Aside from politicians and their kids, of course
Last year we laid our eyes on ASUS’ ROG GX700, the first ever dual-GPU, water-cooled notebook from ASUS. At the time we reviewed it, it boasted an astronomical price of Php 249,995, almost unheard of for a gaming notebook sold locally. Since then, ASUS has released an even more expensive follow-up, the GX800 (which we’re currently reviewing). The Taiwanese company’s rival, Acer, also released their own uber-expensive notebook, the Predator 21 X, which cost double – Php 549,999.
The release of these massively expensive notebooks begs the question: does anybody really buy these things?
The quick answer is yes, there are people who buy these notebooks. In fact, ASUS Global allotted a grand total of 20 GX700 notebooks to the Philippines, and sold around 16 of them, with 4 being used for marketing purposes. Clearly, there is a market for these expensive gaming notebooks.
It’s not surprising, since there’s been buyers of high-end luxury goods in the Philippines since time immemorial. High-end luxury brands like Cartier, Louis Vitton, Prada and Hermès enjoy brisk sales in the Philippines, and it stands to reason that there are gamers out there that have enough disposable cash to splurge on high-end gaming notebooks like the ROG GX800.
While the reaction of most people to seeing the price tags of these uber-expensive notebooks would be to comment that they’d be able to build a far superior gaming desktop for less, that’s not the point. For many it’s a status symbol to their peers – the same way that a high-end watch like a Rolex is a status symbol for dapper gentlemen.
Interestingly enough, a few dealers that we talked to said that their component sales dipped quite a bit when NVIDIA announced the arrival of their Pascal GPUs in notebooks earlier this year. That means there really are people who are willing to forgo building a much cheaper desktop gaming machine and instead go for a gaming notebook. Another interesting anecdote is that a large bulk of the sales of high-end gaming notebooks happen in the provinces and not Manila, with Cebu and Davao customers buying a fair share of expensive gaming notebooks. In fact, the market in the provinces is promising enough that ASUS built a ROG concept store in Cebu just for that very purpose.