Personal Computer: Ship or Buy?
I have been told over and over again that I can get anything in Doha that I would get at home (United States). The question I have is: At what cost?
I will be in Doha on April 15 and I'm trying to decide if I should pay to ship my computer to use while I am in Qatar, or if I should buy a computer (probably a laptop) when I arrive. Or maybe I should buy a laptop here before I leave???
I'm not sure what's available and at what price. I'd rather not spend a lot if I can help it and I'm trying to find the most cost effective solution. Does anyone have any advice? Would you recommend shipping, buying in Doha or buying here and bringing a laptop with me? I'd appreciate any help offered.
I won't need much. Internet, Microsoft Office and digital photo storage.
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I'll suggest ASUS, a cost effective reliable brand - around 3500 to 5000 QAR bet i5 and i7 processors. Check at Lulu hyper for their offers.
If you are planning on living here for long, get a desktop from mercure hotel arcade marketplace in musherib. Prices are decent for custom made machines. If you are here for less than 2 years, buy a laptop from abroad. Prices might be reasonable, but choices are poor. You will find laptops with 3 year old components featuring the shelves.
My 5 cents.
If it is a desktop i think its not practical to ship it.
If you opt for laptop instead, i think its better to buy in Doha u dont need the latest model as u mentioned. as of me, im bringing my laptop bcause i dont have budget yet for a new one. othrwise, i dont want the hassle of carrying it.
If you are gonna buy a laptop it will be much cheaper you buy it from States and carry along with you. The prices for latest laptops are very high compared to what you get in States.
Consider the warranty and support factor.
Buying locally is better option for getting local support
Click on the link to view Current Laptop Promotion at Carrefour, Doha. This will give you a general idea of the price (1$ = 3.65 QR)
Laptops _might_ (depending on the model) be up to 10% cheaper here than in the US, and you _can_ get around the Arabic keyboard problem by ordering (or in the souk), however the final decision should probably rest with your short & medium term living & travel plans, and what you plan to use the computer for.
If it is just for email/leisure use, you might consider a 300$ 'disposable' PC to buy here, and just take out the harddrive someday. Some international warranties don't operate as well as others - so check with your preferred make (preferably not with the salesman trying to close the sale!)
If you're just in Qatar for a year, a US-laptop might make more sense. If you're here for longer then who knows - you might even learn Arabic & be grateful for the dual-alphabet keyboard :-))
I got LG laptop from Jumpo electronics about 7 month ago (QR6500) and it is really great and it is lite, the only problem is the battery can only last for one hour but still I love it.
Also I have Dell laptop at the office and I really didn't like it at all.
I just got a Toshiba laptop to take out with me - in the UK they come with a 12 month international warranty, which can be extended to 3 years at a pretty good price, and there are 2 authorised Toshiba repairers in Doha.
Not easy to find active websites in qatar. Qatar has alot of growing to do when it comes to the IT sector.
Try here www.smartqatar.com
you may be able to find anc contact a couple of dealers. Otherwise go to the website of the brand you are interested in and look from there.
Mark, yes everything is pretty much standard. The only major difference is that PC and Laptops sold today in the ME generally have MS windows in Arabic and English, and the keyboard is also arabic and english, which can get REALLY frustrating at times until you get used to it.
I managed to bybass the Windows part and got just english, but I could do nothing about the keyboard.
I'll see if I can find any info on dealers in qatar with websites for you.
Thank you Moonbeam!
Thanks for the info.
It seems then that I should look into purchasing a laptop before I travel. Should I be aware of anything in terms of format or compatibility issues with a system purchased here in the States? I'm assuming that everything is pretty universal except for the electrical outlets. Is this accurate?
just remember qatar runs on 220v. Not a problem with laptops.
La Jolla is right. More choice in the US. If you do buy a brand in the US and bring it here, try and get one that will give you either an international warranty or support.
Acer and Fujitsu Seimans are also popular in the ME.
Hope that helps.
PS. If you like digital photography, get your camera in the US. When I was looking at buying a camera, I noticed that some of the best prices were in the US.
Well, if you are looking for a less $$ solution, Dell is not popular in Qatar, people prefer Sony or Toshiba and other "elegant " brands. I don't think there's big price gap between Doha and States. The point is there's less choices in Doha than States. When I moved from La Jolla to Doha, I carried mine.