Pros: Stylish design; HDMI connectivity; Impressive quality
Cons: HD playback could be better; No preset environment modes; No DVI input
Bottomline: The 22in Verona is an attractive display that keeps things simple but backs up its good looks with impressive performance.
Vista compatibility: Yes
Hannspree has carved a little niche for itself in the monitor industry with a range that includes so-called XM screens aimed squarely at PC use.
Despite this, the 22in Verona XM we looked at is still a hybrid, offering an HDMI port (for connecting a Blu-ray player or a console, say) alongside a single VGA connection (for PC connection).
Sadly there is no DVI here, so if your graphics card does not have the old-school VGA output you will need a DVI adaptor (which will cost a couple of pounds from Maplin or a similar shop) to get things up and running.
Users who can jump this hurdle will be pretty pleased with the stylish design of the Verona. It is finished in sleek piano black and has an oval-shaped stand that offers a smooth tilt, though there is no provision for adjusting its height. A set of four simple controls arranged underneath the right side of the display are easy enough to operate but it is a bit difficult to work out what each does.
There is a range of simple adjustments that can be made including brightness, contrast and colour levels, audio control for the capable but rather tinny built-in speakers, and manual and auto adjust settings. There's also a dynamic contrast ratio control which is supposed to more than double the contrast the screen can show (the difference between the light and dark areas in the picture). In practice we didn’t notice much difference with this turned on, but thankfully the Verona's display is impressive enough anyway.
With a maximum resolution of 1,680x1,050 pixels you will find you have plenty of room on the desktop. Colour representation was accurate and lines were smooth and clear enough to read from a distance, even at maximum resolution.
Overall we were pleased with the Verona's video-playback qualities. Initially, through the standard PC connection, we found standard-definition content to be sharp with accurate colour tones.
Strangely HD video didn’t fare as well as we had hoped; images often seemed overly saturated and not as vibrant as we would like, particularly during dark scenes. Video wiewing did improve when using the HDMI connector and an appropriate player, so we can recommend using Hannspree's monitor as a second television screen in the home for this purpose.