Monoprice 44394 40-inch Crystal Pro 144 Hz gaming monitor review: Jumbo size at a surprisingly low price

40-inch ultrawide QHD IPS flat panel with 144 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR 400 and wide gamut color

Monoprice 44394
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. We cover brightness and contrast testing on page two.

Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

To go beyond 400 nits, you’ll need a Mini LED backlight in a monitor as large as the 44394. It’s just above average in the ultrawide category. And when a 40-inch screen lights up to 410 nits, it’s super bright. With so much screen area, you won’t need its full capacity unless you’re outside.

Black levels are higher than the rest solely due to technology. VA always has deeper blacks. But the 44394’s IPS panel is well above the norm for that category. It’s rare that any IPS screen can top 1,500:1 without clipping highlight or shadow detail. Monoprice has done well here.

After Calibration to 200 nits

Calibration reduces contrast by a measurable but not visible amount. Black levels are satisfying, and the picture has plenty of depth and dimension. ANSI contrast is consistent at 1,475.7:1 which speaks to the 44394’s selection of quality components. It’s a budget monitor, but it’s well-engineered and well-built. This is excellent performance.

Test Takeaway: If you want the highest possible contrast, you’ll need a VA or Mini LED panel. However, the 44394’s IPS part performs well above the norm among IPS monitors. It has a punchy image with or without calibration. Contrast is clearly one of its best attributes.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test PC Monitors

MORE: How to Buy a PC Monitor

MORE: How to Choose the Best HDR Monitor

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.