Lenovo Caught Charging Huge Australia Tax Mark-Up On The Carbon X1

The Lenovo Carbon X1 is a great-looking ultrabook. We've said many-a-time that the X1 Carbon made business tech sexy again, but it turns out that if you want to have this good-looker in your life down under, you'd be paying huge premium. Why? Because 'Straya.

CRN has broken out the calculator and found that if you want to get yourself a ThinkPad X1 Carbon in Australia, you'll be paying a $750 premium for the same device as compared to US counterparts. $1999 in Australia, $US1299 in North America. Starting to see the problem?

When CRN asked about the frankly blatant mark-up, Lenovo blamed the mark-up on everything from Australian warranty provisions, to margin costs, right down to the cost of offering support in Australia.

I really recommend you head over to CRN to read the full statement from Lenovo's director of product and solutions locally, David Heyworth. The excuses are just breathtakingly obnoxious.

This isn't a new thing for Lenovo, either. It's a repeat offender when it comes to the Australia Tax.

When the company's S10 netbook came out all the way back in 2008, way before the term "Australia Tax" had even entered our minds, Lenovo was charging Australians more than they needed to be paying for identical tech. The S10 was priced at $US399 in North America, while Australians could expect to pay $699 for the same exact device.

Poor form, Lenovo. Where's Ed Husic in a cape when you need him? [CRN]



    Good thing no one buys Lenovo laptops in Australia

      Not quite accurate most business's i have seen in WA have Lenovo laptops and other gear however to a normal consumer they are a nobody of sorts

      heaps of government business do.no wonder the budget is all munted.

        Bingo, this guy has pointed out the real reason that they overcharge.

        It's because of retarded businesses and government departments buying their overpriced rubbish, the outright hostility to changing contractors/suppliers in big companies is disgusting.

      i just dont buy it cos its so ugly

        Glad to see someone out there has a child's simplistic appreciation for aesthetics.

      Education department offers either second hand Macs, or Lenovo laptops to its teachers. Given the thousands of teachers, I think it's fair to say there's thousands of Lenovo's being purchased every year.
      Both are a waste of money really.

      you know they are nearly the biggest seller in the world inc australia right?

      My company bought me one to work remotely. So who cares if they charge my company extra?

        Just means they can pay you less...

      You would obviously be surprised then by how wrong you are, there are many ppl who still buy them and have since they were IBM owned, the Thinkpad line is an old line with a stron heritiage among certain users and many still buy Lenovo to this day because of that.

    It's australian retailers that are missing out as customers are having to source overseas due to these discrepancies. Then again how to companies like Microsoft get away with charging more for technet subscriptions or other companies for software and media downloads.

    because for a business person in straya, 699 is pocket dollars to us, 1999 is somethin' you think about over a couple does though. Think about it this way, if you're gettin' about a grand a week after setting aside money for bills, shoppin', etc, already have 2 cars and a house. What else can you do besides go on holidays, can't do that every week.

    I reckon it works something like this. Put massive, overpriced sticker price on product. Go to government departments and big corporates and offer large volume discount. Purchasing department takes deal to board or division chief and explains they've managed to wrangle a 25% discount from supplier. Purchasing department looks like they're genius' / hardnosed negotiators. Lenovo sells bucketloads of gear with no middleman, makes freakin big profit on the deal. Who cares if consumers buy them, they're just a pain to provide support to.

      olly you have seen behind the lies

    Carbon tax did strike again, my 2011 energy bill, $900 has turned into $1300 for 2012 for the same quarter. In the last twelve months i made no additional power hungry purchases and started to fit 'energy efficient' light bulbs. My bill does tell me to expect a $316 increase..... over 12 months.

      Did you see what this article is a actually about???

        not defending carbon tax but how much price rise is the company just trying to raise the price and rip u off?

      Carbon tax didn't even take effect until July, bub.

      Use less electricity = cheaper bill.

      This is the good effect, no one gave a crap about their power bill or usage now it will force people to change their habits.

      It wont stop some from trying to say its wrong to pay more and that senior citizens will die.

    I only ever see lenovo pos systems in vic.. Most of the companies i work for use dell or hp. Mainly dell

      Lenovo have a huge install base in Vic dept of education...

        They don't care about spending taxpayer dollars now do they!

    Support cost can't be the reason... the global provider Lenovo, Dell and Apple use in Australia is one and the same company for onsite warranty service (that I am an upper level manager for)
    Is the Oz Tax the same % for Dell?

    They didn't even release the U300s in Australia, spose this is a slight improvement in that sense...

    I am registering my opinion on their markup by buying a laptop from a different manufacturer.

    It's a shame, the Carbon looked like a good unit until I saw the local pricing.

    Don't Lenovo have international warranty anyway? Buy one from America.

    Not a new habit for Lenovo. I bought a T500 in late 2009 - AU model would have cost me $2600, US model with a slightly better spec (faster CPU), FedEx shipping, GST and import duty was $1650. Looks like I'll be doing the same this time around...

    Yeah, I retract my comment on the last article. F this in the A.

    Lenovo isnt the only company doing the Australia Tax.. Take Dell for example. Check out the price difference between Hong Kong Dell laptop prices vs Australia...

    *cough* their support is about to be moved off shore *cough*
    soon all the legacy of design IBM started will fade into the abyss

    Thank god for globalisation, we can turn the tables on country pricing and just buy direct from the states or wherever.

    We use pretty much nothing but Lenovo at my work and I hate them with a passion. I much preferred them back in the IBM days but now they are mostly cheap flimsy rubbish. Their service sucks, when you call them then end up off-shore anyway. I had to send back a brand new E530 laptop because it's network port stopped working within hours of being unpacked and deployed - after 5 weeks of being at their service depot waiting for a replacement motherboard which was on back-order to arrive I got fed up and had to return it for another one. They didn't keep us in the loop and I had to constantly be on their case for a resolution. In contrast the service I had with Dell at a previous employer was second to none.

    Lenovo gear is ugly, overpriced, and just so much of a "WTF is a Lenovo" type of brand. I'd go Samsung, Asus, HP, or even Acer if I really had to, over Lenovo. Wouldnt touch their gear with a 10 foot pole.

    I think too many people are just a bit uneducated and don't know what Lenovo is.
    It's IBM's break away from Servers - It's actually incredibly sturdy and top quality equipment lasts a lot longer then HP or Acer that's for sure.
    It is way over priced but if you order direct from the oversea's stores it's not as badly priced, It's a shame they cant get their act together for retail, IBM itself has always sucked at marketing.
    Lenovo Laptops are one of the very few laptop cases that seem to never overheat too.

    "Australia Tax" has been a common part of gaming parlance since.... oh at least the early 2000s, probably earlier than that! :D

    So even adding 10% GST on that, you're still miles ahead. You'd have to be insane to buy locally, especially form an international company.

    X1 Carbon is released in Australia for $1589 dollars, so i guess the article should be updated to reflect the new prices. Also, since Gizmodo's reports, several reports from other less well known tech blog also have sprung up to report the X1 Carbon price at $1,999. This just shows how much research journalists do when they write their articles.

      In my naive and simplistic calculations I get:

      US$1,299.00 + 10% tax for value over $1000 (If indeed this is correct, not sure about large consignments/imports) = US$1,328.90 (convert using current exchange rate to approx AU$1,282.07).

      Then AU$1,589.00 retail asking price - AU$1,282.07 = AU$306.93 extra charges for shipping, transportation to warehouse, storage, transportation to retail store, marketing and shelf 'real estate'... also factoring in that not all units will sell, so factoring in loss of income when final stock is discounted etc...

      The AU asking retail price is not looking totally ridiculous now?

        forgot to add insurance too...

          So, yes, you can probably buy a single unit a couple of hundred bucks less if you're savvy and pay the duty on it; but for Joe-blow buying one from a retail store that's imported hundreds, or even thousands of the units then I don't think it's too much of an unreasonable (or unexpected) mark-up.

            Not that I'd pay retail asking price for it #eBayRules

              @Viddy , your last four posts just look like you talking to yourself.

      We're still getting screwed over significantly; the article's plenty valid.

      Think the base prices here are bad, try adding a few options. I spec'd up two identical X1c's: i7, 256Gb SSD, W7 Pro, XP mode, 3 year warranty. US pricing? USD$2,088.00. Local pricing? AUD$3,304.00.

      One great example is that this machine ships with Windows 7 Home Premium by default - amusing when it's marketed as a business-grade Ultrabook. To upgrade to Windows 7 Professional in the US is a USD$50 option. The same thing here is AUD$199. Hell, I can buy a one-off copy of W7 Pro OEM for under AU$150.

      In the US, "XP mode" is a no cost option. Here it's another $16.50.

      The big kicker... SSD. To upgrade the 128Gb SSD to 256Gb is a USD$280 option. Locally, it's AUD$630. More than double.

      I was really looking forward to the X1c, and was hoping it would provide some solid competition. Now I hope it bites Lenovo in the arse.

    they have a point on Australian warranty provisions. the Australian Consumer Law is so onerous on warranties, very untested and highly uncertain. no longer can you say '12 month warranty' etc. as it means nothing in the face of the ACL. for certain products manufacturers just don't know how long a warranty has to last.

    Wardski: care to put some numbers behind your comment that Dell HK prices are significantly different to AU prices ?

    I just did a check on that and nope. Price is +/- $100 difference between AU and HK for at least the Vostro range on both Desktops AND laptops.

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