Do you prefer to buy your computer (or laptop) in Taiwan or


[b]Do you prefer to buy your computer (or laptop) in Taiwan or outside of Taiwan?

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I feel it’s really a matter of convenience. The advantage of buying a computer in Taiwan (while living here, of course) is having full and immediate access to warranty (i.e. repair or replacement). I haven’t been able to find a big enough discrepancy in price to make it any better to buy a computer from a store or warehouse outside of Taiwan. The problem, again, is access to warranty. Shipping, also, is rather expensive.


If you get a good price in Taiwan, it is most likely in some shaddy joint downtown without a receipt. Warranty doesn’t always apply. I bought my iBook outside Taiwan because it was actually cheaper and the warranty applies to authorized service shops worldwide for their laptop products. Otherwise, if we are talking a PC, you can get it much cheaper here in Taiwan, espcially if you build your own. Just buy really really cheap and be prepared for no kind of after-sale attention or warranty. That’s pretty much how I take life in Taiwan. Buy with the knowledge in your heart that it could be gone tomorrow, break tomorrow, get scratched, get ripped off, get urinated on, etc. You’re at lot more at peace that way.


I prefer to buy my computer in the U.S. because in Taiwan most computers come with Chinese software applications which I have a hard time reading, although I was told that vendors can ‘source’ English-language software to install separately. Does anyone know about this?


I’d advise buying here, esp. if you want a laptop and need Chinese. Changing operating systems on laptops can be a real hassle.

As for the language of the programs themselves, the Chinese edition of Office 2000 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) can switch back and forth between Chinese and English if you install the the English language pack on the second CD.

Windows 2000 (ME) is supposed to be able to switch between languages as well, but I haven’t seen this yet for myself. Also, it hasn’t been getting wonderful reviews.

As for receipts, I’ve never had any trouble receiving one – though sometimes I’ve had to pay a little extra to cover the sales tax some vendors try to dodge.

And as for service, that’s tricky. Computer stores tend to come and go, so try to find one that’s been around a while.

A bit of other advice: Don’t worry about the processor speed. A large hard drive and lots of memory are far more important.


I don’t think you can beat the prices in the US for brands that have international warranties. I’d buy it off the net and have it delivered to me in the US before bringing it back to Taiwan.


Hahahah this is a funny one, and very easy to answer for me, anyway. All computers that I’ve purchased in Taiwan have died on me. The hard drives burned up, the mother boards died…one problem after another. All of the computers that I’ve brought back from America are still working fine, including an IBM Thinkpad that is 8 or 9 years old, with a hard drive smaller than most programs available now, but it still works.


For laptops, I think Taiwan definitely wins the contest for best model selection. However, i dont find any price advantages here. It appears that cheaper prices to be found in Taiwan are on OEM models for Dell, Compaq, HP or Eagletec. I do a lot of travelling and I have generally noticed that these brand name laptops in US, CAN, HKG or SG shops are actually slightly cheaper. My theory is that Taiwanese manufacturers receive preferential tax treatment on OEM exports. My other theory is that overseas shops further benefit by volume ordering.

As to warranties and better service in Taiwan, I think it is the same here as anyplace. I had my company-supplied IBM Thinkpad “tuned-up” 1.5 yrs ago by the IBM Taiwan agent and the bill for adding extra RAM memory was the usual high price expected from any other IBM Tech service center in any other country.

Just my 2 bits.