Computers and laptops • boot up with caution! ….

Duty Free NetbooksSometimes it’s not all about price, but also the availability of the latest products on the market.If you’re lucky enough to be travelling from a country whose currency is particularly strong, then the electronics and computer stores in the departure lounge on the return leg of your journey could offer you an Aladdin’s cave of bargains, even if the offers are not so impressive to the locals. That’s the perfect scenario when drooling over the latest beautifully designed Apple MacBook Air, the laptop from Sony, HP, Toshiba, Packard Bell or the new Samsung netbook.Taking advantage of airport travel retail deals to buy a computer can be a good move but you need to tread carefully and keep your wits about you. Unlike liquor or cosmetics, you are far from confident of getting the best deal out there, nor necessarily even duty free prices, so be alert and ask questions if it’s not entirely clear. Depending on where you purchase, the items may be tax paid, rather than duty free • so in making comparisons with offers at home remember to check. Also make sure you understand how the warranty works. And always, always keep the receipt.

The high street, and particularly the internet, offer fierce competition to airport electronics stores. But if you have a smartphone then you at least have an excellent tool to make sure you’re getting the sort of deal that you want.

One option is to find the computer you like then use your smartphone to visit a price comparison website such as froogle.co.uk or kelkoo.co.uk (or the .com versions, depending on your location). Enter the specifics of the laptop, tablet computer or notebook that you like and compare a host of online and high street store prices. There is a chance you may not be thrilled by the outcome.The inherent problem with the pricing on items such as laptops, tablet and notebooks is that it’s incredibly sensitive to demand and supply. Last week our check at Dixons Travel in London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 on the Apple iPad (1) showed only a 2% saving over macwarehouse.co.uk, and a similar comparison on the Sony Vaio (2) showed the airport store being 8% more expensive than the high street retailer, Currys.co.uk, owned by the same company that owns Dixons.However, unlike like the high street retailers, airport electronic stores know they have only one chance to convince you to buy – after all you’re there to catch a flight – and will include computer accessories and software to sweeten a deal.

So bargain hard.

Computer product details ..
(1) Apple 32GB iPad 2 in white inc Wi-Fi plus 3G model.
(2) Sony Vaio 14″ laptop

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