MSI’s Gaming notebooks have been a staple in my Laptop Buyer’s Guide for some time and we’ve seen several of them receive awards from reviews in NAG Magazine over the years. They are just plain good value for money. However, many other notebook vendors want the same success as MSI’s Gaming notebook division, and sources close to Digitimes have told the tech news powerhouse that Lenovo could be one of the companies trying to woo MSI into a sale of that specific department.
Digitimes’ sources claim that MSI’s success has forced other vendors like ASUS, Acer and Toshiba to all throw their hat in the ring and that Dell’s Alienware brand, once the go-to for anyone remotely interested in a gaming notebook that actually performed well, is trying to defend their position and fighting for relevance in the market. Acer recently re-entered the gaming notebook market with their revamped Predator brand, so things are heating up everywhere you look.
Does it make sense for Lenovo to acquire MSI’s Gaming notebook division? Probably, yes. Lenovo is one of MSI’s customers, using OEM/ODM designs for some of their products that Lenovo later tweaks for themselves. MSI is also an OEM for many smaller notebook vendors around the world, notably our local Proline brand from Mecer, which often uses barebones designs sourced from MSI. Lenovo these days has made their business all about scale and adding more scale to their existing notebook business isn’t a bad thing.
The problem though, as I’ve noted in previous editions of my Laptop Buyer’s Guide, is that the notebook market has been waning in terms of hardware choice. As the years fly by, there have been less options for hardware setups, with Intel and Nvidia being the only option for gaming notebooks since 2012. That puts the onus on the notebook vendors to differentiate themselves through features and bundled hardware that no-one else has, which MSI has been doing recently with their keyboard partnership with Steelseries, as well as the bundling of software and hardware to make using OpenBroadcaster software on a notebook easier and more user-friendly.