Mac vs. PC in Japan?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by MegumiFX, May 6, 2004.

  1. MegumiFX macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I'm gonna be leaving for Japan in the summer for an indefinite amt of time and was planning on buying a laptop before leaving. i've narrowed down the choices to either the new 1.5 Ghz 15" powerbook or a Fujitsu lifebook N series notebook. both are undoubtedly very nice machines, but i would very much like to go for the powerbook since i'm gonna be doing a bit of work on video/photo editing while i'm over there... i'm a bit concerned with whether i'll be running into any, err.. "issues" with using a mac in japan tho. such as warranty/insurance, running into trouble fixing my PB IF anything should go wrong with it (esp since there's only one apple store in all of japan as of now), software/hardware compatibility issues, any possible file-sharing problems, etc etc..

    for any mac users in japan / anyone else who would know, are these gonna be real issues or am i just making them up?

    any help / suggestions would be most GREATLY appreciated! =)
     
  2. Coolvirus007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #2
    I don't quite understand your problem but there is an Apple store in the middle of tokyo in Ginza (a posh shopping district) and its 4 floors (?) and so if you run into any probs., you can always visit them. As for compatibility, there are many wifi spots (free and pay) and a pc card modems that are compatible with all computers. The voltage and plug shape for the adapter is identical (well...almost). The phone sockets and cat 5 sockets are identical.
    As for the other 'issues', if it occurs, its not because your in Japan.
     
  3. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #3
    japan has one of the most fervent mac user groups. did you see the video of the line for the apple store japan opening!!!

    plus lots of people there mod and really know their apples inside out, so support shouldnt be a problem.

    apple protables are issued with a world wide warranty, you can extend that 2 more years with apple care for 300 dollars more and as long as you have that then when u take it to a dealer/store they should be able to help you with your problems.
     
  4. Teronke macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    #4
    Mac vs PC

    If I were you I would definitely wait till I arrive in Japan before making your purchase.

    The reason being is that although Macs are the same worldwide, PCs are definitely not. All the Japanese PC vendors have special models for the Japanese market. They are infinitely faster, smaller, lighter and better than PCs distributed for Western consumption. The only conceivable problem you might encounter if you do go down the PC route is getting a copy of English Windows, which is the only thing I would get before leaving for Japan.

    That way you can make a more informed decision as to which will be better for your needs

    BTW on the Mac side, there so many Mac accessories released only for the Japanese market that you'll be spoilt for choice.
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #5
    I would recommend that you wait and purchase your Mac or PC laptop here in Japan for the following reasons:

    - You mention that you will be in Japan for an indefinite amount of time. So down the road you will probably want to sell your old laptop and upgrade. English versions don't sell well over here.

    - If something goes wrong with your laptop, it is much easier to get fixed here in Japan by the store that you purchased it from rather than try to get warranty work done on an English model.

    - There are many PC models that are not available outside Japan. You might find something more useful to you that is only available here in Japan.

    - As far an English OS goes. Mac OS X.2 and 3 run in both English and Japanese. So it doesn't matter. I believe XP Professional works the same. However, I haven't had a chance to try this yet. However, 98, ME, and 2K are not. So you would need to bring a copy of the English version with you.

    - Since you will be in Japan, a Japanese keyboard may come in handy as well.

    - Power wise, with Apple it doesn't matter where you are in the world. Their PowerBook power adapters are 50-60 Hz and 100-240 Volts. So you can use the same on in the Kanto area (Tokyo - 60Hz) or in the Kansai area (Osaka - 50Hz). PC power adapters are not always the same. It depends on the company. Just be sure that you get one with a 50-60 Hz and a 100-240 Volt rating.

    Hope this helps!

    Sushi
     
  6. frank5050 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Location:
    way out west
    #6
    One other item to consider if you're thinking of buying the laptop in Japan is whether the keyboard keycaps will have both English and Japanese (hiragana?) characters on them. If you want a keyboard with both then the choice is easy, if you want an english-only keyboard I'm not sure of the availability (if this was a desktop being discussed then obviously it's not an issue either). Something to think about.

    In years past I've noticed some pieces of electronic gear in Japan are available in English or U.S. versions (manuals & labels on product in English, power supplies suitable for other countries, etc.) but I think this trend has faded with so many products being more universal. Those non-standard versions of gear were always more expensive (portable DAT recorders come to mind).

    And of course, where is the laptop going to be less expensive given current exchange rates and pricing of products in Japan?

    Current Japan residents care to comment?

    frank
     
  7. floatingspirit macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    It doesn't matter.

    I brought my iBook with me and have since bought a G5, as you'll note in my signature. I ordered it from the Japanese Apple store online. You can choose which keyboard you want, US or Japanese. The Apple store also has a number you can call for English assistance if there's any trouble with your order. I used it and it was great. There are resellers around should you ever need a repair or modification and, thanks to Yahoo Broad Band, you can call Apple Care in the US for about 2 cents a minute from Japan, if you needed.

    I can see no problem buying before or after coming to Japan. The only benefit may be that in the US I think you might get a cheaper price, so I'd get it before coming. Oh, I also got my iPod here. Everything is cool.

    Enjoy!
     
  8. imac_japan macrumors member

    imac_japan

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    No problems mate ! Ive bought about three macs in Japan and even my ipod (which broke down so Im on my third) was replaced twice ! It depends where you are going...in Osaka and Tokyo, you are Ok but the rest of the country has to rely on the Apple store......
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    So does the Japanese keyboard for most PCs also have hiragana and roman chars on the keyboard? For some reason my impression of most smaller devices like phones, etc, was that they used romaji input (like typing "ka" or "ha" in and then getting the equivalent hiragana on the screen, and then selecting the appropriate kanji, like on a US pc).

    Soory for my Amerignorance. :D
     
  10. floatingspirit macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    The Japanese computer keyboards that I've seen (Mac and PC) have only hiragana and a couple differing symbols, as well as different placement of a couple symbols, and the space bar is smaller. There is more than one way to input Japanese, but I've stuck with the stock method which comes with the Mac. I type k and a for "ka" and so forth. I almost went with the Japanese keyboard, but decided the bigger space bar was better for me.
     
  11. MegumiFX thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    thanks much to all those who replied, you were great help! (wow, i'm so glad i happened to randomly find this forum, right in the nick of time too~)

    ..i guess the biggest thing i was concerned about was whether i'd be assigned to an area where it'd be difficult to find a store that takes care of/sells products for mac (i'll be working through the JET program coming this july, if any of you happen to know about it =) i've heard of some people getting sent to remote islands and small fishing villages..but i suppose i shouldn't jump too ahead of myself ^_^'

    the joyy~ i think i'll go ahead and grab myself a new 15" pb as soon as finances allow. thx once again!!
     
  12. imac_japan macrumors member

    imac_japan

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #12
    I work for an English language company but some of my friends are JET's. From what I've heard it depends on where you get sent to. Each school district has its own way of dealing with JETs which can be good or bad.

    Remember to check your contract, if there is anything that you don't like or if they have changed anything - Call the JET program office. My friend had a problem where the school district changed her holidays from something like 8 weeks to 4 weeks..She complained to the school and to the JET program and had it changed.

    and don't take anything at face value. Japanese people (especially teachers - in social sitiuations) act differently..Work is Work and After work is private time.So if you don't get too many invites out - its OK, Japanese people don't usually invite you home for coffee etc etc...Its alittle confusing but I hope that you have a good time !!
     

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