Ok this is just absolutely nuts. $99 for a Toshiba HD DVD player and $348 for a 1GB Acer Laptop supposedly this Friday at Wal-Mart and it isn't even Black Friday yet. This is being advertised as the "Secret in-store specials" ri-walmart.com site which I'm not 100% sure is Wal-Mart operated but a whois.org search says it's registered to "Wal-Mart stores".
I guess it's not really such a "secret" anymore if you're reading about it here. If that's the case, there's a good chance people will be camped out for 24 hours in front of Wal-Mart. Heck for all I know people might be lining up there now and I thought the $170 Sears deal with the Toshiba HD-A3 bundled with 7 HD DVD titles was already outrageous. If this $100 HD DVD is for real and if there are no sub-$250 Blu-ray set-top players this, I'm starting to think the High Definition format war is all but over.
Speaking of laptops, the Asus Eee $299 4 GB Flash 512 MB RAM 7" LCD model is now selling for $399 at full retail cost at Newegg. But that's a full $100 higher than we were led to believe and we see these outrageous deals with 1GB laptops and large screens selling for $348. I would say there's no point in buying an Eee unless they can get the price down to what they originally promised unless you absolutely need an ultra-small notebook.
If I were to take a guess based on last year's experience, you won't be able to buy one of these laptops unless you show up today no later than 4:00PM with some sleeping bags and get ready to wait 16 hours. Then again Wal-Mart might have more of these in stock and fewer people know about this pre-Black Friday deal so it's possible you only have to line up 12 hours ahead of time. You can count me out but I would do it in a heartbeat if I were still a starving college student.
Update 3:35PM - This appears to be the real deal. Many other sites are reporting on this and colleagues are telling me that they saw these deals advertised on TV. I guess the retailers are launching a Christmas season price war almost a whole month before Black Friday.
Update 11/3/2007 - Bestbuy fulfills backordered Toshiba HD-A2 with HD-A3 which comes bundled with "The Borne Identity" and the movie "300".