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.


    ummm...so you say to get there at 8:30am this morning, but you post the article at 2:30pm...trying to get all the deals yourself eh?

    I thought I saw this posted yesterday?

    Anyway, what notebook from any other supplier has a 2 year warranty as standard? And if anything, Aldi stand by there warranty and you can go to any store should you have a problem, no garbage about having to send it back to the manufacturer.

      Yeah I've seen the cashiers take back peoples goods with a receipt before.

    mp3 players are great for when you go on runs/gym etc and don't want your phone to get all nasty, or dropped. Running with phones is for gym/fitness noobs.

    Sandisk 16GB USB Stick ($16)

    $12.99 GUYS..... Check again, someones a bit tired and confused the 16Gb with $16.00 Its a reasonable price for brand name...I've tried their Tevion brand previously and despite the transfer speed claim of Ver.2.00 it was crap and took it back

    Australia Post has been selling 16gb for about $15.00

    OH and PS
    Ive been viewing your site via the Google Currents android app, and I'm really impressed, its now on my must read/check list most days
    Thanks to everyone there.....

    This was posted yesterday, however that was over on Lifehacker.

    Picked up one of the TVs to use as a display for my laptop (previous one was a 1280x1024 thing, couldn't stand the cramped feel when programming), and the HDD recorder to hopefully replace the shitty Dick Smith one. It was looking great, until I started recording something and discovered that I was then locked out of all the menus. Can't play back previous recordings, can't alter other recording timers. All you can do is change channel and start a second recording. TV seems to be fine though. It's a little dim and the colours are slightly blue, but it's a step up from what I had before. Seems to work ok with the 360 running through HDMI too. DVD player's... ok.

    They've got a moderately good tower coming out on the 25th (seen in local paper drop). But the site doesn't have these listed online yet and I don't know what GFX card is installed.

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