Sat, Nov 06, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Laptop price wars bring good news for thrifty shoppers

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

People trying to track down cheap laptops are in for a treat, as consumer electronics retailers are launching promotions in droves to stimulate the market before the expected year-end Info Month purchasing spree in early December.

Info Month is an expo to be held from Dec. 4 through Dec. 12 in the Taipei World Trade Center's Exhibition Halls I and III. The event is expected to feature over 300 companies and lure up to 750,000 visitors this year, according to the organizer, the Taipei Computer Association (台北電腦公會).

"We have seen many consumers adopting wait-and-see attitudes on the purchase of notebooks prior to Info Month," Sophie Tsai (蔡淑娟), a marketing chief of Sunfar Computers Co (順發電腦), said yesterday.

In response to consumers' demands for notebooks at bargain prices, Sunfar yesterday launched sales promotions for 11 laptop models, including BenQ and IBM computers, with price cuts of up to NT$10,000 and bundled gifts such as anti-virus programs and optical mouses, in 31 of its outlets nationwide.

The sale is valid through Thursday, Tsai said.

One of the specials on offer is BenQ's Joybook 8100-T03, equipped with a 15.4-inch screen, Intel Pentium-M1.5GHz central processing unit (CPU) and 60 gigabyte hard disk at NT$48,900, down from NT$59,000.

"We hoped to triple the sales volume during this 7-day promotion activity to around 300 laptops," Tsai said.

Xander International Corp (建達國際), the computer distribution arm of chipset maker VIA Technologies Inc (威盛電子), earlier this week rolled out a laptop priced at NT$19,900 and aimed at young office workers and students.

The market is expected to trigger a wave of replacement demand this year, with low-end and low-priced notebooks replacing desktops, Xander president Tsai Chin-chiang (蔡進江) said in a statement.

Xander is marketing the ECS-G320 laptop, which is manufactured by Elitegroup Computer Systems Co (精英電腦) and equipped with a 14.1-inch screen, VIA's 1GHz CPU and 40 gigabyte hard disk, at Tsann Kuen's (燦坤) 148 outlets across the nation until the end of the month.

The price wars could become more intense as a result of Synnex Technology International (聯強國際), the nation's No. 1 electronics retailer, presenting its 30th anniversary promotion later this month.

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