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Hannspree HQ272PQD review: Packs a quantum dot punch

Quantum dot technology has been getting people excited for years, especially in TVs. The promise? Vivid images, longevity and competitive prices. Kind of like OLED but without the price premium. Here, Hannspree (technically, its parent firm Hanns.G, but let's keep things simple) is among the first to deliver an affordable desktop monitor that incorporates quantum dots.

While it's one of Hannspree's more expensive 27in monitors, it isn't exactly flash. You'll need to screw in the stand yourself, and once in place don't expect height adjustability, pivot or even swivel. This is a "put it on the desk and leave it there" kind of stand. There's a -5°/15° tilt and that's your lot. The 2cm-thick bezel rules out side by side installation, too.

Instead, this monitor is all about the panel. As soon as you switch it on, you should notice that colours are more vivid than your previous screen. This was amply illustrated by our roster of technical tests. Hannspree claims it can produce 1.07 billion colours, with colour gamut coverage of 110% for NTSC, 116% for Adobe RGB and 156% for sRGB. That largely matched our testing figures.

Those figures require a little explanation, though. It doesn't mean that this screen can display 100% of the sRGB gamut with total accuracy, which is what it sounds like. In fact, our tests showed that this monitor can display 99% of the sRGB gamut; the "extra" of the 156% reflects that the 1.07 billion colours it can show extend beyond the sRGB definition. For the record, though, 99% is a great figure - most monitors will be 90% or below.

Less great is this monitor's colour accuracy. As ever, if this is important to your workflow, you need a screen capable of hardware calibration, such as the Eizo ColorEdge CG279X, which had a Delta E (a measure of colour accuracy, with 0 being a Platonic ideal) of 0.3. The Hannspree returned a mediocre average of 4.3, maxing out at 11 for blues.

You can tweak this by using the custom colour mode in the OSD, but you'll never get anything close to the accuracy of the Eizo. The question is whether this matters, and to most people - including us - it doesn't. Sure, photos can look oversaturated, but skin tones look fine and some people prefer images to have extra zing.

Another factor in this screen's favour is its excellent viewing angles. There's a tiny amount of colour drift as you move your head from side to side, but you'll only notice it when you're looking for the effect. A maximum brightness of 250cd/m2 is fine for most office environments too, and we measured contrast at 1,108:1. More than good enough to view dark scenes in Netflix.

One more reason this screen might appeal is its flexibility. While the lack of accuracy rules it out for graphic designers, photographers and video editors, it's well suited to any other task we can think of. For instance, this is a fine screen for gamers, with a 5ms grey-to-grey response time if you switch on Overdrive via the OSD. You don't get AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync support, and its refresh rate maxes out at 60Hz, but casual gamers will be happy.

It's also a decent choice for office use. The anti-glare coating proved effective, there's a 100 x 100mm VESA mounting, while a pair of 2W speakers mean you don't need to slip on earphones to hear Windows notifications. Music sounds appalling through them, though, so have some ready for any tunes.

There are plenty of connections, too: two HDMI 2 inputs (both support HDCP 1.4), a full-size DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort. Only USB-C and legacy DVI inputs are absent. You may find the OSD a pain to use, though, with four buttons on the bottom edge of the front bezel that confusingly switch between navigation and selection. We couldn't get the hang of it.

Nevertheless, we do like this monitor. It's expensive for a 27in screen with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution - you can buy 32in 4K screens for this price - but if you're after a screen that packs a quantum dot punch then it fits the bill perfectly.

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