Five years ago, Monoprice was associated with two things: HDMI cables and nerds. Being able to tell people about two-buck Monoprice cables, and to explain, with confidence, why Monster cables were a scam, was one of the wonderful small privileges of geekdom; today, it's one of the dwindling few.
In addition to making its boosters look smart, Monoprice had a pretty solid pitch. Its cables were cheap! They worked fine! The company was based in the U.S., processed orders quickly, had a return policy and answered emails. It was like eBay without the risk.
The minimalist web store has long since expanded to include more than just cables; today, it's best described as an accessory shop. But in January, the company announced that it was taking a broad step into a new market: It was going to start selling big-ticket electronics under the Monoprice name.
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