The Aldi supermarket chain is not exactly where you expect to find good deals on laptops. And most of the time you don't, because the notebooks sell out really quickly and you have to wait until the next shipment a couple of months later. But the latest Medion notebook, the Medion Akoya E6228 (MD99050) has just arrived and it's another classic Aldi bargain. Formerly a German company, Medion was recently bought by Lenovo because it's a huge brand in Europe.
For $569 this particular 15.6in Medion is squarely in a budget laptop territory and in some ways it looks like a budget notebook, with parts of the plastic body done in faux metal, as well as being quite heavy at 2.6kgs and thick at 40mm. But compared to most most sub-$600 laptops it's actually quite stylish, has a nice keyboard, and most important, it's packed with goodies inside. In fact, it's inside where this laptop shines, with a good processor, huge hard drive, good battery life and even a TV tuner!
Firstly, it comes with an Intel Core i3 (2nd gen) CPU, which provides a decent amount of processing power that's plenty for productivity, email and web browsing, pretty much 95% of the things most consumers do with a computer. As a 2nd Generation Core processor it won't benefit from the better graphics and more economic battery draw of the Gen 3 processors that are now arriving on the market - but for everyday computing it more than does the job. We've even edited HD videos with these processors!
Also inside is a 750GB hard drive that's massive for price. Normally these drives appear in laptops that cost $800 or more, so you'll be able to pack heaps of programs and big data such as media files onto the E6228. The battery life is also excellent, lasting more than three hoursof fairly rigorous use in our tests, which isn't too bad when you consider that much-vaunted Ultrabooks, with all their battery-saving systems, only manage up to 5-6 hours.
Uniquely the Medion also comes with a USB-based TV tuner (pictured above), which relies on Windows Media Centre to find the TV channels and run the show. The TV tuner comes with a remote control and also a tiny aerial which is pretty well useless. But we got a good picture when we plugged a proper TV aerial into the USB tuner, so you can use this laptop as a second TV, provided you plug a decent aerial into it.
In all, for $569 you aren't going to find many other budget laptops with some much packed into them. An ideal first computer for users with modest needs.