Where to buy a MacBook Air in Bangkok?

Scalpers selling iPhone 6 outside of Causeway Bay
Apple Store in Hong Kong.  © Jotman. 
So you've decided you want to buy a new MacBook Air, but you're in Bangkok.  Should you go to the Apple Store Online, a department store, Pantip Plaza, an Apple specialty store like iStudio?

I'd say none of the above.

Instead, I recommend that you book a flight to Hong Kong.  First, only for the Macbook Air, but for most Apple products--regular Macbooks, iPads, and peripherals--the prices are significantly lower in Hong Kong. Second, Hong Kong's official Apple stores will have the most up-to-date models in stock. Third, you're assured responsive Apple Care service service should you ever need it (see below).

Why not buy your MBA in Bangkok?
As of this time, none of the Apple stores in Thailand stock Macbook Air with 8GB RAM. Also, unless you don't mind a Thai language keyboard, your Eng
lish keyboard configuration will probably have to be special-ordered.  

If you hand over a hefty deposit iStudio will order you a 8GB machine with an English keyboard, but that will take a few weeks. You'll haver to pay Thailand VAT tax (which you can get back at the airport--if you leave yourself enough time!--and show them the computer you bought). Then you have to purchase Apple Care+ separately --and then register it yourself-- if you want it. 

Hong Kong Apple Stores
There are three official apple stores in Hong Kong: Mong Kok (Causeway Bay Station), the architecturally stunning IFC Mall Apple Store (Hong Kong/Central Station), and one in Kowloon. 

I recently visited both the Causeway Bay store and the IFC store to get an iPhone repaired. These two stores share with the store in Manhattan the distinction of being the "word's busiest Apple stores."  Causeway Bay was my choice.  It offered the earliest "genius" appointment, its staff had more of a can-do attitude, and it was super-convenient to a high quality hostel.  

Causeway Bay store occupies the first, second and third floors of Hysan Place Mall which is above the Causeway Bay Metro station.  Use exit F2 which is marked "Hysan Place."  Hysan Place Mall also has a decent bookstore that sells an incredible range of imported paper-related products. There is a grocery store and Starbucks in the basement.  

If you need a cheap, clean and convenient place to stay, YesInn hostel is only a block from the Causeway Bay Apple Store.  They have dorm rooms (starting at 22 USD) and single rooms (62 USD).  

If you only have a few hours in Hong Kong, the IFC Mall Apple Store is the most convenient to the airport.  It's located near to the Hong Kong Station terminus of the airport express train.   To get to Causeway Bay you have to transfer to Island Line. It's only a few stations.
International Finance Centre Mall & Airport Express Hong Kong Station
8 Finance St, Hong Kong
+852 3972 1500 
Causeway Bay Plaza 1
489 Hennessy Rd, Hong Kong

+852 3979 3100
80 Tat Chee Ave Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong +852 3979 3600
Apple Care
If you buy your Macbook Air in Hong Kong you're at least assured speedy and attentive Apple Care service in Hong Kong and perhaps elsewhere if you need it.  On the other hand, if you buy an Apple product in Thailand, you're serviced from Australia.  There is a small office in Discover Centre Mall that handles Apple Care issues for residents of Thailand.  In my experience, this is how it works: you leave your product with this office, they describe the problem to someone in Australia, and a week later you're informed of Australia's excuse not to help you.  For example, Australia's Apple Service Center declined to service my issue (defective power cord).  A few months later I took the same cable to a North American Apple store and  I received a free replacement cord in an instant.  Apple is treating their Thai customers like trash. Trust me, you don't want to have anything to do with this shitty arrangement.  If you buy your Apple product in Thailand, you may have no choice.

If you want to buy an iPhone 6 or 6+, I explain how to obtain one at the Causeway Bay store in this post.  

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