If there’s one TV brand out there that might justifiably be certified insane - though in a kind of good way - it’s Hannspree. For it’s the fount of Hannspree’s creativity that we have to thank for TVs shaped like apples, footballs, bags of chips and, most recently (at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) polar bears. And that’s just the tip of Hannspree’s concept TV iceberg, we assure you.
From all this you’re probably expecting Hannspree’s ST321MBB to be yet another piece of unique madness - a TV shaped like a rugby ball to coincide with the start of the 6 Nations, perhaps. Or maybe a TV shaped like Vanessa Perroncel. Now there’s a thought.
The rather less fanciful fact of the matter, however, is that the ST321MBB looks like a black rectangle. In other words, it’s pretty much the same as every other budget 32in TV currently vying for shelf space down at your local supermarket or low-cost website...
Whether this is a disappointment or a big relief depends, of course, on your aesthetic sensibilities - or your level of sanity, perhaps. For my own part, I wouldn’t particularly like to have a huge bag of chips showing TV pictures in the corner of my room, but nor am I particularly excited by the prospect of sharing my living space with something that looks as unoriginal as the ST321MBB. Especially as the finish, while glossy, looks and feels plasticky.
But heck. In all this talk of mad and bland design I’ve kind of forgotten that the ST321MBB costs less than £340. So it’s not entirely reasonable to expect the set to look like something you’d see on the pages of Grand Designs magazine.
In fact, with my "it’s a budget TV" cap now firmly set in place, I’m kind of impressed to find its mostly black bezel illuminated - literally - by a backlit Hannspree logo. You can, of course, turn this off if you don’t feel particularly like boasting about your ownership of a Hannspree TV, but for some reason I actually sort of liked it.
The leaflet Hannspree gave me with the TV also states that the set won a Good Design Award - though I’m not sure what the criteria for the award was, or how much competition there was for it!
I’m also impressed to find the ST321MBB sporting a rather fine total of four HDMIs - three to the rear, and one down the set’s side. This is at least one more than I’d expect to find on such a cheap TV. Alongside these are a couple of SCARTs (one RGB), a PC port, composite and S-Video fall backs, and a component video input to satisfy the HD Ready standard. There’s no USB input for multimedia file playback, but this is fair enough for the Hannspree’s money.