BY JIM ROSSMAN
DALLAS MORNING NEWS/TNS
Did you know Walmart has its own line of consumer gadgets?
I have to admit, I did not.
I was given the opportunity to review the Onn 8-inch Android Tablet and the Blackweb True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds.
Both of these products are at the low end when it comes to price.
When you review a product that’s at the bottom end of the price range, it is important to keep your expectations as low as the price.
ONN 8-INCH ANDROID TABLET
Just as it’s unfair to compare a Nissan Versa to a BMW or a Mercedes, you can’t compare every tablet to an iPad. It just isn’t fair.
The Onn Android tablet ($64.99 at walmart.com) isn’t trying to compete with the iPad anyway — its competition is the Amazon 8-inch Kindle Fire HD tablet, which starts at $79.99.
The Onn tablet isn’t going to win any design awards, but it’s nicely built and it has a pretty clean installation of Android 9.0 (Pie) that includes the Google Play app store.
Fire HD tablets are limited to the Amazon app store, which allows only apps that approved by Amazon.
The Onn tablet doesn’t have the latest hardware, and that’s just fine with me.
It has an 8-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1,280 by 800.
It runs a 1.3 GHz processor with 2 gigabytes of RAM and 16 GB of onboard storage. The operating system takes up 6 GB, so the user has 10 GB left over for apps. There is also a microSD card slot to add up to 128 GB more storage.
It has front and rear cameras that are not very good — the main camera has a 2-megapixel sensor — but nobody should be buying this tablet to be their main camera.
Walmart doesn’t list a size for the battery, but it does say that it should last for five hours of mixed use. It charges from an included micro-USB port and has a headphone jack.
The tablet has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Neither of these is the newest version, but they’ll do the job.
The Android operating system is mostly stock, but the Onn tablet comes preloaded with five Walmart apps that you can’t delete.
In fact, those Walmart apps are launched from an icon that lives on the bottom of the screen next to the home button, but it is easy enough to ignore if you don’t use Walmart’s shopping apps.
The Onn tablet is slow. There’s no other way to say it. I’d call it slow but usable.
When you launch an app or rotate the tablet from portrait to landscape mode, you’ll wait a few seconds.
Once you are in a browser or watching a video, the speed is just fine.
This is a decent tablet for internet browsing, email, watching videos or reading eBooks.
If you are doing anything that requires sound, I’d recommend using earbuds. The Onn’s tiny speaker is on the back of the tablet, and it sounds pretty bad.
The screen is bright enough, but if you want to get five hours out of the battery, you’ll want to dial down the brightness a bit.
The back of the tablet is made of plastic with an interesting crosshatch pattern that really does a good job of hiding fingerprints.
I kept the Onn tablet next to my chair in the living room and used it every night. I loaded apps to control my Roku TV, TiVo and Sonos apps.
It is a very nice little tablet to use as a remote control for my TV and sound system.
For $65, I think the Onn Android tablet is a bargain — as long as you adjust your expectations.
BLACKWEB TRUE WIRELESS BLUETOOTH EARBUDS
I’m a big fan of Apple’s AirPods, but at $159, I realize they are expensive and might not be the best solution for every situation.
In my AirPods review, I mentioned that they’re not great for mowing the lawn because they don’t seal in my ears.
Walmart’s new Blackweb True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds ($39.88, walmart.com) are well-suited for activities where you need a good seal to hear the music and an over-the-ear hook to keep them in place.
The Blackweb earbuds are light, easy to put on and come with several sizes of silicone tips to customize the fit.
They will run for 3.5 hours before needing a recharge. Slip them back in their battery case, and they’ll charge up in 2 hours.
The case has enough battery power to run them for 12.5 hours.
The Blackweb earbuds were simple to pair with my iPhone and Windows PC.
I found the large silicone tips fit my ears best, and they are simple to put on and take off, even with my glasses.
I’m no marathon runner, but they stayed in my ears comfortably during my daily walks.
Music sounded pretty good for a $40 set of wireless earbuds.
They also work for taking phone calls if you have them connected to your smartphone.
Calls came in clearly and people at the other end said my voice was understandable.
As I said above, these are the perfect earbuds for your workout. They’re cheap, waterproof and they stay in place comfortably. And if you lose one or step on them, the cost to replace them won’t break the bank.