Any place to get an English version laptop?

Looking to get a new laptop. Have narrowed my choices to Acer or Asus. I was wondering if anyone knows of any shops that sell laptops with English os running on it. Don’t want to go and buy an English version of XP for an addtional 5 grand and have to install it over the original Chinese XP. I had to do that on my last laptop, but many of the free utilities that came with the laptop were erased in the process. Thought about ordering over the net from some US sites, but kind of a hassle, especially if I have problems with it. Rather buy it locally in Taipei. Thanks for any replies in advance.

I’m sure several - if not most - shops can install English XP instead of Chinese for you. That’s what they did for me at one of the shops at Guanghua when I bought a Spectec (local company that makes machines for Toshiba). No extra charge, either. I had a friend with me, who’s a local, to help me ask questions and negotiate, though. That’s an important thing to consider.

Is that for a registered legal copy with the original disk from Microsoft? I had a few shops offer me that, but they were cracked versions, without the original CDs.

Every laptop here comes with original Chinese Windows XP. You’ll need to buy your own copy of the English version and they will install it for you. Some will charge the instalation a few bucks for it, most will do it for free.

I bought an Acer laptop at the big computer store at the corner of Guanqian Road and Zhongxiao W. Road (near Taipei Main Station). I think it was the 3rd floor, right off the stairs and then turn right again, shop is on the left). They installed Chinese windows but gave me the original recovery disks for English Windows XP, which I eventually installed and have used ever since. It was free, too.

Acer is a more international brand so you might have more luck with them without having to pay extra.


You can ask the salesperson if they can get you a laptop with the legal copy of Windows XP. It is possible that they will be able to help you with that with just a wait of a few days before you get the laptop. So best to go with a local friend when you are going so they can help you negotiate.

Would recommend going with an IBM. The official IBM people at the Nova store will arrange for an English system install. It’s legit, and you get the best warrantee and service in the business.

Did consider IBM, but for less $$$ I can get a Acer or Asus with many more built-in features. I know IBM is more internationally trusted, but I don’t think Acer or Asus are that far behind. And my price range is around $45,000.

I agree with Ironlady. If you buy an internationally recognised brand like Acer, they will be able to obtain an english version of the recovery cds for that model notebook. All of Acer’s recovery cds come with a part number which you or the sales person can order as a spare part.

There’s a thread in this forum that talks about the merits of various laptop models. I think there are pretty strong voices that say Acer is not a good choice. If your budget is NTD $45,000, I would suggest you look into the IBM R-40e which I heard last time could be had at the RT-Mart. Believe you me, you’ll be happier with a solid system like that. Also, for that price, I’d seriously consider a Toshiba model as well.

Want one with Wifi built-in. My friend bought that IBM and had to buy another WiFI USB attachment for it to connect wirelessly. And I currently have a Toshiba, screen started to die just a little over 1 year (right after warranty expired). And the floppy drive keeps screwing up my floppy disk. So my confidence in Toshiba is very low. Acer and Asus on some models offer 2-3 years warranty.

the best place to go in Taipei is The Hub, a small shop run by two foreigners with a focus on providing personalized service in English at competitive prices. Check out their website at

I know about them (The Hub). But they don’t sell laptops, only desktops.

You can buy a Thinkpad R series with built-in wi-fi (802.11g, 54Mbps) starting from NT29,400.
Look here.

Thank you for all replies, and suggestions on which laptop to get. But my original question hasn’t been answered. Are there any specific shops that sell English language versions of laptops (with English os pre-installed)? I don’t want to get one and then have to pay more money for English XP, then format HD and install it. Then go and have to find all the missing drivers that came with the Chinese os, but were erased during the formatting of the HD, like I had to do when I installed English Windows on my old Toshiba laptop.

I got an ASUS M5200N around October last year… It’s light, quick, Wi-Fi equipped (Centrino), does everything I need it too and haven’t had any hassles with it at all… I have the white version which has a slightly faster CPU clock speed and a bigger HDD than the standard black edition… I bought it since I have to travel a lot for work and wanted something with wireless internet, that would be light and easy to carry around bike shows, not a 5kg wanna be desktop (i made that mistake with my previous laptop)… back then with an upgrade to 512Mb RAM it cost me NT$47K undoubtedly much cheaper now…

I bought it in Taichung, so the shop isn’t really relevant, but they told me any licenced ASUS retailer will install English version windows XP upon request for NT$0 (although if they’re cheap they may try to slip you a service charge)… I had to wait a couple of hours and I guess they just used an English recovery CD to get Eng version XP on it, but it came with a sealed OEM English WinXP CD and serial that I activated XP with once I got home… 100% legit…

Thanks Plasmatron, once again you have been most helpful. Asus my first choice followed by Acer. I was thinking of getting the 3000 or 4000 series of the Asus, they are selling them for just under $40,000 depending on which extras you want. Now that you have told me this, I’m more confident in getting the Asus. Just wondering, did all the drivers still remain intacted? On my Toshiba, after removing the Chinese XP and installing the English version, I lost some drivers (DVD player and modem).

yep, everything was perfect, no driver issues at all… I guess they just quick formatted the drive and did a fresh install of the english version XP from the recovery CD… and like I said they gave me the OEM WinXP CD as well…

A friend of mine is the lead software tester for Toshiba… His only advice was to be careful of Acer, apparently they’re the cheapest option, but get there by cutting corners… even though this guy should know as a laptop industry professional, take this advice for what it’s worth, “what some guy on the internet’s mate said” :wink:

I can personally vouch for ASUS though, the M5200N has been my first ASUS but I’ve been well impressed by it and I won’t hesitate to go with ASUS again when the time comes to move on…

I agree, I’m pretty much settled on Asus. Thanks again for the info.

If you want a truly international warranty, I would stick with IBM, HP/Compaq and Apple. When I was looking for a laptop almost 2 years ago, ASUS didn’t have much coverage outside of Taiwan and North America.

Regarding the drivers, if they give you the English manufacturer recovery disk (not a Windows CD), you’ll be perfectly fine.