We hadn’t even heard of Hanns.G until about five months ago, when we tested the company’s HW223DPB. That 22-inch model’s 6-bit color, bare-bones build, and lack of HDCP earned it just a 6 verdict in our August issue. But Hanns.G is clearly stepping it up a notch with its HG281DPB. The monitor’s 27.5-inch screen and 1920x1200 resolution put it in a league with Dell’s stellar 2707WFP, but for almost $500 less—making us wonder if this is a bargain we should pounce on.
The HG281DPB has a slick aesthetic that should blend in well in entertainment setups—although the reflective black trim is prone to fingerprints. The screen tilts forward and back and swivels side-to-side but, unfortunately, cannot be raised or lowered. Interestingly, the display comes with an HDMI port (an included DVI-to-HDMI cable makes it compatible with any modern videocard) as well as VGA; an audio port is included, should you care to use the built-in speaker. The onscreen display menu offers all the options we’d expect, save for a picture-in-picture mode. In terms of build quality and flexibility it doesn’t match Dell’s 2707WFP, but it’s acceptable.
The screen’s performance is also acceptable. The HG281DPB was fairly adept at DisplayMate’s obstacle course test patterns. Grayscale reproduction was smooth up to 256 steps, but the light end was a little blown out at 64 or more steps. We detected some evidence of this in high-res images featuring subtle transitions of lighter shades.
But in general, we were satisfied with the HG281DPB’s handling of all the content we threw at it. It has the HDCP support required to play commercial Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, and we didn’t detect any motion artifacts in our game tests. We just wouldn’t call the HG281DPB exceptional. In fact, next to Dell’s 2707WFP, its picture really pales. The color-gamut boost in Dell’s screen creates a more vivid picture that, along with all the other Dell extras—a media card reader, USB port, and adjustable stand, to name just a few—are what you will do without when you opt for Hanns.G’s lower price point.
Hans Christian Anderson
HDMI input; good color; low price point.
Lacks the options of more expensive monitors; no height adjustment.