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HANSOL MAZELLAN B19AL

 

STANDFIRST

The Korean company Hansol is a relative newcomer to the UK monitor market and they're off to a flying start with this attractively priced 19-inch model

 

COPY

If you're concerned about what sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours each day could be doing to your love-life, or your future prospects as a parent, then you might like to have a look at the Hansol Mazellan B19AL. Inside the swish retro-styled cabinet the chassis is shrouded by a full metal jacket. No harmful trouser-penetrating rays can get out -- through the top, bottom or sides at any rate -- though you're left wondering why they had to go to such lengths in the first place? Most other TV and monitor manufacturers seem to manage to meet the tough international emission regulations without recourse to such drastic measures…

 

The 19-inch screen is an ideal size for desktop video but it means it's quite a lump though the curvy cosmetics help reduce its apparent bulk. It's a welcome change from the clinical boxy shapes we've become accustomed to on larger screen monitors.  The main points of interest on the feature list are:

 

·         auto scan (30kHz to 96kHz horizontal and 47 to 150Hz vertical)

·         14 preset resolution modes (PC and MAC) up to 1600 x 1200

·         full support for VESA power management

·         Hitachi tube with 0.26mm dot pitch

·         universal power supply (100- 240vAC 50/60Hz)

·         dual input (D-Sub & BNC)

·         on-screen displays

 

Head on the first thing you notice is the lack of control buttons. There's a discrete on/off/standby button and in the middle, a recessed wheel, and that's it! The wheel is a multi-function control for the menu-driven on-screen display. Press the wheel once and the main menu appears rotate the wheel and each function icon is highlighted in turn. Press it again when you come to the function you want and turn the wheel to adjust the setting. It sounds simple but there were a couple of problems with out sample. The wheel was tight -- possibly because it was new -- and not very grippy, so you press a little harder, to make it turn, and more often than not inadvertently select a function you didn't want. Hansol UK tell us they're changing the design of the wheel so that it has a rubber face, so it should be easier to use. Second, there's no way of making the display disappear, which can be a little irritating. Eventually, after what seems like an age (around 10 seconds), it goes of it's own accord, but only if you have the willpower not to click the wheel in a vain attempt to make it go…

 

Menu options include all the usual display and picture geometry controls, additionally there's a three stage colour temperature adjustment (user, 6500 and 9300) factory pre-set and a very useful picture zoom, that increases or decreases the size of the image.   

The backside is slightly unusual. In addition to a standard 15 D-Sub connector and a set of 5 BNC sockets (for a Mac lead), there's a second larger 15-pin connector, also for Macs. There's a menu option to switch between the D-Sub and BNC connectors, so it could be used to display inputs from two sources.

 

PERFORMANCE

The 19-inch CRT is made by Hitachi and in common with previous screens made by them it produces a clean, accurate image in all resolution modes with no visible defects. We did see some moire patterning on the default settings. These were mainly confined to bright highlights at the sides of the picture but these could be cancelled out using the moire control, without adversely affecting focus, which remained pin-sharp across the whole screen area. Out usual batch of tests, using Ntest and CheckScreen showed no problems with colour purity or convergence but the power supply test -- a flashing black/white display -- caused very slight instability, with the display area pulsating in sympathy. It wasn't enough to be a problem in normal use but it does suggest that a little more care could have been taken with the design of the electronic circuitry.     

 

SUMMARY

The B19AL comes across as a competent general-purpose monitor; the main selling points are the large screen, and the very reasonable selling price. It has a useful range of functions and the feature list is adequate, though not especially exciting. It lost a couple of points over the multi-function control wheel and the power supply, though neither are enough to rule it out for the kind of applications we're most interested in.

 

How Much?                  

£428 (inc.VAT)

Tube size                     

19-inch

Visible display area     

362 x 272mm

Dot pitch          

0.26mm

Max Resolution 

1600 x 1200 pixels

Max refresh rate

auto scan to 96kHz

Dimensions                  

470 x 487 x 470mm

Weight             

23.1kg

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       8

Performance                  8

Ease of use                   7

Value for money            8

 

Overall Rating  83%

 

Hansol UK, telephone (01252) 360400, http://www.hansolel.co.kr

 

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ă R. Maybury 1998 2008

 

 


 

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