A $600 Turion 64 notebook from the grocery store

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Aldi, a retail chain that is specialized on low-priced and basic household needs, will be offering a notebook in the U.S, beginning next week. According to the company, the notebook includes a 2.0 GHz AMD Turion 64 "MK-36" processor, a Nvidia Geforce 6100 graphics chipset, a DVD burner, 80 GB hard disk space, 512 MB system memory, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The device, built by Germany-based electronics manufacturer Medion, is priced at $600.

Aldi, headquartered in Germany, has been selling computers and electronics through its chain in Germany since 1997 and has become one of the largest computer resellers in Europe. The U.S. division, which consists of about 700 stores that are located primarily east of Kansas, has offered PCs on occasion, but has not yet established what is known as the "Aldi PC" in Germany.

While Aldi's success with PC and electronics sales has wiped out several PC resellers in Germany, the company faces more competition in the U.S.: Especially Walmart has become a destination for cheap computers - the current lineup, for example, includes notebooks that start at about $500. However, Walmart shoppers who want to buy a notebook that is somewhat comparable to the Aldi device, will have to spend $750 (which includes a 1 .8 GHz Turion processor and 1 GB of system memory).

Aldi did not say how many of the Medion notebooks will be available through its retail stores.