At this modest price point, you'd expect a monitor free from frills, and that's largely what you get.

The design of the chassis and enclosure of the Hanns-G HG216D is bland to the point of near invisibility.

Likewise, it's hewn from creaky-to-the-touch plastics. At first glance, the image quality is pretty ordinary, too.

In typical TN fashion, the colours are fairly drab, black tones lack the depth of good VA displays and there is a general absence of vibrancy and pizzazz. Look a little closer, however, and the HG216D's strengths begin to shine through.

The backlight is impressively even, with only slight evidence of leakage at the edge. Black tone definition is also better than you would normally expect from a monitor in this class, and the smoothness of rendered colour gradients suggests that Hanns-G has done a decent job with the image-processing electronics and dithering implementation.