Remember when netbooks were a thing? If you would have told me back then that, for around the same money, laptops in a decade would be capable of playing games with ray-traced visuals, I never would have believed it. Yet here we are living in that reality, courtesy in part to deals like this one—an Evoo notebook marked down to $299 at Walmart (opens in new tab) (save $200) that could actually be turned into a viable gaming laptop (opens in new tab).
The other part of the equation is GeForce Now (opens in new tab). On its own, this Evoo system does not have the anywhere near the necessary pixel-pushing grunt to play ray-traced games. But Nvidia's cloud gaming service takes most of the pressure off of local hardware, so even low-end PCs can join in the fun, including ones with integrated graphics.
Evoo 15.6-Inch Ultra Thin Laptop | 1080p | Core i7 7560U | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD |
$499 $299 at Walmart (save $200) (opens in new tab)
It doesn't get much cheaper than this for a thin and light laptop that doesn't completely blow. And while not a barn burner, the hardware meets the requirements of Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming service.
This is a 15.6-inch laptop with a 1080p display. It's powered by a 2-core/4-thread Intel Core i7 7560U processor with Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics. As you might expect in this price range, RAM and storage are on the lower end of the spectrum, with this wielding 8GB of DDR4 memory and a 256GB SSD.
It's not a particularly exciting collection of hardware, though this Evoo model is serviceable as an ultra-affordable laptop for general computing chores. Install GeForce Now, though, and it's a different story. Suddenly it becomes a bargain priced gaming laptop.
Geforce Now requires a dual-core CPU at 2GHz or higher (check), at least 4GB of RAM (check), and if going the integrated graphics route, an Intel HD Graphics 2000 or newer with support for DirectX 11 or higher (checkmate).
So there you have it—a super cheap laptop that could potentially punch above its power profile. Heads up this is a clearance item, so it may not last long.