Flat-panels, it seems, never get truly cheap. They just get larger instead. But while it's hard to find a flat-panel going for much under £150, it isn't hard to get a 21.6in model for just over that sum - at least, not now that HannsG has unleashed the HG216DP. Costing only marginally more than even the fairly cheap 19in screens, the HannsG HG216DP offers considerably more inches for the money.
Not that the HannsG HG216DP is a great beauty to look at. The HannsG HG216DP's casing is chunky and the edges are rather too thick for our liking. You'll also need to use plenty of grunt force when jamming on the base - we had to ram it on so hard that the HannsG logo fell off. And the HannsG HG216DP's screen isn't exactly littered with ports and connectors. Indeed, the RGB, HDMI port (which we liked initially, but which we're beginning to see as a rather cheap and slightly impractical substitute for a proper DVI connector) and audio connector are the only outputs. The screen tilts but there's no height adjustable stand, pivot feature and so on. In short, the HannsG HG216DP is a pretty plain screen to look at and use.
The HannsG HG216DP's specifications, though, make for happier reading. The 1,000:1 contrast ratio isn't superlative, but when you take away the dynamic contrast ratios favoured by an increasing number of new flat-panels, it actually compares pretty well. The 300cd/m2 brightness rating is exactly as we'd expect, and the viewing angles are adequate. However, what really catches the eye is the HannsG HG216DP's resolution. Offering a generous 1,680x1,050, the HannsG HG216DP far outstrips the 1,440x900 modes offered by sub-£155 19in screens. You're getting significantly more work area for the same money, making the HannsG HG216DP something of a hot deal.
And the HannsG HG216DP's image quality is actually pretty good. Not sparkling. Not packed with fizzing colour. But certainly very easy on the eye. It maybe isn't totally uniform, but text looked sharp and well defined, while images were bright and eye-catching. As a good all-rounder, the HannsG HG216DP certainly hits the mark.
Very affordably priced but blessed with a large screen, the 21.6in HannsG HG216DP offers much better resolution support than other flat-panels at its price level. Combine that with very solid image quality, and the HannsG HG216DP is a strong choice for anyone looking to maximise their workspace on a tight budget.