Our HDR benchmarking uses Portrait Displays’ Calman software. To learn about our HDR testing, see our breakdown of how we test PC monitors.
Exceptional HDR doesn’t usually come cheap. Only a full-array zone-dimming monitor can truly maximize the standard’s potential. Though I’ve tested screens with more zones than the U27M90’s 96, it holds its own against some very expensive displays.
HDR Brightness and Contrast
Sony claims DisplayHDR 600 compliance for the U27M90, but I measured a full-field white pattern at over 850 nits. Only the X27 is brighter, and it costs more than double. To measure the black level, I had to display a small info bug to activate a dimming zone near the light meter. Full black zones shut off their backlight LED entirely. Only the Acer’s 384 zones rendered more contrast than the Sony. And no other $900 4K/HDR monitor competes with the U27M90. As far as HDR goes, this monitor delivers a lot for the money.
Grayscale, EOTF and Color
The U27M90 locks out its image controls in HDR mode like most monitors of this type. However, it’s not a problem because grayscale tracking is near-perfect, as is the EOTF tracking. There’s a blue tint barely visible in the brightest highlights, but you’ll be hard-pressed to see that. The EOTF transitions a little early to tone mapping but that too is a minor error. If you connect a PS5, it will use a dynamic tone-mapping feature that enhances HDR10 content further with more highlight detail. This won’t work with PC games, but it’s available in many PS5 titles.
In the gamut test, the U27M90 tracked DCI-P3 with a little over-saturation. Only green comes up short, but all colors are on or close to their hue targets and saturation tracks linearly, meaning that detail is clear at all brightness levels and in all colors. Rec.2020 tracks well until the display runs out of color. At red and green levels over 80%, hue is altered to help punch up the most saturated shades. This is excellent performance
I also had several Sony CRTs...great monitors--remember my last--a 20" "flat-screened" Trinitron that supported my Voodoo3's 1600x1200 res ROOB....;) As an aside, the ATi fury I bought at the time to test--(the original ATi Fury, not AMD's) would not do 1600x1200 stock! I had call ATi and ask them about it and one of the driver programmers I spoke with (in those days you could dial up practically anyone and actually talk to them!) asked me why I wanted to run at 1600x1200...;) I had to actually add the simple instructions into their driver structure at the time to enable 1600x1200--'cause my Trinitron supported it and I wanted to use it!...;)
Sony made great monitors in those days--they were good enough for me and x86 in those years. The Trinitron brand is well known even today, as you mentioned. Originally, it was the Trinitron TV brand. I'm sure this monitor is a good one, I'm just not enamored of the specs. Those high nits make all the difference, in the display, imo.
For gaming it's fine. Productivity not so much.
It really is personal preference. I've been using a Samsung U24E590D 23.6" 4K display for a few years now.
Personally I wanted maximum pixel density, good power usage, not too bulky.
Now I think my eyes aren't as good as they once were, I might get a 27" 4K in the future, maybe something like the one reviewed.
27" could be the "sweet spot" for 4K. And greater than 60HZ refresh is a plus.
Also your distance from the screen and usage style play a big role in the decision.
I lean forward and have my face 1' from the screen to read things for example.
waste of energy to power(which costs more in pwoer bill), generates more heat (not what msot ppl want outside of the winter), and lowers frame rate for a near non discernible image quality.
1440p @ 240+ refresh rate would of been a MUCH more interesting product.