Local laptop with English keyboard/OS?


Slowly wading into the market for a new laptop. First idea was to order one from home and somehow get it here. Then, I wondered whether any of the local laptop manufacturers (Asus, etc.), sell models here in Taiwan with an English keyboard and English Windows OS as options. If anyone has had this experience or knows how to easily find out, I’ll like to hear about it. Any info appreciated.

All laptops let you change it to English.

The Taiwanese keyboard is a clone of the US keyboard with the addition of Zhuyin and/or Cangjie characters added to the keys.

All of this works perfectly fine in English and you can ignore the chinese characters.


Thanks, Marco. Was aware of those things. I’m trying to find out if buying a laptop configured exactly like those sold for foreign (English) markets is possible here, not whether a typical local laptop can be made to work, if you squint, etc. :wink:

They are exactly the same except for extra characters on the keys. Laptops here generally come with less RAM, but other than that, they are exactly the same.

When you install windows, no matter here or anywhere else it always asks which language you want it to be while setting up.


One of the first things that you are prompted to do when starting a new Laptop/Desktop that is running Windows these days is to select the language that you wish to use. Gone are the days (it ended with W7 I think), where you were usually lumped with the language of the country that you purchased it in and had to pay for an Upgrade if you wanted to change it.

Edit - what @SuiGeneris said.


If the zhuyin labels on the keyboard are a big issue you could just replace the keys


O_o I just told you these are otherwise identical. You can set it to English and use it normally.

There is nothing different between a Taiwanese keyboard and a US keyboard.


What are you talking about? What do you think is different between laptops here and overseas?

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Being the owner of an Acer Swift3, which has up to 3-4 characters on most keys, they are a bit smaller than a standard English Keyboard where the 26 letters are alone on their keys and thus easier to read.

Both of course are much bigger than the onscreen keyboard on a Mobile device.

(But I still have fat fingers on all of them from time to time!!!)


Can just order the keys from Taobao or from back home. They’re all english characters only.

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On the point about choosing languages, I’ve been out of the IT flow for a number of years and stopped paying attention to that, so if the OS is exactly the same, no matter where you buy it, that’s new to me. In the past, I’ve seen non-Western Windows machines that were switched into English. They still had Chinese showing up on some menus in some odd places or instances. I just want to avoid that 100%.

Also, I’m not talking about the number of keys or the QWERTY layout, etc. I’m trying to get a keyboard with no Chinese on it. Yinggeaussie explained it pretty well. I just don’t want the visual clutter.

So, at the moment, the best options seem to be:

  1. Buy a local laptop and replace the keys, and hope the OS is identical.
  2. Buy a laptop from home and ship it.

Windows 10 and 11 let you choose the language before setting up.

Minus the zhuyin, they are otherwise identical. You can’t find a US keyboard in Taiwan on a laptop. Your only choices are import, which causes warranty issues, or buy a keyboard, take it apart and replace it…

Which also causes warranty issues.

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This thread seems to have aired out the basic issues pretty well. Just what I was looking for. Thanks everyone.


Just get the pinyin keyboard, they are pretty close. There’s Chinese on caps lock and a few numbers, and the rest is ABC keyboard. (Talking from Mac perspective)

I bought a laptop last year and windows was pre-installed.
I switched the language to English and downloaded all the language packs for Office.
It is globally working well but I still have « remnants » of mandarin for boot messages and some hardware devices (headphones, wifi config., …)


thats because…

You need a clean install. You can do that by wiping your drive and starting over.


um…those are the “only” options really.

But I suppose there is a 3rd option…
You can go to the 1st floor of Guang Hua market where all the brand name reps are. Tell them what you need and they can special order it for you. It will cost a lot more and take longer, but you will get warrantly, unlike buying from overseas.

But honestly, how often do you look at the keyboard when you type? The vast majority of computer users type by feel or memory without really looking at the keys at all.

Having Chinese on the keyboard while living in a Chinese speaking country often times ends up helping in certain situations.


I didn’t see anyone mention the ultra-cheap option of applying key stickers. They sell sheets of stickers that you apply on the keys, which have a printing of your keyboard style of choice. US keyboard sticker sets should be available.


or if you are feeling adventurous…


olm is right. I never thought about keyboard stickers. KISS principle does have its advantages. Hmmm.

SuiGeneris: Thanks for the examples.

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This is true (AFAIK), but I also don’t think that

for systems bought in different markets. They seem to sometimes use different versions/build numbers/whatever for the OS, even for Windows 10.

I don’t know how common this is, but I bought my Acer laptop in Thailand and shortly after had to take it to the Acer service center near Guanghua for some hard drive issue or something that required reinstallation of Windows. I had to wait a few extra days for the staff to get the correct Windows build from Acer Thailand (or whoever) because they couldn’t/wouldn’t install the standard local version on my laptop but needed to use the version I’d originally bought.

Though I’d also just use the local keyboard and learn to blank out the noise. The zhuyin characters aren’t a big deal. (I find the Thai characters on my laptop more of a distraction, if only because they provide a constant reminder that I took the wrong flight and ended up here. :tired_face:)