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Monoprice has always been a prolific supplier and manufacturer of value-oriented products that perform above their price point. Its line of Zero-G and Dark Matter gaming monitors always tests well and provides a good play experience for less money than the competition.
I’ve reviewed a few of them in the past and this is the first time I’ve tested one that is an update to an existing model. In 2020, I reviewed the Zero-G 35-inch 38035 and found it to be a great value in the 21:9 ultra-wide class. For 2023, it has been updated to compete with today’s best ultrawide gaming monitors. It now has a faster refresh rate, 120 versus 100 Hz, and it now supports HDR10 content. It keeps Adaptive-Sync and wide gamut color. And the best part is the price is the same $400 that it was more than three years ago. Let’s take a look.
Monoprice Zero-G 38035 Specifications
|Panel Type / Backlight||VA / W-LED, edge array|
|Screen Size / Aspect Ratio||35 inches / 21:9|
|Row 2 – Cell 0||Curve radius: 1800mm|
|Max Resolution & Refresh Rate||3440×1440 @ 120 Hz|
|Row 4 – Cell 0||FreeSync: 48-120 Hz|
|Row 5 – Cell 0||G-Sync Compatible|
|Native Color Depth & Gamut||8-bit / DCI-P3|
|Response Time (GTG)||4ms|
|Brightness (mfr)||300 nits|
|Video Inputs||2x DisplayPort 1.4|
|Row 12 – Cell 0||2x HDMI 2.0|
|Audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|Power Consumption||36.2w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base||33 x 19 x 9.8 inches|
|Row 17 – Cell 0||(837 x 483 x 249mm)|
|Panel Thickness||4.8 inches (123mm)|
|Bezel Width||Top/sides: 0.4 inch (9mm)|
|Row 20 – Cell 0||Bottom: 0.6 inch (16mm)|
|Weight||17.9 pounds (8.1kg)|
Monoprice refers to all its products with a five-digit number, so to differentiate the new Zero-G 35-inch from the old, I’ll call it the 38035-2. To reiterate – it is a 35-inch VA panel with an 1800R curve, 3440×1440 resolution, 120 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR10 and wide gamut color. And at this writing, it costs $400 to buy directly from Monoprice.
A VA panel promises, and delivers, solid contrast; not quite as much as some others but at this price, the 38035-2’s honest 2,800:1 is significantly more impactful that what’s available from IPS panels. Only high-end full-array and Mini LED monitors can deliver more dynamic range. With that comes support for HDR10 signals and an automatic picture mode switch once you enable that feature in the OSD. You also get wide gamut color with measured coverage at 89% of DCI-P3. That’s slightly above average for the category, so extra value there. Brightness tops 350 nits so there’s plenty of light output for an impactful image.
The 38035-2 runs at a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz, up 20 Hz from before. Adaptive-Sync worked flawlessly in my tests on both AMD and Nvidia platforms (see FreeSync vs G-Sync). I also found low input lag which helps make up for the relatively low frame rate. I have said many times that 144 Hz should be considered a starting point and I’m not taking that back. But the 38035-2 delivers a decent gaming experience at 120fps.
Physically, the 38035-2 leaves out a few things to keep the price down. You do get LED lighting in the back which is a plus. But the stand is limited to tilt only and there are no USB ports or internal speakers. There are four video inputs, two HDMI and two DisplayPort (see HDMI vs DisplayPort), and there’s PIP/PBP so you can view two video sources at once. For $400, the 38035-2 delivers a decent feature set and good build quality.
Assembly and Accessories for Monoprice Zero-G 38035
You’ll need to grab a Phillips-head screwdriver and fish two little bags of hardware from the 38035-2’s carton for assembly. The screws are pre-treated with blue threadlock compound so you can be sure that everything will be firmly mated.
Three fasteners attach the base and upright together, then a snap-on fitting gets two more bolts. If you’d rather use your own hardware, there’s a 75mm VESA mount with its own included fasteners. The power supply is internal, so you get an IEC cord as well as a DisplayPort cable. I also found a wall mount adaptor which is something that’s rarely included with any monitor.
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The 38035-2 looks identical to its predecessor and since Monoprice hasn’t updated the model name or number, you’ll only know the difference by looking at the refresh rate information in the OSD. The styling screams “basic gaming monitor” with a few cues like louvered vents at the rear and the two LED strips in back. They light up red and can be either steady or flickering. Hint, choose the latter if you want to distract your opponents. Or you can turn the lights off. A faint blue glow appears on the desktop beneath the panel to let you know the power is on.
The stand is lithe for sure but much more solid that it appears. It’s made from cast aluminum and finished in a matte black powder coat. It only offers 20 degrees of tilt, no swivel or height. The panel sits too low to set vertically which is my preference for curved screens. If I were using the 38035-2 for an extended period, I’d either put it on a platform or a monitor arm.
The input panel is well-stocked with two HDMI 2.0 and two DisplayPort 1.4 connections. All support FreeSync at 120 Hz and G-Sync works with DisplayPort only. HDR10 with 8-bit color also works over all the inputs. There are no internal speakers, but you do get a 3.5mm headphone jack.
OSD Features of Monoprice Zero-G 38035
The 38035-2’s OSD is controlled by four buttons underneath the bottom right edge of the panel. They click firmly but are a bit less convenient than the joysticks found on so many monitors today.
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After the Input Source selector, the Brightness/Contrast menu has luminance controls and a dynamic contrast option. It increases perceived contrast but obscures some highlight and shadow detail in the process.
Color Setting has six picture modes. Standard is the default and best, along with gamma and color temp presets, a low blue light mode and color hue & saturation sliders. I had to make a few adjustments and compromises to get optimal picture quality. The 38035-2’s out-of-box image has some room for improvement.
You’ll find a few more options in the Picture Quality Setting menu. Sharpness should be left on its default to prevent resolution-robbing edge enhancement. The Response Time (overdrive) is somewhat effective but suffers from undershoot which produces black trails behind moving objects. There is no backlight strobe available as an alternative. The final three options should all be left off as they do not improve image quality.
With four video inputs, PIP and PBP is something useful. You can view two sources at once either windowed or side by side. The PIP window can be sized and moved around the screen.
The HDR options are found in the Other menu and this one is important: set HDR to Auto Detect. By default, it’s switched off, so you won’t see HDR even when a signal is applied. Once changed, you won’t have to bother with it again.
Monoprice Zero-G 38035 Calibration Settings
The 38035-2 looks a bit green and dark in its default Standard picture mode. Testing revealed dark gamma and a green tint in grayscale patterns. The factory gamma setting is 2.2 but it measured over 2.4 which makes the image dark and flat. Changing the preset to 2.0 and adjusting the RGB sliders made a significant improvement. My recommended settings are below. I noted that there is no sRGB option in the OSD. You’ll be looking at the full native color gamut for all content.
For HDR, change the option in the Other menu to Auto Detect so the 38035-2 switches between SDR and HDR automatically. There are no image adjustments available in HDR mode, but I recorded decent results in my tests which you can see on page five.
|Brightness 200 nits||46|
|Brightness 120 nits||17|
|Brightness 100 nits||12|
|Brightness 80 nits||7 (min. 50 nits)|
|Color Temp User||Red 49, Green 47, Blue 48|
Gaming and Hands-on
Most 21:9 monitors are 34 inches diagonal but the 38035-2 is 35 inches which doesn’t seem like a big difference, but that little bit of extra space is noticeable, especially in the vertical plane. There’s a hair more height, and that’s a good thing. The 1800R curvature is on the gentle side so you’ll never have to worry about image distortion whether it’s graphical or text based.
Contrast is excellent in both SDR and HDR modes. When playing Doom Eternal, I had to tweak the in-game HDR settings to brighten up the image. It started out a little dark. Color was well saturated though and that’s the principal thing that sets the 38035-2’s HDR mode apart from its SDR picture. The color tracking is on-point which means you’ll see rich hues and lots of detail. The 106 ppi pixel density renders a sharp picture with no jagged edges. There isn’t a ton of brightness but there’s enough to make highlights pop.
Gaming performance is solid for a budget monitor. I saw a bit of the black trail artifact due to the overdrive’s undershoot but it wasn’t a distraction. If you’re not looking for it, you probably won’t notice it. Movement was smooth and fluid with good motion resolution. The 38035-2’s low input lag largely makes up for its 120 Hz refresh rate. Its game feel wasn’t all that different from a 165 Hz monitor.
I found the PIP/PBP function useful thanks to the 38035-2’s large screen. Users who might be considering two 16:9 monitors could easily achieve a similar-sized work area with one of these and forgo the annoying vertical line.
The 38035-2 is a good monitor for productivity. Color and contrast lend themselves to a fatigue-free experience where you can easily work for hours at a time. The picture is very sharp so small fonts and icons are clear, even if you sit up close.
Takeaway: Though its 120 Hz refresh rate might be of concern to potential buyers, the 38035-2 makes good use of its speed and video processing with low input lag and a solid gaming feel. There are minor overdrive artifacts but at this price point, you won’t do much better. Color and contrast are exemplary once the proper picture adjustments have been made. And the 38035-2 is well suited for work as well.
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