Based on a 27.5in of multi-coloured LCD, the Hanns-G HG281DJ is the flatpanel screen for those who want the impact to hit their senses rather than their bank account - for, despite its size, this costs a mere £253.

Part of the reason is that the Hanns-G HG281DJ has been around for almost 18 months - monitors are hardy items and, in contrast to other consumer electronics, their shelf life is often three or four years.

But why so cheap? Well, the first thing to point out is that the Hanns-G HG281DJ isn't the latest in technology. It was reasonably priced when it launched in late 2007 and now, with 15 months or more under its belt, its cost has fallen even more.

Mind you, the Hanns-G HG281DJ isn't the most handsome of beasts and its thick casing and brash logo reinforce suggest this isn't the best-bred of screens. Nor is it packed with ports and connectors.

There is no USB port and no DVI interface, but you get an HDMI port for hooking it up to a high-definition video source as well as RGB. No DVI-HDMI converter was included with our review unit Hanns-G HG281DJ, although we understand one will be packaged with new screens.

Unfortunately, the menu system is bewildering with uncomfortable buttons that have an old-fashioned clack to them. There aren't many customisation options either - even changing colour modes is such a pain that you may decide not to bother.

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The Hanns-G HG281DJ screen is definitely bright, and you'll probably want to tone down its 500cd/m2 brightness rating, particularly if you're going to be working at it for long periods on detailed images or text.

However, the pixel pitch is a rather inelegant 0.31mm, which means why you won't pick up on the finest of details in images using the Hanns-G HG281DJ.

Conversely, if you're looking at the Hanns-G HG281DJ from the other side of the room, the large picture certainly offers impact. And while the colours may not be perfect, the images displayed on the Hanns-G still look bright and lively.

The real question is whether £253 is too little to lavish on a screen of this size. In our opinion it is, but there's no doubt that the Hanns-G HG281DJ makes quite an impression.

Hanns-G HG281DJ: Specs

  • 27.5in flatpanel screen
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 1,920x1,200 screen resolution
  • 0.31mm
  • contrast ratio: 800:1
  • 500cm2
  • 5ma response rate
  • viewing angles: 160/160
  • speakers
  • 100W
  • RGB, HDMI
  • 10.8kg
  • 668x211x486mm
  • 27.5in flatpanel screen
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 1,920x1,200 screen resolution
  • 0.31mm
  • contrast ratio: 800:1
  • 500cm2
  • 5ma response rate
  • viewing angles: 160/160
  • speakers
  • 100W
  • RGB, HDMI
  • 10.8kg
  • 668x211x486mm

OUR VERDICT

If you're looking for a monster screen to sit on the other side of the room and display movies and games, the Hanns-G HG281DJ is a sound purchase that won't break the bank.

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