How to buy American-made computers

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 10/5/20

As a local small business owner, I have a unique appreciation of those who go out of their way to buy Americanmade products and services — especially those who look for small businesses rather than just go with the big-box corporate stores.

The choice to support (or not support) local businesses has a great effect on your local economy and neighborhood, especially in these challenging times. With that being said, I was curious to learn more about how to “buy American” or “buy local” when it comes to technology, and here I share what I’ve discovered.

Unfortunately, you won’t find any full computer (or pretty much any electronic device) that’s 100% Made in USA. Some hardware brands, like Apple, Dell, HP, and Lenovo, assemble some of their computers in America. However, the parts they source are mostly manufactured overseas, typically in eastern Asia, such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

Software is a little different and hard to track where the designing and coding really happens, but it is common for companies to outsource software development.

Nevertheless, there are ways you can support American and local tech companies:

 

Use local tech support: Unlike hardware and software, you can buy 100% American tech support. However, you can’t easily guarantee this when using online or remote-only services, as they many times utilize overseas workers.

Your best bet is to call a local small business shop or on-site company that comes to your home or business. You can usually get help quicker too, as some big-box stores still ship off computers for certain repairs. Plus, you usually get a much better educational experience from a small tech support company, especially on-site when you can get one-on-one assistance and training.

Buy locally assembled computers: Remember, there are thousands of small businesses out there that sell computers assembled in the USA; it’s not just the big names. For instance, my small business orders parts from a variety of locations and then, in our Dayton-area office, assemble them and install the operating system (Windows 10). You can call and speak to a local instead of a national or international call center. Plus, if a hardware part does fail you don’t have to ship it off for repairs or back up your data.

Buy from American companies: If you do buy a product from one of the major brands, consider buying from a company that’s headquartered in the USA:

■ CyberPowerPC (City of Industry, California)

■ Dell (Round Rock, TX)

■ HP (Palo Alto, CA)

■ iBuyPower (City of Industry, California)

■ For software, consider these companies with U.S. headquarters:

■ Malwarebytes (Santa Clara, CA)

■ McAfee (Santa Clara, CA)

■ Microsoft (Redmond, WA)

■ Norton (Mountain View, California)

■ When looking for a smartphone or tablet, consider these U.S.-based companies:

■ Apple (Cupertino, CA)

■ Google (Mountain View, CA)

■ Motorola (Chicago, IL) Many of the foreignowned corporations will create a U.S.-based entity to better market and distribute their products and services within the states.

If you’re curious, here are other popular hardware and software companies with their main headquarters elsewhere:

■ Acer (Taiwan)

■ Asus (Taiwan)

■ Avast (Czech Republic)

■ Bitdefender (Romania)

■ Kaspersky (Russia)

■ Lenovo (Hong Kong)

■ LG (South Korea)

■ Samsung (South Korea)

■ Toshiba ( Japan)

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