The EVOO Gaming 15” Laptop checks a lot of boxes for gamers. Powerful GeForce graphics? Check. Fast CPU and ample RAM? Check and check. Comfortable keyboard with RGB backlighting? Check. Roomy, crisp and speedy display? Check, check and check. Most impressively, it provides all of this for a very reasonable $999. What’s the catch? Aside from going with an unknown brand, not very much.
EVOO Gaming is a Walmart house brand, and honestly, I was quite skeptical about the EVOO Gaming 15” Laptop. I assumed the only way it could offer such an impressive configuration for less than $1,000 was to use a shoddy, cheap chassis. My doubts, however, were unfounded. The design isn’t perfect, but the laptop feels solidly constructed. Additionally, it’s not a hulking mass like many budget gaming laptops.
So where does the EVOO 15 shine, and where does it fall short? We took a closer look to see if this budget-friendly gaming laptop really lives up to its specs.
EVOO Gaming 15″ Laptop Specs
- Intel Core i7 Processor, 2.6Ghz 6-core Processor
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
- 1920 x 1080 FHD Display
- 512 GB Hard Drive
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- Windows 10 Home
A Mix of Metal and Plastic
The EVOO 15 features an all-black design constructed from both metal and plastic materials. The display cover is metal, which allows for the screen to be incredibly thin without feeling flimsy. The rest of the chassis is made from plastic, which is pretty common for a budget gaming laptop.
A soft-finish coating on the keyboard deck helps mask the fact that it’s made of plastic. And the soft-touch material on the wrist-rest area feels more luxurious than you might expect. That said, the deck still flexes when pressed, an issue common to many plastic enclosures. Additionally, the soft-touch coating is a magnet for dust and dirt, while the metal lid attracts fingerprints and smudges.
The keyboard has a dedicated number pad and is exceedingly comfortable. The keys themselves are quiet and offer the right amount of travel for touch typists. They have a springier feel than the butterfly keyboards seen in MacBooks, but at the same time they don’t feel mushy. Heavy, thunderous typists, however, will likely feel the middle of the keyboard flex under the pressure of their keystrokes.
RGB backlighting can be controlled via the EVOO Control Center app, and offers six lighting patterns and four zones. You can also adjust the brightness and speed of the lighting effects. Against the otherwise all-black design, the RGB lights are striking.
The touchpad has a matte finish and felt responsive when tasked with various gestures. It’s centered below the keyboard, without taking into account the number pad to the right. I personally like this offset placement because it keeps my hands centered on the keyboard, but this is definitely a subjective thing.
For a gaming laptop, the EVOO 15 is fairly compact. It weighs 4.2 pounds and measures 14 inches wide by 9.5 inches deep, and is only 0.8 inches thick. However, it looks a bit thicker than it actually is. This is due to the four rubber feet on the bottom panel, two of which are quite beefy. While they may not look great, these fat rubber feet keep the laptop from sliding around and they also help the system dissipate heat. In addition to vents on the side and back edges, the laptop has large vent areas on the bottom panel.
Hz So Good
The EVOO’s 15.6-inch display features a 1920×1080 native resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. A 1080p picture is standard for this screensize, but the speedy 144Hz refresh rate is what will raise gamers’ eyebrows. Most laptops feature a 60Hz display, so 144Hz offers a clear boost for gaming, ensuring movements appear smoother and with less blurring.
While the EVOO 15 doesn’t have the brightest display I’ve encountered — I had its brightness maxed out in a bright room with natural sunlight and wished I could have pushed it higher — the image is well-balanced with accurate colors.
Thin, modern bezels frame the display. The top bezel is actually so thin it leaves no room for the webcam, which is instead located below the display. This placement doesn’t provide the most flattering angle for video chats, but the 720p webcam produces crisp images and videos.
The laptop’s stereo speakers are average, producing tinny audio without much of a bass response. This is a pretty common issue with laptops, however, and if sound quality is a top concern of yours you probably already have a pair of good headphones close by.
As far as ports go, you’ll find a wide variety across three sides of the system. These include a USB 2.0 Type-A port, an Ethernet port and separate headphone and mic jacks on the left side. There are also two USB 3.1. Type-A ports and a media card slot on the right. On the back edge you’ll find an HDMI port, two mini DisplayPort ports and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. It’s useful to have both HDMI and DisplayPort options, as well as both Type-A and Type-C USB ports, as it means you don’t need to keep track of any dongles to connect to different monitors and devices.
Turing? Yes. Ray Tracing? No.
The EVOO 15 features the Intel Core i7-9750H, a six-core, 12-thread CPU with a base frequency of 2.6GHz and a max Turbo frequency of 4.5GHz. Along with its 16GB of RAM, the laptop provides a smooth Windows 10 experience. It has enough muscle for serious multitasking, as well as media editing. And the 512GB SSD provides ample storage space for your photos, videos, games and more.
The headlining spec for gamers is the 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. It’s based on Nvidia’s Turing architecture introduced with its current RTX lineup, but unfortunately doesn’t come with all of the Turing features, such as real-time ray tracing.
With its GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, the EVOO 15 delivers strong gaming performance at 1080p. I was able to run games at framerates well above 60 frames per second at the EVOO 15’s native resolution with quality settings set to high. While playing Battlefield V, Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, I averaged over 90fps. What’s more, all three games ran smoothly with a dynamic image that showed details in both bright and dark areas.
Most gaming laptops need an active and aggressive cooling system to keep the high-powered components from overheating. The EVOO 15 is fairly quiet during normal Windows use, but the cooling fans certainly get going during games. With a good pair of headphones, however, you can drown out the noise of the fans. And I enjoyed being able to use the EVOO 15 for browsing the web in relative silence without the fans engaging.
Should You Buy the EVOO Gaming 15 Laptop?
Gamers on a budget are unlikely to find a better bang for their pixel-pushing buck than the EVOO Gaming 15” laptop. It’s able to produce high framerates at 1080p without needing to disable quality settings thanks to the Core i7 CPU, ample 16GB of RAM, and its full-power GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.
Impressively, EVOO is able to pack these high-power components in a fairly compact chassis that doesn’t sound like a jet engine under heavy loads. It’s certainly far from the loudest gaming laptop I’ve heard. Additionally, the RGB keyboard lights look cool against the all-black design and give off an unmistakable gaming vibe.
As with any budget laptop, EVOO had to make some sacrifices to hit this low price. You miss out on the full Turing experience from Nvidia with real-time ray tracing. And an all-metal enclosure would have made for a sturdier and more high-quality chassis. But despite these minor quibbles, the EVOO Gaming 15 Laptop is a great deal at $999. It even dipped as low as $799 during Walmart’s Black Friday sale last November, but I have no problem recommending it to gamers on a budget at its retail price.
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