Review: Sony 27-inch INZONE M9 4K Gaming Monitor

Review: Sony 27-inch INZONE M9 4K Gaming Monitor
Review: Sony 27-inch INZONE M9 4K Gaming Monitor

While Sony makes some of the best 4K televisions on the market, the company entered the gaming monitor space with the launch of its INZONE series displays. We got a chance to try out the INZONE M9, a 27-inch 4K IPS gaming monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, and more. Here are our thoughts about the monitor.

Design

The last time I remember Sony making monitors was back when VAIO desktops were sold with Sony CRT displays, and then it was the PlayStation 3D monitor that was released during the PlayStation 3 cycle. Fast forward decades later, and the company now offers dedicated high-performance gaming monitors under the INZONE brand for both console and PC gamers. The main display of the INZONE M9 features a 27-inch 4K IPS panel.

The monitor also comes with thin bezels, and there is the Sony engraving that is located on the bottom left side of the panel. The monitor also comes with an anti-glare coating to reduce screen reflections during gameplay. The viewing angles of the display are great, thanks to the IPS display. And the colors pop while playing games.

In terms of design, Sony took a different route and matched the aesthetics of the PlayStation 5 console. While most gaming monitors usually feature a square or V-shaped base, the INZONE M9 adopts a tripod-like design. From what I see, the company tried to introduce a futuristic look for the monitor, just as they did for the PS5.

The main slanting base feet feature a PS5-like design with a white chassis, and they are supported by another pair of black steel stands.  For better cable management, the main white feet do have a passthrough for cables. While users will be able to adjust the height and the top angle of the monitor’s position, this design does not allow users to change the angle from the sides. Your only option to change the screen’s side angles is to move the monitor entirely with the stand. Sony mentions that users will be able to change the height up to 70mm, and the top tilting range from zero to 20 degrees.

We should also mention that the rear side of the monitor is also equipped with a white rear panel. Unfortunately, there is no way to have the colors changed as you would by easily changing the cover plates of the PS5. While the monitor’s design is heavily influenced by the likes of the PS5, Sony did surprisingly add a rear-facing RGB lighting system, which is supposed to be a treat for PC gamers. You can also choose the colors via the INZONE app. However, I was not impressed by the lighting, simply because it’s barely visible when using the monitor, even when the room lights are turned off. There are a lot of gaming monitors out there that offer much better rear-facing lighting systems than the M9.

Moving on, we have the OSD joystick and the power button on the rear left side (right side when you access it from the front). The buttons and the joystick are also in white. However, the section where the ports are located is in black.

What I do appreciate is the fact that Sony did not skip on the connectivity side of things. We do have here two HDMI 2.1 ports (good for those who own both the PS5 and Xbox Series X), a DisplayPort 1.4 for PC gamers, a USB Type-C port that can operate on both DP Alt Mode and upstreams, a USB Type-B port for upstreams, three USB Type-A ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Setting up the INZONE M9 is easy and it didn’t take much time to install all the accessories to get it up and running.  During our time with the INZONE M9, we were able to perform a firmware update via the INZONE PC application, and it was necessary to establish a second connection between the PC and the monitor via the USB-C port or the USB-B port.

Features

The INZONE M9 is a 4K gaming monitor with a high refresh rate that tops 4K 120Hz on consoles and 4K 144Hz for PCs. The monitor is certified for NVIDIA G-SYNC and is also capable of Adaptive-Sync. The IPS display offers great viewing angles during gameplay and the image quality does not reduce when looking from the sides.

One of the best selling points of the INZONE M9 is its Full Array Local Dimming system, where light turns on dark areas, and off for unwanted areas, improves contrasts, and more. There are a total of 96 dimming zones on the INZONE M9, and the dimming intensity can be set to low or high. However, we should remind you that there are other gaming monitors out there that have far more dimming zones than the M9.

The 4K 10-bit display is capable of handling 1.07 billion colors, and the response time of the panel is touted to be 1 ms (GtG). We should also mention that the INZONE M9 is a DisplayHDR 600-certified gaming monitor, which is capable of brightness up to 600 nits, along with rich contrast and vivid colors.

Additionally, the monitor is also capable of over 95% DCI-P3 coverage for the best image quality. I tried some of my photography images, and I was impressed by the amount of detail, colors, and sharpness that the monitor was able to handle. And this was just by selecting the normal default picture modes.

We also ran the MPRT input lag test, and the results were 6.4 ms MPRT with 4K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate selected.

We also like the OSD menu of the INZONE M9, which appears to be simple and easy to understand. You get the usual modes to customize,  such as Picture Mode, Gaming assistant, picture-based adjustments, input selections, USB hub, Audio, personalizations, OSD menu, and more. The picture adjustment section also includes the Local dimming option for low or high settings. Just as with any other OSD menu, you can quickly view what screen resolution, refresh rate, picture mode, and HDR/SDR the monitor is operating on.

Users will also be able to customize different aspects of the monitor with the INZONE desktop application and perform firmware updates for the device. You will also be able to customize the RGB lighting effects via the application.

Verdict

The Sony INZONE M9 is an impressive gaming monitor, featuring a 27-inch IPS display and 4K resolution. The screen is capable of both 120Hz and 144Hz refresh rates, for consoles and PC gaming, respectively. The design of the device is inspired by the PS5’s futuristic white cover plates. Both the stand and the rear side are white. The stand features a tripod-like design, which is unusual for a gaming monitor. The M9 is also a DisplayHDR 600-certified gaming monitor.

The INZONE M9 features plenty of connectivity options, including two HDMI 2.1 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 for PC, a USB Type-C port for both DP Alt Mode and upstreams, a USB Type-B port for upstreams, three USB Type-A ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is a joystick on the rear side to control the OSD menu. The monitor also features LED lighting on the rear side, and the panel comes with support for 96 dimming zones.

8.7

Great

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