Variety is the spice of life, they say. So what could be spicier than moving from the £16,000 Sim2 Nero 3D-2 high-end projector in our last video display review to the £334.98 Hannspree SE40LMNB we’re looking at today?
It’s worth reiterating that price: just £334.98, for a 40in LCD TV equipped with edge-LED lighting and multimedia playback. Hannspree has sprung some price surprises on us before, but this one takes the biscuit.
Not surprisingly such a puny outlay doesn’t exactly get you the world’s most fashionable TV. If you look closely you can see an unusual grained finish to the bezel, and the set is reasonably slim around the back. But aside from these ‘moments’, it’s more or less just another in the long line of basic grey and black rectangles. It’s actually reasonably sturdy, though - provided at least that you make sure the stand screws have all been fully tightened.
Not that you need to stand mount it. For Hannspree has thoughtfully positioned all the connections so they can be accessed from the side; none protrude directly out of the TV’s rear, making it easier to put straight onto a wall.
The connections provided include highlights of three HDMIs, a D-Sub (VGA) PC port and a single USB. The USB is particularly significant/surprising, because as well as allowing you to play back video (H.264/MPEG 4/AVC), photo (JPEG) and music (MP3) files, it also permits recording from the built in Freeview tuner. Handy stuff indeed for such a cheap TV - though obviously some will feel let down by the set’s lack of MKV and Divx support.
The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed that we didn’t add ‘HD’ after Freeview in the previous paragraph. For sadly the set only has a standard definition tuner - understandable, perhaps, at its price level, but to be honest it’s getting increasingly hard to feel good about a non-HD tuner at any price these days. Unless, perhaps, it happens with an especially large and cheap TV like the 55in Finlux 55S6040-M, which could be used as a simple monitor to go with an external HD broadcast receiver.
The more we explore the SE40LMNB’s features and specifications, the more obvious its budget intentions become. The only things of note are its full HD resolution, multi-level noise reduction system, and dynamic contrast option. Otherwise you get just the basic picture settings you’d expect to find on any TV worthy of the name.