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Should I buy a laptop in Japan or UK 2007/12/15 04:14
United Kingdom
Hi,
I'm moving to Japan in 3 months and want to buy a new laptop. My dilema is, should I buy in UK or wait till I get to Japan? I would imagine Japan to be cheaper but how do the specifications compare?

Thanks for your help
by Jeff  

UK, UK, UK 2007/12/15 18:42
Definitely buy your laptop in the UK. You'd think that it would be cheaper, but this is just not the case...nothing is cheap in Japan!

Also, unless your Japanese is incredible, it will be hard to decipher some of the error messages you might get on your computer.

With a Japanese language computer, any webpage you type in will come out as the Japanese version automatically, which can get annoying if you don't have Japanese webmail (e.g. Yahoo) accounts or such things. Also, since you can just enable East Asian languages in any version of Windows and type away in Japanese with no problem, I don't see any advantage to getting a computer in Japan.
by Blake N rate this post as useful

Laptop 2007/12/16 06:42
Actually, the prices of things like this in the UK are expensive compared to other parts of the world, UK is definately not cheap either :)

I would say, find a well-known Japanese company that sells electricals on the web, then compare the prices to well known companies here in the UK. At least you will get an idea then.

But I am *guessing* that the prices will be similar here and there for things like this, so buying in UK would be better (for the poster's reasons above).
by LJ rate this post as useful

. 2007/12/16 15:00
With a Japanese language computer, any webpage you type in will come out as the Japanese version automatically,

This is simply because of the default language preference of your web browser. You can easily switch it to English or anything else.
by meringue4 rate this post as useful

. 2007/12/17 08:12
A German colleague of mine thought he'd be clever and buy a laptop here in Japan instead of Germany. In the end he bought one online in a German shop and let his parents send it to him, mostly because the prices here where similar, if not higher compared to Germany and because of the local service agreement - since he moves back to Germany in 4 months, he would have trouble with defects on the laptop once he's back in Germany.

Buying a laptop in Japan has several disadvantages:
- local guarantee/service agreement
- may have different outlet voltage
- initially japanese OS
- japanese keyboard layout
...

Some of them you can overcome buy buying a laptop at an export shop, some of them you can overcome if you put additional effort into it, but they will be more expensive in general.
You can check the website http://www.kakaku.com for prices of online and retail shops, but please not that the shop with the lowest price may be hard to find and most likely won't be able to sell you an export model.

I don't know about how UK prices compare to German prices and what the service agreement conditions are in the UK, but unless it's much more expensive in the UK, I wouldn't recommend byuing a whole laptop in Japan.
by Haf rate this post as useful

Browser does not set language 2007/12/18 09:15
This is simply because of the default language preference of your web browser. You can easily switch it to English or anything else.

This is wrong. The language is determined from your IP address. If you surf to some websites they see your Japanese IP address so serve you a Japanese web page. For example, if you go to google.com you get redirected to google.co.jp. In some cases you can get around it, e.g. go to google.co.uk directly.

To the original poster, if your Japanese is excellent and you are comfortable with a Japanese keyboard then you can buy in Japan. Otherwise, you would want to install an English version of your OS and making a comparison of features between candidate models in the shop would be difficult.

Prices are similar to UK but as other posters point out, you have to consider what would happen if it went wrong.
by koan rate this post as useful

. 2007/12/18 10:31
koan, you are actually both right. Some websites such as google or myspace use the ip range to determine the country, some websites just use the language that the browser asks for.
You can change these language settings of the browser via the browsers option panel, at least for Firefox and Internet Explorer. I don't know about other browsers, as I don't use them. :)

Of course even if the browser is set to another language, some sites will still use the ip range language by default. But you can usually change the displayed language with a button on the website.
by Haf rate this post as useful

If you by a mac?! 2008/1/3 04:06
Hey,

I'm not sure about PC's, but if your into Macs (from Apple), I would definitely buy them here in Japan. They are about 25% (if not more) cheaper than in the UK (I'm a student from England, but currently living in Nagoya). There are several benefits to buying a Mac, especially in Japan.

- Cheaper than in the UK
- You can choose whatever language you want on the OS (I bought by Mac in Sweden but at the installation page I choose English).
- You can choose an American style keyboard (and the Japanese keyboard comes with both English/Japanese alphabet, just a few keys that are in different locations).
- If you are a student, you get a 10% discount.
- Because its an Apple computer, the warranty applies everywhere in the world (when I was working in America last summer, my screen broke. I went to the local Apple store and got it fixed for free).
- You can install Windows XP/Vista on the Mac if you prefer to use that OS.

Obviously, these benefits are only if you prefer a Mac over a PC.

Hope it helps!

Jack
by Jack M. rate this post as useful

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