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      Review: Walmart’s Core i5 Ice Lake laptop, back in stock at $500

      Jim Salter · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 - 11:15 · 1 minute

    A cow looks at us from the screen of a laptop.

    Enlarge / It looks like the cow is judging me—but that's OK, I'm about to judge the cow right back. (credit: Jim Salter)

    The Ice Lake-powered GWTN156-1BL we're reviewing today is one of an entire line of inexpensively manufactured, Gateway-branded laptops available exclusively at Walmart. We intended to review it last month, alongside its $350, Ryzen-powered little sibling the GWTN141-2 —but it sold out so quickly we weren't able to get our hands on one until Walmart refreshed its stock last week.

    Although we're really only looking at the $500 Ice Lake version today, we'll include the specs for the $350 Ryzen-powered alternative as a refresher, since we expect a lot of people may hesitate between the two. Ultimately, both machines are at least reasonable purchases—but we think the cheaper GWTN141-2 is more compelling, despite being a wimpier machine overall.

    At $350, there aren't many laptop options available, and the GWTN141-2—despite its warts—comes out thoroughly on top. But at the GWTN156-1BL's $500, the market opens up considerably. Major manufacturers such as Lenovo, ASUS, and Acer all offer pretty reasonable designs for $550 or less. The refurbished market, on the other hand, still isn't very competitive—the best deals at under $600 tend to feature sixth-generation i5 CPUs which look paltry next to the Gateway's low-end Ice Lake.

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