Jacob Krol/CNN

Last year’s MacBook Air is still our favorite MacBook and just about the best mainstream laptop you can buy, with a ridiculously fast M1 processor that runs circles around most rivals. And if you’ve been on the fence about buying one, this beloved laptop just dropped to its lowest price ever for Black Friday.

Amazon currently has the M1 MacBook Air starting at just $849 for the 256GB model, which is a pretty decent discount off of its $999 retail price. If you want more storage, you can also get the 512GB option for $150 off at just $1,099.

The best MacBook overall

The latest MacBook Air is the MacBook we recommend to most people thanks to its exceptional performance, and it's an especially great value at this price.

When you consider what you’re getting for the money, this is as good a Black Friday laptop deal as you’ll find. The M1 MacBook Air is one of the most powerful laptops we’ve tested, able to juggle tons of apps at once and export complex 4K video files in seconds. It also has stellar battery life, lasting for an exceptional 14 hours of continuous video playback during our stress test.

The MacBook Air’s performance and battery scores are leagues ahead of similarly priced rivals like the Surface Laptop 4 and Dell XPS 13, and it even holds its own with the 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 released last year. And because this is a MacBook Air, you’re getting the sleekest, most travel-friendly and nicest-looking MacBook (it’s the only one that comes in gold, after all).

It’s worth noting that Apple recently released new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which have better displays, webcams, speakers and even more beastly M1 Pro and M1 Max processors. But these laptops start at $1,999 and $2,499 respectively, and are largely aimed at folks that need enough muscle for things like heavy-duty programming and 3D rendering.

For someone who just wants to get work done without ever having to worry about their laptop slowing down, the M1 MacBook Air delivers an absurd amount of power — and better battery life — for a fraction of the price of the latest MacBook Pros. It’s rare you’ll find a current Mac at a price this low, so don’t miss out.