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Monoprice Zero-G 35-Inch Gaming Monitor Review: A Curved Ultra-Wide Bargain

At this price, 21:9 gaming doesn't get much better.

(Image: © Monoprice)

The Zero-G 35’s default picture mode is Standard, which features an accurate sRGB color gamut but grayscale and gamma that are a little off the mark. Luckily, it’s possible to dial things in with a few tweaks.

Grayscale and Gamma Tracking

We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The default chart shows the monitor’s default gamma setting of 2.2 and the Warm color temp preset. It indicates a visible green tint in the Zero-G’s grayscale tracking that tint becomes easier to see as brightness increases. Gamma is also too low, which means the picture looks more washed-out than it should. With this much contrast available, we’d rather see it be too dark. 

By selecting the User mode, the RGB sliders are unlocked and, happily, they start center-range. By adjusting them in a balanced fashion, we fixed the grayscale tracking without a major reduction in contrast. Changing the gamma preset to 2.4 gave us near-perfect tracking that was linear but a tad below the line. 2.18 is a major improvement though. Not only is the picture more three-dimensional, it looks more colorful too.

Comparisons

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A 5.00 DeltaE (dE) average grayscale error is a bit higher than many of today’s gaming monitors. The Samsung delivers above-average performance, but most screens manage between 3 and 4dE for their default measurement. Our few tweaks to the RGB sliders brought grayscale tracking to a very accurate point. 1.2dE should be achievable by any monitor, regardless of price.

The default gamma is too light but a change in preset from 2.2 to 2.4 solved that issue neatly. Tracking beca,e super-tight with just a .06 range of values and a 0.91% deviation from 2.2. It doesn’t get much better than that. The picture now became more saturated and colorful with deep blacks and bright highlights.

Color Gamut Accuracy

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The light default gamma tracking is responsible for under-saturation in the Zero-G 35’s gamut test. Though the outer points are almost spot-on the sRGB spec, the inner targets are all a bit short of the mark. That adds to the image’s washed-out appearance. Our adjustments made a significant difference with visibly richer color and greater detail in all areas of the picture. Except for a tiny under-saturation in the blue primary, color saturation and hue became right on target.

Comparisons

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

All the monitors here post respectable color gamut numbers, but the Zero-G 35 is better than average. Not many displays can get under the magical 1dE error level, but this one comes awfully close. That’s impressive performance for any screen and doubly-so for one at this price point.

Gamut volume is right on the money with 100.85% coverage of sRGB. The MSI and Pixio screens intentionally render greater volume in order to come closer to DCI-P3. This is fine if you want extra color at the expense of accuracy. But for sRGB content, the Monoprice will show it correctly, and this is something color purists like us prefer. The Zero-G 35 can be used for color-critical applications once calibrated.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

  • cryoburner
    If it's zero-g, why does it need a stand? <_<

    Are a lack of speakers really a con though? The speakers included in monitors are usually pretty bad. If you want speakers of that quality, you can probably find a set for $10 somewhere. Most gamers will likely be using either a headset or better speakers anyway.

    Perhaps more worth noting would be that the limited FreeSync range means you won't get LFC to keep adaptive sync working when framerates dip below 48 fps. And while you might consider the resolution to be low enough to still get decent performance on "mid-priced" graphics cards, we're still talking about 2.4x the resolution of 1080p here, or nearly 35% more pixels than 1440p, so even with a $400 graphics card, performance is bound to dip into that range at times in some of the most demanding games with the settings turned up.
    Reply
  • DookieDraws
    Thanks for the review! Researching for a new monitor, and these reviews are helpful. Would love to see you review the AOC CU34G2X monitor soon. I guess you can call it a budget monitor, but it does have some pretty nice looking specs.
    Reply
  • mrv_co
    cryoburner said:
    If it's zero-g, why does it need a stand? <_<

    Are a lack of speakers really a con though? The speakers included in monitors are usually pretty bad. If you want speakers of that quality, you can probably find a set for $10 somewhere. Most gamers will likely be using either a headset or better speakers anyway.

    Perhaps more worth noting would be that the limited FreeSync range means you won't get LFC to keep adaptive sync working when framerates dip below 48 fps. And while you might consider the resolution to be low enough to still get decent performance on "mid-priced" graphics cards, we're still talking about 2.4x the resolution of 1080p here, or nearly 35% more pixels than 1440p, so even with a $400 graphics card, performance is bound to dip into that range at times in some of the most demanding games with the settings turned up.

    Yep, I consider no built-in speakers a feature.
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    Dang! At that price I'll probably pick one up to hold me off till a few of the newly announced monitors at CES actually release.
    Reply