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Buying a Laptop in Shenzhen

Buying a Laptop in Shenzhen

Old Jul 29, 06, 10:13 pm
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Buying a Laptop in Shenzhen

My wife (who is Chinese) is visiting my in-laws in Shenzhen (work kept me from going this trip). I have a rather urgent need of a second laptop, nothing too powerful or state-of-the-art, and it struck me that, with most of the electronics for these things being manufactured in China, she might be able to get me a deal. What computer to buy isn't an issue -- I'll instruct her via phone. However, finding a place is another story.

Does anyone know any good computer dealers in Shenzhen?
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Old Jul 30, 06, 12:33 am
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Originally Posted by PTravel
My wife (who is Chinese) is visiting my in-laws in Shenzhen (work kept me from going this trip). I have a rather urgent need of a second laptop, nothing too powerful or state-of-the-art, and it struck me that, with most of the electronics for these things being manufactured in China, she might be able to get me a deal. What computer to buy isn't an issue -- I'll instruct her via phone. However, finding a place is another story.

Does anyone know any good computer dealers in Shenzhen?
China is unnecessarily expensive for laptops. Why don't you buy one in Hong Kong. Go to Star House near the Tsim Sha Tsui Star ferry. There is a Computer mall in the first floor. The biggest Shop is C2, they have dozens of laptops on display. Get the model you want, go a few shops further, a small shop called Reptron. Ask for Chris, tell him the model and ask for a price. Since C2 keeps stock they mostly will be more expensive, wheres from Chris you may need to wait 1-2 working days until you get it. I once got an IBM for 23800 instead of 27000 HK$. BUt you will need to compare, because sometimes with C2's special offers Chris might not be able to compete. You can talk openly with him about this.

I have already carried many laptops to China for friends. Just one thing to watch out: If you have a warranty case for an IBM Laptop in China, and the machine is bought in Hong Kong, they want to see the chop in your passport as a proof that you have been in HK on the invoice date. That might or might not be similar with other brands. But from Shenzhen it is not a big deal to get it fixed in HK.
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Old Jul 30, 06, 12:39 am
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Bay area probably has the lowest price in the world for laptop & PC, unless you want a laptop with Chinese operating system, it just doesn't make good sense to buy it in China.
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Old Jul 30, 06, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by rdchen
Bay area probably has the lowest price in the world for laptop & PC, unless you want a laptop with Chinese operating system, it just doesn't make good sense to buy it in China.
Even if you want a chinese operating system, you can get that in Hong Kong. Even in simplified Chinese. But my favourite is the Windows XP multi Language Kit, which allows you to have the desktop in any language, depending on who logs on. But it must be installen on an English system. Then you can set the language for non unicode characters according to your needs (but that is not user-dependant).

Last edited by HKtraveller; Jul 31, 06 at 9:30 pm
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Old Jul 31, 06, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by rdchen
Bay area probably has the lowest price in the world for laptop & PC, unless you want a laptop with Chinese operating system, it just doesn't make good sense to buy it in China.
Aside from prices being lower, the US distribution system, where retailers purchase large volumes of inventory, has mechanisms in place to get rid of last year's models. As such, very low prices are common.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 12:31 am
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Can you get Japanese, Korean, or Chinese models in the Bay area?
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Old Aug 1, 06, 12:35 am
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Originally Posted by vash
Can you get Japanese, Korean, or Chinese models in the Bay area?
computers in china are shipped with the same key board layout that is typical in the us. for japanese and korean layouts, you might need to buy some stickers to on top of certain keys (the two keys to the right of "L" come to mind in the case of the standard japanese layout).

but, the os is software, of course and windows lets you switch between keyboard layouts at will, regardless of the symbols that appear on your keys

edited to add: i bought my current computer in japan several years ago. after a $5 investment in replacement keys, it looked just like a US model.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by vash
Can you get Japanese, Korean, or Chinese models in the Bay area?
Most major brands sell same product lines worldwide with slightly different model # and similar configurations. Unless you want an operating system in Japanese, Korean, or Chinese, you will pay less for the nearly identical machine in Bay Area.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 1:55 am
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The obvious problem of buying a laptop in China, if you are US resident, is that to all intents and purposes you get no guarantee at all. Not to mention that Windows will be in Chinese which will cost a few hundred dollars (legally) to fix.

If you want a laptop with English Windows head to to local computer store. If you want one with chinese windows you need to be downloading the thing someone mentioned earlier or getting the wife to speng RMB5 on a CD..
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Old Aug 1, 06, 4:21 am
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Give me the model you want and I can check the price here in HK and the availability of the keyboard you want.
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Old Aug 1, 06, 11:28 am
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Wow -- talk about FT drift!

Okay, a couple of points:

1. As a couple of people noted, a Chinese computer, from a hardware perspective, is identical to a computer intended for the Western market, except that it will, probably, have installed the Chinese version of Windows.

2. I have a legal copy of English-language Win2000 that goes with the computer it will replace. OS is not an issue. Cost of the OS is not an issue.

3. I don't care about warranty. I'm looking for a cheap machine to function as an FTP-server, VNC gateway, MP3 host server, etc. on my home LAN. Right now those functions are fulfilled by an old 75 MHz Tecra laptop with 32 meg of RAM (none of those are typos). I don't exactly need state of the art for this purpose. Regardless, my wife and I go to China yearly, my brother-in-law lives in Shenzhen, and we have a number of friends who live there. If I was even concerned about warranty repair, it would be manageable. However, I am not.

4. China produces computers for the Chinese market, and many western laptop brands are manufactured in China. For anyone who knows China, there are legitimate outlets that will sell such products locally, but there are also other outlets that sell production over-runs, etc. I assume there are both kinds of outlets for computers in China (many of our friends in China have computers -- they obviously bought them somewhere). In addition to the generic factories who OEM to outfits like Winbook, there is Lenovo who makes high-end Thinkpads. It makes no logical sense that a product that is manufactured in China costs more in China than in the U.S., and that certainly has not been my experience of other manufactured goods.

So, with all that said, and with my thanks for all the input, does anyone know a good computer store in Shenzhen?
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Old Aug 1, 06, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by PTravel
It makes no logical sense that a product that is manufactured in China costs more in China than in the U.S.
i think the secret has to do with the nature of the way computers are distributed. stores like frye's and best buy have a lot more clout with manufacturers than sellers in china, which tmk typically operate on a consignment basis.

setting that theory aside, i've never heard of anyone getting a deal on a laptop in china that would be considered good by us standards.

slightly off topic, imo win2000 is not one of microsoft's better products (if you really want to go old school, 98 is considerably more efficient and faster; otherwise, just do the xp thing).
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Old Aug 1, 06, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog
i think the secret has to do with the nature of the way computers are distributed. stores like frye's and best buy have a lot more clout with manufacturers than sellers in china, which tmk typically operate on a consignment basis.

setting that theory aside, i've never heard of anyone getting a deal on a laptop in china that would be considered good by us standards.

slightly off topic, imo win2000 is not one of microsoft's better products (if you really want to go old school, 98 is considerably more efficient and faster; otherwise, just do the xp thing).
WinXP won't run on the old Tecra, which is why I'm using Win2000. Win98 is too much of a pain with respect to some of the networking tools I'm using.
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Old Aug 3, 06, 6:59 am
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Shenzhen for Laptop's - forget about it....

I live in Guangzhou and we go through laptops like water in our company. Just to give you an example of how China is more expensive...for laptops for our middle-grade staff, we exclusively use DELL (order direct...). Our GZ office buys a model for RMB13499 whilst our HK office buys the exact same model and specification for HKD10,299.

Note that both PCs are assembled in a plant near Shanghai and DELL uses DHL (i believe) as the logistics provider to deliver the laptop to Hong Kong. So how do we explain that extra 3k??

As for Shenzhen - buyer beware. There are plenty of cons out there and buying from the bigger reputable places means your costs are automatically higher.

As another reader pointed out, Star House is a great place to buy a new laptop or you can try the Wanchai Computer Centre (near Southern Playground in Wanchai). I recently bought a top of the line toshiba Laptop from there US$400 less than the online US price! I was using their other laptops to go online and check prices and specifications...
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