Avatar has a lot to answer for. If it hadn’t been the runaway success of James Cameron’s epic 3D movie, we perhaps wouldn’t have seen the overnight explosion of interest in creating three-dimensional films, TV programmes and games. Now it’s not enough to be hurtling through a dense jungle in first-person to kill enemy soldiers and aliens – you now have to be surrounded by that jungle, with enemy fire popping out of the screen at you.
So far, the number of 3D monitors produced for gamers has been relatively small – and the 23in versions are an even more select band, including the Acer GD245HQ, the Asus VG236H, LG W2363D-PF and BenQ XL2410T. So what makes HannsG’s entry into the 3D arena stand out from the competition?
Outwardly, the HS233 is a neat-looking 16:9 widescreen monitor measuring 594x402x192mm with a thin black bezel surround and a sturdy triangular base that allows a tilt of between -3.5 and 21.5 degrees. Sadly, it doesn’t allow for any height adjustment or swivel. It all weighs a comparatively light 4.9kg, and comes with three inputs for VGA, DVI-D and HDMI.
Like all of its rivals, the HS233 has a native Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 and a fast refresh rate of 120Hz. The viewing angles of 170 degrees (horizontal) and 160 degrees (vertical) are again very similar, as is the 1000:1 typical contrast ratio.
It also shares a brightness level of 300 cd/m2 with the Acer and BenQ models, which is trumped by the ASUS and LG at 400 cd/m2. Its 3ms response time matched by the LG and bettered by the others at 2ms.
Crisp and clear
Watching Blu-ray movies and playing fast-action FPS games, though, reveal just how crisp the images are on the HS233. There were no signs of lag or ghosting, and on the whole colours were vibrant and blacks deep and solid – meaning it makes a great 2D monitor for gamers and movie lovers. the 3D effect on films such as Avatar and Shrek 3D is highly effective, too.
All of the above monitors use the Nvidia 3D system, and therefore require the relevant Nvidia kit of a capable graphics card in your PC and 3D glasses in order to work properly, the real decision if you’re looking to experience 3D for the first time ultimately comes down to price.
If so, the ASUS VG236H is the only one to include the NVIDIA 3D kit (which costs around £100 on its own) in the package for £352, while the LG W2363D-PF monitor on its own is currently available online for as little as £158. At an average price of around £250, the HannsG HS233 is slightly less than the rest of the competition, but it will need to drop below £200 to really make its mark.
Contact: HannsG on +31 10 453 5000
- Sharpness and brightness of the images.
- Still a bit pricey.
HANNSG's HS233 is an impressive entry into the 23in 3D monitor market that stands up well next to the competition in terms of brightness, contrast and definition when showcasing Nvidia's 3D technology - but at its current price, it's not the most tempting bargain around.