CES 2019 | MSI is getting serious about laptops outside of just gaming
MSI has been making gaming laptops for over a decade with our earliest reviewed model dating back to February 2008. The manufacturer has since become one of the biggest players in the laptop gaming world in terms of market share and range of gaming models available from $700 all the way up to over $3000. At this point, a company can only grow so much as it nears a plateau against its competitors.
The next step for MSI is to dabble in markets beyond just gaming including mobile workstations and Ultrabooks. According to product manager Cliff Chun, the company will invest at least one-third of its resources this year into products outside of gaming laptops — the biggest investment ever for the maker. This means we'll be seeing more mobile workstations, more Ultrabooks, and even more color-accurate monitors targeted at professional users in the near future.
We already know that MSI has been selling mobile workstations over the last few years such as the WS63 and WE72. However, these models are simply re-brands of the gaming GS63 and GE72, respectively, with the GTX GPUs swapped out for Quadro equivalents. MSI is promising that future workstations will have new designs that cater better to professional users. Last year's PS42 Prestige was the maker's first example of a wholly original Ultrabook chassis that was not a derivative of the gaming G Series.
As for Ultrabooks, MSI will soon be battling it out against the Dell XPS 15, Asus ZenBook Pro 15, HP Spectre x360 15, Huawei MateBook D, and other wide-reaching 15-inch multimedia machines. The OEM showcased its PS63 Modern in Las Vegas last week that looks to be a direct competitor to the all-popular XPS 15. The laptop pairs a 15 W ULV Intel CPU with up to a GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU — an uncommon combination that should hopefully exhibit better thermals than the XPS 15 or ZenBook Pro 15.
We'll be keeping a close eye at how MSI evolves beyond its comfort zone of gaming laptops. Based on the already released PS42 Prestige and P65 Creator workstations alone, the OEM has a long way to go before its products can reach the same toughness and rigidity as the venerable XPS or Spectre series. MSI will indubitably improve over time, but they'll have to do it quickly if they intend to make an impact in the crowded flagship Ultrabook market.