For $350, it’s hard to fault the Monoprice’s IGZO gaming monitor in any way. It’s not perfect but easily performs as well or better than monitors costing much more. With a 165 Hz refresh rate, Adaptive-Sync and a large color gamut, it delivers a better-than-expected gaming experience.
LCD panel technologies have become something of an alphabet soup with terms like TN, IPS, VA, AHVA, SVA and so on now common among the best gaming monitors. One abbreviation we haven’t heard in a while is IGZO. It stands for Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide, which is a material, not a technology. Confused? We’ll try to make it clear as we review the Dark Matter by Monoprice 27-Inch Gaming Monitor (42892).
Typical LCD panels are based on a substance called amorphous silicon. That’s the substrate used in the semiconductors that comprise the individual sub-pixels of an LCD panel. IGZO material’s chief benefit is lower power consumption. Of course, since the chief consumer of electricity in a monitor is the backlight, basing the pixel array on a different material isn’t going to make a significant impact on your electric bill. But by applying the same power characteristics to an IGZO panel, it should exhibit faster panel response, in theory. IGZO can be used with any panel type, but we’ve only seen it employed with an IPS (in-plane switching) pixel structure.