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ASUS and Gigabyte gear up gaming notebook efforts

by Mark Tyson on 26 May 2014, 14:15

Tags: MSI, ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Gigabyte (TPE:2376)

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With Computex starting in just over a week, Taiwan's DigiTimes reports that ASUS and Gigabyte are cranking up their efforts in gaming notebooks. Both companies plan to firmly push their initiatives in the gaming notebook arena to compete against rival MSI, which currently leads the pack with the strongest sales in this attractive market segment.

MSI recently showcased its new range of gaming notebooks during PAX East. The GS70 Stealth Pro 3K and GS60 Ghost started shipment earlier this month and have had a great response from consumers. MSI's success in the area was shown through its earning per share; which was just above $0.07 US for the year 2013 but has already reached $0.04 for the first quarter of 2014, reports DigiTimes.

ASUS is targeting MSI as its main rival and continues to reinforce its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand for this purpose. However the gaming notebooks on offer are said by analysts to present weak, rather disappointing price to performance ratios in their current incarnations.

Turning our attention to Gigabyte, it plans to launch the second-generation model of its Aorus X7 gaming laptop. Aorus is a gaming brand first launched near the start of this year, at CES 2014. The first gen X7 was touted to be the thinnest and lightest GTX SLI gaming laptop ever and achieved sales in North America beyond expectations. However, due to the X7's limited shipments, Gigabyte's main profit contribution still comes from its motherboard business. It is very likely that after seeing some success with its Aorus X7, Gigabyte will push more strongly with the second-generation notebook in hope of stealing some thunder from MSI.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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From what I remember Asus's gaming laptops are just big, heavy and expensive (usually adding a half a kilo over the competition), gigabyte has some interesting models but cripples some of its more interesting laptops by not including a big battery (looking at you 14“ model with a 30% smaller battery than the competition, but otherwise thin and attractive). MSI's problem was cooling with their single-fan solutions and depending on your personal tastes all the chromed plastic which in my opinion made them look like toys. Gigabyte's Auros X7 was interesting but had some really weird design choices, like why is it a think 17” laptop? I mean, who exactly wants a 17“ laptop that's aiming for thin and portable? It's not all that comfortable to use something that big on your lap which means it gets put on a desk and doesn't move often. What's more, the SLI side of that laptop meant that despite it aiming for portability you'd get fairly bad battery life as SLI doesn't work with Optimus so the big beefy GPUs have to be powered up all the time.

Incidentally I say this speaking as an owner of two Clevo laptops, which have been… variable. Battery life is definitely a problem due to poor BIOSes, cooling is okay but not as good as alienware or asus, I don't even want to think about aesthetics :P I'm currently thinking that one of those high end 15” laptops might be the sweet spot for a gaming laptop, give me something like a macbook pro retina 15 or a dell xps 15, maybe with a slight GPU bump up to an 860M or something, and I'd be fairly happy. That level of power would be enough for 1080p gaming but maybe not at highest settings, then you get a high res/quality screen, a large battery, good input devices, fairly low weight… only downside would be the price.
CampGareth
I mean, who exactly wants a 17" laptop that's aiming for thin and portable? It's not all that comfortable to use something that big on your lap which means it gets put on a desk and doesn't move often. What's more, the SLI side of that laptop meant that despite it aiming for portability you'd get fairly bad battery life as SLI doesn't work with Optimus so the big beefy GPUs have to be powered up all the time.
Me. I do my gaming / media consumption on my laptop because I move too often to justify a desktop, and while my 15“ XPS is serving me well, I wouldn't mind a 17” laptop with a more powerful GPU. And while I hard ever use my laptop unplugged (battery life is desirable, but not super high priority), I have found myself taking my laptop with me now and then. My backpack can handle most 17" laptops, but smaller / lighter is nice if only so that I have more space for other things. The Auros is not much heavier than my present XPS and significantly more powerful. That said, noise could be a turn off, so I will sit out this generation. But I will be watching future release alongside the RazerBlade.
TooNice
Me. I do my gaming / media consumption on my laptop because I move too often to justify a desktop, and while my 15“ XPS is serving me well, I wouldn't mind a 17” laptop with a more powerful GPU. And while I hard ever use my laptop unplugged (battery life is desirable, but not super high priority), I have found myself taking my laptop with me now and then. My backpack can handle most 17" laptops, but smaller / lighter is nice if only so that I have more space for other things. The Auros is not much heavier than my present XPS and significantly more powerful. That said, noise could be a turn off, so I will sit out this generation. But I will be watching future release alongside the RazerBlade.

You might want to try using one on your lap before buying, I had a 15“ laptop which felt good in my lap though not in general use, bearing in mind this was for use at uni with 9-5 lectures where you'd sit for an hour then move to a different building with your laptop so ‘general use’ means one-handed holding and rapid packing. I ended up moving to 11.6” with a GT 650M for day to day use. I got a 17" laptop though as well and that just isn't at all comfortable on my lap because it both fills the chair I'm in and feels like it's about to fall away from me due to the sheer size from front to back, it always ends up on a desk because of this and hasn't moved for 6 months so I'm mildly regretting the format :P
Since I do not really use my laptop on my lap often it's not a deal breaker, but on second thought, I am really quite happy with 15“. I've found myself in situation where my laptop *just* fits into certain locker, so a 17” would be too big. I suppose it's because I was looking at the Razer Blade before, and those come in 17“ or 14”, and push come to shove, I'd rather go up in size than down for a main laptop. I am a bit puzzled as to why they decided to give the 14“ a more powerful GPU and higher resolution screen though. Ideally, I'd like to see a 15.6” laptop with a good IPS matt screen, with a graphic card in the same class as the 14" (x70), for under 2.5kg (preferably under 2.3kg).
Greater competition between these guys should hopefully result in lower prices!

I currently have an MSI and love it. VERY good price to performance ratio. The ONLY draw back for me is that the 2 year warranty is void if you remove the back panel to access the mobo, so if I wanted to give it a spring clean or upgrade the storage/memory options I can't which is a bit bizarre. I seem to have gone off subject :)