Capitalism. Say what you like about it, Pinko, but it isn’t all unregulated trading practices and people losing their pensions. Sometimes it works out for the common man. And by the common man, I’m of course referring to the type of person prepared to spend upwards of £1000 on a portable Super Hexagon machine. Long story short: MSI, Asus and Acer all have competing laptops at the same price point, and that competition’s bringing prices down, so why not take off the Guy Fawkes mask and bag yourself a cheap lappie?
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For the past few years the gaming laptop market hasn’t been competitive. A few specced-up curios for Football Manager-addicted oligarchs here, a reasonably priced model that can’t quite incentivise the move from desktop gaming there. There’s certainly no shortage of laptop-friendly games at the moment, but on the hardware side the market’s been quiet.
Recently though, MSI reported losses from its gaming laptop range in their native Taiwan due to increased competition in the NT$32,000-50,000 price point (NT$50,000 is about £1000, for reference). Specifically, Asus have entered that price range with a few gaming lappies of their own, likewise Acer, whose Predator laptops debuted at the IFA tech trade show recently.
Gigabyte, Dell, and Lenovo are all active at that point in the market too, pushed to refresh their offerings by the launch of Intel’s new Skylake processor range.
All that activity means MSI are increasing their marketing budget and offering cut-price promotions in an effort to stand out from the crowd. That’s great news if you’re in the market for a gaming laptop currently and you’re looking to spend about a grand – but it might be better news if you’re looking to buy a few months down the line.
Intel CPUS don’t tend to get much cheaper after they launch, but the premium that system builders can whack on their laptops for ‘the latest processor’ does have a shelf life. And if MSI’s strategy works, the likes of Asus and Acer will be forced into a few cut-price promotions of their own. Before you know it, we’ll all be skipping out of the shops with our £30 overclocked, watercooled gaming laptops, giggling like school girls.