Dark Matter by Monoprice 27-Inch Monitor Review: Gaming on an IGZO Panel

An IGZO panel delivers big color at a low price

Dark Matter by Monoprice 27-Inch Gaming Monitor
(Image: © Monoprice)

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To compare the Dark Matter 42892’s performance, we’ve rounded up some of the latest 27-inch 1440p screens from our review database. There’s a lone VA panel, MSI’s Optix MAG272CQR, as well as the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD. At the premium end are Asus’ ROG Strix XG27AQ and Acer’s XB273U-NVbmiiprzx. Finally, we have Viotek’s GFI27DBXA.

Pixel Response and Input Lag

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

We tested the 42892 at 180 Hz to record its fastest possible response and lag times. If you choose this rate, there’s no Adaptive-Sync. In this group, refresh rate makes no difference in the response value. 6ms is the draw time regardless. If you run the 42892 at 165 Hz, it still draws the screen in 6ms.

In the lag test, the 42892 finished mid-pack. But the MAG274QRF is something of an overachiever. The remaining screens finish within 3ms of one another, which is an almost imperceptible amount. If you run the 42892 at 165 Hz, it scores 28ms in this test. You don’t give up significant performance to use 165 Hz with Adaptive-Sync.

Viewing Angles

The 42892 delivers excellent viewing angles that are on par with today’s premium IPS panels. To the sides, there is no light reduction and only a slight shift to red. The top view is about 40% less bright with a more pronounced red tint. This is excellent performance that can be attributed to IGZO tech.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, click here.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We were most impressed with the 42892’s screen uniformity. Bleed and glow are often seen in budget screens but not in this case. Black field patterns are super smooth and consistent from edge to edge. Brighter patterns show no evidence of color aberration or shifts in tone. This is an area where the Monoprice competes with and even beats more expensive displays.

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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.

  • sadsteve
    Um, that first picture of the monitor appears to be a picture of a 21x9 monitor not a 16x9 monitor like the one you're reviewing.
  • mrv_co
    'No Speakers' should be listed under 'Pros'.
  • closs.sebastien
    a screen doesn't need speaker. this is an advantage.

    27' and no 4k, so I will classify it as a 'screen for old people' or for public display (train station etc....)... = 1px 1cm wide...
  • Hairless_Ape
    Great review - love the comparisons and tests against competing products. Made me pull the trigger and give this one a try since my previous QHD 144hz 27" Monoprice was damaged in a move.