Sony Inzone M9 27-Inch 4K Monitor Review: Optimized For PS5 And PC Gaming

The Sony Inzone U27M90 is a 27-inch 4K IPS gaming monitor with 144 Hz, Adaptive-Sync, HDR, extended color and a full-array local-dimming backlight.

Sony Inzone U27M90
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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I’ve categorized HDR monitors into three tiers that usually, though not always, follow their price points. The least expensive are compatible with HDR signals but don’t add any contrast. The middle tier adds dynamic contrast with either zone-dimming edge backlights (8-16 zones) or backlight modulation. 

The best HDR monitors have full-array local-dimming backlights. At the tiptop are Mini LED screens with 1152 zones and eye-watering price tags of $3,000 or more. The Sony Inzone U27M90 is something of an anomaly. It delivers a FALD backlight for $899. That’s pretty awesome.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Gaming performance operates flawlessly with either FreeSync or G-Sync systems  (see FreeSync vs G-Sync to decide) and works with the VRR feature of the PS5. It will run at 144 Hz over DisplayPort 1.4 or 120 Hz over the HDMI 2.1 inputs. It also incorporates a KVM feature for users running a console and a PC. As a cover-it-all display, it excels.

Picture quality is the star here for sure. Though a 96-zone backlight doesn’t sound as impressive as a higher number, the image looks fantastic in practice. I compared it side by side with an Acer X27 and found little difference between them. The U27M90 has rich and vibrant color and deep contrast with a very well-engineered dynamic contrast feature. And you can use that local dimming option to enhance SDR content too. That truly sets this monitor apart.

Sony has been out of the monitor game for some time, but it didn’t pull any punches with this new display. The Inzone U27M90 is a superb 4K gaming monitor for PC or console play. If you’ve coveted a FALD monitor but couldn’t afford the price of entry, Sony may have just solved your problem. Gamers looking for resolution, contrast, color and performance at a reasonable price should definitely check it out.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • waltc3
    Here's another one that is fairly unimpressive with HDR nits performance. My 4k Phillips provides ~700 nits SDR--certified 1000 nits HDR--actually supports three separate HDR modes. My last BenQ, 4k provided ~300 nits SDR and about 320 nits HDR (was not certified like this Sony is not certified) and the difference is night and day. Amazing when I consider I paid less for the Phillips than this Sony is retailing for, and the Phillips is a much bigger monitor...!

    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.
  • Makaveli
    Do people fine 27 inch and 4k usable I tried it and found 32 inch to be much better.
  • anonymousdude
    Makaveli said:
    Do people fine 27 inch and 4k usable I tried it and found 32 inch to be much better.

    For gaming it's fine. Productivity not so much.
  • Soul_keeper
    Makaveli said:
    Do people fine 27 inch and 4k usable I tried it and found 32 inch to be much better.

    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.
  • wr3zzz
    LOL $1000 27" monitor for "PC" gaming, Sony won't even bother supporting adaptive sync for its TV until this year.
  • edzieba
    In the 1990s, Sony marketed a line of Trinitron CRT screens. Their main draw was that they only curved on the vertical axis, which meant they were the closest thing to a flat-screen you could buy at the time.
    The main draw of Trinitron tubes was their fine phosphor pitch, aligned phosphor grid (matters more for bitmapped graphics and characters than for TV where it produced crisper horizontal and vertical lines) , and lack of shadow masks producing an overall brighter image. Trinitron tubes were available as the normal 'bi curved' surface and as completely flat glass front tubes - as were shadow-mask tubes - so tube curvature was not a deciding factor in their preference.
  • hotaru251
    4k at 27inches is legit pointless.

    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.
  • Blacksad999
    wr3zzz said:
    LOL $1000 27" monitor for "PC" gaming, Sony won't even bother supporting adaptive sync for its TV until this year.
    That was my thought, also. This is a pretty tough sell at it's price point. It should be $200-300 cheaper, realistically. Otherwise, there are significantly better monitors for the price. Hell, you can get a 48" LG C1 right now for less than this thing, and it's 4k, has amazing HDR, and 120hz.
  • gg83
    Why isn't Sony using they're OLED tech for gaming monitors? Is it difficult to make OLEDs smaller than 55 inches?
  • husker
    Aside from the resolution to size ratio, they made a huge mistake with the stand. The way the front center leg extends in front of the screen is going to cause some problems and is just an awful design decision. The stand should be functional and out of the way, not sticking out in your face as if to say, "Look at me! I kinda look like a PS5 but I'm just the leg of your stand! Sorry if I'm in the way! Buy a PS5!". Also, apparently computer stands don't know how to judiciously use exclamation marks.