Hazro is a new name in the monitor market, and the Hazro HZ23W is an attempt to bring more of an upmarket look and feel to the products that are available.

As a premium brand, Hazro has opted for a high-quality panel and chunky aluminium styling, which is available in a choice of black or silver. The Hazro HZ23W's look is sharp, but won't compete with an Apple Cinema Display.

Visually the Hazro HZ23W is more games studio than design studio, but it's a step up from the traditional moulded plastic. Around the back is a socket for a hefty power brick, and – unusually – component video connectors for home cinema use.

The onscreen display (OSD) is accessed by way of some stylish touch buttons that hang down in a pod under the main panel. The buttons certainly look good, but unfortunately they don't work very well. An autoscrolling feature adds to the confusion, and we were left feeling that using the Hazro HZ23W's OSD had more in common with playing a games console than it should have. In fact we couldn't work out some parts of it at all.

Cryptic graphics are standard on monitors, but buttons and menu options that either can't be selected or don't seem to do anything at all aren't quite as common. Also, for a monitor billed as colour-friendly, a single HUE setting isn't as useful as separate RGB sliders.

The Hazro HZ23W is a 23in 1920 x 1200 monitor. The extra diagonalinch makes very little difference to space requirements, but packs in much more resolution. Performance is good in parts. The viewing angle is exceptional.

But contrast is unexciting, and there was a hint of video smearing, which exposed the slow quote time of 10ms. Colour linearity is good, but although we wrestled with the OSD we couldn't straighten out the gamma curve, making it hard to recommend the Hazro HZ23W for photo or design work without extra calibration.


Overall, it's good to see a manufacturer trying something new, but we couldn't get excited about the Hazro HZ23W. Even with the extra resolution – at roughly double the cost – Hazro may have overreached itself a little here.