Sony Inzone M3: Two-minute review
Sony’s PlayStation brand has been making a huge push recently into the competitive gaming space through its Inzone line of headsets and 27-inch monitors. This includes the Sony Inzone M3, the 1080p sibling to the higher priced 4K resolution capable M9.
All of the standard gaming monitor standards within its tier group are there including HDR abilities, 1 ms pixel response time and 1000:1 contrast ratio. There’s also a respectable amount of ports for various display inputs in addition to various USB connections.
When it comes to gaming performance, PS5 owners won’t currently have a need for a 250Hz mode as most games max out at 144Hz which itself requires a game to support VVR (Variable Refresh Rate). Considering many console gamers in the competitive scene play fighting games like Street Fighter V and Dragon Ball Z Fighters or sports games like FIFA and NBA2K, having such a high refresh rate seems more empty bragging than something absolutely required of the best gaming monitor for PC gaming.
For general PS5 usage, playing first-party games like God of War: Ragnarok or The Last of Us: Part I look made for the Inzone M3. Meanwhile, though performance is on par with other gaming monitors on PC, overall image quality isn’t the best and HDR doesn’t help much either. For streamers, there’s also an Auto KVM Switch for usage of one keyboard and mouse for two devices.
The Inzone M3 stands out due to PlayStation 5-focused features such as Auto HDR Tone Mapping alongside Auto Genre Picture mode. That doesn’t even take into consideration the remarkable design that stands reasonably well next to the white and black PS5 colorway.
Owners of Sony’s current-gen console who are aspiring competitive gamers or in the esports scene while making sure they stay color-coordinated may have much to appreciate about the M3. More traditional PC gamers will definitely have better options elsewhere.
The Sony Inzone M3 shines the brightest design-wise. As mentioned previously, the black and white angular stand that holds the display up looks cool, alongside a PS5 and various accessories. Because of the stand’s design, it’s not all that intrusive and viewing adjustment is easy.
Some may have an issue with the fact that the display can’t tilt vertically but considering the PS5 focus, I can’t fault it too much. One thing's for sure, though, the Sony Inzone M3 is one of the best monitors for PS5 you can buy if you want to really create a complete setup.
Though the PS5 obviously requires an HDMI cable, there’s an extra one available for other consoles like an Xbox Series S or Nintendo Switch and DisplayPort. Beyond that is a USB-C, USB-B for upstreaming, three USB-A and 3.5 mm headphone jack. M3 users will most definitely need some headphones as the internal speakers suffer from a flat, hollow sound. Too bad there wasn’t a way for Sony to implement Spatial Audio, which is a huge PS5 feature.
Between the slew of accessibility options in games like The Last of Us Part 1 and the upcoming Project Leonardo, Sony has put heavy emphasis on accessibility. The same goes for the M3 as it’s easy to put together and connect things to their respective port. Weighing around 15 lbs altogether, the M3 is light before putting the neck, base and display together.
Be mindful that connecting the base to the neck does require a screwdriver which may be an issue. Most importantly, there aren’t any weight shifts once everything is connected. Once used, the power button and menu joystick are easily accessible on the back panel for adjustments. Pivoting the display for eye-level comfort works well too. Inzone M3 usage feels as simple as the minimalist design.
PS5 games were the clear focus of the Sony Inzone M3. Playing games like Resident Evil 4 remake or the slew of high-class first-party games like Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part I on the gaming monitor is a joy. Image quality is good but not good enough to justify the high price tag even though features like Auto HDR Tone Mapping do a great job of optimizing HDR for M3. Supporting VRR improves the visual quality of games that support it like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.
Then there’s Auto Genre Picture mode that changes colors alongside motion settings when switching from game to video content. Again, this does enhance PS5 experience when playing more competitive games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. As an added measure, there is a crosshair toggle which makes aiming in first-person-shooters a better experience. When it comes to motion performance, the M3 does well with screen smoothness and low input lag. Gaming on this gaming monitor feels fantastic on a PS5 or PC and will make the most use out of the 240Hz refresh rate despite some problems there.
Those issues come down to below-average image quality when using a PC. General computing usage on a 1080p gaming monitor this expensive shouldn’t be this problematic. Color settings have to be changed to even read certain text while browsing websites or checking emails. Even working with Adobe Suite led to ineffective color correction. Playing games like Forza Horizon 5 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare lacked the vividness and contrast of cheaper 1080p monitors. On a positive note, the M3 is G-Sync compatible though the lack of official FreeSync support is strange considering the PS5 is made up of AMD components. There’s also an Inzone app to fine-tune the experience through settings customization. When it comes to pure PC gaming, there are simply better options out there.
Sony Inzone M3: Price & availability
- How much does it cost? $499 / £699 (about AU$725)
- When is it available? It is available now.
- Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK
Buying the Sony Inzone M3 is more of a diehard investment into the PlayStation brand. Aesthetically, it does match Sony’s current minimalistic design philosophy. During the review, the monitor sat well next to a PS5 and PSVR2. The M3 is geared more toward console gamers.
With that said PC Gamers who also own a PS5 have better options out there as the $499.99 price point is a bit much. For that amount of money, users can look into the Acer Nitro, AOC C27G2Z, and ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM. Those options may lack PS5-leaning features or USB ports, but they’re great 27-inch HD displays that can reach 250Hz between $200 to $300.
- Value: 2.5 / 5
Sony Inzone M3: Specs
|Color support:||1.07 Billion|
|Inputs:||DisplayPort x1 (Ver. 1.4) / HDMI x2 (Ver. 2.1) / USB Type-C x1 (DP Alt Mode, Upstream) / USB Type-B x1 (Upstream) / USB Type-A x3 (Downstream) / Headphone Output x1 (3.5 mm Jack)|
Should you buy the Sony Inzone M3?
|Value||At $499, the M3 is really expensive for a 27-inch 1080p/240Hz monitor. Outside of the PS5 compatibility, core PC gamers are better off considering other gaming monitors.||2.5 / 5|
|Design||Everything about the design of the M3 feels as sleek as the PS5 inspiration. Helps that functionality wise, there are a nice amount of ports for various gaming configurations. Not only is the M3 easy to put together, it also doesn’t weight that much and isn’t very top heavy. Accessing menus through the rear joystick is a breeze.||4/ 5|
|Performance||Motion performance is phenomenal for both PS5 and PC. The problem is that on PC, image quality is slightly below average at best.||3 / 5|
|Final Score||The Sony Inzone M3 is made for Sony fans who may aspire to play more competitively or stream their sessions on Twitch. While it does make PS5 games look even better at times, its usage as a PC gaming monitor is sub-par.||3.167 / 5|
Buy it if...
You are a PS5 owner looking for a competitive edge
Everything about the Inzone M3 has Sony attempting to provide esports-leaning accessories for PS5 gamers though they won’t make the most out of the 240Hz alone.
You are a PS5 owner who owns HD level gaming PC
There are enough ports to satisfy all types of gamers including both competitive and streamers. Features like Auto KVM Switch further that point.
You want a fast and stylish 1080p monitor
The Inzone M3 perfectly matches the PS5 visual design yet features a high enough refresh rate for PC gamers.
Don't buy it if...
You want an affordable 1080p 240Hz monitor
PC gaming enthusiasts should know there are better options for a 27-inch 1080p monitor because $499 is a tad bit too high.
You require better image and audio quality for PC
Image quality isn’t the best on the M3 when using PC and HDR doesn’t make things much better. Then there are the sub-par internal speakers as well.
You are looking to make the most out of your PS5 visuals
PS5 owners more concerned with higher resolution should consider Sony’s M9 or other 4K gaming monitors available.
Sony Inzone M3: Also consider
If my Sony Inzone M3 review has you considering other options, here are two more 27-inch monitors to consider.
|Sony Inzone M3||Alienware AW2524H 500HZ||Monoprice Dark Matter|
|Price:||$499 / £699 (about AU$725)||$829.99 (about £680 / AU$1,235)||$299 (about £255 / AU$435)|
|Resolution:||1920x1080p||1920x1080p||1920 x 1080p|
|Brightness:||400 nits||400 nits||500 cd/m2|
|Response time:||1ms||0.5ms||1ms (overdriven)|
|Color support:||1.07 Billion||99% sRGB||100% sRGB|
|Inputs:||DisplayPort x1 (Ver. 1.4) / HDMI x2 (Ver. 2.1) / USB Type-C x1 (DP Alt Mode, Upstream) / USB Type-B x1 (Upstream) / USB Type-A x3 (Downstream) / Headphone Output x1 (3.5 mm Jack)||1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1, 4x USB downstream, 1x USB upstream, 1x 3.5mm headphone out, 1x 3.5mm audio line-out||1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1x HDMI 1.4|
|Weight:||15lbs||14.99 lbs||10.7 lbs|
Alienware AW2524H 500HZ
If you're going to spend more than $400 on a 1080p gaming monitor, you might as well go all in and pick up the Alienware AW2524H 500HZ. While not exactly matching the Sony Inzone M3's PS5-inspired style, the AW2524H has the fastest refresh rate you can get right now, so definitely something to look at if you're predominantly a PC gamer.
Read our full Alienware AW2524H 500HZ review
Monoprice Dark Matter
Budget minded PC gamers looking for a great, no-frills 27-inch gaming monitor with a 1080p resolution and 250Hz refresh rate should give the Monoprice Dark Matter a look. It might not have the kind of performance as the Sony Inzone M3, but for this price, you can't beat it.
Read our full Monoprice Dark Matter review
How I tested the Sony Inzone M3
- I spent a week testing the Sony Inzone M3
- PC games played include Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Forza Horizon 5.
- PS5 games included Ghost of Tsushima, God of War Ragnorock and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.
- Creative apps used were Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro
Over a week of testing on PS5, many games were tested including Ghost of Tsushima, God of War Ragnorock, and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection among others. When it comes to PC games, I played Cyberpunk 2077, Forza Horizon 5 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, extensively.
I also tried more PC-focused apps including Google Chrome and Adobe Photoshop which I used to edit the photos used in this review. General computing on this gaming monitor wasn’t the most pleasant experience due to image quality but gaming was much better.
I’ve tested dozens of gaming monitors over the years and I've seen both the best gaming monitors and the worst, so I know what a good monitor should offer for the price you're paying.
First reviewed April 2023