Discount grocer Aldi to sell €399 ‘netbook’ mini laptop

Discount grocer Aldi to sell €399 'netbook' mini laptop
Photo: DPA
Discount grocer Aldi will begin selling a bargain mini notebook computer for €399 across the country on Thursday, unleashing a potential buying frenzy amongst notoriously frugal German shoppers.

Known for its emphasis on price over presentation at its stores, Aldi is hoping to appeal to the thrifty shopping instincts of many Germans. The discounter plans to tap into the low-cost laptop market with the new 10-inch Medion Akoya Mini E1210. Small, light and designed for web surfing on the go, the wee computer is based on Intel’s February 2008 “netbook” concept – a scaled-down laptop that offers only the most basic functions like internet and word processing.

The Aldi netbook, produced by German company Medion, has been well-received by computer experts and bloggers, according to German daily Die Welt on Wednesday. “The Akoya Mini is very much worth recommending because it has practically all the comfort of a full-priced notebook,” Jens Appelt, computer expert for magazine Computer Bild told Die Welt on Wednesday.

The Akoya Mini holds an Intel Atom chip, designed specifically for netbooks. It runs more slowly than full-size notebooks, but needs less electricity. The 80 gigabyte netbook also runs Windows XP, 3-D games and has a webcam.

Online tech forums are predicting long lines and quickly emptied shelves at Aldi branches, Die Welt reported. Some bloggers have said that Aldi could only have produced a few thousand models of the mini machine because of a limited Atom chip supply from Intel, which could leave many thrifty German shoppers empty-handed.