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Windows Tablet PC - Chinese Options - Advice please

  • 05-02-2013 2:37pm
    Registered Users Posts: 839 ✭✭✭


    I'm looking for advice from people with experience buying cheap Windows tablet PCs (or any hardware) from China. I've spent a long time looking at eBay, Amazon and now Alibaba and I'm quite lost!

    I'm setting up a business to supply communications software on a dedicated hardware device (tablet) to people with disabilities. I'm looking to source a regular supply of tablets and keep unit costs as low as possible (for the purposes of saving my customers money, not for making more money for myself!).

    I envisage the order quantities to be 10-20 every 2-3 months, so not massive quantities but I should still be able to negotiate a little on price.

    The unit I'm currently testing with is the Acer Iconia W500. I have two of these which cost around €440 each delivered. I'd be happy enough to continue with those, only it seems like they're being phased out! Their successor, the W510 is even better and would be ideal but would cost me around €580 per unit. I'd like to see what similar devices are available in low-cost Chinese brands. From what I've seen, I should be able to find something sufficient for around €300.

    Spec Requirements:
    • ~10" screen
    • Windows 7 (home, pro or even starter) or 8 (not RT)
    • Atom N2600, N2800 or anything similar
    • 2GB+ RAM
    • 32GB hard drive would do but 64+ would be better (pref SSD)

    Other Considerations:
    • Reliability
    • Good, reliable, trustworthy, english-speaking company with a human contact that I can communicate with!
    • Continuity of supply - will the unit or a similar successor still be available in 1,2,3 year's time?
    • Warranty - At least 1 year, preferably with the option of paying for more
    • Repair & Parts - I'd like to be able to save on shipping costs and do repairs myself - with a reliable supply of parts and information/support
    • Cover - Ideally I'd like an OtterBox / Griffen-type protective cover but I don't think these are readily available for the majority of tablets. Not essential anyway.
    • I would gladly pay an extra €100 per unit if the above concerns were sorted.

    Any advice on either specific tablets or the process of buying from China in general would be much appreciated.

    Here are some of the many questions I have:
    • Who/Where should I buy from? - I see a lot of eBay sellers with UK contact details but item locations in China/Hong Kong. What I'd really like to do is develop a direct relationship with the manufacturers, instead of buying from an eBay reseller (not as reliable in terms of warranty & continuity). Might be hard to deal directly with manufacturers for low order quantities but is there usually a best 'official reseller' that I can deal with?
    • The make/model names are often unavailable. How do you find out what the unit is, who makes it and where it comes from?
    • Are there any good online articles/resources with advice on buying from China, Hong Kong, etc.?
    • Anybody know of any companies/experts in Ireland who could advise on this?
    • Can anybody recommend any Asian companies they have dealt with in the past that supply the kind of thing I'm looking for?