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Hazro HZ27WC review

Verdict

It has the panel of a top-end 27in monitor, but wrapped in a budget package. An absolute steal at this price

Review Date: 27 Jul 2011

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £375 (£450 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
3 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Image Quality
5 stars out of 6

Hazro’s latest monitor is a little bit special. It has a 27in IPS panel, which is a good start, yet it’s the price that’s the most pleasant surprise: at just £450, the HZ27WC is by far the cheapest 2,560 x 1,440 monitor we’ve seen.

Despite this, Hazro claims the panel is almost identical to that of the far pricier Apple Cinema Display, and our results bore that out. Gamma was only a whisker away from 2.2, and a colour temperature of 6,600k was just off the 6,500k target. With an average Delta E of 2.4 and a maximum of 5.3, the Hazro delivers colour fidelity comparable to that of far pricier displays. And while the IPS panel can’t rival TN technology for super-quick response times, we weren’t bothered by ugly smearing or lag during our gaming tests.

Hazro HZ27WC

The brightness control allows the panel to go from a minimum of 152cd/m2 right up to an eye-searing 324cd/m2, and we measured a contrast ratio of 996:1 at maximum. The LED backlight isn’t perfect, however, and further testing revealed some unevenness: the brightness peaked at 324cd/m2 in the centre of the screen and dropped to 297cd/m2 in the upper left corner.

A bigger issue for many will be the HZ27WC’s glossy panel. While the finish lends images impressive clarity and punch, those intending to use the Hazro in brighter rooms will bemoan the reflective finish. Thankfully, Hazro also sells a version of the HZ27WC with a matte finish, and it’s £50 cheaper.

Panel aside, there are some obvious cost-cutting measures. The chunky plastic chassis looks and feels like a budget construction, and does nothing more than tilt back and forth. And, just like Apple’s Cinema Display, there’s no onscreen display at all. Instead, there are volume and brightness controls at the rear, alongside one dual-link DVI port and a 3.5mm audio input.

Hazro HZ27WC

Given the monitor’s bulky rear, it’s disappointing that Hazro hasn’t managed to squeeze in an internal power supply. The pair of built-in speakers isn’t great either, with a thick, undetailed sound and a tendency to distort at full volume.

But that’s missing the point somewhat. Rivals might better it for looks and features, but those hungry for a high pixel count and superb colour accuracy will lap up the Hazro’s major strength: its panel. At this price, there isn’t a monitor on the market that can rival it for value.

Author: Sasha Muller

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User comments

Any idea what the matte version is like for image quality? The fact it's £50 cheaper has got me suspicious about the true quality of the panel.

By Firhill on 27 Jul 2011

The name reminds me of a toy make/manufacturer - but this is excellent value by the looks of it.

By nicomo on 27 Jul 2011

Is this review correct?

All the models available to buy are LED backlit, not CCFL, and you can get either 10-bit or 8-bit versions too - I also read a review that said it does have an on-screen display...

By virtx on 27 Jul 2011

@virtx
They have two similar models, though both seem to be LED backlit. From TFTcentral:
HZ27WA - DL-DVI, 1x HDMI, 2x VGA and component interfaces available. Provided with cables for 1x DL-DVI, 1x VGA, 1x HDMI, 1x stereo audio and power supply (no component). OSD available. 2 in-built scalers offering hardware level aspect ratio control. These also allow for additional controller board level frame rate control for 10-bit sources and support of higher colour depth where available. Dynamic contrast ratio available. 5 defined adjustments possible to backlight intensity. Slightly higher retail cost.

HZ27WC - DL-DVI interface only. Comes packaged with DVI and stereo cables only. No OSD menu available, only quick access control over power, backlight and volume. 11 defined steps for backlight intensity control. There are no scalers available on this model so the support for 10-bit sources and aspect ratio control are not available. Lower retail price as a result of these cut-backs.
In terms of performance the screens are quite similar. I can't fairly analyse their default factory settings as the HZ27WA unit was not factory calibrated when it was sent to me. If the HZ27WC's very good out of the box performance is anything to go by then this is very promising. A good default setting and the contrast ratio issue had been fixed. Responsiveness was slightly different on the HZ27WC with an ever so slightly more noticeable blur, but freedom from the RTC overshoot we saw on the HZ27WA. The input lag was considerably lower which is great for those wanting to use this screen for fast gaming. The HZ27WC is more suited for gamers as a result. The HZ27WA holds the edge for multimedia and movies thanks to its additional interfaces, aspect ratio control and dynamic contrast ratio. In other areas the performance was very comparable and impressive.

By Mark_Thompson on 27 Jul 2011

I've got the "matte" version, although in reality it's still a fairly glossy and reflective display. It doesn't have a heavy anti-glare coating like monitors from Dell and some other companies. Whether that's a good thing or not is a matter of personal preference.

The only difference between mine and the more expensive "glossy" version reviewed here is the sheet of Apple Cinema Display style glass stuck to the front. In theory the layer of glass improves contrast and colours, but the panel underneath is exactly the same, and the glass definitely makes the display more reflective. Even without the difference in price I'd rather have the non-glass version.

Personally I think this monitor is an excellent deal (especially the cheaper version). If you don't need to plug more than one computer into it then the lack of multiple inputs is a non-issue, and poor built in speakers are hardly a big deal. The aesthetics aren't as nice as higher end monitors, but the image on the panel is more important than the case holding it.

The lack of OSD and scalers are an issue if you want to plug in devices like games consoles. If you're just using it with a PC then the graphics card will handle scaling and the display settings can be tweaked in software.

The display does produce some noise, so isn't ideal for quiet computing fans. It can produce quite a loud and high pitched buzz when displaying certain content, and I definitely notice it in normal use if the room is quiet. Of course the same is true for a lot of significantly more expensive monitors.

Image quality really is as good as Apple's 27" Cinema Display, but for the price of that you could buy two HZ27WCs with money left over. The Hazro is absolutely incredible value for money in comparison.

By Kendall99 on 30 Jul 2011

Looks great, but where can you buy one at that price? I'm struggling to find any retailers in the UK that stock it, let alone at the price listed.

By J400uk on 31 Jul 2011

You can get them here:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/search_results.php?s
ortby=&groupid=&search=hazro

You can also get them on the Hazro website www.hazro.co.uk, although they're saying they're out of stock until August...

By virtx on 31 Jul 2011

Dangerous!

Dangerous!

Many users of the glossy version of this monitor have reported the glass panel falling off which could cause serious injury. TFT Central and Trusted Reviews have updated their reports on this monitor to warn readers of the possible danger posed by continuing to use them.

By glenglen59 on 23 Nov 2012

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