Is a $999 Walmart Gateway gaming laptop any good? We try one out ourselves to see
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Walmart recently announced a whole lineup of affordable house brand tablets, laptops, and subnotebooks. This means users should expect to see cheaper Walmart systems sitting next to the usual Acer, Dell, or HP models on store shelves across the country. One of these new affordable systems is the Gateway Creator 15 equipped with GeForce RTX 2060 graphics for just under $1000 USD to be one of the least expensive laptops you can find with such a GPU. After playing around with it ourselves, however, potential buyers should definitely keep these following details in mind before jumping in.
Firstly, Walmart does not design or manufacturer its own laptop models. Instead, the company uses white label barebone systems from Chinese ODM Tongfang similar to resellers like Schenker or Eluktronics. This means that the Gateway Creator 15 will look and feel exactly like what you may find from many high-end resellers of gaming PCs despite any price discrepancies between them.
Unfortunately, there are two major drawbacks with the less expensive Gateway Creator 15. Though the chassis is identical to the Schenker and Eluktronics, Walmart has equipped its version with less RAM (8 GB), less storage (256 GB SSD), and a worse display (~60 percent sRGB) in order to reach the target price point of $999 USD. Most gamers and PC builders would recommend at least double the RAM and/or storage especially if playing demanding titles.
One might simply want to upgrade RAM or storage themselves after purchasing the Gateway Creator 15 to alleviate the aforementioned problems. This is where the second drawback comes in because removing the bottom panel requires breaking a warranty sticker. Most other laptop manufacturers like Schenker, Eluktronics, Dell, Asus, or HP allow deeper levels of end-user upgrades without voiding any warranties.
Is the Walmart Gateway Creator 15 still a good buy? Perhaps if you are on a tight budget and are willing to live with minimal RAM and storage until the warranty expires. Otherwise, it may be wise to spend a bit more on the superior Walmart EVOO instead.
See our review on the Gateway Creator 15 for our rundown on the system.