capsule review

Hanns-G HG-281DJB 27.5-Inch Wide-Screen LCD Monitor

At a Glance
  • Hanns.G HG-281DJB

    PCWorld Rating

    28-inch (27.5 viewable) LCD with HDMI is priced temptingly low but it failed to impress in graphics tests.

This extremely low-priced 28-inch wide-screen (27.5-inch viewable area) monitor produced very high text scores, making it ideal for people who want a large monitor to view several documents at a time. The HG-281DJB also has an HDMI port, but its graphics performance left a lot to be desired.

Tested for our February 2008 feature "The Wide World of Monitors," the HG-281DJB displayed skin tones that seemed off. And it was unable to handle very light and very dark blocks of color, producing muddled colors instead.

The Hanns-G model comes with a VGA port for analog connections, while the digital port is HDMI. It doesn't have a DVI port, but comes with an HDMI-to-DVI cable adapter instead. Many big monitors that we reviewed for our latest chart of 25.5-inch to 28-inch LCDs offer more connectivity options, but they tend to be more expensive as well.

Hanns-G's display comes with serviceable built-in speakers. Predictably they lack bass, but at maximum volume, movie dialogue was clear, and whispered dialogue was audible. Sounds emerged, such as background chirps of birds and distant galloping hooves, that I had a hard time hearing through the built-in speakers of other monitors.

The on-screen display (OSD) menu is easy, but basic, with a few presets for color temperature and speaker volume control. There is no extra software. The panel adequately tilts (20 degrees) and minimally swivels (30 degrees each side).

The generally ordinary design consists of a glossy black bezel and a silver-and-black stand. It's squat, angular, and conventionally rectangular. A single small blue LED power button sits on the lower-right side of the bezel. OSD buttons are located behind that button on the back of the display, so they are hard to access when you're making adjustments.

The Hanns-G HG-281DJB has a tempting $599 (as of December 10, 2007) price, and it does a decent job with office documents. But it does have a hard time in certain graphics situations, so you may want to look for a more well-rounded performer.

--Roy Santos

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    28-inch (27.5 viewable) LCD with HDMI is priced temptingly low but it failed to impress in graphics tests.

    Pros

    • Good built-in speakers
    • HDMI port

    Cons

    • Weak graphics performance
    • Boring panel design
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