I don't like TN LCD panel technology. That’s a rather broad and generalized proclamation, but the simple fact is that switching back to a TN after using something like IPS or PVA is a bit of a let-down in 99 per cent of cases. Basically, despite recent improvements you still get worse viewing angles and real contrast, and in most cases worse colour fidelity. So why do manufacturers still bother with TN? Well, there is some interrelation between the technology's lower quoted response times and (totally mistaken) consumer perception that this is the most important factor in a monitor purchase - but the main reason can be summed up in one simple little word: price.
Which brings us to Iiyama's ProLite E2607WS, a new 26in monitor available for around £280. Though it's still a great price for a 1,920 x 1,200 monitor this large, I would have been far more impressed by this figure if I hadn't recently looked at the £260 28in Hanns-G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor, which won a recommended award through sheer value for money. However, despite featuring more screen acreage than you might have any right to expect for the price, the Hanns-G did have a few flaws and a lot of room for improvement. So will the Iiyama be able to beat it?
Initial impressions on getting it out of the box are quite good. It's simply packaged, and comes in two parts; the monitor and the base. Clicking these together is a simple matter, although getting them apart again is a bit of a hassle. There's also a small cable clip, though you can easily route cables along the protruding 'ledge' beneath the connectors which might as well have been placed there for this very purpose.
Speaking of cables, you get a 3.5mm audio cable, power, VGA and DVI. Nothing to complain about then, although it doesn't compare favourably with Hanns-G's provision of an HDMI cable and VGA-Component adapter (which admittedly was not that useful considering the screen's lack of aspect ratio controls). Also, the HG281DJ featured audio in and out, letting you hook up speakers or headphones for all its sources, while the E2607WS only comes with audio in to feed its twin five watt speakers.
On the other hand, you do get better video connectivity on the Iiyama, with the presence of both DVI and HDMI offering an extra digital input compared to Hanns-G's display. Obviously, more ports is the preferable option, since you can't add more connectivity while cables can always be purchased separately.