Monoprice Dark Matter 42770 Review: Affordable Excellence

Great value, solid performance, excellent color accuracy and contrast for the price.

Monoprice Dark Matter 42770
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Monoprice)

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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

The 42770 is in the not-terribly-bright-but-bright-enough category. You won’t need much more than 200 nits for any indoor environment, so 286 is plenty of output. There’s no HDR here so extra punch isn’t needed for that.

Black levels are excellent, with the 42770 coming in second place. It also does well in the contrast test, with only the 42771 showing a higher ratio. It wasn’t long ago that 1,000:1 was as good as it got for IPS. Now, panels are more commonly topping 1,200:1. We might need to consider moving the goalposts for this test. This is a great result.

After Calibration to 200 nits

In calibration, the 42770 remains in second place behind the 42771. Since the score is now higher than before, that is a point in favor of calibration. Visually, the difference is hard to see. And speaking of differences, the 42771 offers a 27-inch panel and 165 Hz but is otherwise very similar to the 42770 in performance, except for one metric which you’ll learn about on the next page.

The ANSI test shows nearly identical results for all the monitors. The 42770 is a very well-engineered and well-built monitor with good quality control and component selection. This is excellent performance.

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.

  • Derren001
    No speakers seems like a positive to me not a negative.
  • shaolin95
    Excellent contrast? LOL .,..just the same lame IPS low contrast as others. Typo?