Midland X-Talker T290VP4 Work Site Radio Reviews

2-Way Radios

Pro Rating
Final Thoughts

Midland's T290VP4 radio is another excellent product that extends your range to 40 miles. Whether or not this set is right for boils down to your need for charging in the field. The lack of AA/AAA battery backup and a charger that's not USB compatible means you need to carry extra charged batteries with you or monitor your use very carefully. If you have a generator or other available AC power, it's not a big deal. That makes it great for jobsites, hunting camps, RVing, emergency, and plenty of other scenarios that are outside cell service areas.

Overall Score 4.3 Pro Review

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Midland X-Talker T290VP4 2-Way Radio Review


Midland X-Talker T290VP4 2-Way Radio Extends Range to 40 Miles

I’ve been using Midland 2-way radios for years now and the X-Talker line is what I turn to most often. The Midland X-Talker T290VP4 2-Way Radio moves the line forward with a longer range and a retail price that’s less than $90 for a set.

Pros

  • Up to a 40-mile range
  • 22 main channels plus Midland’s 14 “extra channels” with preset privacy codes
  • 121 privacy codes
  • Excellent audio quality
  • VOX (9 levels)
  • Two headsets included

Cons

  • No AA or AAA alkaline compatibility as a backup
  • Charger is not USB compatible
  • Still uses NiMH batteries

Recommendation

Midland’s T290VP4 radio is another excellent product that extends your range to 40 miles. Whether or not this set is right for boils down to your need for charging in the field. The lack of AA/AAA battery backup and a charger that’s not USB compatible means you need to carry extra charged batteries with you or monitor your use very carefully.

If you have a generator or other available AC power, it’s not a big deal. That makes it great for jobsites, hunting camps, RVing, emergency, and plenty of other scenarios that are outside cell service areas.

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Performance

The biggest talking point for the Midland X-Talker T290VP4 2-Way Radio is the range. With a 40-mile range, it outpaces my other Midland X-Talker 2-way radios by another 2 miles or more.

 

Of course, that’s without obstacles, so we’re talking open water and flat farmland. The range shrinks as you add trees and buildings to the mix. Still, you can expect the power boost to give more range in the city or woods than older models.

We use our radios out on my family’s farm in northeastern Georgia quite a bit. Cell coverage is spotty and when we’re out in the woods on the shooting range or horseback riding on the trails, we usually don’t get calls or texts.

The distance to the house is just over the edge of low power range and I need to kick my T77s into high power to keep the signal. In addition to the longer range, the T290s add a medium power. It gives me the range I need to the house while allowing me to conserve some battery.

I like the clarity on the receiving end, both in 2-way communication and the NOAA weather updates. It’s easy to listen at a low volume level and still hear clearly when I don’t want to disturb the environment around me.

Key Features

GMRS

These are GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) radios and you need a license to operate on some channels. Federal law requires you obtain a license before using channels 1–7 and 15–22. To learn more or apply for a GMRS license, click here.

Channels

Like other X-Talker radios, the Midland X-Talker T290VP4 2-Way Radio has 36 channels available. 1–7 and 15–22 are GMRS with the channels in between set to low power by law.

The “extra channels” are actually the standard 1–22 with preset privacy codes on them. Channels 23–33 can operate in high power and 34–36 kick back into low.

Midland X-Talker T290VP4

Privacy Codes

You can set any of 121 privacy codes–38 CTCSS codes and 83DCS codes. There are a couple of things to remember. First, these really just eliminate interference. Anyone that is on that channel and uses the same privacy code can listen in.

Midland X-Talker T290VP4

Secondly, it’s still using the channel you’re on and can garble other transmissions. Press and hold the “MON” button to monitor for other traffic before jumping in. Be courteous to other users and keep your communications concise.

NOAA Weather

These radios can tune into 10 NOAA channels to get weather updates. If you’re buying these for outdoor or emergency use, it’s a must-have feature. To activate, press and hold the “WX” button. The radio will automatically scan for the active channel in your area.

Call Alerts

There are 10 call alerts to choose from to let others on the channel know you’re about to send a communication. 5 are standard ringtones. Some of the other models include 5 animal calls, but this one does not.

VOX

If you want to use your radio hands-free, the Midland X-Talker T290VP4 has 9 VOX (voice-activated transmit) levels to use. Lower levels are more sensitive.

Just remember it’s going to transmit anytime you start talking. Watch out for those “hot mic” moments that have a way of reaching social media!

Headsets

You get two headsets to go with your two radios in the package. These are on the basic side with an earpiece and clip-on mic with a push-to-talk button. They’re convenient for getting the radio out of your way and keeping communication simple.

Additional Features

Midland X-Talker T290VP4

  • Backlit display
  • Vibrate alert/silent operation
  • Battery meter
  • Channel scan
  • Keypad lock (press and hold “CALL” for 4 seconds)
  • Default reset

A Couple of Things Worth Noting

Not everything is all sunshine and daisies and there are a couple of things to note before you pull the trigger. None of them are deal-breakers, just things to keep in mind as you shop.

  • Charger is not USB capable, so there’s no using an external power pack or packable solar charger
  • Not AA/AAA alkaline compatible
  • Headsets are not VOX compatible
  • Batteries are NiMH

 

The biggest takeaway here is when you’re looking at overnight or multi-day of the grid adventures. The battery has enough juice to cover you for most of a full day. But you’ll need to either buy additional battery packs or monitor your radio use closely.

Price

You can pick up your Midland X-Talker T290VP4 2-Way Radio set online for $89.99. Here’s what you get in the kit:

  • 2 Midland T290 radios
  • 2 NiMH battery packs
  • 2 belt clips
  • 2 headsets
  • Dual-port desktop charger
  • AC cord
  • Owner’s manual

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The Bottom Line

Midland’s T290VP4 radio is another excellent product that extends your range to 40 miles. Whether or not this set is right for boils down to your need for charging in the field. The lack of AA/AAA battery backup and a charger that’s not USB compatible means you need to carry extra charged batteries with you or monitor your use very carefully.

If you have a generator or other available AC power, it’s not a big deal. That makes it great for jobsites, hunting camps, RVing, emergency, and plenty of other scenarios that are outside cell service areas.

Midland X-Talker T290VP4 2-Way Radio Specifications

  • Model: Midland T290VP4
  • Power Source: Midland NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Range: Up to 40 miles
  • Channels: 36
  • Privacy Codes: 121
  • Price: $89.99
  • Warranty: 3 years

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