Less-known Taiwan brands worthy of note
Hong Kong's computer retailers generally prefer to stock notebook computers rather than desktop models because notebooks take up less shelf space and do not require costly on-site servicing.
Consequently, anyone looking for a notebook will find plenty of options in the computer malls.
There are notebooks to suit all budgets, from high-priced models with well-known brand names, to less well-known Taiwanese models.
The Taiwanese offerings come in a wide range of specifications, but generally are less expensive than better-known brands.
As many Taiwanese vendors are original equipment manufacturers for the larger vendors, the quality of these notebooks generally is as good as more expensive models.
Notebooks made in Taiwan are available in all of the big computer malls. Many cost less than $15,000, making them ideal for budget shoppers.
The fact that these notebooks are relatively inexpensive does not necessarily mean buyers will have to compromise on performance.
On a recent tour of the malls, I spotted a Win-Note Super II in the Wan Chai Computer Centre. The Super II has a 366 MHz AMD K6-2 processor, 64 MB of SDRam, a 3.2 gb hard drive, a 13.3-inch TFT display and costs $12,000. Buyers can upgrade to a 6 gb hard drive for another $1,200.
The Reptron Computer store in 298 Computer Zone is selling the Twinhead VXP88T for $14,980.
This notebook comes with a 266 MHz Pentium II chip, 32 MB of Ram, a 4 gb hard drive, a 12.1-inch TFT display and a built-in 56 kbps modem.
Bargain hunters may want to check out the Fosa MiniNote 280M. This little notebook has a 200 MHz Cyrix GXM chip, 32 MB of Ram, a 2.1 gb hard drive and an 8.4-inch display. At just $8,800, it is probably the cheapest notebook available - although it is also one of the ugliest.
There are quite a few options for shoppers who are willing to spend a bit more than $15,000.
The Leo DesigNote 8000 has a 300 MHz Pentium II processor, 128 MB of SDRam, a 4.1 gb hard drive, a 14.1-inch display and costs $17,800.
The 8000 also has a Lithium-ion battery, which offers a reported four to five hours of life.
Perhaps one of the best deals available around town is the Win-Note Super III, spotted in 298 Computer Zone. The Super III has a 266 MHz Pentium II chip, 64 MB of Ram, a 4 gb hard drive and a two-speed DVD drive, all for $16,000.
So, for anyone looking for a new notebook that will not break the bank, these less well-known models certainly offer practical alternatives.