Ah, Full HD. Those two magical little words have come to mean so much in digital entertainment. What it refers to is a device that can handle a resolution of at least 1,920 x 1,080 (1080p). Until now in the TV world, if you wanted this in anything smaller than 32 inches, your only option was an LCD TV/Monitor hybrid, but Hannspree appears to have changed this with its 28in HT09 Full HD television.
However, appearances can be deceiving, and upon noting the size of this TV, I became immediately suspicious. Some of you might remember the £260 Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in Monitor we reviewed a while back and given Hanns.G and Hannspree are basically one of the same and this TV shares the same dimensions, it's reasonable to surmise they both use the same LCD panel. My suspicions seemed to be confirmed by both panels sharing characteristics like a 1,920 x 1,200 (16:10) resolution, 3ms response and low 800:1 native contrast ratio. However, with the Hannspree HT09 available for only a tenner more than its monitor incarnation and sporting a whole host of connections in addition to a remote, could we be looking at one of the bargains of the New Year?
Taking the television out of its box, one obvious corner that's been cut is the cables, in that aside from power there aren't any. That's not too great a gripe though, as most AV devices will come with their own and an HDMI cable can be found for under ten pounds these days. Aside from this there is an incredibly thick manual, detailed multilingual quick-start guide, a remote and a cleaning cloth -- a nice and unexpected inclusion at this price point.
And you're going to need that cleaning cloth, as most of the display and part of the remote are finished in shiny, glossy black. On this note, it must be said that the HT09 is a million miles away from the HG281DJ in terms of appearance. A piano-black bezel around the screen gives it a more premium feel and is broken only by the relatively subtle Hannspree logo in silver lettering.
Beneath this is a silver speaker section with angled contours that do a reasonable job of keeping things respectable, as opposed to cheap and nasty. This is divided in the middle by a chrome inset, which contains an unobtrusive blue power LED that turns orange in standby. This all rests on an oval glossy black stand, but this is the only part of the well-built display that feels like it might not survive a bump or two, so using the VESA mounting holes to wall mount the HT09 might prove desirable.
Overall, while its slightly plasticky look isn't going to quite match the styling of many big-brand televisions costing £500 or more, this is certainly nothing you'd be ashamed to put next to your PS3.