With the never-ending inflow of laptops in the market, choosing a laptop only gets harder and harder with time. When you have so many different laptop models to choose from, varying significantly in their features, specifications, and other aspects, one of the best and easiest ways to narrow down your choices is to choose a couple of brands that you like or know are reliable. In order to do that, you need to learn as much as you can about the best laptop brands that are currently active, producing quality machines one after the other.
MSI and ASUS are two popular laptop brands that are known to offer machines with decent hardware, are highly reliable, are of high quality, and don’t really break your bank. Both these brands are mainly popular for their gaming laptops. Similar to how there are various factors to be considered when buying a laptop, you should also consider the pros and cons of choosing a particular brand, and the next few sections of this piece of writing will help you do just that.
MSI vs ASUS: Which Laptop Brand is Perfect For You?
Established in the year 1986 and headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan, Micro-Star International (MSI) is basically a multinational IT firm that develops and sells computer hardware and associated products and services. Their product and service offerings include desktops, laptops, motherboards, servers, PC peripherals, graphics cards, and more. The company has managed to establish itself as a leading gaming brand in the world, and today, it is one of the most trusted brands in eSports as well as gaming.
Gaming rigs from MSI often come with great sound, superior performance, realistic visuals, and accurate controls, enabling gamers to enjoy the best and authentic gaming experience. With their vision to enable gamers to “enjoy breathtaking gaming experiences” with top of the line devices, MSI continues to be a dominant name in the laptop world.
Laptops and Components
When it comes to their laptops, MSI has them separated into three different categories: Gaming Series, Prestige Series, and Workstations. As expected, each of these categories has a different laptop series below them. The Gaming Series laptops are made available in GT, GS, GE, GP, GL, GF, and GV series machines, and machines under these sub-categories are designed to meet particular requirements. For instance, the GS Series machines are known for their sleek design and ultra-portability. With the Prestige Series, you get the P Series Creator and the PS Series Modern. Finally, with the Workstations, you have the Vortex Series, WT Series, WS Series, and WE Series.
In terms of components, starting with processors, MSI laptops come equipped with Intel Core processors, with the latest generation ones used in their recent models. Some of the recent introductions from the company have 9th gen Intel processors, which help them deliver better performance. For graphics, which is the primary aspect for any gaming laptop, most MSI machines carry NVIDIA GeForce GPUs, both RTX and GTX, and MX in some models. Their Prestige Series laptops, however, have NVIDIA Quadro graphics (which are suitable for using programs like SolidWorks or AutoCAD), and some laptops from the company have Intel UHD Graphics as well.
MSI laptops are available in screen sizes 14”, 15.6”, 17.3”, and 18.4”, and screen resolutions of the devices vary according to their pricing, purpose, and configurations. While many MSI machines are powered by the usual 4-cell batteries, many of their newer, high spec laptops, especially their Workstations are powered by 8-cell batteries, which provide them with plenty of power to keep going for a longer duration.
Design and Price
Design is definitely one of the strong aspects of MSI laptops. The brand has always managed to excel in designing their laptops to be stylish and good-looking. When it comes to design, where the brand stands out is with their gaming laptop models, which have always looked really attractive, intense, and like typical gaming rigs. However, their Prestige Series laptops look rather plain and bland. In terms of build, MSI laptops, despite their variation in pricing, are made from premium materials, mostly aluminum, and therefore, durability is never a concern.
In general, MSI laptops come with relatively high price tags due to the inclusion of the latest processors and other high-end features. The brand’s laptops are priced between $800 and around $5000, varying based on specifications, configurations, and features.
Despite being a leading laptop brand, especially in the gaming sector, MSI fails to impress users with their customer support options. First of all, with the way the company’s website is laid out, it is difficult to find the page where you could learn more about their customer support. MSI provides support via two prominent ways: email and phone. However, there is no accurate timeframe specified by the company to let you know about when you could expect a response. Their customer support representatives do not seem to be highly knowledgeable about their products and are therefore unable to solve customer issues most of the time.
When it comes to warranty, MSI allows you to extend the warranty period for your machine by registering with them online via their Online Customer Service page. Of course, you can always access the MSI Forum in a language of your choice to know what other users are discussing. Another way to communicate with the brand is via their social media channels, available on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more.
MSI has never failed to impress users with their innovations year after year. Some of the recent innovations from the brand include 144 Hz IPS-level Thin-bezel Gaming Display, Mystic Light Infinity, and Steelseries game sense. In the previous years, there were many other such innovations made by the brand, such as Silent Storm Cooling, Patented TORX 2.0 Fan, Dragon Center, SHIFT, Anti-Flicker, and more. As you can see, MSI is not new to including innovative technologies and features in their laptops, each of which only enhances the performance of their devices.
Many of the company’s laptops have gained a lot of recognition over the years, some of the most recent being: the GS63 7RE Stealth Pro was named the Best Technology, Best Performance, and Best Mobility laptop by NBS for 2019. Similarly, their GS75 Stealth 8SF won XGN’s Awesome Award for this year as well. MSI was also named the Best Gaming Laptop Brand 2018 by LaptopMag.
Also, a Taiwan-based multinational producer of the phone and computer hardware, ASUS’ products line is inclusive of laptops, desktops, netbooks, Wi-Fi routers, graphics cards, workstations, mobile phones, multimedia products, and a lot more. The company was the 5th largest PC vendor in terms of unit sales in 2017 and is also an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
Laptops and Components
ASUS laptops are available in different categories, as with any other brand, which includes: the VivoBook Series, ZenBook Series, Chromebooks, Republic of Gamers (ROG), B Series, Q Series, TUF Gaming Series, FX / ZX Series, and StudioBook Series. Some of these categories are aimed toward a particular set of users; for instance, as the name suggests, the ROG series laptops from the brand are designed to cater the needs of gamers, and also happen to be one of the top contenders against MSI’s range of gaming laptops.
Intel Core processors happen to be the most used CPU option in ASUS laptops; in fact, the newer models from the brand come equipped with up to 8th generation i9 processors and thus are known to deliver excellent performance. Some laptops also come with the latest AMD A9 processors. Also, it has to be mentioned that ASUS mostly uses quad-core processors in their machines in order to enable them to meet user expectations in terms of overall performance.
As expected, the brand’s gaming laptops carry NVIDIA GeForce graphics as their GPU, and this includes the use of the most popular and latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX and RTX series graphics with Max-Q Design. Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 and NVIDIA Quadro are the other two widely used GPUs in ASUS machines.
As far as screen size goes, you will be able to find ASUS laptops with screen size starting from 10 inches and moving up to 17 inches, most of which come with an FHD display. Few of the latest models from the brand also come with 4K display options. And while many ASUS laptops are powered by 2-cell and 3-cell batteries, which basically do not excel in battery life, there are models that now have 8-cell batteries.
Design and Price
Design is an area where ASUS manages to score when compared to many other brands on the market, and this includes MSI as well. Though the brand’s laptops often come with a pretty basic design and finish, they nevertheless look elegant and stylish. In addition, many of their laptops carry a slim profile, which makes them a highly portable option. However, when it comes to their gaming laptops, ASUS doesn’t quite manage to keep up with the design profile of MSI laptops.
Looking at the price tags, you can find ASUS laptops varying greatly in price tags; there are budget-friendly laptops, like their $200 Chromebook, to those with high-end specs with a price tag of up to $4000. So, as far as pricing goes, both MSI and ASUS have their highest range almost the same; but, ASUS beats MSI with their budget laptop options.
Customer support is another strong aspect of ASUS. One of the highlights here is that the company extends support via separate support options for the different products they offer. For laptops, you can contact their support team via phone, using their toll-free number, open between 6 am and 9 pm PST from Monday to Friday, and between 6 am and 5 pm on weekends. You can also choose to chat with their representatives with their online support, also available during the same hours.
The response time with the phone line is rapid, and the customer support executives attending to the calls also seem to be sufficiently knowledgeable, which is also the case with the chat support executives. However, the response time with the chat option is relatively high. You can also contact the company on its social media channels. You get the standard 1-year warranty with all ASUS laptops.
While there are a lot of innovations that can be talked about, the most recent innovation from ASUS is their ROG Mothership, which is basically a desktop replacement laptop that comes with a lot of unique and innovative features. Firstly, the laptop’s chassis is designed to be upright for better cooling; the keyboard can be detached and folded according to the varied needs of users, and the unit also leans back on a strapless hinge for customized positioning.
Another notable recent innovation made by the brand is with its new Zephyrus G laptop. While the Zephyrus series laptops are already known for their slim profile, this new introduction comes as an ultraslim gaming machine.
ASUS managed to obtain the 5th position on Laptop Mag’s list of Best Gaming Laptop Brands for 2018. It was mentioned that the brand is most likely to attain a higher position in 2019 based on its new offerings.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus was named the Best Gaming Notebook of 2018 by Connect, and according to Runet 2018, the ROG Zephyrus S has named the Best Gadget of the Year. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX333FN was rated by Kotak Game as a lightweight and powerful machine for casual gaming.
MSI vs ASUS: The Differences
It can be seen, both MSI and ASUS are strong contenders in the laptop sector, both to each other as well as to other brands on the market. While both these are reliable brands without a doubt, there are some significant differences between the two.
MSI laptops are known for their amazing gaming rig design, but the brand doesn’t really score in some of its other laptop series. ASUS, on the other hand, excels in terms of design in almost all of their laptop ranges. MSI doesn’t do well in terms of customer support, whereas ASUS provides some reliable support options and have knowledgeable staff to attend to user queries. Also, the starting price of MSI laptops is quite high and may not be affordable to many, whereas ASUS laptops are available from as low as a few hundred dollars, catering to those with a limited budget as well.
If you are looking for an out and out gaming machine, then there should be no hesitation in going with an MSI laptop. For any other reason, whether it is the budget that’s keeping you from a premium laptop or you are looking for something more versatile, then ASUS could be the better choice for you.