Sony Inzone M9 (SDM-U27M90) Review : In The Battle Of Gaming Screens This Monitor Is Going To Cause A Sensation | Tech Reviews
This monitor is very important to Sony. And it is because it is part of the cutting edge of products dedicated to video game enthusiasts that make up the new Inzone family . It is currently made up of three headphones with spatial sound (among which are the Inzone H9 that we have just analyzed) and two monitors. The protagonist of this article is the more ambitious of the two .
The design of this Inzone M9 (hereinafter we will use the abbreviated formula used by Sony to identify this screen) is clearly inspired by that of PlayStation 5 . And yes, as we will see later, this monitor has been designed to coexist with this video game console, but it also feels equally comfortable with a PC. In fact, it hides an ace up its sleeve that allows it to offer us a fantastic experience when we connect it to a computer.
Sony Inzone SDM-U27M90: Technical specifications
|PANEL||27-inch 4K UHD IPS LCD, 10-bit, 144 Hz, greater than 95% DCI-P3 color space coverage, 16:9 aspect ratio|
|RESOLUTION||3840 x 2160 points|
|HDR||DisplayHDR 600, HDR10 y HLG|
|BACKLIGHT||Full Array Local Dimming LED with 96 independent local dimming zones|
|BRIGHTNESS||Up to 600 nights|
|DYNAMIC CONTRAST||80 000:1|
|RESPONSE TIME||1 ms (GtG)|
|VIEWING ANGLES||178º / 178º|
|PICTURE MODES||Standard, FPS game, cinema, game 1 and game 2|
|SOUND||2 watts x 2|
|FEATURES FOR PLAYSTATION 5||Tone mapping for auto HDR and auto gender picture mode|
|CONNECTIVITY||2 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-B, 3 x USB-A y 1 x jack de 3,5 mm|
|ADAPTIVE REFRESH TECHNOLOGIES||NVIDIA G-SYNC Ultimate y HDMI 2.1 VRR|
|TYPICAL CONSUMPTION||139 watts|
|CONSUMPTION IN ECO MODE||28.9 watts|
|DIMENSIONS||61.5 x 47.9 x 24.8 cm (with stand)|
|WEIGHT||6.8kg (with stand)|
This foot is a delight if you want to save space on your desk
As I have anticipated in the first lines of this analysis, the influence of the PlayStation 5 design on the aesthetic commitment of this monitor is very evident. Its frames are thin and the enclosure that contains the panel is made of a good quality rigid polycarbonate , so so far I have nothing to object to.
To find similarities between the design of this screen and that of the latest Sony desktop console, we have to look at the foot that is responsible for guaranteeing the stability of the panel. When you look at it from the front, from the natural position from which we look at the monitor, it is clearly reminiscent of the PS5 design . However, the ingredient that makes this foot innovative can only be appreciated if we look at it from behind.
In the following photograph we can see the two metal rods that come together in the central column of the foot to give the monitor the stability it requires if we give it an accidental push. This fastening system fulfills its mission perfectly , but, in addition, it has an advantage that we cannot ignore: the space that this foot occupies on our table is minimal.
In addition, the rods extend towards the back of the monitor and not the front, so they don’t take up space in the area of our table where we usually place the keyboard, mouse and other peripherals. Sony has also been successful in painting them black because when we look at the monitor from the front they go unnoticed and it seems that the panel is only supported by the central column.
The foot that Sony engineers have developed for this monitor allows us to adjust the height of the panel in a range of up to 70 mm and its inclination between 0 and 20 degrees, but we can not pivot or rotate it . And I miss these two additional adjustment options because it is likely that some users would have helped them find the optimal settings from an ergonomic point of view.
Another point in its favor: its adjustment software for Windows is fabulous
Sony gives us this impeccably calibrated monitor from the factory. Screens designed specifically for content creation, photo retouching, and video editing sound well calibrated, but gaming monitor settings often require some time to spend if you want to get the most out of them. Not the case . I have hardly had to fine-tune the image parameters to leave them as I like and as I think it solves the colorimetry with more precision.
In any case, and this is one of the points in favor of this more solid monitor, Sony provides us with an application called Inzone Hub from which we can act on its behavior in a very intuitive way. We can activate the adaptive refresh, minimize the response time, act on the gamma correction, manipulate the behavior of the FALD backlight, adjust the hue… Everything. Of course, this software is only available for Windows 10 and 11, and not for macOS.
On the other hand, the OSD menu implemented on the monitor itself is up to the task. From here we can also act on endless adjustments that condition both the image quality and the gaming performance of this monitor, but, in my opinion, it is more comfortable to do it from the Inzone Hub software.
To scroll through the options in this menu we have to use a small joystick located on the back of the monitor. It’s the same solution that most manufacturers opt for, and it works fine , so I have no objections.
The connectivity of some of the monitors I’ve reviewed over the past few months has left me wanting more, but Sony has also done its homework in this area .
And it is that this Inzone M9 incorporates two HDMI inputs that implement the 2.1 standard , a DisplayPort 1.4 input, a USB type C port with a power delivery capacity of up to 15 watts , three USB type A ports and the always well received 3.5mm jack to allow us to connect our wired headphones.
It would not have been a bad idea to also integrate a second DisplayPort input , but it is a detail that does not tarnish a well-resolved connectivity.
Its image quality is outstanding, and is unusual for a gaming monitor
To analyze the image quality of this monitor I turned to Eizo Monitor Test , a very useful free tool not only to check how a display device resolves color, but also what its viewing angles are, if its sharpness is up to par, if the backlight is completely homogeneous or if it has a defective pixel, among other benefits.
The following picture of the panel of this screen was taken using my digital microscope, and in it we can see very clearly the distribution of the RGB sub-pixels of the IPS-type LCD matrix. The anti-glare coating that Sony has introduced in this monitor is not infallible, as we will see later. Of course, it hardly blurs the sub-pixel matrix, something that, however, other more aggressive anti-reflection coatings do.
The native contrast ratio of this monitor’s IPS panel is modest (1000:1), and it would be a problem if this matrix wasn’t backed by solvent Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlighting. But it is. This scheme is supported by a total of 96 independent local dimming zones (not bad if we keep in mind that it coexists with a 27-inch panel), and in practice it manages to give us deep blacks and a level of detail in the shadow regions. reasonably high.
Beyond their modest native contrast, IPS panels have another handicap: they tend to suffer from light leaks, especially in the corners. The good news is that this monitor has passed this test with flying colors, and, although in the following photograph there seems to be a slight loss of light at the edges of the panel, when you have it in front of you this difference is practically negligible. In addition, the backlight matrix manages to distribute the light over the entire surface of the panel with great homogeneity .
Lagom LCD Test has helped me to check how Sony has adjusted the gamma correction in the factory calibration . And, as expected, this test shows that the gamma curve of this monitor stays very close to the 2.2 value predefined by the reference curve. This feature allows you to accurately interpret and reproduce brightness and contrast.
So far we have seen two weak points of IPS panels, their native contrast and light leaks, which this monitor has resolved with flying colors, but now we come to one of the sections in which these matrices shine: their colorimetry . And the one on this monitor is fabulous. In fact, it resolves tones with unusual richness on a gaming display.
Also, as the panel is backed by a very competent FALD backlight it manages to recover a lot of detail in the shadow and highlight regions, giving the images an unusual richness in a monitor of this type. Interestingly, when we play cinematic content its visual aesthetic reminds me of high-end Sony televisions. And there is no doubt that this is good news.
As we have seen, from the Inzone Hub software that Sony offers us, and also from the OSD menu, we can act on the response time of the panel. If we opt for the most ambitious value, this parameter is reduced to 1 ms (GtG) , so it fits perfectly with what we can demand from a monitor that has a very clear vocation for gaming .
The anti-reflection coating that Sony has developed does its job. It manages to noticeably reduce reflections, but, as we can see in the following photograph, it is not infallible . If a light source of a certain intensity falls on the panel, a reflection will appear that can be a bit annoying, although it is not at all dramatic because this type of reflection is not frequent in a conventional use scenario.
In the specifications of this monitor, Sony promises us a typical consumption of 139 watts and a consumption in ecological mode of 28.9 watts . These figures coincide almost closely with those we have measured with our consumer meter, so, again, in this area I have nothing to object to.
We still have an important section that we have not investigated: the sound of this monitor. To solve it, it incorporates two loudspeakers driven by as many 2-watt class D amplifiers. Does it comply? Yes, it does, but very fair . Its sound is detailed, but it is not dynamic, it does not have a deep low end, and it does not reach a considerable sound pressure level either. If we want it to be up to the image quality of this monitor, it is a good idea to opt for headphones or external speakers.
Games look great on this monitor. Promise
As we have just seen, if we stick to its image quality this monitor rubs shoulders in its own right with the most attractive gaming screens that we can buy today. But in this field this quality is not enough .
It is also important that its response time is very low, and that of this device is. And have minimal input latency. And it also has it to a great extent thanks to the optimization in the processing of the video signal that the game modes introduce. And, of course, also at its high refresh rate ( 144 Hz ).
Another point in its favor in this area is how well it resolves HDR despite not having a maximum ability to deliver stunning brightness (600 nits are fine, but they don’t stand out). Beyond this figure, the truth is that games with HDR10 look great for the same reason that I have talked about a few paragraphs above: its FALD LED backlighting manages to deliver those 600 nits in a limited area of the panel without perceptibly degrading the color reproduction or the level of detail in highlights.
Sony could not miss the opportunity to offer this monitor to PlayStation 5 users , and it has not. And it is that, in addition to implementing HDMI 2.1 connectivity , it incorporates two features that fit like a glove with this desktop console: tone mapping for automatic HDR and automatic gender image mode. In fact, tone mapping is a key piece in the performance that this monitor gives us with high dynamic range games.
Sony Inzone SDM-U27M90: Fadvices’ opinion
This monitor is a winning horse. With it, Sony has managed to dive into the first division of video game screens, and, in addition, it has what it takes to compete with guarantees with the best proposals from manufacturers such as ASUS, AOC, LG or Samsung, among other brands.
As we have seen, its image quality is outstanding, it has very well-resolved connectivity and an outstanding design that highlights a very stylized foot that represents a breath of fresh air. Also, if we stick to its performance with video games, its response time, its latency and the way it resolves HDR allow it to deal with the most advanced monitors that we can find on the market.
No product is perfect, and neither is this Sony offering. The Inzone Hub app is only available for Windows 10 and 11, and it wouldn’t hurt if it also worked on macOS despite the fact that this operating system is certainly less popular with gaming enthusiasts than Microsoft’s platform.
On the other hand, it implements NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Ultimate refresh rate adaptive synchronization and VRR linked to the HDMI 2.1 standard , but not AMD’s FreeSync. In addition, its sound is not great, and its price places it out of reach for most users. Even so, if you can afford it, you will be right to include it in your list of options because, in our opinion, its qualities outweigh its shortcomings .