Hanns.G HZ281HPB review
Large format screens are becoming more numerous and affordable by the month, and this is Hanns.G’s second budget 28in model. The HZ281HPB will set you back a very reasonable £232 exc VAT, putting it only a few pounds above a good quality 24in TFT.
It’s a TN panel with a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution and a 400cd/m2 backlight – so far so good. That backlight is powerful and largely even across the panel, and white screens are suitably crisp at the default settings. But switch to a black screen and the low 800:1 contrast ratio comes into play: put simply, there is no black. To achieve a usable picture we had to lower the brightness by around 10% and drop the contrast significantly, and only then did we begin to eliminate the washed out, pale picture.
This done, the colour accuracy isn’t too bad, passing our tinting test with few real issues. But there’s still very little black to speak of – our gradient tests had a mere sliver of black at the dark end, and test photos had far too much detail visible in what should have been shadows. It’s a pale TFT, and as a result it has no real vibrancy or punch to its picture, whatever the content.
It isn’t all bad, though. In Windows it’s perfectly usable, and in our HD video clips we didn’t notice the bars above and below the screen, while the picture itself was sharp and showed no blurring in fast-moving scenes. Next to a good-quality panel you’d notice the blandness, but on its own the huge screen size does distract from the weaknesses.
The HZ281HPB has a basic tilting stand, as well as the choice of HDMI, DVI and D-SUB inputs. There’s a set of 2W speakers, but they’re too weak and tinny to consider them as your main audio option if you plan to watch films and play games on the large screen.
The bigger problem is, if you go back a year, Hanns.G launched the 28in HG281DJ at an almost identical price to this. Despite the intervening months the image quality hasn’t significantly improved with this newer model, so even at such a seemingly attractive price it’s hard to get overly excited by the average HZ281HPB.
|Resolution||1920 x 1200|
|Pixel response time||5ms|
|Horizontal viewing angle||170 degrees|
|Vertical viewing angle||160 degrees|
|Speaker power ouput||4W|
|TV tuner type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||0|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||1|
|Internal power supply||yes|
|Forward tilt angle||0 degrees|
|Backward tilt angle||20 degrees|
|Swivel angle||0 degrees|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||653 x 254 x 523mm (WDH)|