HannsG HG281D review

A huge screen for the cash, and a wonderful way to play games

HannsG HG281D
The HG281Disn't a screen for working on, it's for playing games and watching films on

TechRadar Verdict

Bright and fast with great colour rendering, this is a huge screen for a paltry handful of pennies


  • +

    Excellent Value

  • +

    Simply massive

  • +

    Great image rendering


  • -

    Ugly bezel

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Bigger really is better. Playing games on a big screen makes everything seem more real… more involving… more absorbing. You smile more. You swear more. You actually duck and weave out of the way of oncoming fire.

In fact, it's taking a huge amount of willpower to write this and not just sit slack-jawed in front of Hanns.G's new screen playing every game that comes to mind.

Widescreen wonder

Obviously there's nothing particularly new about big screens: Dell has been sating the needs of more visually demanding gamers for years, but what this 28-inch wonder highlights is that this once niche segment is about to open up.

So while anything above 24" used to hover around the grand mark, this can be picked up for a third of that.

There is, almost inevitably, something of a hidden cost to this screen though – you'll need a decent graphics card to get the best out of it. Even a 9600GT is going to struggle at the screen's native resolution of 1,920x1,200.

As 28" is a large space for that resolution, the dot pitch is relatively high, meaning that you'll want to use anti-aliasing to keep that blissful smile in place.

Gaming monitor

This isn't a screen for working on, it's for playing games and watching films on – and thanks to the high resolution, 1080P HD movies are wonderful demonstrations of the screen's capabilities – blacks are great, whites bright, colours vibrant and response times spot on.

The HG281D does boast a pair of speakers, although you wouldn't want to use these unless someone was pointing a gun at your head.

If there are any downsides to this little beauty (Little? Pah!), they're mostly superficial – it isn't a particularly good-looking unit if we're being slightly fussy, appearing to be the progeny of the fugly school of bezel design, with a good inch of gloss back in addition to the matt black bezel next to it.

Awkward controls

The onscreen controls are confusingly tucked out of the way too, which is totally unnecessary given the sheer size of the bezel.

You'll really need these controls, as the default screen brightness of 500cd/m2 will make the back of your eyeballs itch. Knocking this down to 20% made for a far more comfortable experience.

This isn't the only affordable big screen out there – 24-inch displays (such as the Acer AL2416WB) can be picked up for under £200 – but it ticks all the right boxes if you want that little bit more.

If you have the graphics punch to power this baby, you'll delight in its glorious glow. Now if you'll excuse me…