New Toy: Hanns-G HL273HPB 27″ Monitor [Updated 2015-09-17]

I’ve had an NEC AccuSync 120 for some years now.  It cost me a bundle and it was worth it.  Sure, it was large and heavy but it’s been a workhorse.  They don’t make ’em like they used to – literally, as they just don’t make CRT monitors any more.  They’re all flatscreens now, and I’ve avoided flatscreens for years.

It’s the viewing angle; it sucks.  I could be looking at my CRT monitor from a 75° angle and aside from the inherent geometric distortion in looking at it that way, the colors were spot-on, with no variation.  With these flatscreens I can bob my head whilst sitting in front of the thing and the colors change.  I’d hoped the relentless march of technology would put an end to this impediment but it looks like manufacturers have made only modest improvements; IPS technology is the current alternative but the slower response time seems like it would make for pretty crappy video performance.

Still, my old CRT was just that – old.  And it’s been showing it’s age.  Some moiré effect with certain colors which no amount of settings tweaking could eradicate, an almost imperceptible blurring when viewed up-close, and there there were the occasional fits of screensize twitching which made me think the old girl was on her way out, only to have it go away like nothing was the matter (“I’m fine now – really!”).  I knew it was time to start the process of assessing the market for a new toy.

That process concluded with my purchase of the Hanns-G HL273HPB, a 27″ LED LCD which has some nice specs, or at least so says the manufacturer.  I got it on “Cyber Monday” last year for what seemed like a good price for such a thing.

When it arrived I was a little disappointed; the colors were somewhat washed out.  After a day or two I played with the controls and found that the brightness was set by default to 100%; I backed it down to around 60% and, boy-o-boy, that did the trick.  The viewing angle is, well, sufficiently broad so as not to be problematical.

As a bonus, at last I’m able to hook my monitor up to my video card with a purely digital connection; since 2008 it’s been digital from the card but converted to analog for the old CRT.  It took me a while to figure out that I needed a DVI-I plug (amongst the pleothora of DVI variants), and once I hooked it up I could actually see an improvement.

[Update: 2015-09-17] This monitor worked well until today, and then *blink* it died this morning; it looks like the LED backlight gave out.  Disappointment – two years is an unacceptable lifespan.

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