Apple Steals & Deals: Apple TV and ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless Router

Holiday Gifts for Mac Users

The Mac refurb store is beginning to look like Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard; mostly bare. Mac minis remain out of stock, and all sizes and models of the MacBook Pro have left the store.

If Mac models don’t start appearing in the refurb store again, it may be a bad holiday season for anyone looking for a Mac at a reduced price.

Deals of the Week

Our deals this week include a current generation Apple TV; just the thing for streaming TV, movies, and music in your home. The fourth-generation Apple TV brings support for third-party apps, letting you use it for all kinds of entertainment-related fun, including games.

Our second deal is for an ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Router. Apple reassigned the engineering team that was responsible for the AirPort line of wireless routers. With no new models of AirPort routers likely to be seen, you'll need to turn to third-party networking hardware to meet your needs. The RT-AC68U works fine with Apple products and includes high-speed connectivity, security, and dual-band options.

Don’t forget that for any Mac you buy, you should consider an external drive for backup and additional storage, if you need it.

And one final note: All of the Macs included in our Steals & Deals list are able to run macOS Sierra.

Quantities are limited, so if any of these tickle your fancy, be fast on the trigger to make a purchase.

1
Apple TV

Apple TV 4
Courtesy of Apple
  • 2015 Apple TV (4th generation) with 32 GB Storage: $129.00
  • Deal of the Week: 2015 Apple TV (4th generation) with 64 GB Storage: $169.00

Apple TV 3rd Generation Review

Apple TV 4th Generation Review

2
Mac Accessories

ASUS RT-AC68U AC1900 Wireless Router
Courtesy of ASUS
  • Deal of the Week: ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Router: Now that Apple has stopped producing its own AirPort wireless routers, many Mac users may be looking for a replacement that works well with their Macs. The RT-AC68U is just such a router, able to work seamlessly with Apple products while providing high-speed and secure wireless services. The dual-band capability will be appreciated by anyone living in a congested Wi-Fi area. Moving to the 5 GHz band where there are fewer access points can make your connections much more stable.

Check Amazon for ASUS RT-AC68U Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Router pricing and availability.

  • Kanex Multi-Sync Bluetooth Keyboard: This specially designed Bluetooth keyboard has all of the usual Mac special keys and function keys. It also supports multi Bluetooth pairing, letting you use one keyboard with multiple devices. You can use this keyboard with your Mac as well as your iPad or Apple TV; in fact, you can use it with any Bluetooth device that supports a keyboard.

Check Amazon for Kanex Multi-Sync Bluetooth Keyboard pricing and availability.

3
12-inch MacBook

Stephen Lam / Stringer / Getty Images
  • 2015 12-inch MacBook 1.1 GHz Dual-Core M processor with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300: $929.00
  • 2016 12-inch MacBook 1.1 GHz Dual-Core M3 processor with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 515: $1,099.00
  • 2015 12-inch MacBook 1.3 GHz Dual-Core M processor with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 5300: $1,149.00
  • 2016 12-inch MacBook 1.3 GHz Dual-Core M7 processor with 8 GB RAM, 256GB PCIe flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 515: $1,319.00
  • 2016 12-inch MacBook 1.2 GHz Dual-Core M5 processor with 8 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 515: $1,359.00

2016 MacBook Review

First Look 2015 MacBook

4
MacBook Air

MacBook Air
The 2013 13-inch MacBook Air. Brian Kersey/Getty Images News/Getty Images
  • 2015 11.6-inch MacBook Air 1.6 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 4 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 6000: $929.00
  • 2015 13.3-inch MacBook Air 1.6 GHz Dual-Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 6000: $1,019.00

5
iMac

27-inch iMac with Retina 5K
27-inch iMac with Retina 5K. Apple
  • 2015 21.5-inch Retina 4K iMac 3.1 GHz Quad-Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200: $1,269.00
  • 2015 27-inch Retina iMac 3.2 GHz Quad-Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive and AMD Radeon R9 M380 graphics: $1,529.00
  • 2015 27-inch Retina iMac 3.2 GHz Quad-Core i5 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB Fusion drive and AMD Radeon R9 M390X graphics: $1,669.00
  • 2014 27-inch Retina iMac 4.0 GHz Quad-Core i7 with 8 GB RAM, 1 TB Fusion drive and AMD Radeon R9 M299X graphics: $1,979.00

2014 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display Review

2015 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display Review

6
Mac Pro

Courtesy of Apple
  • 2013 Mac Pro 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Xeon E5 processor with 12 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe Flash Storage and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics: $2,549.00
  • 2013 Mac Pro 3.5 GHz 6-Core Xeon E5 processor with 16 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe Flash Storage and dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics: $3,399.00
  • 2013 Mac Pro 3.0 GHz 8-Core Xeon E5 processor with 32 GB RAM, 512 GB PCIe Flash Storage and dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics: $5,179.00

7
9.7-inch iPad Pro

9.7-inch iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil
Courtesy of Apple
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi with 32 GB storage: $509.00
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi with 128 GB storage: $589.00
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular with 32 GB storage: $619
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular with 128 GB storage: $699
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular with 256 GB storage: $789

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro Review: Better Than the Bigger Pro?

8
12.9-inch iPad Pro

iPad Pro 12.5-inch model with Retina display
Courtesy of Apple
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 32 GB Wi-Fi: $679.00
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 128 GB Wi-Fi: $759.00
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 256 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $869.00

The iPad Pro Review: A Bigger, More Powerful iPad

9
iPad Mini 4 with Retina Display

iPadMiniRetinaDisplay2013.jpg
Courtesy of Apple
  • 16 GB Wi-Fi: $319.00
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi: $379.00
  • 128 GB Wi-Fi: $419.00
  • 64 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $489.00
  • 128 GB Wi-Fi + Cellular: $529.00

iPad 4 Review: The Best iPad Yet?

Apple Refurbished Store

The Apple refurb store is one of my preferred places to look for deals on Apple products. The store offers the same Apple warranty that is included with new Apple products, as well as the opportunity to purchase AppleCare if you would like a bit longer coverage.

Apple acquires its refurb stock from product returns and overstock. Apple then puts the refurb stock through its paces, repairing or replacing any damaged components, and ensuring that the product meets the same standards as a new Apple product going out the door. This means you won’t be getting a scratch and dent model, but one dressed to look like a brand-new Mac, with the warranty to match.

Unlike most stores, the refurb store's stock is always changing, with no guarantee that the models you see in the store today will be there a day, or even an hour, later. That means you must be willing to jump when an opportunity presents itself, and that can be a bit scary.

The refurb store is also a good place to gauge the value of a used Mac. Macs sold through the refurb store are all in great shape; so you can take the refurb prices as the high end of the price range for a used Mac.

If you see someone trying to sell the same Mac for more than the refurb store, you can laugh silently and walk away from the transaction.