The Genius SW-Flat 2.1 700 aren't like most other speakers, and it has to be said they look a bit weird. As you may have guessed from the model name, Genius is putting a certain emphasis on the flatness of this set of 2.1 speakers - an aim it has achieved as the subwoofer and satellites are indeed fairly flat.
The problem is that while the three units look incredibly slender when viewed side on, they look fairly conventional from the front. On the bright side, it does mean the speakers don't take up as much space on your desk.
The construction is black and silver plastic that feels just a little too much like a child's toy for our liking. On the front of the subwoofer there are separate controls for the On/Off button and a rotary volume control, along with an intense and annoying blue power LED.
Genius has placed mini jacks for headphones and line-in on the front of the subwoofer, so it clearly expects you to place the unit within easy reach, in which case the LED will glare at you without mercy. If this is the case, we suggest hiding it away behind your laptop's screen.
The power rating of the speakers is quite feeble, which isn't a great surprise as there's very little room for the drivers.
You don't get any treble or bass control and this set of speakers needs more punch at the bottom end to the extent that you would be hard-pressed to believe it's a set of 2.1 speakers and not a pair of weedy bookcase speakers.
The result is that the SW-Flat 2.1 700 aren't especially loud or particularly rich in sound. However, they are just about loud enough for everyday use and we were pleasantly surprised to find there was no obvious distortion within their narrow range of operation.
Although they are far less impressive than offerings from Creative or Logitech, you could use these speakers without serious complaint and, on the plus side, they are incredibly cheap.