Gaming laptops have a limited demand among consumers. The general consensus in gaming communities is that it is better to purchase and build a desktop pc than to spend more on a gaming laptop.
In addition to higher price, most budget gaming laptops - even the higher end ones - just cannot perform on a level comparable to desktop PCs due to thermal throttling, lower-powered graphics processing units and the lack of options to swap parts to upgrade the machine over time.
The situation in Bangladesh is similar.
Although a niche market, the demand for gaming laptops do exist. Against this backdrop, Walton launched their Karonda GX710G Pro in late 2020.
Even though local consumers became ecstatic over the news of a local brand releasing a high-end computer, when it came to purchasing, most people didn't even bother to buy one, let alone recommend it to friends and family.
I feel the Walton Karonda GX710G Pro funnels the sentiment consumers have etched into their minds when it tries to compete with renowned brands like Acer and ASUS. That is, why purchase a local branded laptop when I can get the same specifications from a laptop from a more reliable manufacturer?
At a price tag of Tk1,12,500, let us compare it to some of its contemporary competition in the market right now to check if that price tag is justifiable for the consumers.
Keeping pace with the industry standards, Walton is offering two years of after-sales service for the laptop at designated Walton service centres across Bangladesh.
Spec for spec, it goes toe to toe with its foreign branded rivals in this budget segment, but just barely. Why? Let us look at some of its rivals in this price segment.
Coming at a price tag of Tk 101,500 undercutting the Walton Gaming Laptop, we have 2020's Acer Nitro 5 AN515-44.
The most glaring difference between the two laptops is the fact the Acer Nitro 5 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5-4600H processor which is built on the 7-nanometre architecture while the Walton Cardona comes with an Intel 10th generation Core i7 10750H processor which is built on the 14-nanometre architecture.
While it would be more appropriate to compare Intel's Core i7- 10750H to a Ryzen 7-4800H, in this price segment it will be a comparison between the Intel Core i7-10750H and Ryzen 5-4600H. Spec for spec, they are both comparable and can be compared neck and neck, there is not a clear winner but the Intel processor here just barely outperforms the AMD Ryzen 5-4600H.
Furthermore, the Acer Nitro 5 comes with a slightly better Graphics Processing Unit with the Nvidia GTX 1650 TI, which is slightly better than the Walton Karoda's Nvidia 1650. It's a minor advantage but considering this part of a gaming laptop won't be upgradeable in the future, an edge is an edge, regardless of how small it may be.
The 2020's Acer Nitro 5 AN515-44 is available at Techlandbd both online and offline along with most of the more popular computer hardware stores across the country.
Is it worth paying a Tk.10,000 extra for the Walton Laptop over the Acer Nitro 5? I would say no. As counterintuitive it may seem after I just said the Walton Kardona has a better processor, it comes down to the manufacturing process of these two processors. The AMD Ryzen 5-4600H is manufactured on the newer 7-nanometre process which results in better efficiency and lower heat production than its intel core i7-10750H counterpart which is still stuck on their old 14-nanometre manufacturing process. This theoretically should allow for better performance and the benchmarks reflect the same as Intel's Core i7-10750H barely beats AMD's Ryzen 5-4600H in synthetic benchmarks.
In conclusion, despite Walton enjoying significant taxation waivers by the government, they have been unable to capitalise this edge over foreign brands who have to often pay a hefty tax upon the importation of their products.
It does not make sense to buy an overpriced domestically produced laptop where the consumers can get the same, if not a better laptop for a significantly lower price. Another aspect I had noticed for a considerable time now is the fact, Walton has severe deficiencies in their marketing strategy and their supply chain as I was unable to find it over the past 3 months at various Walton outlets inside Dhaka.
Reach out to Shafqat Aziz at email@example.com