Here’s five cheaper alternatives to everything Apple announced today

By on April 20, 2021

Apple held a Spring 2021 event today to roll out several new products including refreshes on the iPad Pro, iMac and Apple TV as well as Bluetooth trackers called AirTags. (And the greatest announcement of all: Season 2 trailer of Ted Lasso!)

Of course, those announcements came with hefty price tags. Here’s a few ways to save money on essentially the same tech.

Apple Announcement: Purple iPhone 12 & 12 Mini

Holding off on any new iPhone news until September 2021, Apple choose to roll out a new color of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini rather than refresh the hardware in first half of 2021. The new color will be available April 30.

Cheaper Alternative: A Purple Case

If you already have an iPhone 12 or an iPhone 12 Mini, it’s just ridiculous to switch phones for a new color. Instead, just pick up a purple case. There’s a plethora of options on Amazon as low as $6, but we do like the Otterbox model with a built-in PopSocket PopGrip (if Popsockets are your thing).

Savings: At least $650

Apple Announcement: Apple TV 4K w/ new remote

The new version of the Apple TV 4K comes with the A12 Bionic chip found in the iPhone XS / XR (hardware last revised in 2017). It can now play HDR and comes with a new remote control that finally includes power / volume buttons for your TV. The price tag hasn’t changed though; $180 for the 32GB model and $200 for the 64GB.

Cheaper Alternative: Roku Ultra

Assuming you haven’t already replaced all your streaming set top boxes with smart TV apps (Goodbye switching HDMI ports!), check out the Roku Ultra for streaming at half the price. It has all the same AirPlay functionality for sharing content from your iPhone and includes support for HDR / Dolby Vision. The remote control has a nifty headphones jack as well for silent viewing.

The Roku Ultra is frequently on sale in the $80 to $90 range and can be found under $70 around Black Friday. Check Amazon’s price here.

Savings: At least $80

Apple Announcement: AirTags

Picking up on the popularity of the Tile trackers that help people track their lost keys or luggage, Apple has finally released a version of that tech. Called AirTags, the small disc-like device has Bluetooth LE, an accelerometer, a tiny speaker and a battery that can be replaced. These devices will show up in Apple’s Find My App, basically playing a sound on the tracker to help find it.

Apple is pricing a single AirTag tracker at $29 or $99 for a four-pack. Apple is also creating a variety of accessories like keychain holders and luggage tags.

Cheaper Alternative: Tile Stickers

Basically identical technology for half the price, Tile Stickers have an adhesive back that can be attached to objects like remote controls or wallets. It will emit a chime when within 150 feet of it via your phone’s Tile app. A four-pack retails for $60, but frequently drops into the $45 to $50 range. Check Amazon’s Price here.

Savings: At least $40

Apple Announcement: iPad Pro with M1 Chip

Apple’s refresh of the iPad Pro line now includes the M1 chip that powers devices like the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. Apple has upgraded the display to mini-LED, using 10,000 of those on the 12.9″ model. There’s a new 12-megapixel camera that includes tracking tech for video calls, very similar to people-tracking on the Facebook Portal.

Of course, Apple is increasing prices again. The 12.9-inch model will start at $1,099 and the 11-inch model starts at is $799.

Cheaper Alternative: Samsung S7+ Tablet

Clocking in at 12.4-inches, the Samsung S7+ doesn’t offer a fancy mini-LED screen, but it does offer a 2800 x 1752 display. It has a microSD port that lets you expand memory up to 1TB (not offered on the iPad Pro) and comes with the S Pen stylus for free ($129 for the Apple Pencil). It also comes with a fingerprint scanner, a 13-megapixel camera, Dolby Atmos quad speakers and a fast Octa-core processor.

The base model of the Samsung S7+ is 128Gb in size and starts at $750 (with sales in the $650 to $700 range). You will also find sales on the 256GB and 512GB models. In addition, Samsung has a S7 11-inch model that starts around $550. Check Prices on Amazon Here.

Savings: At Least $350

Apple Announcement: iMac w/ M1 chip

Easily one of the biggest announcements today, Apple redesigned the iMac with a bit of a throwback to the color scheme of the original iMacs. The new iMac offers a 24-inch screen, a 4.5K resolution display, a new 1080p camera and a form factor that’s roughly 11.5mm thin.

Once again, Apple thinks so highly of their products that their customers get the privilege of paying $1,299 for the base model of the iMac (256GB memory, 8GB RAM, Magic keyboard).

Cheaper Alternative: HP 24 All-in-One Desktop

One of the best advantages of going with an HP 24″ all-in-one is the ability to scale up your specs in a way that Apple doesn’t allow. If you want specs similar to Apple’s iMac, you are looking at a $699 starting price. However, you can scale up the HP all the way to a model with 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for about $120 less than what Apple will charge for the base model iMac. Check Prices at Amazon.

Savings: Up to $600

About Mike Flacy

By day, I'm the Editor-in-Chief for The CheckOut in addition to being the content manager for Steve's Digicams and High-Def Digest. During my free time, I love to write about pop culture, home theater, digital photography, social media, mobile technology and cool gadgets!

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