Products Technology

How to buy a QWERTY laptop in France

macbook pro beside teacup

If you want to buy a new laptop or ‘ordinateur portable’ in France, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Virtually all the laptops that are available have a different keyboard: Instead of the QWERTY set-up, the French use AZERTY. Buying a ‘normal’ laptop in France may be complicated, but there are ways to do it.

If you are used to your good old qwerty keyboard, switching to a French one is not someting you may look forward to. Struggling to find the @, mixing the ‘q’ and the ‘a’ or typing wrong passwords will be a daily frustration. But the laptops that you can buy at FNAC, Darty or any other laptop shop will all have this French keyboard; even if you order online.

But here is the good news! With the tips below, you can actually manage to buy a Qwerty laptop and have it delivered in France without any extra costs.

Option 1: The French Rakuten E-commerce Marketplace

Buying through Rakuten, one of the largest e-commerce sites in the world, is the easiest way to get a Qwerty laptop delivered in France without extra costs. Their French branch sells a lot of Qwerty laptops from well-known brands such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, Dell and Asus. As in most e-commerce marketplace, you have the choice between brand new Qwerty laptops or refurbished ones

In case you are looking for a refurbished Qwerty laptop, one of our readers gave us the tip to also look on the French BackMarket website. Here you can easily filter out all the english Qwerty laptops.

Option 2: European Amazon Webstores

European Amazon Webstore also sell Qwerty laptops. You have the following options:

  • Use this Italian Amazon Webstore. Here you will find a large choice of Qwerty laptops. The Italian Amazon is especially a good option if you are looking for a high performance laptop from a well known brand.
  • Use the French Amazon Webstore. Most of the laptops they sell come with (French) Azerty keyboards, but they occasionally also sell Qwerty. Unfortunately, these laptops are not always easy to identify, but we selected the most interesting ones here.

To have a extensive overview of Qwerty laptops on both the French and the Italian Amazon store, don’t hesitate to take a look at the website QwertyLaptops.com. This website includes an English translation of the laptop details (the Italian Amazon Store is only available in Italian).

The Italian Amazon Webstore

In Italy Qwerty is widely used, along with Qwertz and Qzerty keyboards, so most of the laptops are available with a Qwerty layout. The Italian Amazon ships to France, but be aware, there is no website in English. (Google Translate does a decent job for the basics if necessary).

To select one:

  • Go to this Amazon Webstore (and don’t hesitate to have your webpage translated by Google, if need be).
  • The filter to only show the Qwerty laptops is already applied. You can check this by scrolling down until you see the filter layout della tastiera  where QWERTY is selected. All the laptops shown here come with a Qwerty keyboard. Select the laptop of your choice. 
  • Check-out and have it delivered in France. Generally this doesn’t come with any (or at least not a lot of) extra cost. 

The Italian Qwerty layout is very close to the the British and American Qwerty, so you won’t have any problem in your daily use. This layout may even come in handy if you have to type some French, because there are dedicated keys for the é, the è and the ç. (If you absolutely want to have a US Qwerty set-up, check out the laptops on the French Amazon page)

An example of an Italian Qwerty keyboard

French Amazon Webstore

Although most laptops in the French Amazon Webstore are Azerty, they occasionally provide some Qwerty laptops. Filtering them out however can be complicated, as Amazon’s search engine doesn’t always give reliable results and there is no specific keyboard filter. A good overview can be find here.

If you want to find one for yourself on this French Amazon Webstore, but be careful to choose one with a Qwerty keyboard. Most often, this is mentioned in the product title or in the description. You can also type ‘Qwerty’ in the Have a question? –section of your product. If nothing is mentioned, it is not a Qwerty laptop (even if the picture shows a laptop with a Qwerty set-up).

Acer Aspire 5 15.6 inch FHD Slim Laptop American English QWERTY Keyboard
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz); 4GB DDR4 Memory; 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS display; AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
Option 3: Buy directly from the manufacturer and configure your own Laptop Online

Some manufacturers provide the possibility to configure your own laptop. This is a great choice when you have a specific preference for your keyboard: You can for example choose between a UK Qwerty keyboard or a US International Qwerty keyboard. In France, two key manufacturers provide this option online: Lenovo and Apple.

Lenovo

Lenovo is one of the best known and well respected brands in the industry. For some of their laptops, they provide the possibility to configure it yourself and they will make it ‘sur mesure‘. This is a great option if you want a Qwerty laptop in France. The only downside is that you may have to wait 3 to 4 weeks until delivery, but that is a small price to pay for your truly personalized laptop.

To configure your own laptop:

  • Go to this Lenovo French Webstore
  • Make sure that the box Configurable under Délai de Livraison (on the left sidebar) is ticked  to filter for the laptops that you can configure yourself.
  • You see a selection of laptops, and some of them are tagged with ‘Fabriqué sur mesure’. Lenovo These are the ones for which you can personalize almost anything, including the keyboard configuration.
  • Click on ‘Configurer’ and choose the configuration of your choice. Under Clavier, you will find plenty of options, such as Anglais (UK) – the UK Qwerty Keyboard, or the Anglais (EU) – the US Qwerty keyboard (with a € sign, hence the mention EU).
  • Check out and have your perfect laptop delivered to your home in France.
French Apple Store (MacBook only)

If you are interested in a MacBook (Apple), you can purchase it directly in this French Apple Webstore.

  • Select the computer of your choice (don’t worry about the keyboard just yet)
  • After you selected your choice, you will be able to personalize your laptop. About halfway, there is an option “Langue du clavier”. You can chose here either Anglais Américain or Anglais international and you will get a Qwerty laptop. The Anglais Américain and Anglais International keyboards are almost the same, the only difference being a differently shaped ‘enter’ key.
  • After you complete the purchasing process, your computer will be send, 100% guaranteed with a Qwerty keyboard.

As an affiliate we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. Your purchase helps support thefrenchlife.fr in bringing you relevant information about life in France.

5 Comments

    • Dear Alan Henry, many thanks for your suggestion. It is indeed a possibility to order directly from amazon.co.uk, however it has a couple of disadvantages, the main one being that you’ll have to pay import fees of around 20% if you will want to have your laptop delivered in France. Additionally, the delivery time may take longer and you’ll likely need to pay an exchange rate fee (if your credit card is in Euros). The German and Italian Amazon don’t have these issues.

    • dell france will supply querty, but not automatically from the online store.Use the Chatbot and you will get connected to a human advisor after a couple of questions. He/she will arrange a custom devis and post it to yo. Thereafter proceed as normal.

      I have found that Dell uk refuse to supply for export as France is the territory of another Dell division

    • You will pay 20% import tax and possibly the vat again. We did when we bought a high value item from the uk. It cost us an extra 40% as the uk no longer refund the vat on purchases for private export.

  • I’ve just had a look at BACKMARKET website that sells refurbished computers, telephones ect… You can actually click on Qwerty english in the filters on the side. They have loads of options. Our family always buy our phones from that site, happy so far. Hope that helps …

Leave a Comment