MacMall pre-Black Friday 2012 sale: Apple iPad, MacBook, Mac Mini, and iMac deals

The discounts aren't great, but they include the first-generation iPad with Retina Display starting at $429.99 and some intriguing specials on the previous-generation non-Retina Display MacBook Pro lineup.


You don't see a lot of price-cutting on Apple products on Black Friday -- the company's usual deal is 10-percent off and new, hot products sometimes aren't discounted at all -- so you may want to take a look at MacMall's pre-Black Friday sale, which offers some price cuts (mainly on last-generation items) from now until Wednesday at noon.

If Apple does its usual Black Friday sale, then some of these "deals" are barely worth discussing. For example, MacMall is offering just $5 off most configurations of Mac Mini, which may be appealing only if you don't know about Apple's usual Black Friday discounts. Almost insulting is the $1 discount on the Apple Magic Mouse. Likewise, the one iMac and many MacBook Air specials don't work out to a 10-percent discount, so you may want to take your chances that Apple's deals will be better and wait.

However, there are a few MacMall sales that are worth noting. For instance, Apple recently updated the iPad with Retina Display, but if you want to save a few bucks, you can get the previous generation model (released just last spring) for anywhere from $50 to $79 cheaper than the newest ones (e.g., $429.99 for a 16GB Wi-Fi version, $749.99 for a 64GB 4G LTE version). Whether you jump at the deal depends on if you think Apple will discount the latest iPads -- if it does, you may only be saving $20 for slightly older hardware.

Likewise, the 6-percent discount (from $1,699 to $1,597.89) on the new 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display and Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB solid state drive might be as good as it gets -- if Apple fails to discount its latest laptop offering.

Your best bet for savings comes if you can handle buying a previous-generation MacBook Pro that does not come with Retina Display, although you're giving up the best new feature in the process. You can get a 17-inch version -- a screen size Apple no longer sells -- with Intel 2.4GHz Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, 750GB hard drive, and AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics for $1,999.99 (or $499 less than its original list price). Another 17-inch option comes with 2.5GHz Core i7 CPU but otherwise similar specs for $2,299 (or $549 off its list price). For $399 off the original $2,199.99 price, a 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with 2.4GHz Core i7, 4GB of RAM, 750GB hard drive, and 6770M graphics is another deep discount. 

Do any of these deals sound intriguing to you? (It'd be no surprise if they didn't.) If so, which ones will you jump on? Let us know in the Talkback section below.