When I first bought my HP computer (after ruining my Sony VAIO desktop) about seven years ago, I happened to have a super-old, bulky monitor from the ‘90s. Refusing to join the modern age, when that one died, I frantically searched used computer stores for the cheapest replacement I could find, opting to spend $10 on a similarly-bulky, and awkwardly heavy replacement. Part of this was out of necessity–my wife and I had just gotten married, and she had a terribly low-paying job at a popular coffee chain, so we couldn’t afford much–but it was also out of my notorious love of penny-pinching.
Flash forward about a year; Aldi was selling a 19” Medion widescreen monitor for $150. While even back in 2008, this wasn’t a spectacular deal, it was decent enough to capture my attention, and I thought long and hard about buying it to finally replace my unreliable old-school monitor for Aldi’s slim LCD. But there were a couple things that made me hesitate.
Unlike private-label foods, where many of them are created in the same factories as their name-brand counterparts, private-label electronics can be a little harder to make heads-or-tails of. Sure, some of them are also made in factories owned by the bigger brands, but you especially have to be careful, especially if it’s really cheap, because you might be getting some thrown together crap from China, that will fail before you even have time to realize what‘s happening. To combat this, I always research potential purchases online, to see what other users of the product thought about it. Well, that’s where things got a little more interesting, as I couldn’t find any information on the monitor whatsoever, and could barely even find info on Medion, the company, as a whole.
Ultimately, I decided to take the plunge and give it a shot, mainly aided by their 2-year warranty. Hey, at least I knew, worst-case scenario, that I wouldn’t have to buy a monitor for another two years! Well, I’m happy to say it has far exceeded that: About seven years later now, and it’s still holding up just as well as it did the day I brought it home. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never had a problem with it at all, and there’s no reason not to believe it can’t last at least a few more years. The picture is crisp and clean, and not even a single pixel is out of place. I can’t really vouch for all Medion products simply based on this one (though I almost did buy a Medion computer to go along with it), but in this day and age, where it seems everything is made to fail right after the warranty expires, I have to say I’ve easily gotten my money’s worth, and then some.
Overall: 9/10. I’ll admit, I took a leap of faith when purchasing this monitor, as there was no information on it available online, and barely even any information on Medion as a whole. But this has far exceeded my expectations; going on seven years later, and this thing still works like a charm. Not even one pixel is out of place, and the picture is still every bit as crisp and clean as the day I bought it. I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another Medion-branded item in the future, especially since finding out they were acquired by Lenovo in 2011. Definitely worth the asking price, though Aldi stores in the U.S. don’t seem to carry electronics very often.
UPDATE #1: My how online searches evolve! Now, a simple search of the company tells us they are a German-based electronics company (see any similarities to Aldi?) owned by Lenovo. That probably wasn’t the case when I got this monitor, but that’s where we stand now. I’m not sure how much I trust Lenovo, having only purchased a refurbished laptop from them that died within the year (only piece of pricey tech I’ve ever bought that died so quickly), but seeing as how their products never make it to our local store, that makes the decision not to buy from them much easier.
UPDATE #2: It’s now June, 2019 and this is still the monitor I use on a daily basis. It’s been over a decade now without even a dead pixel to show for its age. It really turned out to be worth every penny, even though, for the same price I paid for this one, I could get a much better monitor now. But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?