Buying a Chinese laptop – is it safe?

China builds many of the worlds most successful laptops – is it safe to cut out the middle man known western company and buy direct from China a unknown brand? The answer is yes and no.

There are many articles on buying laptops direct from China. The main cons are:

  • Lack of a warranty – what happens when things go wrong;
  • Delivery time – normally three to four weeks;
  • Currency issues;
  • Customs charges.

However the cost savings of buying from a Chinese laptop from a Chinese online store can be substantial, often over 30%.

Also the specification of the machines can be higher than available from UK stores. For example, many Chinese entry laptops using the celeron cpu now use the latest N4100 version and DDR4 RAM whereas similar priced (nearly all higher) machines from UK suppliers use the older and slower N3450 and DDR3 RAM. A good review site of Chinese hardware is TechTablets.com

Why not have a look at the following on-line stores and decide for yourself whether the cons outweigh the advantages.

Some articles on buying direct from China

Guardian,

Open Source Software

(Taken from opensource.org)

What is open source software?

Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.

“Source code” is the part of software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a “program” or “application”—works. Programmers who have access to a computer program’s source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly.

What’s the difference between open source software and other types of software?

Some software has source code that only the person, team, or organization who created it—and maintains exclusive control over it—can modify. People call this kind of software “proprietary” or “closed source” software.

Only the original authors of proprietary software can legally copy, inspect, and alter that software. And in order to use proprietary software, computer users must agree (usually by signing a license displayed the first time they run this software) that they will not do anything with the software that the software’s authors have not expressly permitted. Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop are examples of proprietary software.

Open source software is different. Its authors make its source code available to others who would like to view that code, copy it, learn from it, alter it, or share it. LibreOffice and the GNU Image Manipulation Program are examples of open source software.

As they do with proprietary software, users must accept the terms of a license when they use open source software—but the legal terms of open source licenses differ dramatically from those of proprietary licenses.

Open source licenses affect the way people can use, study, modify, and distribute software. In general, open source licenses grant computer users permission to use open source software for any purpose they wish. Some open source licenses—what some people call “copyleft” licenses—stipulate that anyone who releases a modified open source program must also release the source code for that program alongside it. Moreover, some open source licenses stipulate that anyone who alters and shares a program with others must also share that program’s source code without charging a licensing fee for it.

By design, open source software licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they permit other people to make modifications to source code and incorporate those changes into their own projects. They encourage computer programmers to access, view, and modify open source software whenever they like, as long as they let others do the same when they share their work.

The Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote teaching of basic computer science in schools and in developing countries. The original model became far more popular than anticipated, selling outside its target market for uses such as robotics. It does not include peripherals and cases. However, some accessories have been included in several official and unofficial bundles.

The Linux based system provides a stable platform for website development and some more ‘savvy’ hosting companies offer them as an alternative platform (for example Mythic Beasts ). Their low cost make then a excellent option for home and small office based web servers.

Other uses for then include acting as a VPN (Virtual Private Network) Server and as a NAS (Network Accessible Server).

Read more   here 

Who We Are

pi-Bond Services is a family run advice hub based in Portstewart, Northern Ireland. It is based on over thirty years of experience of providing ICT advice to the Public Sector, SMEs, Social Enterprises and Charities.

Its main aim is to help Social Enterprises, Charities and Private Individuals to utilise recent developments in ICT to achieve low cost web solutions.