There are two obvious differences between purchasing one in the states and here. Prices are higher, models have different names. Noticed it with cameras too. I think the model difference is to keep items intended for one market from showing up elsewhere. Only real problem caused by the different names was finding on-line reviews.
It was the other differences that tested my patience and resolve, even though I’d discovered both in on-line forums before encountering them in a store. The big one is that even though the store offers a seven-day exchange guarantee it may be worth squat. Stores don’t ever open up a box to even check if it contains what it says it does, let alone plug the laptop in to see if it works. That all happens after they have your money. At the store I selected, which is part of the country’s biggest computer chain, the standard for exchange is that the item be in perfect condition, except, of course, for the defective part. Go figure. It’s used to push the cost of after sales support on to the manufacturer. It’s easy to find horror stories of stores refusing to deal with a defective item on day 3 after purchase because of tiny surface blemishes that not even Jerry Seinfeld could see with the naked eye. It’s also easy to find customers who had no problems getting a defective computer replaced by the store. I haven’t had any problems and the seven day period has elapsed, so it’s no longer a concern.
Speaking of manufacturer support, only one store told the truth about where the laptop would go for service. “Bangkok” was everyone’s answer. Partially true, as anything being shipped out of the country from Hua Hin probably goes through Bangkok. None of the following companies have warranty service in Thailand: ASUS, Dell, Gateway, Samsung and Sony. Uh … that is if the store displaying the sign below was telling the truth.
Top row shows percent of warranty work that is completed in 3 days, bottom row is completed in 7 days. Dell and Gateway get a higher percentage of laptops back in the hands of the customer in seven days than all of the companies who service in county. I wonder where they are sent for service. My guess is Taiwan.