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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)

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 42770

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 42770

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 42770

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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

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Monoprice Dark Matter 42770

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 42770

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Monoprice Dark Matter 42770

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

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