Made by eMachines, the laptop includes features that could make it good for basic computing and day-to-day activities like Web surfing or word processing. It will come with an Intel Celeron processor running at 2.2GHz, a 250GB hard drive and 2GB of memory.
Further details about the laptop configuration were not immediately available. Walmart did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Laptop prices have hovered over $399 most of the year, and the $198 price represents one of the few times a laptops has been priced under $200. Last year, Walmart offered an HP Compaq Presario for $298 during the July back-to-school shopping season, and that prompted a pricing war with rival Best Buy, which started offering a Toshiba Satellite laptop at the same price.
Laptops offered at low prices typically lack some components. For example, the $298 Compaq Presario sold through Walmart last year lacked a webcam.
Consumers in the past have also expressed concerns about the Celeron processor, which sits on the lower rung of Intel’s processor family ladder. Laptops with Celeron chips are not designed for high-end gaming or multimedia activities. Faster processors — like Intel’s Core chips — are more expensive.