I’ll be travelling to Taiwan in for about 4 months time, and am interested in using a laptop while I’m there. I’m torn between buying a laptop here in Canada before I go, or in Taipei once I arrive.
I’ve heard that in Taipei you can get cheaper machines, but that you’re on your own in the break (whereas buying them in North America offers some protection if it breaks).
Do people here have any suggestions as to where I should buy?
Buying a notebook in Taiwan? Caveat emptor!
I just went through a similar process. The pundits say IBM, Dell & Toshiba are the best PC notebooks, so that was my starting point.
I paid a deposit for a Toshiba at the last Computex exhibition at the Toshiba stand from a salesperson wearing Toshiba uniform. But when I went to collect it from the “shop”, it turned out to be a bucket shop, and they were unable to provide documentation for the computer’s worldwide warranty. Unless you buy from an appointed agent, you have only a shop warranty, and it’s hard to tell here. Besides, it turns out that the “worldwide” warranty on Toshiba’s is patchy.
Next I looked at IBMs, which have a great reputation for quality. But once again, you need to make absolutely sure you are buying from an appointed agent. It’s not uncommon here to buy a computer from a shop which then magically appears from an altogether different shop, usually someone’s brother, etc… Another consideration is the language of the OS. Most computers are naturally configured with Chinese software, and you may find you have to pay extra for English, or worse they give you an illegal English version. With that, you may be denied software updates and, at worse, it may invalidate your guarantee.
I’ve seen Acers with legal English OS for sale in some quality stores like FNAC, but I’ve heard plenty of negative comments about Acer quality, even though, apparently, they also build Taiwan’s IBMs!
BENQ? I wouldn’t! See what people say about them on the Net, and you certainly won’t get a comprehensive worldwide warranty.
Finally, I got sick of the hassle and went with a Dell. You can customise-order it on their Taiwan website or just call them. From calling to recieving my Dell took just 4 days, even though they build and ship their notebooks in Malaysia. It has a 3 year next-day warranty, which you can transfer to over 90 countries at any time by updating your details on their website.
Lastly, even though the company may have an office in your home country, they may not support your model, as the models sold in different markets vary. Beware! In such cases, you’ll be paying shipping charges for components from Taiwan. If you stay with the big manufacturers, you won’t have this problem.
As Alien says, an Apple or a Dell is a no-hassle buy with good support. Heck mine even has an all-English keyboard without the clutter of Chinese characters and bo po mo fo!
You get what you pay for!