EVOO is Walmart’s latest private-label gaming laptop brand and they’re well-specced at a surprisingly affordable price. Tuned by THX, Ltd., renowned for the certification of world-class cinemas, these laptops feature THX Spatial Audio technology for immersive audio as well as displays that provide vibrant colors and crisp contrast. These new laptops start at an impressive MSRP of $1,199.
I wasn’t expecting much when I first found out that EVOO was Walmart’s private-label. I figured it wouldn’t be powerful enough to handle today’s games or the screen wouldn’t be clear enough or the laptop would feel cheap. While the EVOO 17” gaming laptop has its downsides, on the whole, I was proven wrong. The EVOO gaming laptop is an affordable, portable machine that can handle any of the latest AAA PC games. EVOO was kind enough to send us the 17” model for testing, which carries an MSRP of $1,599 but is priced at $1,149 on Walmart’s website at the time of publication.
Check out this spec list, and tell me if you’d expect a $1,150 laptop to carry this much power:
- 17.3″, FHD 144Hz
- THX Spatial Audio
- Tuned by THX Display
- 9th Gen Intel i7-9750H
- Nvidia RTX 2060
- 1TB SSD
- 16GB Memory
- Windows 10 Home
- Mini Display Port x 2
- HDMI Port
- USB 3.1 x 2
- USB 2.0
Now let’s take a look at some of the laptop’s features individually to make sure I cover the entirety of this THX-tuned laptop.
Case, Build, Inputs, Keyboard, & Trackpad
This laptop is built around a Tongfang barebones case. Tongfang is a Chinese manufacturer that sells its cases to many PC manufacturers, including EVOO, Schenker, and more. This is not a knock on this laptop, just a fact that likely helps maintain the low price point. The case features brushed aluminum on the outside and soft-feel plastic on the inside where your palms rest. The soft plastic gives the laptop a more luxurious, high-end feel than a hard plastic would. The case itself feels sturdy and will protect your display and the laptop internals from damage.
The laptop weighs in at 5.51 pounds while measuring 15.6” x 10.3” while open and 1.083” while closed. On the right side of the laptop, you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card port. On the left side, you’ll find one USB 2.0 port, LAN jack, Kensington lock, the microphone jack, and the headphone jack. On the rear of the unit, you’ll find two mini DisplayPort jacks, one HDMI 2.0 port, one USB Type C port, and one DC-in jack for the power supply. You also have a built-in webcam just above the display that allows you to sign into Windows 10 with your face, among many other things.
The overall design is fairly simple with black styling accentuated by the RGB backlit keyboard and status strip below the touchpad. Speaking of the keyboard, we’re treated to a mechanical keyboard, which is fairly unique for a gaming laptop. Mechanical keyboards have many pros and cons that we won’t get into here, but for the purpose of this review, you should know that a mechanical keyboard provides excellent physical feedback while also being much louder than a standard keyboard. You get a satisfying clickity-clack sound while typing, but it may bother other people in the room.
The keyboard is backlit by color-changing LEDs that can be programmed to your heart’s content. They look really cool while illuminated, but without illumination, the gray font can be hard to read against the black color keys. The keyboard comes with a full-size number pad and arrow keys, which is a great plus. There is no separation between the backspace key and the number pad, however, so you’ll accidentally hit the “num lock” button many times accidentally while trying to backspace while you’re getting used to this keyboard. The trackpad is very large and has multi-touch capabilities so you can scroll using two fingers, right-click with two fingers, etc. However, the trackpad isn’t very precise and clicking feels spongy so you aren’t always sure you pressed hard enough. If you’re serious about gaming, however, you’ll likely be using an external mouse. Both the keyboard and trackpad take some getting used to.
The 144Hz refresh rate is great for fast-paced games, such as Rocket League, which I tested on the 17” EVOO gaming laptop. The bezel around the display is very narrow, about 6.5mm, which allows for a 17.3” diagonal 1080p display. The display itself is matte-finished, so you don’t have to worry about glare. The display is well-calibrated out of the box thanks to the THX tuning and I didn’t feel the need to mess with the display at all.
Colors on this screen are very vibrant and the contrast between colors is crisp, which provides a great viewing experience. Even my wife, who is not an expert on these things, had commented that the screen looked beautiful. Additionally, this display allows for multiple viewing angles without too much distortion. While I would appreciate a 4K display option in 2019, the 1080p display performs admirably for the price point.
The EVOO laptops from Walmart come pre-configured which allows Walmart to concentrate on fewer SKUs, which in turn allows them to maintain lower prices. The 17” laptop comes built with the Intel Core i7 9750H paired with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. This is something you typically see on mid-to-high-end laptops.
I used Unigine 2 to benchmark the gaming aspects of the EVOO gaming laptop and it scored a 4720 in the 4K Optimized test with textures on “high” and with motion blue “enabled.” You can see the result’s screenshot below to see the details.
In short, the performance of this machine is perfectly adequate for PC gaming, especially when you take the price point into account. It may get a bit hot when running high-end games at the highest settings and the frame rate may dip down during especially high-intensity scenes, but it’ll do almost everything you need it to do.
I used PCMark 10 to benchmark the computer itself as an everyday use computer and the results were pretty much as I had expected. The EVOO 17” gaming laptop scored a 4,384 which is just below the 50% mark of all PCs tested in PCMark 10. Keep in mind that most people who test their PCs on PCMark 10 are expecting a high score, so folks with lower-end laptops generally aren’t even benchmarking their PCs. In daily use, the EVOO 17” gaming laptop was quick, responsive, and I didn’t feel any sort of slowdown at all. See the results in the screen captures, below.
While this laptop is marketed as being tuned by THX and having a feature called THX Spatial Audio that’s meant to offer a 360-degree spherical sound experience, I did not see a huge difference between this and a standard laptop. The speakers sounded good, but not any more than I’m used to listening to from a laptop.
Battery life is my biggest concern, and the only thing keeping me from using the EVOO as my daily laptop. The internal battery size is limited due to the 2.5” SATA III bay in the laptop, so the capacity is just around 46W. You can expect about 4 hours of runtime simply browsing the web if you’re set to a battery-saving profile, but if you’re gaming, expect the battery to drain quickly and keep your AC adapter nearby.
1TB of solid-state drive storage is much appreciated, especially with the amount of disk space modern AAA games can consume. After having the PC for about 2 weeks, I’ve used about 20% of the 1TB storage space for a couple of games and miscellaneous everyday apps. The SSD response time is good and startup, shutdown, and restart is a breeze thanks to the SSD.
As I mentioned, I went into this review with the assumption that the affordable EVOO 17” gaming laptop would perform like a cheap gaming laptop knock-off but I left pleasantly surprised with the snappy performance and ability to handle fast-paced games like Rocket League at the highest graphics settings. This laptop is able to handle just about any game you want to throw at it while still being decently portable thanks to its 5.5 pounds. While it struggles with battery life as most gaming laptops do and the speakers may not live up to the THX branding, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better performing gaming laptop at this price. The 1080p matte display is gorgeous thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate and THX calibration and the Nvidia GeForce GPU. While the trackpad leaves something to be desired, most gamers will be using an external mouse anyway. I’m happy with the EVOO 17” gaming laptop, considering the affordable price point, and you will be too.
You can learn more and purchase your own EVOO gaming laptop directly from Walmart.com.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Beautiful display; Good CPU performance; RGB LED-backlit mechanical keyboard with a full-size number pad; Decent port selection; Nice, simple design; Great price point
What Needs Improvement: Mechanical keyboard is not for everyone; Trackpad isn’t very precise and feels a bit spongy; Small battery capacity