Hanns.G HL231 review
Hanns.G’s HL231 is a fine-looking monitor. Gloss black plastic reaches all around and, thanks to the external power supply, it’s beautifully slim.
At this price, though, it would be churlish to expect a high-quality LCD panel or luxuries such as an adjustable stand. Instead, there’s a 23in LED-backlit Full HD TN panel, and the slender stand tilts back and forth but nothing more. There’s no HDMI input, either: only D-SUB and DVI, plus an audio input for the tinny integrated speakers.
First impressions are less than stellar. Contrast was set way too high by default and as a result the HL231 delivered a washed-out image.
Thankfully, it’s a deficiency that’s easily fixed. Reducing contrast to 60 in the onscreen menu dropped brightness from 270cd/m2 to 230cd/m2, but also improved colour accuracy, bringing the average Delta E down from 5.3 to 2.4. With gamma at 2.1 and colour temperature at 6,813k, the HL231 is about as good as budget monitors get.
In fact, the HL231 has few serious weaknesses. There’s backlight leakage around the panel’s edges but it isn’t too intrusive, and while the backlight is a touch uneven, it isn’t bad for a budget TN panel.
Greyscales exhibit mild banding, blacks look a little grey and pastel shades aren’t as well handled as they are by pricier IPS-based monitors panels, but the HL231 puts in an impressive performance in movies, photos and games.
Our Avatar Blu-ray looked fantastic on it, with the rich assortment of blues and greens never veering into oversaturation. Our selection of test photos were well handled, too, with crisp detail and neutral skintones.
The final feather in its cap is its power consumption. While drawing 18W at a measured brightness of 120cd/m2 isn’t exemplary, it is noticeably more frugal than the IPS-based panel of Viewsonic’s VP2365wb.
Despite stiff competition in the budget arena, Hanns.G’s HL231 can hold its head high. If you really can’t stretch to the extra outlay of Viewsonic’s superlative VP2365wb, the HL231 guarantees good image quality at a very low price.
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel response time||5ms|
|Horizontal viewing angle||170 degrees|
|Vertical viewing angle||160 degrees|
|TV tuner type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||0|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||1|
|Other audio connectors||None|
|Other cables supplied||VGA|
|Internal power supply||no|
|Peak power consumption||27W|
|Idle power consumption||1W|
|Extra adjustments||Clock, phase, sharpness|
|Forward tilt angle||5 degrees|
|Backward tilt angle||15 degrees|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||547 x 189 x 352mm (WDH)|