capsule review

HannsG HZ281 is a good general-purpose LCD

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder HZ-281

    Macworld Rating

HannsG’s HZ281 is a conventional computer monitor. That’s not a bad thing, though, and the HZ281 is pretty good value as a 27.5-inch screen.

The HZ281 has both DVI and HDMI ports, as well as ye olde VGA, so you can hook it up to a computer and an iPad or DVD player at the same time and use it to watch videos or TV shows. If you have a Mac with a Mini DisplayPort, you'll need an adapter, which is not included.

The HZ281 isn’t as elegant as some of its more slimline rivals, housing the large display within some rather nondescript and chunky black plastic panelling. The stand doesn’t tilt or swivel, and that big monitor panel seems to be perched somewhat precariously on top of the stand as well. The video connectors on the back of the display all face downwards, which makes it a bit tricky plugging the cables in, and we felt a little wary of tilting the monitor forward on the stand in order reach the connectors.

However, the large screen makes up somewhat for those minor shortcomings, and the HZ281 works well as a second display for a MacBook or with a Mac mini. It was also rather impressive watching some HD episodes of Misfits playing from an iPad on that big screen using Apple’s Digital AV adapter.

The HZ281 doesn’t have an LED backlight, as some of its newer rivals do, but the image was bright and attractive. Our only complaint was that the 800:1 contrast ratio of the HZ281 is fairly modest, and video playback would have benefitted from crisper blacks and higher contrast.

Even so, the HZ281 is fine for use in your bedroom or study. The built-in speakers provide adequate volume levels, although they lack bass, so a set of external speakers would come in handy if you regularly want to use it for music or video playback.

Macworld's buying advice

Mac Pro owners who need a precise monitor for design or editing work might want to look elsewhere, but the HZ281 is good value for money if you simply want a nice big screen for your laptop or Mac mini, or for watching video from an iPad or.

This story, "HannsG HZ281 is a good general-purpose LCD" was originally published by Macworld U.K..

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Big screen with DVI and HDMI
    • Bright image

    Cons

    • Build quality could be better
    • Speakers lack bass
    • No tilt or swivel
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