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Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor review

Ardjuna Seghers




  • Recommended by TR

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Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • Hanns.G HG281DJ 28in LCD Monitor
  • HG281DJ Black 27.5" Widescreen LCD Monitor (1920x1200, 3ms, HDMI)


Our Score:


Bigger is better - what a controversial statement, but there are some areas where it's true. One of these has traditionally been the PC monitor, where it applies to several areas. One is build quality; since bigger screens tend to be not only more expensive but also more exclusive, so you usually get a minimum level of quality. The other one, however, is resolution: since the widescreen revolution, the highest resolution you are likely to find on anything below 22in is 1,680 x 1,050 - though that will be changing over the coming months. Go up a size to 24in, and you're into full HD (1080P) territory with likely resolutions of 1,980 x 1,200, while 30 inches will nab you the enviable figure of 2,560 x 1,600.

With its HG281DJ, Hanns.G offers a compromise. It has a big 27.5in panel, offering the same 1,980 x 1,200 pixels as its smaller 24in cousins - and amazingly, at a price that would barely get you the cheapest of these! Generally available for around £260, this is one of those technology deals that simply seems too good to be true. Our mission today is to find out if it is.

Before I get onto the monitor itself, the bundle is worth an honorary mention. The most common cost-cutting annoyance manufacturers indulge in is leaving out digital cables, but this is another area where the HG281DJ left me pleasantly surprised. The usual VGA cable is joined by audio and HDMI cables, and even better, a VGA to component adapter for the Wii or older Xbox360 owners out there. These additions are as impressive as the rest of what you appear to be getting for the money.

As you might have guessed by the adapter, the Hanns.G doesn't feature any connectivity other than HDMI and VGA, which really is all you've any right to expect - though I can't help regretting that the company didn't find some way to throw in native component. Annoyingly, the power socket is located just between the stand and the bezel, making it rather difficult to access. Still, it's not like you'll need to fiddle with it often. Cable management is excellent, being similar to the Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP in that you simply route them through a rectangular cut-out in the stand.

Adjustability is also far better than I was expecting for the price. In addition to a decent amount of tilt and swivel, you get height adjustment of up to 12cm - an essential feature on any monitor, but rare in even 22in budget models. The only minor quibble is that if you push the screen down too far, the transport lock mechanism engages, and you have to push a button on the stand's back to be able to move it again. This display also has a VESA mount, so you can easily hang it on your wall using a VESA-compliant bracket or arm.


September 2, 2008, 4:55 pm

How can you recommend a product with such poor scores? What's happening with TR?


September 2, 2008, 5:08 pm

We're recommending it based on its low price, what's the problem?

Hans Gruber

September 2, 2008, 6:22 pm

Low scores? I haven't read the article properly to get a better understanding of this monitor's actual performance but I'd say 7/10 for the all important image quality was pretty good. Getting almost 28" of desktop real estate for 𧶼 is lick smackingly good.

The only serious fly in the ointment for me is the lack of 1:1 pixel mapping: makes the screen far less appealing for watching films if wider formats than 16:10 (in this instance) are used, which they are more often than not. Having a firmware fix this then it'd be too tempting a deal to leave, I reckon.


September 2, 2008, 6:23 pm

@lifethroughalens: I believe the scores are supposed to be absolute (except value obviously) so the higher scores in image are reserved for the more expensive monitors (or at least those that actually have better image quality).

I'm not sure why it got such a low design score when it's got good adjustability, is that score just for visual design (appearance) and not functional design?


September 2, 2008, 6:43 pm

@Xiphias: Yes, the design score was more for the visual (lack of) design, while I considered adjustability in my features score.

@Azro: A 7 is indeed not a bad image quality score, though this is for a TN panel. Taking this into consideration, the image quality isn't bad.

@lifethroughhalens: Sevens are NOT exactly poor scores, and did you miss the Value one?


September 2, 2008, 7:16 pm

I have seen a lot of products on TR with higher average marks NOT getting recommended. And 7/10 isn't exactly a very good mark for Image Quality when that's it's entire purpose, and 6 for design is pretty poor, on these marks alone I feel it's very generous to recommend it on value alone.


September 2, 2008, 10:12 pm

@lifethroughhalens: I can see what you're saying, but average scores isn't what it's always about. For people who want the biggest screen for the least money, the Hanns.G is easy to recommend - and there are very few TNs that score higher than 7, by nature of it being an inferior technology to PVA or S-IPS. It might be generous to recommend it MAINLY on value, but if you could get a merely average netbook for under 𧴜, would you not recommend it?


September 2, 2008, 10:55 pm

@ lifethroughalens - I don't think you're taking the value into account here, should a monitor costing � be recommended purely because it has all the features you could ever need and the best image quality ever? No, because the price puts it way too far above similarly sized competition and it's very bad value for money. However this is a 28" monitor for 𧶼 there aren't many decent 24" monitors for 𧶼 let alone many in any other 28" ones.

And I've actually seen the screen in person, I agree with the review it's nothing great to behold but I'd say it's perfect for day to day activities and gaming.

Martin Daler

September 2, 2008, 11:40 pm

well, I guess the argument is, at the 𧶼 price point and (logical AND, that is) in the 28" category, which is the best monitor. This one I guess, hence the recommendation?


September 3, 2008, 1:06 am

Yes, I see your your point. The value is a good point, but you definitely will never find me recommending anything just because it's perceived good value. Just doesn't 'feel' right to me considering the relatively good scores for design and features. Maybe TR's should have a gold, silver and bronze recommendation badge system. Then we can all split hairs over that! :o)


September 3, 2008, 2:18 am

The Hanns. G is not just good value, it is an above average performer (especcially so as it has a TN panel) as screens go. The fantastic price point, the huge screen, the above average quality/features and the included HDMI cable easily means it warrants a recommended.

Try and find a 28" monitor for less then 𧶼 let alone one that has a decent picture quality and comes with a HDMI cable. It has a better price point then the majority of 26" displays which it regularly beats in response time and cd/m2


September 3, 2008, 2:36 pm

I guess they do have a 'gold' standard really - I always see the Editors Choice tag as the ultimate accolade (I guess it depends on how good the editor is though!) :p


September 12, 2008, 1:54 am

i don't want to sound like an idiot but how much of a difference will the fact that it does not have 1:1 pixel mapping make when it comes to watching movies, does it mean that instead of showing things in 1080p it will show them in it's native resolution of 1900x1200 and stretch the image or ....?

and how will this compare to something like the Samsung T260HD which is available for roughly the same price in the states (yanks get all the good prices)


September 30, 2008, 3:33 pm

@nays: sorry for the late reply. Lack of 1:1 pixel mapping is only a problem if you're using it with a source other than a PC, since with a PC you can use the software to scale. But yes, on - for example - an upscaling DVD player or most gaming consoles, it will stretch movies and other material, meaning objects will be elongated. :(

If you want to hook up consoles or other AV gear, I would go for the T260HD every time, thanks to more options, bucket-loads of connectivity and the remote - and yes, you chaps on the other side of the Atlantic do get all the good prices {grumble-mumble} ;)

Mr G Scheller

December 12, 2008, 4:37 pm

This monitor is brilliant..I can't say just how pleased I am with it,connected to my PC through a HMDI socket incredible picture,

I also have a PS3 and I can't see why they say the screen looks stretched,just wish there were two HMDI sockets so I wouldn't have to keep changing them,for the money my best buy of 2008


February 19, 2009, 6:18 pm

@Mr G Scheller: Hey, if you're not noticing the stretching effect with your PS3 then... I guess it's not a problem for you. As to the HDMI sockets, get an HDMI switcher!!! They're available for around 㿊.


March 9, 2009, 4:10 am

ive been looking at this monitor and comparing it to the Hannspree HT09 28in Full HD TV

in your HT09 review you said it had the same specs as the 28"Hanns.G but i look at your image quality scores and they are both different,why is this,i thought they were the same but one has tv the other does not.im looking for a monitor more for pc gaming but would like to watch movies also but not as important as gaming,so which is the better one out of the two.

many thanks.


April 22, 2009, 4:15 am

I'm photographer and I will never buy this monitor but...

if I would be a gamer I would buy THIS MONITOR :)

28' for 𧷣 !!!

I don't understand complains about image quality for 𧷣. What you can expect for 28' 𧷣 monitor? Image quality of Eizo or even Apple Cinema?

Just buy it if you gamer or don't if you need image quality score 9 or 10.

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