Buying a laptop computer for the Philippines

ASUS F-50SV

Asus Philippines.  Best computer for the Philippines. Asus warranty. Asus service. Asus repair. Asus laptop computer.Why I’m Buying a laptop computer in the U.S. for use in the Philippines.  Will you have a warranty?  I’ve been a Macintosh user ever since I gave up in frustration trying to get various devices installed on Windows 3.1.  I got rid of the PCs and bought Macs for the business and for my own use.  I bought a Windows laptop for use in the Philippines.  Here are some of the factors:

  • Mac software is more or less unavailable in Iloilo.  PC software is available.
  • Service on Mac hardware is a trial in the Philippines and especially in the provinces — whether in warranty or out. There are lots of technicians willing to help with PC hardware or software problems in every Philippine city.
  • I’d like Pinay family members to be computer literate.  In the Philippines that pretty much means a PC running Windows.

The Mac OS is superior to the convoluted Windows OS for most users. You’ll waste much less time in frustrated fiddling with hardware and software problems.  I feel even more that way after two years with a speedy machine running the latest and greatest Windows 7.  Of course, you may like the challenge of keeping Windows running.  Many do. When all is well with Windows 7, it’s a pleasure to use.

Mac hardware is excellent, especially the new Macbook Pro laptops.  While there are cheap PC laptops, the prices are lower because they use cheaper or slower hardware and more flimsy construction.  If you buy a PC laptop with good hardware hardware and construction  Mac and PC prices are fairly close.  Macs run Windows software via the “Bootcamp” utility. They sometimes outperform PCs even running Windows.

UPDATE. For those of you who think that Macs are too expensive, this is an interesting comparison of the MacBook Air with a very similar Samsung laptop. The Macbook comes with better components for the same price and, of course, comes with OS X, in my view a superior operating system which is resistant to most malware. I say that as a person whose current computer is a Windows 7 laptop.

Despite all this, if I bought a new Mac in the U.S., it seemed uncertain to me that I’d be entitled to repairs in the Philippines under the Apple U.S.A. warranty.  This same problem seemed to apply to most of the PC brands I researched. Let’s face it — computer prices in the U.S.A. are lower than in the Philippines. PC manufacturers seem to protect their worldwide markets from price competition from U.S. products by limiting the applicability of U.S.A. warranties outside of the U.S.A. Laptops are subject to more frequent and expensive repairs — bad displays, bad system boards for example.  Therefore, warranty coverage is an essential factor in buying a laptop. Based on my research (which I don’t pretend is comprehensive), only one manufacturer offered a warranty valid in the Philippines for a laptop purchased in the U.S.A. and that was Asus.  They offer what on paper is the best warranty in the business; two years parts and labor, one year against spills, theft, drops, fire and surges and 30 days on bad pixels.  Here’s the Asus blurb:

Asus Warranty

Asus Warranty

Some elements of this warranty will not be useful in the Philippines, but the 2 year warranty is.  Note that not every Asus has a two year global warranty.  Some of the less expensive models have a one year warranty. Some manufacturers offer international warranty service to business travelers but they explicitly reserve the right to refuse service except to bona-fide travelers.  They also reserve the right to request proof of your travel status. Acer is an an example of this.  Further many manufacturers (such as Dell) don’t list any service centers in the Philippines.  The web is full of horror stories of customers trying to get service overseas.

UPDATE:  It does appear that SAMSUNG offers a one year global warranty.  Go to http://www.samsung.com/ph/support/warrantyinformation/warrantyInformation.do?page=POLICY.WARRANTY and click on the international warranty box.  Note that Samsung’s warranty is one year whereas Asus’ is two years and Asus seem serious about honoring it. See below.

UPDATE: We ended up buying an Asus laptop because of the global warranty.  We have had problems.  The cable connecting to the screen is bad.  In order to use the computer you sometimes have to wiggle the screen (lid) back and forth until the distortion clears enough to use the computer.    This requires that the laptop be returned to Asus in Manila for repair. When I called the Asus Philippine support line, they were helpful.  They told me to take the laptop to Concept Computers at Mary Mart Mall in Iloilo City, supposedly Asus’ agent for repairs.  That was a disaster.  I left the laptop with them.  They said they would ship it Asus Manila but that they would charge me a P500 or P600 shipping charge.  I said OK.

About a week went by and I called Concept Computer and they said they “could not accept” the computer.  I had to go and pick it up.  We all know how difficult it is to prepare a computer for repair, trying to make sure sensitive data is protected, and then being without the computer is a hardship.  I called Asus Manila again.  They were extremely apologic and helpful.  They said to ship the laptop to one of their repair centers in Manila or Cebu.  They said they’d fix the laptop and pay the return shipping.  They said that I should not worry, that they would take care of the problem even if my warranty expires.   There did not seem to be any problem with the fact that the computer was bought in the U.S.  So, the two year Asus global warranty is the real thing. Here’s the contact information for Asus repairs in the Philippines: Philippines  ASUS Technology Philippines Inc. +632-7380398; +632-7385300; +632-6317510 (09:00-21:00 Mon.~Fri.)  #14 United St, Brgy, Kapitolyo Pasig City, 1600.

Comments (20) Write a comment

  1. I am so glad I found your website and many thanks for the extremely helpful advice on suitable laptops for the Philippines. I just bought an Asus laptop from Amazon for my farm in Cavite, based on your experience with Asus support in the Philippines. I plan to relocate to Cavite after 35 years of working for the United Nations Secretariat in New York and will always consider buying an Asus laptop, specially for my son who will be going to high school at ISM. Many thanks again for sharing your experiences and advice with compatriots living abroad who plan to settle back home!

    Reply

  2. Thanks for this post. I plan to buy a PC laptop to bring to the Philippines next year. I will definitely consider Asus. I’ll wait for Windows 8 however.

    Reply

    • Uly,

      At some point they’ll likely sell laptops with Windows 7 but with a free upgrade to Windows 8. My Asus came with Windows Vista but qualified for a free update to Windows 7. Although I bought the laptop in the U.S. I got my upgrade in the Philippines with no problem.

      Bob

      Reply

  3. I bought an Asus Notebook in Sydney last year, after 5 months, the Harddrive conked out so bought it to the Asus service center in Virramall San Juan. I was really expecting that they will charge me for repairing the unit, after a week they were able to fix it and surprisingly, did not charge me a cent. They replaced the Hard drive for free.

    Reply

    • That’s great. We had the same experience with Asus Philippines — surprisingly good. We’ve also had goo luck getting our Sony DSLR fixed. We just took it to the Sony service center in Iloilo (near SM City, across from Nes and Tats). They sent it to Manila adn it cameback properly repaired for a price which would be laughable in the US!

      Reply

      • Dear Goilo, I am planning to buy asus laptop from newegg.com and I am wondering whether the warranty for it in the USA will be valid in the philippines. Some of my friends told me that Asus philippines does not fully honor any laptop model, there are only specific model which can be honor. My question is how will I know if the laptop I am planning to buy will have the same warranty like what they claim of international warranty. Is there any contact us link of any kind or global contact link that I can send an email to address my concern.

        By the way the laptop I am planning to buy is quite cheap, for 780$ only. Is this price considered as a budget laptop for Asus?

        Thanks a lot in advance and GODBLESS.

        Reply

        • We bought our Asus laptop from newegg.com, had it shipped to us in the Philippines, needed repairs under the Asus USA warranty and have nothing but the greatest praise for Asus Philippines. I’d buy an Asus with confidence. You can check the warranty applicable to the newegg.com laptops on the newegg.com description of each laptop. I see that they are generally offering a one year warranty. When we bought ours, it had a two year warranty. $780 is a mid-range model, not really budget. Hope this helps.

          Reply

  4. Your article sounds like Asus customer service was polite with their words and promises and they sent you back and forth from one location to another to get your computer repaired but they still didn’t actually fix anything yet.

    Reply

    • No, they did not fix anything but they offered to do so, even after my warranty ended. I just decided I did not want to be without my laptop until the problem got worse. It never has gotten worse so I never sent it in for repair. Asus could not have been more accommodating.

      Reply

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  6. ‘i am using an Asus laptop for a year in half now,i buy my unit in Thailand in which i subject it for a VAT refund so i don’t have any sale invoice or original receipt to bring here in Philippines. After two months of using it here i got a problem with its hard disk and so i call the Asus sevice center here and they advice me to bring my unit on its service center in megamall. I thought i’m going to have a problem with the warranty because its always said that one should present the original receipt of the product when claiming for warranty but the good thing id they accept my unit and they told me they don’t need it anymore because they can check it on there system trough the product code…I leave my unit with them and after a week they call me to pick up my unit,in good working condition,newly replace hard disk and i don’t have to pay anything…agents had been very accommodating too…another story had happen after six months and i got the same service…quite satisfied with Asus!..

    Reply

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with Asus. Very impressive. I don’t know if they are the best laptops but I can’t imagine anyone giving better support and service that you have gotten. Our experience with Asus Philippines was also 200% positive.

      Reply

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  10. I dont see it would be the same here in the Philippines, particularly their after sales service. I’ve been calling their number above since this morning, and no one even bothered to answer them. their service center in megamall gave me some lame answers regarding my concern. I hate to say this but ilove my laptop from them but their tech support and after sales suck bigtime!

    Reply

    • Andrew,
      Thanks for this comment. Sorry for your problems. ASUS just got top ranking in PC Week’s Laptop & Notebook Service & Reliability Survey 2009. See http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2352798,00.asp
      The article, based on a survey of thousands of PC Week readers concluded, “Asus Netbooks or notebooks, it doesn’t matter. Asus is far and away the top-rated Windows-centric notebook maker with PCMag readers.” Better even than Lenovo, better than Sony. Only Apple scored higher.

      I feel that ASUS is really trying to establish a reputation for standing behind their products, but whether ASUS Philippines is on board with this, I don’t know. If I could not get satisfaction, I’d contact ASUS execs at their home office in Taiwan.

      My ASUS qualified for a free Windows 7 upgrade. ASUS has farmed the upgrades out to “mentormediacorp” which seems to be in Singapore. I submitted my order weeks ago and never heard back from them, despite my follow up inquiries. I’m not in any hurry. I plan to stick with Vista until I see how Windows 7 fares after the introductory hoopla.

      If you don’t have success with the Philippine ASUS office, my thought would be to write a letter to senior management. This has been very successful for me with other firms and might make you feel better.

      Jonney Shih , Chairman & Chief Branding Officer, ASUSTeK, 150 Li-Te Rd., Peitou
      Taipei, 112, Taiwan
      Phone: +886-2-2894-3447
      Fax: +886-2-2892-6140

      Good luck and keep us posted.

      Reply

  11. Ian, The post was not intended as a plug for Asus. All our posts are “genuine”.

    We have never before owned an Asus and have no connection with them. I just wanted to share my research on laptop warranties which led us to buy an Asus in the hope others might benefit. Regarding Windows and especially Windows Vista, even Windows fans and corporate users are almost unanimous in their disgust with it. Hopefully Windows 7 will be an improvement.

    Reply

  12. Is this a plug for Asus (perspective agent) or a genuine opinion?
    I find that all makes of computer work fine in the Philippines. Its the ability of the user that is the only problem.
    Concerning the operating system (OS)it is fair to say that Microsoft definately is the most popular system and the most widely available in terms of additional software. however….which is best…..again is down to how good is the user !!!

    Reply

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