Get a refurbished MacBook Air 11.6 for $649

Is it possible to be a cheapskate and still buy a MacBook? This model makes a compelling argument.

macbook-air-icemonkey-deal.jpg
Apple

If you want an ultra-thin, ultra-light laptop, be prepared to pay for it. Apple's bar-setting MacBook Airs start at $899, and a similarly designed Windows machine typically sells for at least as much.

Ah, but if you're willing to buy a refurbished system, there are some more affordable options. Like this one: today only, and while supplies last, IceMonkey has the refurbished MacBook Air MC969LL/A for $649 shipped.

Update: Eagle-eyed reader theriault3 discovered that DailySteals (same company as IceMonkey) has what appears to be the same model on Ebay for $499.99! Curiously, there's no warranty information listed, only a 14-day return option, so this could be a different "batch" of refurbs. Or it could be the best flippin' MacBook Air deal ever.

First things first: because this isn't coming directly from Apple, you don't get the same promise of exactly-like-new condition or the same one-year warranty. Rather, you get 90 days -- which, let's face it, is typical for most refurbished gear.

Second, this is the 2011 MacBook Air, not the 2013 model. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it simply helps explain the lower price. (A current-gen refurb from Apple will run you $869, minimum.)

I'm no Mac expert, but every time I've laid eyes on an Air, I've felt deep pangs of stuff lust. It's just a gorgeous piece of hardware, and certainly powerful enough for most mainstream tasks. This one comes with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and an 11.6-inch screen. It weighs roughly 2.4 pounds, meaning it's about as backpack-friendly as laptops get.

By the way, as noted in Scott Stein's review, this configuration originally sold for $1,199. That review praises this model's speed and backlit keyboard (a must-have feature, I agree), but dings its "limited" storage. I think that's less of an issue in today's cloud-powered world, though I will admit my own 128GB drive is starting to fill up. (Easy fix -- a tiny flash drive like this one.)

I know I'll get some dings for recommending an Apple product on a blog for cheapskates, but when there's a possibility of saving over $200 on some very coveted hardware, I gotta share. Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Game time! I'm not sure for how long, but DealFisher (via Amazon) has Call of Duty: Ghosts for Xbox One for $19.99, with free shipping for Prime subscribers or if you pad your cart to at least $35. This is the best deal I've seen by far; the game still sells for $60 at a lot of stores. Read GameSpot's very flattering review if you want to learn more.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Love heavy and clunky tablets?

Said no one ever. CNET brings you the lightest and thinnest tablets on the market.