Most of us wouldn't typically think of a 34-inch ultra-wide as an entry-level monitor. But if you look at relative cost, a high-performance display in that form factor for $500 is a really good value. And the Dark Matter 42772 delivers a completely different gaming experience than a 27-inch 16:9-aspect flat panel. If you can get smooth video processing, high contrast and vibrant color on a large screen for $500, that’s a great deal.
The Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 is a standout in its class. Most 34-inch 21:9 screens will set you back $650 or more and offer no significant advantage over the 42772. Class-leading contrast alone makes it a compelling choice. But add in one of the largest color gamuts this side of a professional display and you’ve got a value gem for sure. Though calibration is a requirement, you can get an optimal picture with the adjustments I’ve outlined earlier in this review.
The 42772’s video processing is also exemplary. Though it takes the right combination of settings to achieve greatness, the potential is there. Just make sure to run at 144 Hz so you can use the excellent overdrive. And don’t bother with the backlight strobe. Adaptive-Sync works just fine with both FreeSync and G-Sync systems.
Properly configured, this is a superb gaming monitor. Though HDR doesn’t look much different than SDR, it still has more contrast, greater depth and richer color than any other screen in its class. If you’re looking to move into the ultra-wide gaming monitor world, the Monoprice Dark Matter 42772 delivers top-shelf performance at an entry-level price.