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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)

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

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Monoprice Dark Matter 27 42771

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 27 42771

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 27 42771

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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

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Monoprice Dark Matter 27 42771

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 27 42771

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 27 42771

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.