HannsG HE225DPB review
You only have to take one look at the HannsG HE225DPB to know it’s a budget monitor. It has a 21.5in, LED-backlit TN panel surrounded by a fairly cheap-looking, glossy bezel and it’s mounted on a fixed and equally glossy stand. You can tilt it toward or away from you a couple of degrees, but that’s about it.
Around the back, it has a 9-pin D-Sub, a DVI-D input and a 3.5mm audio input with which you can take advantage of the HE225DPB's two built-in speakers. The inputs are neatly concealed by a small plastic lip around the back of the chassis. It’s a rather peculiar design, however, as it not only forces the cables to hang down behind the screen, but it also makes the DVI-D cable particularly tricky to screw in. At this price, we’re unsurprised by its lack of HDMI input, but the DVI input is HDCP compliant, so you can watch copy-protected games and movies.
We found the HE225 to be a very good all-round monitor. TN panels are common in budget monitors as they’re generally the cheapest type of monitors available, but they tend to have much faster response times, lower power consumption, and higher brightness levels than other types of panel technology. It doesn’t have the fastest response time we’ve seen on a TN panel, but at 5ms black-to-black, it’s still much faster than BenQ’s similarly priced GW2250HM VA monitor that only manages 16ms black-to-black.
Our set of high-contrast test photos also performed well thanks to the HE225’s excellent levels of brightness. Areas of light and dark were both clear and detailed on all our test photos, but other colours did lose some of their rich vibrancy as a result. Thankfully, the manual menu controls are very easy to use, so altering the brightness to remedy this problem won’t be a problem at all.
Unfortunately, TN panels tend to fall down when it comes to colour accuracy and viewing angles, and the HE225DPB is no different. We found it was fine for everyday tasks such as viewing emails and MS Office documents, but a more rigorous examination of its image quality started to show some weak points. Out of the box, our colour calibrator revealed that the HE225DPB only displayed 85.6 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut. We were able to increase this to 94.4% after full calibration, but when we’ve seen other cheap TN panels hit the normal 97 per cent-plus benchmark, this was still a fairly poor result.
Our solid colour tests showed similar problems as well. Red, greens and blues were almost uniform across the screen, but were noticeably darker around the top and bottom of the display. The same happened in our white and black colour tests as well, with whites turning slightly grey and blacks turning slightly blue toward the bottom of the screen when viewed head-on. Unfortunately, the HE225DPB isn’t height adjustable. You can mount it on a wall, but its ideal sweet-spot is relatively small, and looking at it from above or from the side made it even worse, with half the screen darkening on each colour test.
HannsG’s HE225DPB is a good day-to-day monitor for a bargain price, but if you need high colour accuracy and wide viewing angles you should consider an entry-level IPS monitor such as the AOC i2352Vh. Its lack of an HDMI input is also disappointing, so this is only really suited for PC use. It’s cheap and it gets the job done, so if you’re not too fussy about image quality, then the HE225DPB is a good buy.
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