View Full Version : Question for U.S based pc Pruners

16th Aug 2007, 23:26
I off to the USA shortly, and while I'm there, I wish to purchase a new laptop.
($2 to 1 make them very good value).

However, many of the large computer shops are offering savings as "mail in rebates". How exactly does this work?. When I purchase the computer (visa card), and send in the required forms, does the rebate get credited back into my visa account, or will they send me a cheque (check), made payable in USD?.
This second option wouldn't be much use to me, due to me not having a USD bank account or a US address, and I was wondering if the store managers are open to negotiation for giving a cash discount rather than the mail in rebate.

Thanks for any advice or tips.

16th Aug 2007, 23:50
does the rebate get credited back into my visa account


will they send me a cheque (check), made payable in USD?.
This second option wouldn't be much use to me, due to me not having a USD bank account or a US address

You've answered that one!

I was wondering if the store managers are open to negotiation for giving a cash discount rather than the mail in rebate

Probably not - mail-in rebates usually come from the manufacturer, not the retailer.


17th Aug 2007, 09:43
also remember that the keyboard and power supply will be different, and taking it back to circuit city or wherever may be difficult if things go wrong.

17th Aug 2007, 11:09
I buy a lot of stuff from Fry's in SOCAL, including my Mac laptop. There are always a load of write-in rebates, sometimes adding up to the price of the kit (minus taxes). The trouble is that I regularly found that up to 60-70% of the rebates never arrived. You can chase them up, but they're run/handled by specialist companies and you get a run around.

To be frank, look at them as a sort of lottery ticket and buy the laptop that's got the best store price.

For a laptop the power supply will be 110-240v 50/60Hz, but it will be a US keyboard. But you soon get used to the @ location. The only hassles are the lack of a sign and the small return key.

17th Aug 2007, 12:35
Within the past three years I have purchased an HP laptop and eMachines desktop. Both involved numerous rebates. The checks kept arriving for at least a couple of months, but I think every rebate was honored.

I agree that it doesn't make sense for a visitor to the USA to expect to benefit from the mail-in rebates

You may, however, find that a big box store has an "instant rebate", a reduction in price taken at time of purchase. You could benefit from that.

Look in their fliers inserted in major Sunday newspapers. We have Best Buys, Circuit City, Office Depot and Staples (office supplies) near me. CompUSA has withdrawn from many major cities such as mine. MicroCenter and OfficeMax aren't in my immediate area though MicroCenter is about to occupy a store that CompUSA left..


17th Aug 2007, 14:13
Thanks for all the replies.

I wasn't too bothered about the power supply, as all of my previous laptops have always had 110-240v units, and the guarantee wouldn't be a problem, as most of the large manufacturers now give a worldwide guarantee.

I think I will have to look about for an outlet that is offering the instant rebates.

17th Aug 2007, 16:02
Rebates can be limited to residences in the US - you may want to use a friend's address for that.

A bit of unsolicited advise:
On brands, I would recommend Sony, Toshiba or IBM/Lenovo. I would stay away from Compaq and Dell. Dell quality has been on the downslide with their portables. They are facing class-action lawsuits on several models of their popular Insipiron series laptops due to poor design leading to premature motherboard failure - often when the machines are just out of warranty. :(

Best Buy is a national chain that has some of the lowest prices on desirable and up-to-date models.

Good Luck!

747 jock
29th Aug 2007, 12:58
Slight change of topic, but related question.

I've been offered a laptop by a workmate, (at a very good price) but it comes from the US, so as already mentioned, they keyboard setup is different. ( @"$ etc)

Is this a function of Windows, or is it built in to the computer firmware.?
I was wondering if I was to install a UK version of XP, would the relevent keys then have the same function as a UK keyboard, altoough I realise that the symbols on them would still be wrong, but I'm sure if this was the case, I could obtain replacement keys.

Saab Dastard
29th Aug 2007, 13:06
747 jock,

You can just change the keyboard mapping in XP - this means that the UK symbol will appear when you press the key, but the key won't have that symbol printed on it. This can be very confusing! You can buy overlays for individual keys, I believe, but they are just stick-on.

Obviously you could use an external UK keyboard without any problems - you could even replace the laptop keyboard with a UK one, but that would probably negate your savings.

With certain laptop keyboards it is actually possible to remove individual keys, so you might just be able to swap them around, but you would have to be VERY sure that it's possible before attempting it. And very confident in your technical ability - but if you are contemplating replacing the keyboard, what have you got to lose?

Edit: thinking about it, changing keys around doesn't help, as it is the Shifted symbol that is different.


29th Aug 2007, 14:40
Keyboard layout is a function of Windows. You get to select it when installing it, then can change it through the control panel at any stage. You can map additional symbols to specific keys.

I'm writing this on a laptop I bought in the USA so it has a USA keyboard, my machines at home have UK keyboards, when I was in Spain it was a Spanish keyboard; the PC beside here in Paris has a French AZERY keyboard.

If you want to change the keys it is more usual to buy a complete keyboard, depending on the make they can be changed over in under a couple of minutes with a complete of clips and a ribbon connector. You can shop around for a broken machine to strip one off or buy new.