The ultimate showdown of computer centres

The ultimate showdown of computer centres

Where's the best place to buy electronics, Sham Shui Po or Wan Chai? YP cadet Harry Ginns puts them head to head to find out

coverharry.artgofieeql.120150807150419.jpg

Wan Chai Computer Centre has more spacious corridors.
Photo: YP cadet Harry Ginns

coverharry.artgofieeql.120150807140211.jpg

Sham Shui Po Computer Centre has more variety.
Photo: YP cadet Harry Ginns

Hong Kong is known as a hotspot for a cheap and plentiful supply of tech items. But where is the best place to buy these items? Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre and Wan Chai Computer Centre are famous for being the best spots in the city to buy hi-tech gadgets. We have compared everything from location to price to see which is best.

Public transport

Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre 

The centre is located a few metres from exit D2 at Sham Shui Po MTR station, so getting there isn't a problem. However, Sham Shui Po is quite far for people who live on Hong Kong Island or in east Kowloon, so it's not practical for everyone.

Wan Chai Computer Centre

The centre is right next to exit A4 of Wan Chai MTR on Hennessy Road. However, Wan Chai is far for anyone living in much of Kowloon or the New Territories. Both places are fairly easy to find.


Ease of navigation

Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre 

Once inside, you are greeted by narrow corridors that are usually crowded, making it a challenge to get anywhere quickly. This place is definitely not for people who are claustrophobic, and navigating the maze of corridors is an almost impossible job if you've never been there before. With no directory to help you, searching for a specific shop can take the whole afternoon. However, a lot of the shops sell the same products so finding what you are looking for is still a fairly simple and quick task. 

Wan Chai Computer Centre

With wider corridors and a directory to help newcomers, navigation is a lot easier than in Golden Centre. It's also much less maze-like so it's difficult to get lost.


Range of products available

Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre 

Think of any electronic item and chances are the Golden Computer Centre will have it. Headsets, keyboards, video games, memory sticks, TV, wiring, motherboards - everything.

Wan Chai Computer Centre

The centre has a much more general array of electronics than Golden Centre, which tends to be more for the hardcore tech junkies who know the difference between a GPU (graphics processing unit) and a CPU (central processing unit). But for the rest of us, the Wan Chai Centre offers a much less intimidating experience. One thing to note is that cameras are sold at the Wan Chai Computer Centre whereas they are nowhere to be seen in Golden Centre.


Quality of products available

Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre 

In the past, the centre was notorious for having low-quality electronics and fake items - especially video games. But, since the introduction of its own security guards and regular police patrols, this has all changed. Video games are now all legitimate and the quality of electronics is usually high, although prices have risen. The price and quality all depends on which shop you visit.

Wan Chai Computer Centre

The centre has more of a focus on higher-end products and so quality is quite a bit higher here. 


Price

Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre 

Compared to other places in the world, prices of most things are a lot cheaper here. So most of the time you will be better off than the rest of the world when it comes to buying electronics. Even in comparison to the rest of Hong Kong, items are often cheaper. For example, new video games are not usually more than HK$400. This is a bargain compared to the PlayStation shop.

Wan Chai Computer Centre

Prices are higher here than in the Golden Centre. This is probably because of the more central location and more mainstream shoppers. For example, a brand new version of the video game Dying Light costs around HK$400 in the Wan Chai Centre and only HK$200 in Golden Centre. And in one shop in the Wan Chai Centre, Minecraft is HK$378 compared to HK$100 not only in the Golden Centre, but also in the official PlayStation shop. So while the Wan Chai Centre has a lot of choice, the convenience comes at a high price.


Structure

Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre 

The "centre" is more like an underground market for electronics. It's made up primarily of small, hole-in-the-wall style shops with the occasional big brand. Moreover, the shops all look pretty similar. There are two floors, one above ground (video games are the main products sold on this floor) and one underground (all other electronics are sold here).

Wan Chai Computer Centre

The Wan Chai Centre resembles a "centre" more than Golden Centre. It also has two floors but both are above ground. Most shops are large and look distinctly separate, and there are fewer small shops. When combined with the wider corridors, the overall vibe is a lot more spacious than the crowded, hectic feel of Golden Centre.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Battle of the tech titans

Comments

To post comments please
register or

1 comment