SONY INZONE M9 Review | Perfect monitor for 4K HDR gaming

 Sony has rediscovered the PC. Not only that Playstation games are now appearing more and more often for the PC (albeit later), but the manufacturer is also launching a new wave of attacks on the peripherals. The new INZONE brand is initially based on monitors and headsets for PCs but is also keeping an eye on the Playstation. The Sony INZONE M9 is aimed at 4K HDR gamers who want to connect a PC and maybe a Playstation 5 as well.


The INZONE M9 is the first monitor in the new range, a 4K 144Hz device in a 27-inch format that aims to appeal to both PC and console gamers. A full HD monitor with 240 Hz is to follow later in the year. At 1,099 euros, the M9 is certainly not a bargain, but it is more or less in the same price range as the direct competition from Samsung and LG.


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SONY INZONE M9 Review

The fact that Sony has not lost sight of the Playstation 5 with the M9 is already clear from the design, above all the completely white rear wall, which can also be illuminated in color. The sloping base, to which a V-shaped base is attached, is unusual. The structure has the great advantage that the monitor only takes up a small amount of space – just around 19 centimeters. You still have to plan a little space for the external power supply unit, which is not an oversized hum either.


As usual, assembly is quick and easy. The V-piece only has to be attached to the base with two Phillips screws. The monitor is simply hung in and snaps securely into place. The only downside to the design is that the monitor can't be rotated sideways, but that shouldn't be a bone of contention. What is more annoying is that the height adjustment is quite short at 70 mm. For tall gamers, this could actually be a bit tight in terms of an ergonomic position. However, the inclination from 0 to 20 degrees is acceptable.


As usual, the connections are on the back, and the labels are actually easy to read - not necessarily a matter of course. Sony didn't save. In addition to a DisplayPort 1.4, there are two HDMI 2.1 connections, so theoretically you can easily connect two consoles and a PC. There is also a DisplayPort-capable USB-C connection. In addition to a USB uplink, there are also three USB-A ports, fortunately also with a KVM switch function. You can't complain. Surprisingly though, the M9 is pretty much the first monitor we're testing that didn't come with HDMI or DisplayPort cables. How stingy for the price.


SONY INZONE M9 Review

In addition to the chic design, the usability of the INZONE M9 is also convincing. On the back of the monitor, you will find a mini joystick for operating the on-screen display, as well as a separate power button. Very practical, so you don't just switch the device off accidentally. The OSD is quick and clear and offers pretty much all the options and settings that you could wish for. Some gaming extras such as image modes, switchable crosshairs, FPS counter or timer along with blackening included.


Alternatively, all settings can also be made via the INZONE Hub, a free PC software that can be operated with the monitor without an additional USB connection. This software is also clear and user-friendly, and it is device-independent, in case you are also using one of the new INZONE headsets on the computer in addition to the M9.


Let's get to the most important part. Sony relies on an IPS panel with 4K resolution and 144 Hz refresh rate with a response time of 1 ms (gtg). The panel is not only NVIDIA G-Sync compatible but also supports VRR via HDMI 2.1 - making it perfect for one of the new consoles. The DCI-P3 color space is covered by 95 percent and the color accuracy is actually very good for a gaming monitor. The display is also DisplayHDR 600 certified.


SONY INZONE M9 Review

The real highlight, however, is the full array of local dimming with a whopping 96 zones, against which the competition in this price range looks very pale. Samsung and LG only have 8 and 16 zones, respectively. As a result, you will experience crisp contrasts in HDR mode and a blaze of color that is really worth seeing. But it gets even better: connect a Playstation 5, access the tone mapping with HDR automatic, and match the PS5 and monitor almost perfectly. Even the automatic switch between game and film mode works wonderfully with the console.


The INZONE M9 scores both on the PC and on a console, especially the PS5, with a mercilessly fine HDR display, beautiful, rich colors, and good response times. Thanks to VRR, G-Sync/Adaptive Sync, tearing or micro-stuttering are not an issue, since the monitor's refresh rates are superbly matched to the input source. If there is anything to complain about in the practical part, it's more the two 2W speakers, which don't knock anyone's socks off, even with this fine monitor. But to be honest: most gamers have a separate speaker solution or a headset in operation anyway.


CONCLUSION

To begin with, no half measures

Sony's new line of peripherals is starting with a bang. The INZONE M9 is currently one of the best 4K gaming monitors you can get. Thanks to the 96 zones of Full Array Local Dimming, even the previous top dogs Samsung Odyssey G7 and LG 27GP950 are left behind in its price range. The M9's performance and picture quality are excellent, especially with HDR enabled. In addition, there is almost perfect usability, a coherent, space-saving design, and sensible software.


The fact that Sony does not supply any cables (apart from the mains cable, of course) and that the height adjustment could have offered a little more – forget it. If you are looking for a monitor that cuts a fine figure both on the PC and on a Playstation 5, you cannot avoid the Sony INZONE M9 - as long as your wallet allows it.


Pros

  • Full array local dimming with a whopping 96 zones
  • very nice, high-contrast HDR
  • G-Sync compatible
  • supports VRR
  • chic, space-saving design
  • good response time
  • high color accuracy
  • modern connections including KVM switch
  • Tone mapping for PS5
  • clear OSD
  • sensible software

Cons

  • relatively small height adjustment
  • no cables included
  • Speakers not worth mentioning

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