Judging by the declared characteristics, this is yet another TN-based model without Response Time Compensation and with viewing angles measured by a contrast ratio drop to 5:1.
The exterior design of the SDM-E96D emphasizes its office work orientation. Particularly, the front part of the stand, occupying the entire width of the case, invites you to post stickers about your current job tasks. The top of the stand is designed like a ledge you can put pencils or something like that upon. This makes the monitor rather massive, though, and it takes quite a lot of space on the desk.
For the thing to keep steady on the desk, the rear part of the stand is designed like a folding leg. Unfortunately, this limits your screen adjustment options to changing the tilt only. Moreover, this monitor should better be placed far from the edge of the desk. It can easily topple over if you push it accidentally.
You can fold the leg and hang the monitor on the wall as it is compatible with VESA mounts.
There are digital and analog connectors at the back and a connector for the integrated power adapter.
The monitor’s controls are located in a groove in the front part of the stand. The Power button is placed separately on the right while the others are barely visible at the top of the groove. They are labeled on the front panel, though. Note also that Sony warns you against holding the monitor by its stand when you carry it.
The monitor does not offer buttons for quick access to menu settings.
The onscreen menu isn’t very user-friendly, but is free from obvious blunders, too.
It is a characteristic feature of Sony that the monitor’s brightness is controlled in two ways, with the matrix (“Brightness”) and with pulse-width modulation of the backlight lamps (“Backlight”) at a frequency of 435Hz. By default, the matrix brightness is set at 50%, the backlight brightness at 100%, and the contrast setting at 90%. To achieve a 100nit brightness of white I selected 54% backlight brightness, 56% contrast, and 50% matrix brightness.
Color gradients are reproduced correctly, without banding. There is no loss of darks or lights at any values of contrast. Unfortunately, the matrix-based adjustment of brightness doesn’t work quite right. The image becomes faded and colorless when you increase this setting, so I would advise you to use the backlight-based adjustment instead.