When we wrote about NZXT's first motherboard a couple of weeks ago, the ensuing comments made clear that the $300 price point was simply too high. Turns out NZXT has been receiving the same feedback, so it's gone and snipped $50 off the MSRP, bringing its N7 motherboard down to $250.
Users may still find that on the high side, but what's notable here is that NZXT heard the community and responded in fairly quick fashion. More often than not, that doesn't happen when a company releases a new product—the price is what it is, and customers vote with their wallets. In that regard, NZXT deserves some kudos here.
"We were surprised—and humbled—by the PC gaming community’s reaction to our new N7 motherboard. Our focus on simplifying the assembly process for users building their own gaming PC and our unconventional, minimalist approach to design that makes the motherboard disappear into the case has really resonated with people,"NZXT CEO and founder Johnny Hou said in a statement. "The feedback we received was, that while the thoughtful layout and beautiful all-metal cover are appealing, the price is a bit too high. We’ve taken steps to address that today with changes to the configuration and price."
The N7 is based on Intel's Z370 chipset supporting Coffee Lake processors. What sets it apart is the customizable layout. NZXT offers an assortment of heatsink covers, available in glossy blue, red, or purple. Owners can also purchase a metal cover for nearly the entire motherboard, available in black or white.
It's a refreshing deviation from the RGB craze, and the different heatsink and cover options can help the N7 blend in with NZXT'x cases, such as the H440 and newer H700i.
The N7 also features NZXT's HUE+ and GRID+ V3 integration, both of which are compatible with the company's CAM software. Those integrated parts add value to the motherboard—a standalone HUE+ controller costs $60 (MSRP), and the GRID+ 3 goes for $50. They're basically fancy fan lighting controllers with some advanced options. Those two are $110 by themselves, so given that, the price for the motherboard is actually now just $140!
That said, price was not the only concern. NZXT teamed up with ECS to build the motherboard, based on NZXT's own design (it's not a rebranded ECS motherboard, in other words), leading some to wonder if the N7 is truly a quality product. NZXT insists it is, and added another year to the warranty to reflect its confidence.
"We also heard from the PC gaming community that they are concerned with our ability to produce a high-quality motherboard. We are working with ECS, a company that produces motherboards for some of the world’s largest OEMs," continues Johnny, "We are very confident in our quality. And to help allay the fears of the community, we are increasing our warranty from 3 to 4 years."
Whether a $50 price cut and additional year of warranty coverage will be enough to sway the naysayers remains to be seen. Either way, it's nice to see NZXT paying attention to feedback.