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.
When we reviewed 30-inch desktop LCD monitors from Dell, HP, and Samsung back in May 2007, we were left saddened by the large-screen state of affairs. These monstrous widescreens offering unparalleled 2560x1600 resolution seemed like the perfect fit for power users—if not for their inherent limitations. Unlike high-performance desktop LCDs of lesser size, these 30-inch panels lack an internal scaler (and Apple’s 30-inch Cinema Display is no different). The problem is that conventional monitor-scaling technology isn’t powerful enough to drive these screens’ 2560x1600 pixels.
Gateway’s 24-inch LCD stands out in this crowd by offering far and away the most input options: VGA and DVI ins are joined by S-video, composite, and two component connectors, as well as four USB 2.0 ports. This LCD, however, also sports the most annoying OSD. Menu selections are accompanied by sound effects that are reminiscent of a Casio keyboard’s. And while there’s a healthy array of menu options to choose from, none appears to disable the menu’s audio. Twitchy touch-sensitive OSD buttons certainly don’t help matters.