Home Laptop Reviews Are Walmart’s $150 Laptops Shockingly Good… or Shockingly Bad?

Are Walmart’s $150 Laptops Shockingly Good… or Shockingly Bad?

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Are Walmart’s $150 Laptops Shockingly Good… or Shockingly Bad?

– Picture this. You’re on a super tight budget and you need a laptop right now. In a moment of sheer desperation, you somehow find your way to walmart.com and stumble across, not one, but two laptops that just seem, well, too good to be true.

That’s right, my friends, not one, but both of these machines are available to buy, we know because we did it, for about the price of a copy of Windows 10. Now, in the past, we might have dismissed these computers as, probably, junk.

But the last time we checked out a Walmart house brand laptop, we were pleasantly surprised. So, you know what, bring it on Walmart. Roll back my expectations. Wait, what does that even mean? Who’s our sponsor? Private Internet Access is the VPN service that encrypts all your internet traffic and uses a safe protected IP.

It’s got a ton of other useful features as well. Check it out now at the link below. (upbeat electronic music) Let’s start with how these two devices are similar. Both of them sport plastic chassis, which is expected, given the price point.

They weigh in at just over two pounds each, with our blue one being slightly heavier than the silver one, and both have 11.6 inch 1080p IPS displays. They’re IPS, which means decent viewing angles, but their brightness, I would describe as not great.

They both have IO that I would describe as good enough though, Mini HDMI is a bit of a bummer from a compatibility standpoint, but at this price, I’m just happy to see microSD, a couple of type-A USBs, even if one of them is USB-Two, and the inclusion of a headphone jack.

Now, let’s get into the different. At $129, this puppy costs less than a copy of Windows 10 at full retail price. And, yeah, I can kinda see why in some ways, that is a lot of flex, you know? This is basically, we are looking at PCB flexibility and plastic flexibility with no reinforcement, really, to speak of.

The hinge, I would say, is strong enough, actually. Oh man, I just tried to search for Notepad and I, oh, oh, there it goes, Notepad’s opening now. The keyboard is really not very good. It’s not even that the individual keys themselves are super terrible, it’s actually mostly that the large keys are so blatantly not stabilized at all that if you press, for example, the Spacebar or Shift, if you kinda press them on the corner, the opposite corner might not go down at all, even though you have the button fully pressed on the other corner.

It’s really bad, this might be the worst I’ve ever seen. There’s a lot of flex here. So, even if the key switches are decent, that’s still gonna give you a really spongy feel while you’re typing. And the trackpad actually has a similar issue to the last Walmart machine that we checked out where, even though it actually has Microsoft Precision drivers enabled, there’s kinda like a weird kind of dead zone feel to it.

This really is a cheap laptop. The good news, though, is that for another $40, so this one is 169, you’re actually getting a shocking amount extra for your money. So, for one thing, instead of just being a standard notebook clamshell, this one is a two-in-one.

– [David] Really? – Yeah, right? It’s a two-in-one, it’s got a gigantic bezel, I don’t remember the last time I saw bezel that big on a brand new machine, but it has a multi-touch touchscreen, so that’s pretty cool.

It moves the power button to the side so that you can easily lock it and unlock it when it’s operating in tablet mode. And believe it or not, even though it looks identical, the keyboard is markedly better.

You still got a lot of deck flex, so there’s nothing you can really do about that, but the stabilization of the keys is way, way better on this one, somehow. Credit to EVOO or whoever the OEM is for this thing, by the way, for having a decent layout on this keyboard.

Because when you have a reduced-size keyboard like this, a lot of the time you’ll see manufacturers do weird things like shorten Shift keys, shorten Backspace keys, move things around. This is a very standard layout so as long as you have smaller hands, like if you were a kid or something like that, at least this is something that you could learn on, like a proper layout, and then, grow into a larger full-size keyboard in the future.

Oh, this one still has a screen peel on it as well, Ooh. (upbeat electronic music) Another thing that’s noticeably better is the trackpad. Again, it’s still using Windows Precision drivers, but you can actually just tell looking at them, these are different hardware.

This is a much larger trackpad and I don’t get that same kind of laggy or unresponsive feeling from this one, it’s quite usable. Yeah, not bad. Another thing that’s noticeably different is the performance.

So, here’s a simple test. Let’s press the Windows key at the same time. Oh, good heavens! Okay, Escape, let’s try that again. Okay, now there should be no excuse for not having it cached or whatever. Okay, well, that was better, actually.

Let’s launch a web browser, okay? Oh, the humanity! They’re both pretty slow, but that’s a lot faster. Neither of them is especially fast, from a web browsing standpoint, and part of that’s processing, but part of it is also that they’re both limited to 2.

4 gigahertz Wi-Fi only. So, you can see, trying to load up youtube.com here, we got a lot of placeholder gray boxes while we wait for the page to load. Remember, this is on 10-gig internet, so it’s not, that ain’t on us.

Let’s fire up JerryRigEverything’s off-road electric wheelchair video. He actually has a commercial version of this thing now that looks crazy. Oh, my goodness, this is quite slow. (off-air tone beeps) I’ve used $150 phones that perform better than this.

(indistinct chatter on laptop) (laughs) Okay, well, to its credit, at least the blue one is a little better than the silver one, which comes down to differences under the hood. It looks like when it comes to extreme budget laptops, Intel might still be holding on to its advantage.

The Celeron N3350 dual-core dual-thread processor in our blue model has a base clock of 1.1 gigahertz and a boost of 2.4 that gave it a higher score in PCMark 10, compared to the silver model’s AMD A4-9120e.

Again, neither of them are super fast and everything feels much slower than a regular laptop. But if it’s for schoolwork, Word, Excel, text-based web pages, as long as you don’t leave too many Chrome tabs open in the background, this one’s only got four gigs of RAM and this one has just two (cringes), you might be okay.

Or should I say, as long as you don’t have too many Microsoft Edge tabs open in the background. Both of these machines come pre-configured in S mode. That’s streamlined mode for security and performance.

It only allows apps from the Microsoft Store and requires you to use Microsoft Edge for safe browsing, like how you can safely browse our merch store, lttstore.com. The good news is you can turn S mode off and use it as though it’s got a full-fat copy of Windows 10 and install whatever you want on it, sort of.

Both machines ship with only 32 gigs of solid-state storage and it’s one of the contributors to how noticeably slow they both are. At least they both come with a free year of Office 365, though, which is a great value-add.

So basically, you buy the software, you buy Windows 10 and a year of Office 365, and you get a free laptop. One that you can use to, I don’t know, make video calls. Actually, yeah, let’s try out the webcam.

That’s the kind of thing I could see someone using a machine like this for, just like a cheap video call machine because you’ve never heard of a tablet. This one is taking so long to launch the camera app.

For real? Are you even for real right now? There it goes. All right, let’s launch it. Ay, chihuahua! That’s definitely .3 megapixels worth of fine Canadian goodness right there, whoo. (suspenseful music) Let’s see if this one fares any better.

The blue one’s definitely better, but if you wanna look at the screen head-on, whoever you’re conversing with is gonna be looking at just the bottom half of your face ’cause unfortunately, the webcam is positioned right here.

And it doesn’t even seem to be angled up, it’s just pointing straight forward. So, if I wanted to actually show my face while I was using it, I would have to have my screen bent that flat. Now, it’s time for some poking and prying at the internals.

11 screws is all it takes to get access to the inner guts of both of them. And they are sort of somewhat similar. So, let’s have a look here. The blue one actually has slightly less battery capacity, even though it is a larger battery that takes up more of the space inside the unit.

In terms of real-world battery life, though, it actually comes out ahead, although it’s hard to say exactly what the AMD one would have been because it was too unstable and ended up crashing a bunch of times while we were trying to run the battery life test.

So, it seems like some of the bad reviews for this particular unit are warranted ’cause the battery can kind of be both charged and not charged, kind of Schrodinger’s battery. Schrodinger’s, Schrodinger’s.

– [Voiceover] Schrodinger. – At the same time, could be a product of bad QA testing. In terms of cooling, I’ve gotta give the nod to the AMD unit. Here, you can see that it’s actually got a large copper heat spreader.

I hesitate to call it a heatsink, but it’s definitely a heat spreader, compared to just this teeny tiny one here for the Intel unit. I guess it kinda makes sense, though, given that this is only a six-watt CPU.

So, it doesn’t need a ton of cooling. Actually, I couldn’t help noticing there’s no fan. Ah, interesting, they’re both passive. Now, this doesn’t surprise me, even if it does disappoint me a little bit, but every component of both of these systems is soldered on, CPU, RAM, and that’s a real shame ’cause being able to upgrade the storage on this would go a long way.

Dang it, same dang thing on this other one. So, it’s a really similar motherboard layout, actually. That’s quite surprising to see going from an AMD to an, oh, wait, no, not as similar as I thought. Oh, interesting.

Why are there four RAM chips in order to have two gigs of memory? Same unfortunate situation with the mSATA over here. So, SATA SSD hard drive’s just not connected so there’s no way to hook something like that up.

This is curious, both of them use a thermal pad, rather than thermal paste. Although, I guess, with how much flex there is in the chassis, that kinda makes sense ’cause you’re better off having a thermal pad that’s definitely making contact than a thermal paste that might not be.

Bottom line, for the silver AMD unit, even at $129, I just can’t recommend it. It’s super slow and that lack of expandability for the storage is kind of the nail in the coffin. As for the blue one, at the very least, well, it’s usable.

Now, I think, marketing this thing to professionals on the go is a bit of a stretch, but I also don’t think that EVOO believes it either. In fact, they included this Kidomi offer, along with some video learning and games and stuff, that seem to suggest that they’re as aware as we are that this is kind of a give to the kids laptop.

And you know what? For that, I agree. For Windows and the Office 365 subscription alone, it’s an inexpensive homework and maybe YouTube machine with the extra peace of mind of knowing that it’s incapable of running anything but the most basic games.

Speaking of basic, this is a really basic segue. The MSI MPG B550 gaming carbon Wi-Fi motherboard has a long name, but also a long list of features, supporting AM4 socket processors, including third gen Ryzen CPUs and future AMD processors with a BIOS update.

It supports DDR4 memory up to 4,800 megahertz because why lock that stuff down, right? It’s got their M.2 Shield Frozr technology, it’s got dual M.2 slots, Intel Wi-Fi Six, two and a half gig networking and advanced RGB lighting control and a front LED strip that provides in-game and real time notifications.

Check it out today at the link in the video description. If you guys enjoyed this video, maybe check out the higher priced, but still very reasonable Walmart laptop that we checked out last time. It was very, very impressive, given the price.

These are more along the lines of what I expected, but at least the blue one was decent, didn’t crash, that’s a plus.

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