but it's currently got a decent AU$180 discount, which makes it near-impossible to decide between a Mac or an iPad for students. With an 11-inch screen, an all-new M2 processor and a sizable 512GB of storage, if you add a keyboard cover, this one is definitely capable of being a powerful (and super compact) laptop replacement.
Available in Space Grey and Silver colourways, and if you purchase within the promo period, you’ll get a AU$160 Apple gift card, which is perfect for adding an Apple Pencil to your cart.
On the hunt for a budget-friendly iPad? This 10th-gen model is a great student-starter iPad, with 256GB storage space, A14 Bionic chip processor and available in a choice of 4 different fun colours. While the discount itself isn’t much, you’ll get a AU$120 Apple gift card, which comes in handy for younger students who might need a tough (read: indestructible) case.
Offers from other retailers
This Amazon deal knocks AU$102 off the listed price, which is a further AU$52 off Apple’s education pricing. You can also find it for AU$899 at JB Hi-Fi, but again, if you’re on the lookout for a budget iPad or a cheap laptop replacement, this 10th-gen iPad could be the right choice for you.
This Amazon discount takes AU$100 off the asking price for this 2023 15-inch MacBook Air. While it’s ever so slightly cheaper than the MacBook Air listed above available directly from Apple, it has lesser storage at 256GB. That said, given the added value of the Apple gift card, we think the above offer is better value, but if you don’t have student credentials, this one is worth considering.
Apple AirPods 2nd Gen |
AU$219 AU$157 on Amazon (save AU$62)
Down to only AU$157, these Apple AirPods 2 offer excellent connectivity, wireless charging and the ability to access Siri without lifting a finger. If you own an iPhone or MacBook and want to go wire-free with your music listening and video calls, they're a no-brainer and will make commuting to school or uni a breeze.
Other back-to-school Apple accessories
If you’re looking for a detachable keyboard case, this may be the one for you. Knocking off AU$76, this price point is pretty reasonable when compared to newer versions of this Apple Magic Keyboard. Compact and lightweight, this case is worth every penny.
This silver Apple Magic Keyboard features an extended layout with full size arrow keys for speedy document and spreadsheet navigation. It’s also wireless, and powered by Bluetooth, so it connects seamlessly between iMacs and MacBooks. The battery can last up to a full month on one charge, and can be easily recharged with a Lightning cable.
While not a massive discount off listed price, this DigiDirect deal is currently the cheapest on the market. And if you use the code FUTURE5, you’ll save an extra 5%.
Do note this keyboard doesn't come as standard with iMacs, so if you’re looking for a larger keyboard, this is the one for you.
It would be remiss of us not to include ‘school-adjacent’ accessories, much like this Apple iPhone 14. While not a major discount, this Amazon deal will save you AU$112 off RRP. 2022’s iPhone model features a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, an advanced dual-camera system with an ultra-wide lens and A15 Bionic chip.
Available in purple and starlight colourways.
While this sleeve isn’t discounted, it is a perfect match for the 14-inch MacBook Pro above. Its slim design features a quilted microfiber lining for extra protection and a magnetic bumper entry, offering peace of mind that your laptop snug and secure. It measures 350mm x 260mm, and is available in five colourways.
This Logitech Casa Pop Up desk caught our attention when it first launched in August last year. While it is not discounted, this pop-up desk is perfect for work or studying on the go. You can set up literally anywhere — think your bedroom, local cafe or library — and have an instant ergonomic laptop stand, complete with a wireless Casa Keys keyboard, Casa Touch trackpad, and tons of storage space for pens and cables. Putting your laptop screen at eye level can also help encourage better posture, so it may be worth the investment if you’re constantly hunched over your laptop.
It’s available in three colourways — Bohemian Blush, Nordic Cream and Classic Chic.
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Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.