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HANSOL 701a & 701p 17-inch MONITORS

 

STANDFIRST

The cost of 17-inch monitors has fallen dramatically over the past year or so but we suspect you'll have a tough time finding any as cheap as these two from Hansol

 

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In a relatively short space of time Korean monitor maker Hansol has established a good reputation for itself as a leading value for money brand but these two 17-inch models are really going to take some beating! The 701a sells for a fraction under 200 (and that's including VAT)! To put that into perspective, that's what a half-decent 14-inch SVGA monitor would have cost you just a couple of years ago! Its stablemate, the slightly better specified 701p has a suggested price of only 233 and that's less than some of today's 15-inch models. All very impressive but the big question is what's the catch?

 

There doesn't seem to be one. True, they're both relatively basic. There's no secondary inputs for example, and you can forget any extra bells and whistles like multi-media features or fancy display options but that said the specifications are perfectly adequate for the sort of applications we're most concerned about, namely desktop video and general-purpose PC work.

 

The key differences between the two models concern the screen dot-pitch, (0.28 mm on the 701a and 0.26mm on the 701p), the front-panel controls; the menu system is a little more sophisticated on the 701p, this model also has a slightly wider range of scanning frequencies and lower power consumption. Apart from the front panels they look almost identical. Both models support the most common Vesa and Mac resolution and scanning modes, up to and including 1280 x 1025/60 Hz, though 1024 x 768/85Hz produces the most comfortable display on this size of screen.

 

A captive video input lead terminated in a standard 15-pin D-Sub connector is fitted to the backsides of both models, (you'll have to buy an optional adaptor if you wan to use them with Macs), in fact the only back panel socket is for the mains lead. The on-screen display menu on the 701a is controlled from a set of three small buttons on the left side, brightness and contrast are handled by two discrete rotary controls below the screen surround. All picture functions on the 701p are dealt with by on-screen displays, controlled from a small panel that tips out from beneath the centre of the screen surround. The main menu is accessed by pressing the 'Do' button, selections are made and adjusted using a four-way keypad. Brightness and contrast have their own selector buttons on the 701p.

 

The 701p's menu looks a lot simpler but it's actually quite tricky to navigate until you get used to it. The 701a's menu functions are perfectly straightforward, though again it takes a little while to become accustomed to the button sequences. Both menus cover all of the usual picture shape, size and colour parameters, with provision for manually setting the colour levels (that's in addition to two colour temperature presets -- 6500 and 9300 degrees K). The only unusual feature is a positionable menu display, which can be moved to any part of the screen.   

 

PERFORMANCE

Following the customary 30-minute warm-up period the tests began using a mixture of moving video and patterns. Corner focus on the 701a was very slightly soft, possibly because of the wider dot pitch but it was only noticeable alongside the 701P display which stayed crisp right up to the edges. Colour purity and convergence was spot on in both cases though a patch of 'stain' in the bottom left hand corner of the 701a took a long time to shift using the degauss function. Power supply stability was good in both cases with no significant change in picture size when fed with a pulsating test pattern. Moving video was clean, sharp and detailed on the 701p; the difference in dot pitch is really only noticeable when staring long and hard at test patterns.

 

SUMMARY

Okay, so images on these monitors don't leap out of the screen in quite the same way as a top-of-the-line Trintron-based display and we would have preferred a little more headroom in the brightness and contrast departments but the performance is perfectly satisfactory and quite remarkable for the price. Both models stack up well for general video and PC duties though we would be very happy to pay the extra thirty or so quid for the 701p for the better specification, neater-looking front panel and crisper image.   

 

How Much?                  

198 (701a), 233 (701p)

 

Tube size                     

17-inch FST/17-inch

 

Visible display area     

306 x 230/306 x 230mm

 

Dot Pitch                      

0.28/0.26mm

 

Max Resolution 

1280 x 1024 pixels (both models)

 

Max refresh rate

160/150Hz

 

Dimensions                  

428(w) x  442(h) x  415(d) mm (both models)

 

Weight             

17.0/17.6kg

 

Hansol, telephone  (01252) 360400

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ****/****

Performance                  ****/****

Ease of use                   ****/***

Value for money            ****

Overall Rating  85/88%

 

 

---end---

R. Maybury 1999 1902

 

 


 

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