Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 Review: Big Color, Contrast and Value

A 34-inch Ultra-Wide that's packed with color, contrast and value.

Monoprice Dark Matter 34-inch 42772
(Image: © Monoprice)

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Our HDR benchmarking uses Portrait Displays’ Calman software. To learn about our HDR testing, see our breakdown of how we test PC monitors.

The Dark Matter 42772 accepts HDR10 signals without issue. I suggest changing the setting in the Other menu to Auto Detect, so you don’t have to switch manually back and forth. Once in HDR mode, there are no picture options, but I found decent enough accuracy that it wasn’t a problem.

HDR Brightness and Contrast

I measured slightly higher brightness in HDR mode but no additional contrast. Black levels are still excellent, and the dynamic range is wide but no more so than in SDR mode. At 4,690.6:1, the 42772 is better than most budget monitors for HDR, but that is also true for SDR. The two images aren’t much different from one another. If Monoprice added dynamic contrast, this would be a killer HDR display.

Grayscale, EOTF and Color

The HDR grayscale goes blue in the brightest steps, which reduces vibrance a bit, but thanks to an accurate luminance curve, the picture still retains decent depth and dimension. The tone-map transition is at 63%, which is good, and the 42772 takes a slightly soft knee at that point. I had no trouble seeing full detail in all areas of the HDR image. My only complaint is that the brightest whites were a little cool in tone.

Color tracking is exemplary, with nearly all points on or close to their targets. Red is slightly under-saturated at the peak, but this is an invisible error. Since the tracking is so linear, the image has a smooth realism that bests most monitors that process HDR without dynamic contrast. The 42772 is a standout among budget HDR screens for this reason.

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.

    Admin said:
    Monoprice’s latest Ultra-Wide gaming monitor is the Dark Matter 42772 with 3440x1440 resolution, 165 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR and extended color. It sports a high-contrast VA panel with one of the largest color gamuts available.

    Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 Review: Big Color, Contrast and Value : Read more

    Awesome review, I'm trying to calibrate both the G34WQC and Dark Matter side by side.. but I'm confused as to what settings you would set in the Nvidia Control Panel in the bottom of the Resolution section: 8 bit full rgb... ybcbcr 4:4:4 limited 10 bit... 10 bit full rgb etc..? Theres so many variations I don't know which is correct for these monitors. Thanks!