- Review Price: £576.82
In a sea of displays, it’s always interesting when a new brand such as Hazro pops its head above the parapet. Will it be shot down or will it be a successful debut on TrustedReviews.com? The company has four displays in its line up, at 23in, 24in, 26in and 30in and all are aimed at the professional market. The first three are all 1,920 x 1,200 resolution displays, while the third is naturally a 2,560 x 1,600 model. The one we have in our sights today is the HZ26W – the 26in model.
Hazro has some serious competition as previously we’ve looked at the Dell 2707WFP, a 27in display that’s larger, yet costs about the same, and the NEC MultiSync LCD2690WUXi, which is the same size and much more expensive, but does boast a very good picture.
The Hazro design is, dare I say it Mac-like, with a fuss free smooth housing. The curves at the top and bottom are offset by the edges at the sides, and there are no buttons to spoil the effect. The only feature is the Hazro logo at the bottom, which to my eyes is visually rather weak, though that could be put down to unfamiliarity.
Hazro makes much of the fact that its design has no vents to spoil the appearance of the external housing, with the aluminium frame instead dissipating the heat. Indeed, the sides of the display are permanently warm to the touch during operation. This doesn’t cause any issues when on a desk but could do if you were slotting it in somewhere tightly.
There are four 100mm x 100mm Vesa mounting holes at the rear and the top of the stand has a carry handle, which when you need to move it, is actually very useful indeed. The stand is an angular and square affair that tapers down at the front, which looks good. However, it doesn’t have any means of rotation aside from picking it up and putting it down again, and there’s no height adjustment or pivot. These are partly what you’ll pay extra for on the NEC.
The OSD controls are all housed in a control section underneath and set back from the bottom bezel, with a smooth black finish and offering touch sensitive controls.
Unusually, the power supply isn’t built in; instead, there’s an external power brick, which is strange for a monitor this size. This means you have to have an extra block hanging around on the floor.
However, I do really like the simple straightforward connections at the back. On virtually every monitor your cables are plugged in vertically, which usually requires some form of arm contortion. This however, simply has them pointed straight out at the back – easy to reach, simple to plug in. Lovely. Right next to the DVI port is a D-Sub port, and underneath this are three phono connections for component.
In the OSD, the D-Sub connection is labelled as RGB. There are no S-Video or composite connections. Looking at the specs I could see no mention of HDCP compliance, vital for viewing DRMed-up movies on Blu-ray and HD DVD. To test this, I hooking up to an Toshiba HD DVD deck but though the display switched to 1,280 x 720 I got no picture, so it looks like HDCP is off the menu.
The OSD is quite an odd beast. Touch sensitive controls sounds cool but in practice it’s quite awkward to use. It also doesn’t work that logically. You use the up and down buttons to move between menu options, but the other way round when you want to increase or lower your choices, which is confusing.
Specifications wise, the Hazro, has a good CV. The panel is an S-IPS, which means that it won’t suffer the pitfalls of standard TN panels, which is colour shift when viewed at an angle and washed out colours. The S-IPS is inherently an 8-bit panel so it should deliver smooth colour gradations. Brightness is given as 500cm2, and the response time figure is listed a 5ms, though that is a grey-to-grey, so most likely a true figure of around 12ms, still not too shabby.
Hazro is clearly serious about the displays credentials as a serious image tool, and bundles its own customised colour management tool. Hazro will be releasing the same display under its Professional range bundled with a hardware calibration unit early next year and later on another version of the display will have programmable LUT controller boards as well for more in-depth and advanced hardware calibration.
The software enables you to set the white point at either D65, or D55, the two reference standards set by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), choose your Gamma curve, and select the luminance level. Once done, it then creates a profile so applications such as Photoshop will know how the display deals with colour.
Out of the box the display proved to be far too bright and displaying a distinct green tinge. However, after prolonged use and running through the calibration tool it produced a better, more balanced picture.
The main problem was that starting DisplayMate revealed a major issue – dark streaks running horizontally across the screen, with one right in the middle and a couple towards the top. These are quite hard to see under normal circumstances, but they are there, and if you’re serious about owning a colour accurate display you’d simply pack the unit up and send it back. However, I would hope though that this is just a one off problem with this sample.
Another issue was that there was the greys generally had a mild green tinge to them, though it was subtle, but visible on several tests.
This is a shame as aside from this the Hazro put in a good performance. In DisplayMate, bright colours were accurate and strong throughout and scales faded pretty evenly. There was a hint of banding though in the 256 colour ramp test. Greyscale gradations were even too and the small text was perfectly sharp. The black level test was less convincing, with slight greyness of tone present rather than a deep black. However, on many tests, particular the full screen red test, there was no getting away from the patchy streaks.
Playing both games and videos was a smooth experience but though it was fine, it wasn’t the most vivid experience mostly down to the average black level. Then again it’s not a TV, it’s a monitor and if content creation is what your doing, then this will be fine. The viewing angles also live up to the billing, with a small amount of colour shift vertically and only extreme angles horizontally.
I hooked up an Xbox 360 via component and was treated to bright colours and smooth motion, which actually looked more vivid than Windows did over DVI.
The bottom line then is that if you want a colour accurate screen with fewer compromises, then NEC has a better 26in widescreen display. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to this, then the Nazro is a credible alternative, and I would say that it delivers better image quality than the Dell 2707 – that is, aside from the streaking flaws that plagued this particular screen. This in a sense is what you pay extra for on something like an NEC, which is likely to have undergone more rigorous quality control.
The Hazro lacks also features such as height adjustment and pivot but the image quality combined with the stylish design, and a great price are sure to win it a lot fans.
Hazro has pulled together a quality panel in a stylish design with generally very good image quality. However, it lacks height adjustment, pivot and HDCP. In addition, minor dark streaks mar what would otherwise have been a very good picture performance, so while it has strong appeal for the price, I can’t recommend it unreservedly.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7
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