Although we talk a lot about software startups here at Tech in Asia, I find my favorite companies are often the hardware startups we find. Singapore startup Aftershock operates in an area that, as a PC gamer, is near and dear to my heart: custom gaming laptops. The company offers four laptop bases from which customers can switch parts in and out to create their perfect gaming PC. Then, the folks at Aftershock build it for them.
The laptops are sold through the company's website, which is slick and simple. At present, only Singapore-based users can actually buy a PC from them, but I still had fun fooling around with the customization options to build my dream gaming laptop. And while I couldn't afford that laptop -- my dreams are pretty upscale -- Aftershock's prices seem to be pretty reasonable and in line with international standards for custom laptops. The vast majority of any laptop's price is, of course, the parts you pick (and I pick all the most expensive ones).
I spoke with Aftershock marketing manager Joe Wee to learn more about the company. He told me:The core of this business was dreamt up by my twin brother Marcus, who has always been obsessed with notebooks. He has been involved in the laptop modding community for over 10 years, and one day sitting at his desk in his previous job he decided why not do this?
Mr. Wee also told me that the company is deeper than what you see on the site; it also offers custom laptops and gadgets for corporate use, although those aren't listed on the company's website so as not to dilute the "gaming" brand. And he added that while the laptops online are aimed at gamers, they're also popular with photographers and designers because of the high color gamut screens Aftershock uses, which provide better color reproduction.
I wasn't able to pry any sales figures out of Wee, but it's clear the company feels the sky's the limit. "We've only touched the surface, there is so much potential in Singapore for custom notebooks," Wee told me. And the company's long term plans? "Take over the gaming world." Aftershock is still a long way from conquering the gaming world, but it sure sounds like they're on the right track.
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