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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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

In SDR mode, the 42892 isn’t exceptionally bright but still provides plenty of output. Any figure over 300 nits is more than enough light for a typical workspace or media room. As we noted in the uniformity test, the screen is super smooth and evenly toned from edge to edge. There are no hotspots or other anomalies.

Black levels are good enough to put the Monoprice in third place and squarely between the top two IPS panels. Obviously, the MSI’s VA screen has an advantage. The Monoprice’s resulting contrast is the best of the IPS monitors at nearly 1,300:1. That’s inline with the best IPS screens we’ve measured and the most contrast of any budget IPS display we’ve seen to date.

After Calibration to 200 nits

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Our calibration (see our recommended settings on page 1) improved the 42892’s contrast score to over 1,300:1 by lowering the black level. Remember, the Acer and Asus monitors cost about 40% more than the Monoprice and have visibly less dynamic range. Better performance at a lower price is a major point for IGZO technology.

The 42892’s ANSI score keeps it in second place and as the leader of the IPS panels in the group. Clearly, Monoprice did a good job with quality control and component selection. This is much better performance than we’d expect from a value-oriented display.

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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.