Hanns.G HW173AB review
The cheapest TFT here and it shows - aim a little higher.
Review Date: 12 Nov 2008
Reviewed By: David Bayon
Price when reviewed: £64 (£74 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The cheapest of the group by some distance at just £64 (exc VAT), the Hanns.G HW173AB is hugely appealing just for its price - there's a bargain hunter in all of us, after all. But don't get your credit card out just yet, for this 17in monitor gives you exactly what you might expect for that price, and not a jot more.
It starts off reasonably well, with clearly labelled control buttons allowing for simple tweaking. We tried all of the colour modes but plumped for User, which gave us a clean and bright picture.
The initial contrast test showed good whites but blacks that were not so impressive. This bodes poorly for shadow detail, and the black level test added further to our concern - it was so deep it almost looked as if the monitor was switched off. This translated into an unbalanced gradient ramp in which anything below a medium dark grey appeared totally black.
The real-world tests confirmed these weaknesses: even at the brightest settings our test videos were dark and murky, with low detail levels and deeply uninspiring colours across the board. Our colour tracking test showed a blue tint we couldn't eradicate, and even the lush Crysis environments were washed out and lifeless.
There are plus points: perfect pixel tracking over VGA, a three year on-site warranty and low power consumption (just 20W when switched on, and less than a watt in standby). And for everyday office work or web browsing it'll be absolutely fine. But if all you want is a bog-standard cheap display the £80 Hyundai - with a 19in screen and DVI port - is a much more solid starting point than this.
Author: David Bayon
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