What's A Good Buy At The ALDI Tech Sale?

ALDI's special buy sale category this Saturday is heavy on tech, with laptops, MP3 players and TVs all on the list. We've filtered through what's on offer to identify what's a good deal, what's average and what's worth avoiding.

As usual, ALDI's gear is sold under its own store brand names, so if you're a big-name-only shopper, look elsewhere. If you are tempted, you'll need to be at your local ALDI close to opening time to be sure of scoring a bargain -- the best deals often sell out quickly. Some readers report that you can get lucky and pick up some items being put out the night before if you're in the store near closing time, but that's not a guaranteed strategy. Virtually all ALDI stores open at 8:30am on a Saturday; you can check your local store hours on the ALDI web site.

Note that we haven't tested these products; our comments are based on what you'll pay for equivalent gear elsewhere. Several of the items are good value, but others (especially the cheaper deals) can be had at similar or lower prices whenever you like, so diving on the ALDI option isn't necessarily wise.

On many of these products ALDI offers a 60-day no questions asked return policy. That's welcome, but bear in mind that its presence or absence doesn't affect your basic consumer rights: if a product fails or doesn't meet the stated specifications, you're entitled to a repair or a refund. (Saving a copy of the relevant product web page could be a sensible step.)

Medeon 15.6" Notebook ($569)

The specs on this machine are decent for the price: a 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-2370M processor, Windows Home Premium, 4GB RAM, 750GB hard drive, two USB 3.0 ports, DVD burner and a USB TV tuner thrown in. There's a two-year warranty. At 2.7kg, it's not the lightest machine out there, but going lightweight attracts a premium.

You can get similarly sized notebooks with the same memory and a slightly less gutsy processor for around $500, but it's rare to see a hard drive of 750GB. It's not impossible -- JB Hi-Fi has a similar Samsung notebook for $620, but that doesn't include a TV tuner.

Our verdict: Good price for a basic notebook.

23" Bauhn LED TV/DVD Player ($189)

Like most bargain TVs these days, this model includes a USB slot which you can plug a stick into to create a basic PVR. At this size, you're in definite second screen territory, so no smart TV or 3D options. Kogan's $189 model, the closest competitor we could find, has a smaller screen (19").

Our verdict: Cheapest option we can find for the size.

1TB Dual-Tuner PVR ($169)

$169 is substantially cheaper than most equivalently-sized PVRs (the nearest competition we found was $199). That said, you can pick up a 1TB drive for under $100 and plug it into a cheap (or existing TV), or buy a smaller-capacity PVR if you're not a heavy TV watcher.

Our verdict: A fair deal, but you could go the cheaper USB drive route.

Clock Radio With iPod Dock ($39.99)

$39.99 is not bad for an iPod dock radio, but you don't have to pay more than $50 for an unbranded dock most of the time.

Our verdict: Not that compelling.

Creative SBS A220 2.1 Speaker System ($26.99)

A quick search on staticICE suggests plenty of retailers have this for a similar price -- so what you're saving on here is postage as best. It's a rare example of a name-brand item on sale at ALDI, but not an extraordinary buy.

Our verdict: An unremarkable deal.

Bluetooth Headphones ($24.99)

$24.99 sounds cheap, but eBay has plenty of similar basic headphones for that price or lower, even including postage. That's not to say ALDI is overcharging, but it doesn't seem worth queuing on a Saturday just to grab these.

Our verdict: Skip it.

Sandisk 16GB USB Stick ($16)

Cheap USB sticks are everywhere. Plenty of places have a SanDisk-branded 16GB stick for less than this; you certainly can pay more, but a little shopping around will undercut this price.

Our verdict: No bargain here.

Remote Control Caddy ($12.99)

We're all for storing your remote somewhere other than the side of a couch. Whether this design suits you is as much a question of taste as price. You can spend less for a couch-side design from IKEA at $9.99.

Our verdict: Take it or leave it.

10-In-1 Universal Remote Control ($9.99)

This controls up to 10 devices. You can pay a similar price for unbranded remotes from others. One argument in its favour: it works with ALDI's own brands, which can be tricky to set with some other devices.

Our verdict: OK but not astonishing.

4GB MP3 Player ($9.95)

$9.95 is about as cheap as a 4GB basic player will get. But in the smartphone era, I can't see why anyone would want one.

Our verdict: If you put this in someone's Christmas stocking, they will hate you.


    Even if you went the cheap pvr route its still a single tuner, so $169 is pretty good value. But is the software useable though...

      I think it's a dual tuner, so it's passable for a simple solution... still is the software any good? :D

    Angus, going by this it appears that there is nothing really special about this sale? (mind you I live in an area where there is no ALDI anyway...)

    Will likely be getting the TV for holidays/spare, pretty much the best price and the LED (not heavy)/1080p/PVR/dvd player combo is pretty amazing for the price.

      Its a pity their Digital Radio's aren't on sale. They're reasonable value, and have a good sound

        I got one, but returned it as the sound quality was terrible - speakers way too small.

    I have one of the TV's and it's fine - bought it t their last sale I think.

    I bought a pair of those headphones from Deal Extreme for $2 cheaper. I was sick of the cheapo headphone cords always failing on me (you get what you pay for). I decided to go cordless and these ones have lasted me for nearly a year, so they're a decent buy.

    Most of Aldi's stuff is crap and has a short life span. Talking from experience here. Avoid at all costs.

      On the contrary, I've never had any trouble with their stuff. That's not to say it's all perfect, but it's not as many might insist.

      It needs to be mentioned that the TV is 1080p, which is probably the best selling point. Many at that price are 1366x768.

      Also, in regard to the iPhone dock, does anyone know if the screen is backlit? It's no good if I can't see it at night without pressing anything.

        I have never had any problems with the aldi tech, i have a 32" tv, one of those expressi a milk frother a microwave the list goes on, if you don't have the attitude of brand snob there are some good deals to be found. And it is just the case of it breaks down just take it back no money lost.

        There bike gear was epic as well, it just comes down to if you don't have a lot of money or don't want to waste a lot of money on something that is well overpriced. Go to aldi and people seem to forget that Aldi is one of the larger retail grocery chains in mainland europe, but everyone is entilted to their opinion just means more bargains for the rest of us bargain hunters.

    I have the Aldi Bauhn Tablet - and so far it has been a wonderful tool and has not given me any problems (the OS however, android 4.0, did). I look foward to replacing my eons-old TV with aldi's offering which is just what I've been lookin g for.

    Regarding USB ports on TVs... Best to check they are compatible for what you need. I bought a Dick Smith LCD last year for the kids room with the sole intention of plugging in a stick loaded with Dora, etc.

    The on board menu software would only allow images or mp3's to be accessed via the USB. No videos of any format!

    Who would've thought! Taught me to check the specs much more closely though.

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