What just happened? Walmart has launched a self-branded lineup of Android tablets that'll see it compete directly with Amazon's popular Fire series. The Walmart Onn comprises of three models in two sizes starting with an ultra-affordable 8-inch model for $64, a 10.1-inch model for $79 and a third identical model with a detachable keyboard for the overall price of $99.
Walmart's entry into the Android tablet market comes as no surprise. Back in March, it was reported to have been working on a budget-friendly slate after being heavily criticized for its overpriced and under-performing lineup of gaming PCs. It's latest offering, the Onn tablet, is now listed and available for purchase on the Walmart store.
While the iPad is yet to meet its Android equivalent, for those accustomed to Android or have a tight budget, a simple cheap Android tablet does the job. The pricing of Walmart's lineup also seems to indicate that it's after Amazon's slice of the Android pie. The Fire tablet, which was refreshed recently, has remained largely popular with prospective buyers due to its value for money and now faces competition from another retail giant at similar price points.
Walmart Onn's hardware is not something to write home about but that's expected for a tablet this cheap. The 8-inch model comes with a 1280 x 800 IPS LCD screen, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage and a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor from an unknown manufacturer, though it's rumored to be a MediaTek chip. The 10-inch model boasts a wider screen of an unknown resolution, comes with an optional detachable keyboard and retains most of the specs of its smaller sibling.
The 0.3MP front and 2MP rear cameras won't help much with photography but flaunting a tablet for taking photos isn't the usual practice either. For the most part, buyers can look forward to making sub-par video calls.
The Onn tablet does have a few surprises up its sleeve. It ships with Android 9.0 out of the box and Walmart has not applied any custom skin on top so users can get the "pure vanilla Android" experience - something that might be tainted by Walmart's bloatware of pre-loaded apps.
Another solid reason to consider Walmart's offering over Amazon is that the Onn tablet comes with full access to the Google Play Store and apps such as Maps, Gmail, Docs, and the all-important YouTube app for media consumption, among others.
While Apple continues to dominate the high-end tablet sector with improving iPad sales, there's a lot to be made in the Android market where consumers generally don't spend a premium on expensive tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S but prefer budget-friendly options as proven by the success of Amazon's Fire tablet.
With the entry of Walmart in this space, time will tell how much success the company achieves with its Onn lineup of tablets.