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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.