The Sony Inzone M3 is a more affordable alternative to the Inzone M9 with a friendlier 1080p screen and exclusive features for the PS5. It’s a 240Hz variant as well, so it should be able to go toe to toe with some E-Sports monitors. However, it’s pricey compared to its competitors, so let’s check it out to see if it is worth the money.
Sony Inzone M3 Specifications
- Screen Size: 25 Inches
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Full HD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Response Time: 1ms MPRT
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 400 cd/m2
- Built-in Speakers: Yes (2 x 2 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – No
- Stand: Pivot – No
- VESA Compatibility: Yes (100 x 100)
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x 1, HDMI 2.1 x 2, USB-C PD65W x 1, USB 3.0 x 4, 3.5mm Jack x 1
- Dimensions with Stand(WxHxD): 24.21”” x 18.85” x 9.76”
Design and Features
The Sony Inzone M3 follows the M9’s aesthetics, although there are subtle differences like the location of some ports. The monitor has the same matte white and black finish, which matches the PS5’s exterior appearance. The display is bezel-free on three sides, although the bottom strip isn’t as thick as what its competitors have.
It’s a regular-sized desktop monitor, but its tripod-designed stand takes up more space. It’s almost ten inches deep, but that’s not a lot considering that there are products out there that need more than a foot. It’s light enough to be brought with you to LAN parties or gaming events, although the stand can sometimes be obstructive.
A top-tier electronics giant made the monitor, so its build quality is excellent. Every bit and piece looks and feels like they were made precisely, so there are no uneven gaps or other cosmetic defects. The stand is firm and stable, so the screen won’t sag or shake while you’re in the heat of battle.
The Sony Inzone M3 has an OSD joystick to access its features and settings easily. It is conveniently located at the back near the right-hand side of the display, so it is within reach even if you can’t see it. You can also download the Inzone Hub software, which lets you create profiles for games and avoid the joystick.
The stand with the Sony Inzone M3 offers tilt and height adjustment to get a comfortable viewing angle. However, we expected a more flexible stand to be included here since the monitor isn’t priced like a budget model. You can use VESA mounts, but that’s an extra cost to you if you don’t have one yet.
One of the highlights of this monitor is its connectivity layout since it includes must-have ports for modern devices. You get DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.1 slots which are perfect for the latest gaming consoles. It also has a 65-watt USB-C slot with DP Alt mode for premium laptops like MacBooks.
You will also find four USB ports and a 3.5mm jack for accessories like headphones or even your mouse and keyboard. It also has a pair of 2-watt speakers, but they aren’t as good as what most would expect from a monitor at this price point. They sound tinny and are incapable of bass response, so I know they won’t get much use.
Display and Performance
The Sony Inzone M3 sports a 27-inch IPS panel with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time. The backlight has a 400 cd/m2 output, while the contrast is listed at 1000:1, like most IPS panels. This model is certified for HDR 400, but we all know how limited it is in producing HDR effects.
1080p monitors are still in, so Sony made a variant for the market segment that uses it for competitive play. It’s not as sharp as the M9, but visibility is excellent, making it great for competitive play. Most users are also accustomed to the resolution for other tasks like document processing or browsing, so there is no need for adjustments.
The Sony Inzone M3 covers 99% sRGB and 81% of DCI-P3 for decent colors in games and movies. We’ve seen better results from other monitors, which is acceptable for monitors in this class. However, what’s bad about it is its default color accuracy, which had a deltaE score of 3.67, is too high for any type of monitor.
Calibrating it reduced that gruesomely high dE average to a more palatable 1.12, which looks more neutral. However, you will need a colorimeter to achieve the same result since simply copying settings, or ICC profiles will not work just like that. Each panel has different characteristics, so results will always vary.
The Sony Inzone M3’s 98-zone edge-lit backlight reached a healthy 441 cd/m2 in SDR and peaked at 492 cd/m2 when HDR was active. However, its contrast was less impressive since it only reached 1104:1 at 50% brightness. It is incapable of deep blacks like most IPS panels, so true HDR effects are also out of the question.
Panel uniformity for the test sample didn’t have major issues like immediately noticeable backlight bleeding or leaks. There is some variance in the backlight’s spread, but it isn’t always noticeable except during pitch-black scenes.
The best part about the Sony Inzone M3 is its pixel response time which is comparable to the best fast IPS monitors out there. The monitor barely shows any blurring, so you don’t have to use too much overdrive for fast-paced games. It’s great for competitive titles like CSGO or Warzone 2, but these titles can only maximize the 240Hz limit on the PC.
The Sony Inzone M3 is compatible with both FreeSync and G-Sync, protecting you from tearing and stuttering. It is wise to have functionality with both brands so you can choose when it’s time to upgrade. Input lag sits at 4ms which is slightly higher than other 240Hz monitors, but its still very fast and responsive.
Thoughts on the Sony Inzone M3
The Sony Inzone M3 is an attractive prospect for PC and PS5 gamers since it was designed specifically for them. It has all the right features and a modernized connectivity layout, making it a flexible purchase. However, only a PC can maximize its refresh rate since the PS5 itself is limited to 120Hz, even if you are using the 1080p resolution.
We also think that this monitor isn’t a good buy at its current price, especially since other 240Hz monitors are 40% cheaper. Its HDR capabilities are not worth the extra cost, unlike the M9, which is considerably better since it has a mini LED backlight. We recommend picking the 4K variant instead if specific PS5 functionality is important to you.
- Attractive and Unique Aesthetic
- Fast and Responsive
- HDMI 2.1 and USB-C Connectivity
- Works Great for PC and PS5 Owners
- Dismal Default Accuracy
- Limited Contrast and HDR Performance
About the Author: Paolo has been a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since junior high. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations; he believes that every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.
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