Hanns.G HP222DJ0 £140
23rd Nov 2010 | 09:55
Are there too many compromises in this budget screen?
Hanns.G HP222DJ0 review: Overview
Is there a point at which a cut-price screen becomes a false economy? It's certainly tempting to think the Hanns.G HP222DJ0 is plenty cheap, but not particularly cheerful.
After all, by at least one obvious metric it's well behind the competition. This is an old school 16:10 aspect ratio screen where the rest of the known universe has gone 16:9. The old-school means full 1080p HD is not on the menu here. Instead, you must make do with 1,680 x 1,050.
Of course, you're only losing out to the tune of 30 vertical pixels. It's the horizontal that really hurts, down from 1,920 pixels. Making matters worse, LG's E2350 is available for about £10 extra. Not only does that screen offer the full-HD 1080p pixel grid, it's also an inch bigger and packs an LED backlight, no less. The Hanns.G HP222DJ0 has a seriously tough fight on its hands.
Watts at: maximum / approx 170cd/m2 – lower is better
Hanns.G HP222DJ0: 25W / 18W
LG E2350: 28W / 19W
Iiyama E2271HDS: 21W / 16W
Hanns.G HP222DJ0 review: Verdict
Such has been the rapid rise of full-HD 16:9 monitors in the past 18 months, the Hanns.G HP222DJ0 has been left looking like a crinkly old timer. The 16:10 aspect looks out of place.
However, the reality is that the current fad for the slightly wider 16:9 aspect has little to do function on the PC. Instead, it's fashion (and the fact that the wider aspect makes for a slimmer panel that's cheaper to manufacturer).
Anyway, what does actually matter is the reduced resolution that comes with a 16:10 panel. 1,680 x 1,050 provides a reasonable desktop workspace. But we always prefer more pixels and that's exactly what a Full HD monitor provides.
Aspect and resolution are not the only measures by which this parsimonious panel betrays its old-school make-up. Where the latest low cost screens are delivering significant improvements in image quality, the Hanns.G HP222DJ0 is more unambiguously a TN monitor.
That means the colours don't exactly burst out of the screen. There's also some unsightly edge bleed that distracts when watching movies. That said, the glossy screen surface does translate into superb clarity when viewing HD video.
What's more, it produces flesh tones that are actually more accurate than some of the new generation of more vibrant TN displays. It's also impeccable when it comes to pixel response and suffers from absolutely no input lag. Gamers on a very tight budget, therefore, could do an awful lot worse.
You might think any monitor priced below £135 would be pretty miserable. But the Hanns.G HP222DJ0 produces no horrors. It's responsive, lag free and offers reasonable colour accuracy and tolerable viewing angles. Bung in HDCP support and the result is a very plausible all rounder for the price.
While we're not huge fans of the super-wide 16:9 aspect ratio that's recently become popular, we do like the full-HD 1080p resolution that comes with it. This monitor offers neither and that it leaves feeling a little flaked out. Despite the glossy screen coating, it's old school in terms of vibrancy and contrast, too.