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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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

The Dark Matter 42771 delivers ample light output at just over 313 nits. Though four of the other monitors are brighter, none of them match the Monoprice’s superb black levels. This results in an impressive 1,457.4:1 static contrast ratio, one of the highest we’ve measured from an IPS panel.

After Calibration to 200 nits

Calibration doesn’t change the 42771’s contrast much at all. It still has lower black levels and a broader dynamic range than the other screens here. The only other IPS panel we’ve reviewed that tops 1,400:1 is the uber-expensive Asus PA32UCG. That is impressive.

The Dark Matter 42771 excels in the ANSI test as well. The checkerboard pattern we measure is a more realistic representation of actual content with its 50% average brightness level. Not only is the Monoprice monitor’s number very close to its static value, but it is also better than every IPS monitor we’ve ever tested. We wouldn’t expect a $230 monitor to break records but this one has.

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.