Amazon may offer one of the best holiday deals on the red-hot MacBook Air. But don't count out California retail giant Fry's Electronics before doing the usual comparison with Best Buy.
Amazon is serving up a pretty good deal on the popular 11.6-inch MacBook Air, offering the MC505LL/A model right now for $959, which Apple lists for $999 (1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo chip, 64GB flash memory drive, and 2GB RAM). This was based on a price check I did Saturday morning Pacific Time. Which brings me to a caveat: the price can change quickly, as demand for this unit appears to be high.
Fry's Electronics--whose giant warehouse-size stores are located mostly in California and Texas--will beat that price, though. At a Fry's I visited Friday night in Los Angeles, the MC505LL/A Air model was on sale for $949.
Not to be outdone, the MacConnection is selling the same model for $1 less, at $948. Though the online store shows it "on order."
Amazon is also offering the 11.6-inch MacBook Air model MC506LL/A (which ups the flash drive capacity to 128GB from 64GB) for $1,148.99, a discount of $50 off the list price.
So far, Best Buy isn't offering any special deals on the new MacBook Air.
(Correction: The current-generation 13.3-inch model is available for $1,299 with a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB Memory, and a 128GB flash memory drive. That's a few hundred dollars less than I paid for the similarly-configured, prior-generation 13.3-inch model with a 1.86GHz processor, the same-capacity solid-state drive and same amount of memory. Ironically, that older model is listed for $1,699 on Best Buy's site. Go figure. )
And let me add as a postscript: Fry's beats Best Buy handily (for effort, not necessarily the result) on interior decorating. (Amazon can't compete because it has no brick-and-mortar stores.) I've been to Fry's stores all over California--Palo Alto, Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles, and throw in Phoenix, Arizona, too--and I always find myself gawking and/or scratching my head at the curious dioramas that usually occupy a corner of the store (see photo). And decor, as well as bargains, usually get amped up during the holidays.
Updated at 9:30 p.m. PST: correcting for current 13.3-inch MacBook Air model with 1.86GHz processor.