View Full Version : Coming to Japan soon: Buy a new laptop in America or Japan?

June 8th, 2004, 06:36
I was planning to buy a new one in Tokyo before shipping off to my assignment. Is there any reason to buy in America instead?


June 8th, 2004, 08:29
If you buy a laptop in Japan, you will have to dish out quite a bit of extra cash for software in English. Also, you will have to find a place with an English speaking sales person (this is not a given). However, if you are a master of Japanese, no problem!

This is what I heard when asking the same question not long ago. As I was a bit nervous about the purchase, this information was enough to convince me to buy it at home and bring it with me. Also, its given me the chance to get help from more computer literate people than myself as I learn about the system. If you really know exactly what you are looking for, I bet you could get the software here, take that with you and buy the laptop in Japan. But I think just getting it here seems considerably less stressful.
There is more stuff in the archives if you are interested.
Good luck!

June 8th, 2004, 18:46
Every single person who pasts has a different opinion on this topic. I eventually decided that I would get one from akihabura - the electronics district in Tokyo (just going to sneak away at the end of a lecture one day), or get one online when I get more settled. Of course, it looks like I will be staying with a family for the first few weeks anyway, so I probably wouldn't be able to set one up anyway. But I think I will just take my xp cd from my home computer, and load the OS on myself, saves hassle.

June 28th, 2004, 10:51
I bought one online when I arrived here last year. I used the Toshiba Japan site (in English). It arrived 4 days after I ordered it. I think I would have saved money had I bought it at home. At least if you buy it before you leave you have lots of options and can shop around. Being stuck in my inaka hell with no other option except Toshiba (because of the English site) was really crappy. BUT it is a great computer, I would have gone insane had I not bought it, it was just a little pricey compared to back home.

June 28th, 2004, 11:54
I think that laptops from each country would be fine, but the factor that made me buy in America is the fact that after a year the laptop from japan would not be as effective as its american counter-part. because if something would go wrong with it you would have to call the otherside of the world to have it fixed.

I got a Dell myself which has service in Japan and a phone number you can call to have it fixed. The 8600 one is pretty tight in my opinion. with the wide screen.

June 28th, 2004, 16:10
The 8600 kicks ass! I got one as few weeks back, and I'm still in awe.

June 28th, 2004, 18:28
about 2yrs ago, i helped out my then girlfriend's mom pick out a good laptop in akiba (or shinjuku i don't remember) and what i remember most was that for a good laptop then, was at least $400 more than the same model/spec'd model in the usa... i'd get one here and besides, it'll be in english... japanese windows is kanji ridden with some of the most uncommon kanji, at least i haven't learned tech japanese yet...

June 28th, 2004, 21:55
Buy it in your home country. The comps in Japan look much cooler, but hey are generally more pricey and less powerful than comps here. That is what they told us at the orientation. It's your choice though.

July 1st, 2004, 10:11
Everything I've heard so far also suggests getting it in your home country... not just because you can have the english operating system...but also because the BIOS itself will be in english and when your stay is over in Japan you'll be able to get some support in the home country.

Personally I'm looking at purchasing mine from places such as PowerNotebooks.com (http://www.powernotebooks.com) (for the U.S people)

July 14th, 2004, 09:55
Personal choice really.

I would say buy in Japan. they have stuff we don't even have yet! I bought my laptop in 2001 and the model didn't even come out in Australia until mid 2002.

It had Windows ME in English, I bought off the Toshiba site and saved about 1,500 aussie dollars. If you want to buy a computer in Japan from Akihabara during the orientation, I'd say bring a copy of English XP or whatever platform you wanna run that way theres no hassles, and you can sometimes change the Japanese OS to be bilingual just using the control panel, have done this before too.

July 14th, 2004, 18:09
PCs in Japan are about the same price as in the UK, so I'd say buy here if you can so you can stock up on software and games.

I have a UK laptop, so will I have any problems using Japanese hardware with it? I'm thinking about printers, wi-fi PC cards, etc. I'd appreciate some help with this, as I'm thinking of buying a wi-fi card before I go (found a decent one for 20 squids!) so I can look cool in Doutor Cafe!

July 14th, 2004, 22:16
My uni's letting me hold onto my (i.e. their) laptop as long as I pretend to do some work

July 15th, 2004, 03:44
I have a UK laptop, so will I have any problems using Japanese hardware with it? I'm thinking about printers, wi-fi PC cards, etc. I'd appreciate some help with this, as I'm thinking of buying a wi-fi card before I go (found a decent one for 20 squids!) so I can look cool in Doutor Cafe!

Hrm, the only real difference from a piece hardware's point of view between a UK laptop and JP laptop is the power. UK does the 'bigger is better' 240V AC mains and JP has modest 100V AC mains. But this won't be an issue because laptops don't even use AC power. They use a DC supply, kindly converted by those switching adapters that come with every model. And these days, every adapter is universal - so you can plug it into 240V AC mains or 100V AC mains and it will still convert that power to the proper DC voltage (provided you have the appropriate AC-connector converter).

So, a PCMCIA card made in Japan (or China, as the case prolly is) will work in a laptop made in the UK (or China, as the case prolly is). If you wanna see something really wierd, look at this page (http://tuxmobil.org/laptop_oem.html). Who woulda thot that macs, Dells, HPs, and IBMs are all made by the same company! It's the laptop industry's slightly buried secret.