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Southeast Asia forum

where to buy a notebook in SEasia?

Posted by joe_leviente on 11/9/2011 at 11:48

hi guys,

I'm about 3 weeks into a 6 month trip around south east asia, before heading off to Oz on a working holiday visa.

I've noticed a lot of people have notebooks out here, but the majority of people i've spoken to brought them from home. I've been considering getting one while i'm out here before going to australia. I reckon because of how long i'll be there and the fact that i'll probably be spending more time in any given place than out here, it could come in handy - especially in looking for work

the question is, should I get one out here in asia, or would it be better to wait untill i get to australia and buy one there? I thought that I could probably get them cheaper out here, but will there be problems with warranties etc? Or is that completely wrong, and would it be cheaper to buy one in australia?

if I was to get one out here, then where would be best to get it? I got told that vietnam would be a cheap place to get one, but the same guy recommended going to myanmar and buying one for dirt cheap out there... which I'm not too keen on doing. I also read on another thread on here that kuala lumpur would be a good place to get one - any thoughts on that?


#1 joe_leviente has been a member since 10/6/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by busylizzy on 11/9/2011 at 12:07

There's generally no problem in getting one from SIngapore or Bangkok (not sure about KL) but just make sure it comes with an international warranty, is a reputable brand and from a legit reseller,

I got an Acer netbook there a couple of years ago and it's been great.

Maybe check out some online prices for places in Australia then you can decide which offers the better deal when you are in Asia.

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Posted by goonistik on 11/9/2011 at 13:21

You have to check the international warranties that come with the laptop. Some international warranties are limited to "travelers." For example, you buy a laptop in Singapore. So long as you are traveling outside your country of residence, many companies will provide support.

But when you return to your home country, Australia, the warranty/support for your Singapore laptop will be provided at the discretion of the Australian distributor.

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 11/9/2011 at 14:21

The price won't vary much as long as it's legitimate product. Sure you could buy some knock-off for cheap in SE Asia but you generally get what you pay for. I've helped a lot of people shop for laptops here in Chiang Mai and usually works out fine, but preferably buy a reliable brand (Acer,HP,Toshiba) and make sure it has an international warrnatee. You'll also typically have 7 days to exchange it at the shop if anything goes wrong, so use the heck out of the thing the first week to reveal any problems. When checking prices make sure it includes the desired operating system (Windows 7 Starter/Home/Office) and that it is a legitimate license (with package bearing the COA - certificate of Authenticity). Then it doesn't really matter if you buy in SEA or Oz, but plan on spending at least $300 for a basic 10" Intel Atom netbook or about double that for a 14" laptop with Intel i5-i7 CPU 4GbRAM and 500Gb+HD and Windows license.

#4 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,954

Posted by goonistik on 11/9/2011 at 16:38

To give you an indication, you can compare the price of a macbook pro at the apple stores of Thailand and Australia. For the lowest end model macbook pro, the Australia store is more expensive by about US $100. IMHO, probably not worth the savings if you have to make a warranty claim in Australia.

If you google "square trade laptop reliability" you will come across a report. ASUS and Toshiba come out on top, followed by Sony and Apple.

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Posted by stevejames00 on 11/9/2011 at 16:42

As goonistik said make sure it is a full international warranty and not just a travellers warranty. I bought 2 laptops from Hong Kong and 1 of them stopped working as soon as I got home even though I had been using it in HK. When I checked the warranty I wasn't covered because I didn't live in HK.

#6 stevejames00 has been a member since 29/1/2009. Posts: 53

Posted by joe_leviente on 11/9/2011 at 18:17

cheers for sticking your two cents in guys

i'm not from australia anyway, so by the time the warranty runs out I'll still be travelling anyway - so even if it is a traveller warranty that won't matter.

what are people's opinions on having a netbook in asia? I'm only going to by one of the tiny little 10 inch ones and I'll pretty much just be using it for researching travel options and sightseeing etc, facebook and skype occasionally...

I'm kinda coming round to the idea that I'd rather not have one - I worry enough as it is just about keeping my mp3 player safe, and the netbook would be one more thing to think about. Plus i'm travelling on my own and I've found so far that the people with laptops in common rooms etc always seem less approachable than the people without...

I'm spending about another month in thiland, one or two in malaysia, then a few months in laos, cambodia, and vietnam (not sure what order yet) - I reckon the best hting would be to wait it out and then by the time i'm in vietnam I'll know if I want one for travelling, or if i should just wait till I get to oz

#7 joe_leviente has been a member since 10/6/2011. Posts: 12

Posted by KirstyB on 11/9/2011 at 18:47

When I first read the title of this thread my first thought was why not just pop into a 7-11 and get one there :-) But I quickly realised you're talking a different kind of notebook!! ..........

There are strong arguments for and against but personally, I couldn't live without mine! However, if you are already in two minds and have already gone 3 weeks without missing one maybe hold off a bit longer and see how you go. Internet cafes are on every corner in SE Asia and a netbook will give you something else to look after and add another kilo plus to your day bag.

If it was more of a question of a money saving exercise you could always wait until closer to the end of your trip and get it just before you head to Australia.

#8 KirstyB has been a member since 27/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 152
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