Ever heard of Kogan? Neither had we. But this new Aussie upstart in the business of consumer electronics — from TVs to GPS to digital photo frames — has decided he's had enough of the traditions of getting fleeced on local pricing and decided to go direct to China for a better deal. Now you can buy Kogan brand gear either through their eBay store or through the new Kogan Express online store.
Kogan claims to be using Samsung panels in their screens, though no idea what generation they are talking about. In a story in the SMH, Samsung Australia were asked about this and they said they are looking into it with their plants — I'd imagine they'd be keen to kick his butt if he was lying, but this story ran back in March, so it seems he may have come away from that encounter okay.
More specifics after the bump that show why this could be a great, and low risk, option for a cheap TV.
Even if we were talking about some other generic Chinese panel, the prices are very impressive AND you get a 1-year on-site warranty, or you can add 3 or 5 year on-site warranty for extra bucks ($250 / $400 for a 40-inch), so the risk is yours to take. They also offer a seven day money back guarantee, adding another layer of risk management (though it's likely you'll be wearing delivery costs in this instance).
$1499 for a 40-inch 1366x768 LCD TV w/ 8ms response, HDMI and PIP? Good value. $699 for the same specs in a 26-inch screen? Great value. And right now they've got a special deal of $2149 for a 46-inch panel (again, same specs).
Coming in December, they will also have a new 42-inch 1080p option with digital tuner and 2 x HDMI at 6ms refresh and 2000:1 'actual' contrast. For $1999. Sweet enough for you?
If you're not overly worried about brands, these guys could be well worth a shot.
It's certainly exciting to hear of someone going direct to manufacture to deliver some hot value. The only missing link right now is getting a taste test to see how they stand up in real world performance. We've put in a request to get our hands on a unit for testing, and we'll let you know if it comes through. [Kogan]