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Best Buy now offering lowest pre-tax prices on Apple's 2013 & 2014 MacBook Airs, starting at $759

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
With last week's release of new and cheaper MacBook Air models, authorized Apple reseller Best Buy has undercut those prices, offering discounts on the latest refresh, as well as deep price cuts on the previous-generation models, which now start at just $759 plus tax.




For example, the new entry level 11.6-inch MacBook Air, which retails for $899, is currently being offered by Best Buy for $854.99, the cheapest price currently available from Apple resellers. The low-end 13-inch model is also being offered at a discount for $949.99, matching Apple's own eduation pricing on that model.

Legacy models are also being offered at some of the lowest prices ever for a new Mac laptop. For example, a 2013 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.3-gigahertz processor and 128 gigabytes of flash storage is just $759.99 through Best Buy, while the same model with twice the capacity is $949.99.

These prices are currently the lowest available, before taxes, among any of the companies found in AppleInsider's Mac Price Guide. It should be noted that Best Buy charges tax on all orders placed in the U.S. In contrast, other authorized resellers listed in the Price Guides such as B&H Photo only charges tax in New York, or MacMall, which only charges taxes in Calif., N.Y., Ill., Wisc., Minn., Colo., Tenn., N.C., and Ga. MacMall also offers an additional 3% discount with coupon/promo code APPLEINSIDER01. Therefore, in most cases, Best Buy's final net prices are typically a bit higher than those from other resellers that offer tax and/or coupon savings.

A full comparison of available MacBook Air prices is included below:



And prices with AppleCare warranties:
post #2 of 16
Compared to the Ultrabooks in price, I'm not sure there is any price difference with the MBA any longer? Apple had squeezed almost all the oxygen out of the competitor's margins before this last price change... and just in time for the graduation gift market and Mother's Day.

Could Apple be showing its claws? Now that Windows 8.x is about as messed up as it could be, the XP crowd might find the Ma OS looks more familiar than the Fisher Price alternative. Apple could end up with a reasonable percentage of those ex-XP users... jest say'n.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Compared to the Ultrabooks in price, I'm not sure there is any price difference with the MBA any longer? Apple had squeezed almost all the oxygen out of the competitor's margins before this last price change... and just in time for the graduation gift market and Mother's Day.

Could Apple be showing its claws? Now that Windows 8.x is about as messed up as it could be, the XP crowd might find the Ma OS looks more familiar than the Fisher Price alternative. Apple could end up with a reasonable percentage of those ex-XP users... jest say'n.

Well I doubt the "XP crowd" is going to jump ship into a Mac, but these lower prices certainly help position Apple to be more competitive in the notebook market.  And I agree, the Windows 8 mess is probably helping Apple more than Microsoft knows.

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Compared to the Ultrabooks in price, I'm not sure there is any price difference with the MBA any longer? Apple had squeezed almost all the oxygen out of the competitor's margins before this last price change... and just in time for the graduation gift market and Mother's Day.

Could Apple be showing its claws? Now that Windows 8.x is about as messed up as it could be, the XP crowd might find the Ma OS looks more familiar than the Fisher Price alternative. Apple could end up with a reasonable percentage of those ex-XP users... jest say'n.

 

I'm not sure, but I suspect the 13" interests far more people. 11" is quite small for a notebook screen, although I also find 13" to be cramped.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I'm not sure, but I suspect the 13" interests far more people. 11" is quite small for a notebook screen, although I also find 13" to be cramped.

I really enjoyed my little 10-11" white MacBook when I was using it. Plenty big for anything I wanted to use it for... UNTIL I bought my current 15" MBP... Now I'm spoiled for life.

But, I have to admit, the little white MacBook was damn portable and easy to handle. I'd go back to it for that reason alone.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


I really enjoyed my little 10-11" white MacBook when I was using it. Plenty big for anything I wanted to use it for... UNTIL I bought my current 15" MBP... Now I'm spoiled for life.

But, I have to admit, the little white MacBook was damn portable and easy to handle. I'd go back to it for that reason alone.


This is obviously subject to opinion, but I think the 15" rmbp is incredibly portable. With the Airs I see something I never previously witnessed with a notebook. People pick them up with one hand. That might make them feel more portable, but having used a 17", I can't say that I would have any trouble grabbing a 15" while heading out the door. They're around 4 pounds and reasonably compact. The charger adds maybe another half pound?

 

I don't remember a 10-11" macbook. There was a 12" ibook. Other than that they seem to have started at 13". Everymac seems to agree with me. I don't recall the aspect ratio, so I don't know if that would have made a difference in perception.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

This is obviously subject to opinion, but I think the 15" rmbp is incredibly portable.

The rMBP is pretty easy to carry round, it weighs around the same as the 15" Ultrabooks:

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-S56CA-WH31-ASUS-15-6-Inch-Ultrabook/dp/B009RUS452

PC manufacturers are being a bit liberal with the term but I guess it's comparative to the hefty machines they typically make.

The difference here though is that machine above costs $450 (once you incl delivery) and Apple's 15" starts at $2000. They are more competitive with 11" and 13".

If we assume a Retina MBA would be $200 higher than the MBA, perhaps they can make a Retina 14-15" Air at $1299-1399 alongside a $1199 12".
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The rMBP is pretty easy to carry round, it weighs around the same as the 15" Ultrabooks:
The rMBP is pretty easy to carry around... until you pick up an MBA, and then then the rMBP feels huge. Those things really are crazy small (although I still bought an rMBP, because I need the GPU to test against for development purposes).

Too bad the Best Buy deal doesn't include any of the 8 GB models. 4 GB has been pretty unusable since at least 2012, but that wasn't a problem back when you could just put more in yourself. *sigh* The Apple refurb store has some better deals in it.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post


The rMBP is pretty easy to carry around... until you pick up an MBA, and then then the rMBP feels huge. Those things really are crazy small (although I still bought an rMBP, because I need the GPU to test against for development purposes).

Too bad the Best Buy deal doesn't include any of the 8 GB models. 4 GB has been pretty unusable since at least 2012, but that wasn't a problem back when you could just put more in yourself. *sigh* The Apple refurb store has some better deals in it.

 

But you can actually do things with the MBP....thats the difference. For what you can do with the MBA and actually say its usable, 4GB is plenty for most consumers. I know someone will respond saying it can do FCP and I'm sure it does and probably uses up half the storage, but nobody does serious work on an 11" screen with an ULV Core i5/i7. 

 

That being said, I'm sure the MBA sells very well as people just want a simple computer to do simple things and think an iPad can't do it. To each his own I guess. 

Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

120 GB SSD/500 GB HD/8 GB RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256 MB

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post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

But you can actually do things with the MBP....thats the difference. For what you can do with the MBA and actually say its usable, 4GB is plenty for most consumers.
It's really not. I bought and installed a RAM upgrade for my ex last year (and a fine expenditure of money that was, sigh) when her MBP with 4 GB in it was running like $#!&. She wasn't even running anything other than Word, Chrome, and Preview (with a few PDF files open). Nothing comparable to FCP, and it was paging so badly that it would take 30+ seconds just to switch from one app to another. Launching a new app (even if it was something small like System Preferences) was a nightmare. She thought the laptop was broken, but of course a simple RAM upgrade fixed it. Two of my family members are now having the same exact problem; 4 GB of RAM, and they're both complaining about how slow things are on their laptops. None of these people are technophiles at all (and one of them is practically a Luddite). 4 GB is just not enough.

The one difference with the MBA is that the flash-based storage is a lot faster than a 2.5" hard drive, so the paging doesn't hurt as badly. But still.

As long as you've got the 8 GB, though, the MBA is a pretty nice machine. The 11" model is too small, but there's a 13" model too, and then you can hook up an external display to it when you're at home, and have a pretty nice setup. Yeah, I wouldn't run FCP on it, but for most tasks it's a sweet little machine, as long as you don't skimp on the RAM. You can get it with 512 GB of storage space, too, which is pretty decent (although you can't do it after the fact*, sigh again. I really wish Apple would fix that).

*edit: Before someone makes some asinine comment about "moving the goal posts": Yes, I know about the OWC SSDs. They suck (slow and unreliable compared to the built-in), they're twice as expensive as they should be, and most importantly, it voids your warranty to install them. Not a solution.
Edited by Durandal1707 - 5/5/14 at 9:35am
post #11 of 16

The MBA is a great machine to use. Lightweight and compact and also fast with more ram installed.

post #12 of 16
Funny - I just bought a June 2013 13" MBA 8GB/512GB for $1453 from the Apple Refurbished Store to upgrade my 2012 11" MBA. Given the lack of spec increase in 2014 and the quality of Apple refurbs - Apple just did us all a huge favor (WWDC or not).
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


If we assume a Retina MBA would be $200 higher than the MBA, perhaps they can make a Retina 14-15" Air at $1299-1399 alongside a $1199 12".

That would be a pretty distinct departure in strategy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post


The rMBP is pretty easy to carry around... until you pick up an MBA, and then then the rMBP feels huge. Those things really are crazy small (although I still bought an rMBP, because I need the GPU to test against for development purposes).

Too bad the Best Buy deal doesn't include any of the 8 GB models. 4 GB has been pretty unusable since at least 2012, but that wasn't a problem back when you could just put more in yourself. *sigh* The Apple refurb store has some better deals in it.


Having picked up both, I disagree with you. It doesn't matter to me how they compare. Transporting a rMBP wouldn't be a burden, so at that point I move onto other priorities. If you compare 13" to 13", the difference is minimal. If you want a 15" model, it's still not a big difference. It would be much more significant with something like the iPad where you might hold it up while in use.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

If we assume a Retina MBA would be $200 higher than the MBA, perhaps they can make a Retina 14-15" Air at $1299-1399 alongside a $1199 12".
That would be a pretty distinct departure in strategy.

I actually wonder if it would be a better idea to have a 15" Retina Air instead of a 13" rMBP. The 13" isn't exactly a powerhouse with dual-core processors and not that much faster than the Air. Maybe they can't get the components at that price level but if the Air does get a Retina model, the 13" rMBP is going to overlap with it somewhere.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I actually wonder if it would be a better idea to have a 15" Retina Air instead of a 13" rMBP. The 13" isn't exactly a powerhouse with dual-core processors and not that much faster than the Air. Maybe they can't get the components at that price level but if the Air does get a Retina model, the 13" rMBP is going to overlap with it somewhere.

I would love a 15" MBA, however I suspect with that screen size, and not even retina, the battery time between charges may get hit too hard. Apple looks for a certain balance with all elements... if they find a way to do 15" and not increase size and weight, and shorten battery time, they may do it.
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

I would love a 15" MBA, however I suspect with that screen size, and not even retina, the battery time between charges may get hit too hard. Apple looks for a certain balance with all elements... if they find a way to do 15" and not increase size and weight, and shorten battery time, they may do it.

The weight difference is interesting, the 13" Air (1.35kg) is only 14% lighter than the 13" rMBP (1.57kg), which again suggests they don't need both. I suspect the 15" would be easier to cut down because the components have a much higher power draw. The Air is 15W tops, the 13" rMBP is 35W, the 15" can sustain 90W, although the entry CPU is 47W on its own.

The 15" (2.02kg) has a 95Wh battery and lasts 8 hours so average draw of 10.6W to achieve this. The battery itself would be 0.5kg. I expect dropping the CPU from 47W to 15W would allow them to half the battery size and weight. Then reduce the chassis thickness and go with a single fan instead of two. The Air also cuts out the glass in front of the display but they might not want to do that. Perhaps they can get a lighter glass to laminate into the display. I'd expect they can hit 1.6-1.7kg for a 15" Air, which is in the region of the 1.57kg 13" rMBP and with the lower power CPU, should manage to sustain the same battery life as the 15" rMBP. Perhaps they can share the same display panel with the 15" rMBP to help cut costs.
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