Boasting plug-and-play operability, HP's budget offering in the flat-panel LCD monitor stakes is the £149, 19in wide HP w1907V model.

Key specification includes the HP w1907V's 1,440x900 optimal display resolution, 16.2 million colours, a 5ms (milliseconds) refresh rate – the lower the figure the more frequent the update – plus 1,000:1 contrast ratio. HP's BrightView technology purports to reliably deliver rich colours and a sharp picture.

For those for whom it will be an issue, it's worth mentioning that you do sacrifice something at this price, not just screen inches but namely that the HP w1907V's video input is analogue only (via 15-pin D-Sub port), though you do also get an audio input for attaching headphones plus integrated but rather underpowered 2 Watt speakers.

Accentuating the positives, the HP w1907V is sturdily constructed at 5kg in weight, sporting a sleek black gloss screen surround and, bucking the single-shade trend, a weighty metal base stand in silver that slots firmly into place.

Underneath this is a small wheel that allows the HP w1907V to be swivelled around for better visibility, with a claimed 160-degree view angle, while the screen can be tilted back and forth by a limited amount too (-5 degrees to 25 degrees).

Operation is user-friendly and revolves around four largish, clearly marked silver buttons that lurk beneath the screen at the front of the HP w1907V. These control brightness and contrast and can be used to reset the monitor to its factory default. The large power button lurks out of harm's way above the hood.

It's worth mentioning that the HP w1907V's screen menus are logically arranged and some of the easiest to navigate on test, with a Quick View mode allowing the user to select from optimised presets for movies, photos, gaming or text, while there's also a custom option.

Even with the relevant preset selected however, we found the gaming image neither as sharp nor colour-rich as the competing brands here. While movie mode seems to sort out the colours, there's a slightly mottled effect in comparison with HP's rivals, although you probably wouldn't notice if viewed in isolation. A more vivid appearance in photo mode lends fleshtones a more flattering hue, however.


It's not the biggest screen out there, but if economy of space and finances is an issue, the HP w1907V is worth further consideration.