As surprising as it may seem, Sony has been absent from the “gaming monitor” market thus far, leaving the field to fierce competition. But things may have changed with the new Inzone range, which in particular offers this M9 screen capable of handling 4K at 144Hz. In line of sight the PS5 but also the PC.
Overview and features of the Sony Inzone M9
Sony’s new “Inzone” range currently includes two different product types: “gaming” headsets, namely the H3 and the H9, but also two monitors for PC and consoles: the M9 and the M3. On the headphone side, the results are mixed at the moment, especially from a brand like Sony, used to offering references in terms of audio.
It’s a bit different with monitors: the manufacturer has undeniable expertise in televisions, but much less in screens for computers. In this niche, it has to deal with brands that are already established, whether Samsung, Asus, MSI or Acer.
We’re testing the Inzone M9 here, the more upscale model that can edit in Ultra HD at 144Hz. A screen that seems cut for new generation PS5 consoles.
|plate type||IPS LCD|
|HDR||Yes (HDR 600)|
|VRR||Yes (G Sync)|
|connections||2xHDMI 2.1 1xDisplayPort 1.4 3xUSB 3.0, 1 USB-C, 1 jack|
Buy the Sony Inzone M9 on Amazon
Construction, connections: an original look, but some flaws
The least we can say is that Sony is trying to differentiate itself from the competition with the looks of its Inzone M9. Difficult at first glance to innovate on this point as most PC monitors look the same. But we appreciate the efforts to offer a slightly different product here, connected to the “PlayStation” universe. We therefore find a white and slightly curved posterior, as well as a foot in the same style. Unlike the PS5, however, we don’t find the very finely inlaid “Rong, Cross, Square, Triangle” shapes here. But the gritty treatment is unmistakably reminiscent of Sony’s latest console.
The foot is also a really differentiating element of the Inzone M9. Composed of two parts, it forms a kind of triangle that is perfectly stable and at the same time relatively compact on a desk. You can easily place your mouse, keyboard and PS5 next to it. The central part, which acts as a tripod, also uses the color codes of the PS5, for a very successful result. The white plastic part can be removed and we use a ditch for the passage of cables. Classic on this point, but everything is well put together.
On the other hand, we tick off a bit on the materials used for the back of the monitor. The set is still very “plastic” and frankly sounds hollow when tapped. Given the price of the screen, we expected more from Sony.
Once the foot is attached to the screen via a very simple clip system, it slides over a good length with ease. It can vary from 5 to 12 cm, ie an amplitude of 7 cm. The inclination is also possible, plus or minus 20 degrees. However, it does not rotate and cannot switch to “portrait” mode. Again, given the format of the screen and the price charged, it’s a bit of a shame.
On the back, when white dominates, a color band again allows to get closer to the “PS5” universe. This may or may not be lit and can change color, but it is not of the RGB type (we will be content with 13 shades). Everything is adjusted via the screen’s OSD, which we’ll come back to later in this review.
On the connectivity side, the Inzone M9 is very complete: there are of course 2 HDMI 2.1 ports (capable of managing 4K at 120Hz) that will perfectly match your PS5 or your Xbox Series X. Your PC gamer tower will connect when connected to DisplayPort 1.4 and your ultraportable PC to a USB-C port. There are also 3 USB-A 3.0 ports and a headphone output. Everything is well hidden in the back and is somewhat lacking in accessibility.
One more word about the small loudspeakers (2×2 watts) integrated in the monitor: They have the advantage of being there, but the reproduction is really not convincing, too shrill and much too treble-heavy. They can be used as extra speakers on your PC, but you’ll quickly want to put on good headphones or connect speakers to them.
A very complete and easily accessible OSD
The OSD is accessible via a joystick on the back of the screen. A navigation system that has already proven itself against the competition and still proves to be just as effective. The 4 directions of the joystick offer shortcuts that allow you, for example, to quickly change the source or change the profile of the image. But when you enter the full menu, things get lush: it’s possible to adjust many aspects such as sharpness, contrast, brightness, color temperature or saturation.
In a game, you can also display an overlay crosshair. We also take advantage of a very handy “KVM” feature that allows you to connect a keyboard and mouse directly to the screen (hence the USB ports), which can be recognized by multiple computers connected to the monitor. Everything is again managed very well via the OSD interface, which is a great success.
Image: a screencut for the PS5
When it comes to rendering, can the Inzone M9 hold up against heavily armed competitors? As a reminder, we are dealing with an IPS panel with a diagonal of 24 inches. It shows a resolution of 3840 x 2160 with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Supported by two HDMI 2.1 ports and VRR (G-Sync only on PC), it is therefore a screen perfectly suited for a new generation console, PS5 at the top. We recall that like the Xbox Series X, the Sony console is theoretically capable of swinging from 4K to 120 FPS. So here we are in the nails.
However, to be able to play on the PC in Ultra HD with 120 FPS and more, you need a muscular configuration, especially on the graphics card side. It obviously depends on the games, but it’s better to go for an RTX 3080 to be as comfortable as possible.
In terms of image quality, we are still somewhat disappointed in a few points. Our measurements were taken using the “Standard” profile, which offers the most balanced colorimetry. On this point, there is a color temperature of 6260 K and a Delta E of 5. The first value is very good, being close to the standard at 6500 K and showing a good balance between warm and cold tones. The second is a bit more disappointing, but still true: for a Delta E to be considered excellent, it has to be below 3, which is not the case here. So there is a lack of color fidelity.
Where the shoe pinches is above all the contrast ratio, which did not exceed 950:1 in our tests with deactivated local dimming. In SDR, the maximum brightness is 360 cd/m2, which is again quite low. In HDR we can go up to 630 cd/m2, which is much better but still a bit disappointing.
In use, however, the rendering is pleasant, the image is precise and well highlighted, whether on PC, PS5 or Xbox Series X. What bothers us here is the “quality of ‘image/price’: you will get results that are as good or even better on screens half the price like the Samsung Odyssey G7, which has more or less the same characteristics.
So the Sony Inzone M9 isn’t a bad screen, far from it, but it struggles to compete against product genre specialists.
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A decent PC/PS5 screen but overpriced
- Original design using PlayStation Codes
- A well-designed and space-saving stand
- 2 HDMI 2.1 ports, perfect for PS5 and Xbox Series X
- Pretty good image colorimetry
- Very easy to install
- Very complete OSD
- Contrast and brightness a bit mediocre
- Fairly “plastic” construction
- Connections that are difficult to access
- The screen does not rotate
The Sony Inzone M9 leaves us with a strange impression: that of a screencut, certainly suitable for gaming on PC and consoles, showing an obvious desire to please, but not fully succeeding. Its design is original, its functions are very complete, the image quality is right… The problem is that it is sold for more than 1000€ and at this price we have the right to expect a little more. The build quality is a bit “plastic”, the contrast and brightness are average, the connections are not very accessible… So many “small” imperfections that together spoil the result.
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