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Sony 42 A90K OLED Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Oct 06, 2022 at 11:15 am
Sony 42 A90K OLED Picture
8.4
Mixed Usage
7.5
Office
8.7
Gaming
9.0
Media Consumption
8.3
Media Creation
8.9
HDR
Size
42"
Pixel Type
OLED
Max Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
Native Resolution
3840 x 2160
HDR10
Yes

The Sony 42 A90K OLED is a TV that's very popular for use as a PC monitor. It sits above the Sony A80K OLED and below the QD-OLED Sony A95K OLED. It's a bit of an oddity in Sony's lineup, as it's only available in a 42" and 48" size, and it offers very similar specifications and performance to the lower-end A80K. It mainly targets PC and console gamers, and it's part of Sony's "Perfect for PS5" lineup, which offers a few unique features that are exclusive to the PS5, including Auto Genre Picture Mode and Auto HDR Tone Mapping.

Note: We also tested the Sony A90K OLED as a TV. Due to differences in the way TVs and monitors are used, the two sizes were tested with different settings and different test methodology, so the scores and conclusions drawn in the reviews aren't comparable.

Our Verdict

8.4 Mixed Usage

The Sony 42 A90K OLED is an impressive TV for mixed usage as a monitor. It's amazing for gaming, thanks to its nearly instantaneous response time, delivering clear motion with little blur. It's superb for watching videos, especially in a dark room, as it has near-infinite contrast and perfect black uniformity. It also helps it deliver an amazing HDR experience, as HDR content looks vivid and lifelike. It's also good for office use because of its large screen, but it has bad ergonomics and just decent text clarity, as the RWBG subpixel layout isn't ideal.

Pros
  • Image remains consistent when viewed from the side.
  • Large 42 inch screen.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Low peak brightness.
  • Brightness fluctuates with different scenes.
  • RWBG layout results in just decent text clarity; can be improved with scaling.
7.5 Office

The Sony 42 A90K OLED is a good TV for office users. The large screen is great for working with multiple windows open at once, and it has very wide viewing angles, so the sides of the screen remain uniform even if you're sitting up close. Unfortunately, it has just decent text clarity, as the RWBG subpixel layout isn't supported by most programs. It has excellent reflection handling but limited peak brightness, so glare can still be an issue if you're in a really bright room.

Pros
  • Image remains consistent when viewed from the side.
  • Large 42 inch screen.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Low peak brightness.
  • Brightness fluctuates with different scenes.
  • RWBG layout results in just decent text clarity; can be improved with scaling.
8.7 Gaming

The Sony 42 A90K OLED delivers an amazing gaming experience for PC or console gamers. It has a nearly instantaneous response time, delivering extremely clear motion with very little blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has some great gaming features, including variable refresh rate support and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth on two HDMI ports, allowing 4k @ 120Hz gaming from the Xbox Series S|X and the PS5. It's not perfect, though, as it has higher input lag than true gaming monitors, but it's still low enough for casual gamers.

Pros
  • Near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks and bright highlights.
  • Very little motion blur or ghosting.
  • VRR support and HDMI 2.1 bandwidth.
  • Low input lag for a responsive gaming experience.
Cons
  • Brightness fluctuates with different scenes.
9.0 Media Consumption

The Sony 42 A90K OLED is a superb TV for watching videos. It looks amazing in a dark room thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity, with no distracting blooming around bright objects. Its built-in smart interface makes it easy to watch your favorite shows or movies, as it has a great selection of streaming apps. It also has wide viewing angles, so it's great for sharing with a few friends. It's also okay for a brighter room, as it has excellent reflection handling, but it can't get very bright, so the glare from windows can still be an issue.

Pros
  • Perfect black uniformity with no blooming around bright highlights.
  • Near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks and bright highlights.
  • Image remains consistent when viewed from the side.
  • Large 42 inch screen.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Low peak brightness.
  • Brightness fluctuates with different scenes.
8.3 Media Creation

The Sony 42 A90K OLED is a great TV for media creators. It has great accuracy before calibration, and colors are displayed accurately and aren't oversaturated. It has a fantastic SDR color gamut, with complete coverage of the sRGB color space, and it even has good coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space used by some creators. The large screen makes it easy to see more of your workflow at once. Unfortunately, it has very limited ergonomics, so you can't turn your screen to share it with clients, and it has just decent text clarity.

Pros
  • Perfect black uniformity with no blooming around bright highlights.
  • Near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks and bright highlights.
  • Image remains consistent when viewed from the side.
  • Large 42 inch screen.
  • Excellent reflection handling.
Cons
  • Brightness fluctuates with different scenes.
  • RWBG layout results in just decent text clarity; can be improved with scaling.
8.9 HDR

The Sony 42 A90K OLED delivers an amazing HDR experience. It has a near-infinite contrast ratio, so even though it has just alright peak brightness in HDR, bright highlights still stand out incredibly well. It has a superb HDR color gamut, with nearly full coverage of the most commonly used DCI-P3 color space, ensuring that HDR games and movies look realistic and lifelike. It also has perfect black uniformity, with no distracting blooming around bright objects. Finally, it has superb gradient handling, ensuring there's very little banding in areas of similar color, like sky scenes.

Pros
  • Perfect black uniformity with no blooming around bright highlights.
  • Near-infinite contrast ratio for deep blacks and bright highlights.
  • Displays a wide color gamut.
Cons
  • Limited HDR peak brightness.
  • Brightness fluctuates with different scenes.
  • 8.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Office
  • 8.7 Gaming
  • 9.0 Media Consumption
  • 8.3 Media Creation
  • 8.9 HDR
  1. Updated Oct 27, 2022: Added that the recently-reviewed ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ has a DisplayPort input, which the Sony doesn't have.
  2. Updated Oct 12, 2022: We bought and tested the LG 48GQ900-B. We've added a few relevant comparisons so you can see how they compare. See our full comparison here.
  3. Updated Oct 06, 2022: Review published.
  4. Updated Oct 03, 2022: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 42-inch Sony A90K TV as a monitor, and the results are also valid for the 48-inch model. We also tested the Sony A90K OLED as a TV, but note that the scores, test results, and text are all relative to the monitor market, so they're not directly comparable to the results posted in this review.

Size Model
42" XR-42A90K
48" XR-48A90K

Our unit was manufactured in June 2022, and you can see the label here.

Compared To Other Monitors

The Sony 42 A90K delivers fantastic picture quality thanks to its OLED panel, and it has much more features than most monitors. It delivers slightly better picture quality than the competition, including the LG 42 C2 OLED, but it has worse gaming features. It's also not as good for gaming as most high-end gaming monitors, so if you care more about gaming performance than picture quality, a large gaming monitor is a better choice.

See our picks for the best 4k monitors, the best multimedia monitors, the best gaming monitors, and the best TVs to use as a PC monitor.

LG 42 C2 OLED

The Sony 42 A90K OLED is a bit better than the LG 42 C2 OLED overall, but the LG is better for gaming. The Sony has a slightly more adjustable stand and gets a bit brighter, so it looks better in a moderately lit room. The LG, on the other hand, has a wider range of gaming features, including FreeSync support, and all four of its HDMI ports support 4k @ 120Hz gaming.

Dell Alienware AW3423DW

The Dell Alienware AW3423DW is better than the Sony 42 A90K OLED. The Dell offers much better gaming performance, with significantly lower input lag and support for both G-SYNC and FreeSync variable refresh rates. The Dell also has a much more versatile stand and better reflection handling. On the other hand, the Sony has a full-featured smart interface built-in, so if you like to watch streaming movies and shows, you can do it on the Sony without even powering up your PC.

ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ

The Sony 42 A90K OLED and the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ are both 42-inch OLED displays with a few differences. The Sony is a TV, so it has more built-in features like a smart system and image processing, but the ASUS is a monitor with a USB hub and a DisplayPort input. In terms of picture quality, they're very similar, but the looks worse in HDR as colors are washed out.

LG 48 C1 OLED

The Sony 42 A90K OLED is a bit better than the LG 48 C1 OLED overall, but the LG is better for gaming. The Sony gets a bit brighter, so it looks better in a room with lots of natural light and has a slightly more versatile stand. The LG, on the other hand, has a wider range of gaming features, including FreeSync support, and all four of its HDMI ports support 4k @ 120Hz gaming. The LG also supports 1440p @ 120Hz gaming, which is great for console gamers looking to get the best performance possible from their games.

LG 48GQ900-B

The Sony 42 A90K OLED and the LG 48GQ900-B offer nearly identical picture quality, but they have different inputs and different extra features. The 42 A90K OLED is a TV we've tested as a monitor, so it has features you'd typically find on a TV, including extra image processing options, a fully-featured smart interface, and a tuner. The 48GQ900-B, on the other hand, is designed to be used as a monitor, so it lacks a smart interface and advanced picture processing options. However, it has inputs more typically found on a monitor, including a DisplayPort input and a USB hub.

Gigabyte AORUS FO48U OLED

The Gigabyte AORUS FO48U OLED is slightly better than the Sony 42 A90K OLED. The AORUS has much better gaming features, including FreeSync support, and it has much lower input lag for a more responsive gaming experience. The Sony is a bit better for media consumption, as it features a complete smart interface with built-in streaming apps and access to the Google Play Store, where you can download thousands more.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved
No
Curve Radius
Not Curved

The Sony 42 A90K has a premium design that looks great in any room. It has very thin bezels on three sides that help it blend into your environment.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

The Sony 42 A90K has superb build quality. The back house is mostly made of plastic but feels well-built and solid, with very little flex. It's very stable, and the stand supports the TV very well.

2.9
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
2.8" (7.0 cm)
Tilt Range
No Tilt
Rotate Portrait/Landscape
No
Swivel Range
No swivel
Wall Mount
VESA 200x200

Unfortunately, the Sony 42 A90K has no ergonomic adjustments, but there are leg extensions that lift the display about 2.8" above the table. It's designed to give you room to place a soundbar in front of the TV, but it also improves the ergonomics a bit and brings the center of the screen closer to eye-level. Unfortunately, there's no cable management.

Design
Stand
Base Width
19.5" (49.6 cm)
Base Depth
8.9" (22.6 cm)
Thickness (With Display)
5.5" (13.9 cm)
Weight (With Display)
34.1 lbs (15.5 kg)

The stand is slim, but it supports the TV extremely well. There's very little wobble. You can configure the stand either as shown, with the display almost flush with the table, or in a soundbar mode as shown here.

Design
Display
Size
42"
Housing Width
36.7" (93.3 cm)
Housing Height
21.5" (54.7 cm)
Thickness (Without Stand)
2.2" (5.7 cm)
Weight (Without Stand)
27.7 lbs (12.6 kg)
Borders Size (Bezels)
0.2" (0.6 cm)
Design
Controls

There's a physical button on the back of the TV that you can use to change inputs or power the TV on or off, but most of the controls are located on the included remote. The remote is backlit and has a built-in mic for voice control. You can also use the mic on the TV itself for hands-free voice control.

Design
In The Box
Power Supply
Internal

  • Remote control
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • Leg extenders
  • Cable management tie wrap
  • User guides

Picture Quality
10
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
Inf : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The Sony 42 A90K has a near-infinite contrast ratio with perfect black levels in dark rooms, even when they're right next to bright highlights. It makes it a fantastic choice for watching in a dark room.

10
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
No Backlight

The Sony 42 A90K doesn't have a backlight, but thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, it's equivalent to a perfect local dimming feature. We still film these videos on the TV, so you can see how it performs and compare it with a TV with local dimming.

6.7
Picture Quality
SDR Brightness
Real Scene
236 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
307 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
307 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
308 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
214 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
129 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
297 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
298 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
300 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
212 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
129 cd/m²
ABL
0.060
Minimum Brightness
38 cd/m²

The Sony 42 A90K's SDR peak brightness is okay. Like all OLED TVs and monitors, it has an aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter(ABL) that significantly reduces the brightness of large, bright areas. It's especially noticeable when you're using it as a PC monitor, as simple actions like changing tabs or going back to the desktop can cause a significant change in brightness. It's brighter than the LG 48GQ900-B, but there's more noticeable variation in brightness. You can disable ABL by setting Peak Luminance to 'Off', but this simply avoids ABL by limiting the brightness of the display to about 91 cd/m². These results are from after calibration with the 'Game' Picture Mode, Brightness at its max, Peak Luminance on 'High', and the input label set to 'PC'.

6.5
Picture Quality
HDR Brightness
VESA DisplayHDR Certification
No Certification
Real Scene
407 cd/m²
Peak 2% Window
682 cd/m²
Peak 10% Window
555 cd/m²
Peak 25% Window
392 cd/m²
Peak 50% Window
215 cd/m²
Peak 100% Window
133 cd/m²
Sustained 2% Window
633 cd/m²
Sustained 10% Window
532 cd/m²
Sustained 25% Window
384 cd/m²
Sustained 50% Window
214 cd/m²
Sustained 100% Window
132 cd/m²
ABL
0.098

The Sony 42 A90K has okay HDR peak brightness. Small highlights are bright enough to stand out well, but it gets dimmer with larger bright areas due to the aggressive Automatic Brightness Limiter (ABL). The brightness tracks the EOTF very well, as almost all scenes display at the correct brightness level. There's a very sharp cut-off at the peak brightness, causing a loss of fine details in bright scenes.

These measurements are in the 'Game' Picture Mode with Peak Luminance set to 'High' and HDR Tone Mapping set to 'Off'.

We also measured the peak brightness with Peak Luminance set to 'Brightness Preferred', to match the settings used on the Sony A90K OLED in 'Game' mode. The 42" model is slightly brighter when displaying small highlights, but the overall peak brightness is about the same.

8.5
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
46°
Color Washout From Right
47°
Color Shift From Left
28°
Color Shift From Right
28°
Brightness Loss From Left
62°
Brightness Loss From Right
61°
Black Level Raise From Left
70°
Black Level Raise From Right
70°
Gamma Shift From Left
64°
Gamma Shift From Right
62°

The Sony 42 A90K has an excellent horizontal viewing angle. Colors shift slightly at a moderate angle, which is noticeable if you're sitting close to the screen, as the sides of the screen appear slightly different from the center.

8.9
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
53°
Color Washout From Above
51°
Color Shift From Below
28°
Color Shift From Above
27°
Brightness Loss From Below
69°
Brightness Loss From Above
68°
Black Level Raise From Below
70°
Black Level Raise From Above
70°
Gamma Shift From Below
69°
Gamma Shift From Above
68°

The Sony 42 A90K has an amazing vertical viewing angle. The top and bottom of the screen remain uniform if you're sitting up close.

7.5
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.469%
50% DSE
0.149%

The Sony 42 A90K has good gray uniformity. There's a bit of dirty screen effect in the center of the screen, but it's not noticeable. The sides of the screen are significantly darker than the center, though, and this is a bit more noticeable. Unfortunately, this is noticeably worse than the Sony A90K OLED.

10
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.208%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Thanks to its OLED panel, the Sony 42 A90K has perfect black uniformity, as any pixel that's displaying black is turned off. It results in a perfectly uniform image with no blooming around bright highlights.

8.1
Picture Quality
Color Accuracy (Pre-Calibration)
Picture Mode
Game
sRGB Gamut Area xy
102.6%
White Balance dE (Avg.)
4.32
Color Temperature (Avg.)
6,996 K
Gamma (Avg.)
2.21
Color dE (Avg.)
2.74
Contrast Setting
90
RGB Settings
Gain (0, 0, 0), Bias (0, 0, 0)
Gamma Setting
0
Brightness Setting
50
Measured Brightness
213 cd/m²
Brightness Locked
No

The Sony 42 A90K has great accuracy before calibration. Most colors are displayed accurately, but gamma is flat rather than following the sRGB color space, so dark scenes are a bit too dark, and bright scenes are a bit too bright. The white balance is just okay, though, as most shades of gray are noticeably off. Finally, the color temperature is a bit cool, giving everything a slightly bluish tint.

The TV automatically clamps colors to the sRGB color space, as long as you set the input label to 'PC', with the Color Space setting set to 'Auto'. Note that monitors and TVs use different calibration targets, so these results aren't at all comparable to the Sony A90K OLED.

9.5
Picture Quality
Color Accuracy (Post-Calibration)
Picture Mode
Game
sRGB Gamut Area xy
98.9%
White Balance dE (Avg.)
0.67
Color Temperature (Avg.)
6,533 K
Gamma (Avg.)
2.19
Color dE (Avg.)
1.21
Contrast Setting
90
RGB Settings
Gain (-2, 0, -5), Bias (2, 1, -3)
Gamma Setting
0
Brightness Setting
10
Measured Brightness
101 cd/m²
ICC Profile
Download

After calibration, the Sony 42 A90K has fantastic accuracy. There are still a few noticeable issues with colors, but gamma follows the sRGB curve well, and the color temperature is much closer to the target. The white balance is significantly better, and there are no remaining issues.

Our calibration process for monitors is very different from our TV methodology, as we generate an ICC profile for monitors instead of using the TV's full calibration system. You can see the full calibration settings for our 48" Sony A90K here.

9.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB Coverage xy
98.6%
sRGB Picture Mode
Game
Adobe RGB Coverage xy
87.4%
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Game

The Sony 42 A90K has a fantastic SDR color gamut. It can display the entire sRGB color space used by most desktop and web content, including most games. It also has very good coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, but it can't display the full range of green and cyan.

A few additional settings are required if you want to use the Adobe RGB color space. With the input label set to 'PC', the TV targets the sRGB color space, even if you have the Color Space setting set to 'Auto'. You have to change that setting to 'ARGB' to target colors wider than the sRGB color space.

9.8
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
97.6%
sRGB Picture Mode
Game
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
96.2%
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Game

The Sony 42 A90K has incredible color volume. Thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, it displays dark, saturated colors well. Bright colors aren't as bright as pure white, but they still look good.

9.2
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI-P3 Coverage xy
97.8%
DCI-P3 Picture Mode
Game
Rec. 2020 Coverage xy
70.6%
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
Game

The Sony 42 A90K has a superb color gamut in HDR. It can display almost all of the DCI-P3 color space used by the majority of commercial HDR content, including most games. Coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space is decent. These results are nearly identical to the Sony A90K OLED.

7.6
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
76.9%
DCI-P3 Picture Mode
Game
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
65.7%
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
Game

The color volume in HDR is good. Again, it displays dark saturated colors well thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, but colors aren't as bright as pure white. Overall, most HDR content looks good, but it's limited by the relatively low brightness of saturated colors and by its incomplete HDR color gamut, especially in the Rec. 2020 color space.

8.8
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-Gloss
Total Reflections
1.9%
Indirect Reflections
0.4%
Calculated Direct Reflections
1.6%

The Sony 42 A90K has excellent reflection handling. Reflections from bright light sources aren't very noticeable, but the anti-reflective coating gives everything a bit of a purple tint.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Pixel Type
OLED
Subpixel Layout
RWBG

The Sony 42 A90K has decent text clarity. The pixel density is lower than most typical monitors, and the RWBG subpixel layout isn't supported by most programs. Windows suggests 300% scaling, which is just too large for most people, so the photos above are with 100% scaling. Enabling ClearType (top photo) helps improve the boldness of the letters, but it's still not ideal. Using a higher scaling factor helps a bit, so you might have to play with the display settings a bit to get something that looks good to you.

9.4
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The Sony 42 A90K has super gradient handling. There's some minor banding in darker shades, but it's not really noticeable. There's a Smooth Gradation feature to improve the appearance of gradients, and it works well. Unlike most TVs, we recommend leaving it on, as it appears to work very well and doesn't increase the input lag at all.

Motion
8.0
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
120 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over DP
N/A
Max Refresh Rate Over HDMI
120 Hz
Max Refresh Rate Over DP @ 10-bit
N/A
Max Refresh Rate Over HDMI @ 10-Bit
120 Hz

The Sony 42 A90K has a fast refresh rate for a TV, but it's lower than most high-end gaming monitors. Like all TVs, it doesn't have any DisplayPort inputs, so you need an HDMI 2.1 source to get the most out of it.

Motion
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
FreeSync
No
G-SYNC
Compatible (Tested)
VRR Maximum
120 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
HDMI
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes

The Sony 42 A90K supports a variable refresh rate and low framerate compensation, but it's only compatible with devices that support the HDMI Forum VRR standard. If you have a recent NVIDIA graphics card, it works well, but it's not supported by most AMD graphics cards, as they only support FreeSync.

9.8
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
0.5 ms
Total Response Time
2.4 ms
Overshoot Error
1.1%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
0.7 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
8.3 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
7.9%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
VRRChartTablePhoto

The Sony 42 A90K OLED has a near-instant response time at its max refresh rate of 120Hz, resulting in incredibly smooth motion with no ghosting or overshoot. Unlike most monitors, there are no overdrive settings, but these results are with the variable refresh rate feature enabled. Disabling VRR doesn't change the response time in any noticeable way.

9.8
Motion
Response Time @ 120Hz
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
0.5 ms
Total Response Time
2.4 ms
Overshoot Error
1.1%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
0.7 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
8.3 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
7.9%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
VRRChartTablePhoto

Since this TV's max refresh rate is 120Hz, the results are the same as the response time at max refresh rate.

9.4
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Recommended Overdrive Setting
No Overdrive
Rise / Fall Time
0.5 ms
Total Response Time
6.5 ms
Overshoot Error
1.3%
Worst 3 Rise / Fall Time
0.7 ms
Worst 3 Total Response Time
16.6 ms
Worst 3 Overshoot Error
8.4%

Overdrive SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
VRRChartTablePhoto

The response time at 60Hz is a bit worse than at 120Hz, but it's still fantastic. There's no noticeable overshoot and very little ghosting, but transitions to bright pixels are noticeably slower. There's also significant persistence blur when gaming at 60Hz due to the incredibly fast rise/fall time, which causes the image to be held static on the screen for a long time.

Motion
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
Yes
Maximum Frequency
60 Hz
Minimum Frequency
60 Hz
Longest Pulse Width Brightness
107 cd/m²
Shortest Pulse Width Brightness
107 cd/m²
Pulse Width Control
No
Pulse Phase Control
No
Pulse Amplitude Control
Yes
VRR At The Same Time
No

The Sony 42 A90K has an optional black frame insertion feature to improve the appearance of 60Hz motion by reducing how long the image is held static. It's only available at 60Hz, and it doesn't work if you're in 'PC' mode.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The Sony 42 A90K isn't technically flicker-free, but it doesn't use pulse-width modulation (PWM) to adjust the display's brightness. There's a small dip in brightness that corresponds to the display's refresh rate; however, it isn't noticeable.

Inputs
7.8
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution @ Max Hz
9.2 ms
Native Resolution @ 120Hz
9.2 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
17.6 ms
Backlight Strobing (BFI)
34.2 ms

The Sony 42 A90K has objectively good input lag and delivers a responsive gaming experience. It's higher than most true gaming monitors on the market, but it's still low enough for casual gamers, and is comparable to most TVs.

8.8
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution
3840 x 2160
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Megapixels
8.3 MP
Pixel Density
106 PPI
Measured Screen Diagonal
41.6"
Screen Area
739 in²
10
Inputs
PS5 Compatibility
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
1440p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 60Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

The Sony 42 A90K is nearly fully compatible with the PS5. As part of Sony's 'Perfect for PS5' lineup, it has a few exclusive features that only work with the PS5, including Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode.

8.3
Inputs
Xbox Series X|S Compatibility
4k @ 120Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
1440p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
1080p @ 120Hz
Yes
1080p @ 60Hz
Yes
HDR
Yes
VRR
Yes

The Sony 42 A90K has great compatibility with the Xbox Series S|X. It doesn't support 1440p gaming, but 4k @ 120Hz works well over HDMI ports 3 and 4. It supports Dolby Vision gaming, but only at 60Hz with a fixed refresh rate.

Inputs
Inputs Photos
Inputs
Video And Audio Ports
DisplayPort
No
Mini DisplayPort
No
HDMI
4 (HDMI 2.1)
HDMI 2.1 Rated Speed
48Gbps (FRL 12x4)
DVI
No
VGA
No
Daisy Chaining
No
3.5mm Audio Out
No
3.5mm Audio In
No
HDR10
Yes
3.5mm Microphone In
No

Since it's a TV, there's also an ATSC 3.0 tuner and a few extra ports that aren't usually found on monitors, including an optical out port and an ethernet port for wired internet. There's also a composite in port for older devices, but it requires an adapter that's sold separately. Unlike monitors, it doesn't have a DisplayPort input, so if you want a display that does, consider the ASUS ROG Swift OLED PG42UQ.

Inputs
USB
USB-A Ports
2
USB-A Rated Speed
480Mbps (USB 2.0)
USB-B Upstream Port
No
USB-C Ports
0
USB-C Upstream
No USB-C Ports
USB-C Rated Speed
No USB-C Ports
USB-C Power Delivery
No USB-C Ports
USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode
No USB-C Ports
Thunderbolt
No

There are two USB ports, one on the side of the TV and one on the back. The one on the side is a USB 2.0 port, but it's the most accessible one. The one on the back of the TV supports USB 3.0.

Inputs
macOS Compatibility

The Sony 42 A90K works well with recent Macs for the most part, but some features aren't available. Windows return to their original position if you just close the lid of your MacBook, but it's a bit slower to recover when waking up your computer from sleep. HDR works well, but sadly, the variable refresh rate feature doesn't work, and it's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate.

Features
Features
Additional Features
Speakers
Yes
RGB Illumination
No
Multiple Input Display
No
KVM Switch
No

Since this is a TV, there are a ton of extra features available. It has the Google TV smart interface built-in, which has a great selection of additional streaming apps, so you can watch your favorite shows without powering up your PC. It also has much more advanced image processing features than most standard monitors, meaning you can fine-tune the picture to your liking. You can read more about the available smart features on our TV review here.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)

The on-screen display is far more detailed than most monitors, as this is a TV.

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