Monoprice Dark Matter 27 Review: Exceptional Contrast and Color

The monitor delivers a 165 Hz refresh rate and solid performance for the money.

Monoprice Dark Matter 27 42771
(Image: © Monoprice)

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If you’re shopping for a speedy monitor, FHD panels are the fastest available. The 165 Hz Dark Matter 27 42771 is at the lower end of the speed scale, but is also one of the least expensive 27-inch gaming monitors you can buy. To compare, we’ve included MSI’s NXG253R, Pixio’s PX259 Prime, Monoprice’s 40778, BenQ’s EX2510S and HP’s Omen 25i.

Pixel Response and Input Lag

Click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

We’ve established in past reviews that 165 Hz monitors typically draw the screen in 6 ms. The 42771 does as well. Coupled with a well-engineered overdrive, it delivers minimal blur and no ghosting during the fastest gaming action. Input lag is a tad slower than the other 165 Hz screens but only by 3 ms. 31 ms might be an issue for the most skilled players but we had no problems racking up the frag count in our favorite shooters. Remember that with only 2.07 mega-pixels to move around, frame rates are always going to be high.

Viewing Angles

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The 42771 offers typical IPS viewing angles. To the sides, we can see a 30% reduction in output with a slight blue/green tint. Detail remains visible at all brightness steps. From the top, the tint is green with a 50% light falloff and detail that’s less defined.

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, click here.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Our Dark Matter 27 42771 sample showed excellent screen uniformity with no visible issues at all. Bleed and glow are becoming less common in the latest IPS panels and this one is a great example. Other brightness steps were equally smooth from edge to edge with no brightness or color aberrations.

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.