An IPS monitor uses IPS or in-plane switching as its mechanism for LCD panel technology. The other two panel technologies are VA (vertical alignment) and TN (twisted nematic). In a liquid crystal display or LCD, the properties of liquid crystals are exploited to form an image. IPS, VA & TN, are mechanisms for aligning these liquid crystals for producing desired results.
Among IPS, TN, and VA, the IPS panel is popular for its wider viewing angles and best color accuracy along with consistency. However, IPS monitors are not very good for high refresh rates and low response time. In short, IPS screens are the best choice for content creators, business use, and gamers for whom higher response time is not a big issue.
What is IPS?
IPS stands for in-plane switching, and the technology works just as the name suggests. Liquid crystals are packed between glass surfaces and are aligned parallel to these glasses. Now for forming images on screen, they are reoriented whenever needed with the help of an electric field. However, their parallel direction to glasses on both sides remains intact throughout. Hence the liquid crystals remain in-plane but can switch when required.
Two things were achieved with the IPS display in LCD. First, wide viewing angles were achieved, which is why monitors with IPS screens can be viewed from the top, bottom, or sideways without no or very little change in colors. The second thing is the consistency of colors. Unlike TN panels, there is no low-quality color reproduction.
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Types of IPS Panel
At its core, IPS remains and behaves the same. But there are certain versions available, each of which has its own strong zone and is popular for.
- Super TFT (IPS): This panel type based on IPS is good for very wide viewing angles.
- Professional IPS (P-IPS): Known for its best true color technology.
- Super-IPS (S-IPS): Comes with enhanced refresh rate and color consistency.
- Enhanced-IPS (E-IPS): Increases the diagonal viewing angle and has better response time than others.
- Horizontal-IPS (H-IPS): Particularly good for a better contrast ratio which is a weakness of the IPS panels.
Advantages of IPS Panel
As mentioned earlier, IPS panels have the widest viewing angles and best color reproduction. They also come with some of the best peak brightness figures. Because of its brightness and color accuracy, HDR content is best viewed on this panel type.
Besides, IPS panels have better response times than VA panels, and we have recently seen some IPS monitors with a good refresh rate.
Disadvantages of IPS Panel
Undoubtedly, IPS are rated the best compared with VA and TN, but it has certain disadvantages. First is the fact that the contrast ratio of IPS panels is not better than VA. Also, IPS monitors are expensive because of their manufacturing process. They consume more power than other panel technologies. And finally, low response time and high refresh rate are what IPS lacks, though we are seeing better numbers with time.
Who needs an IPS monitor?
As for the best uses of the IPS screen, a wide range of folks can use it because of its best color and wide viewing angles. Here are some whose work best fits an IPS screen.
- Professional creators who work on photo editing, video editing, and animations need an IPS monitor. This is because refresh rate and response time do not affect your work, and you get the best colors with brightness.
- IPS panels are best for office setups. They are bright in daylight and produce clear images, making them easy to work on and present to your colleagues when required.
- For gamers who love the best colors and brightness but do not worry a lot about high response time, IPS can be a good option.
- It can be used for general home use if you simply want the best image results on a screen.
IPS vs Other Panel Technologies
Here is a brief comparison of IPS with VA and TN panels. The table below shows how these three panels differ from each other based on display quality, price, and performance (refresh rate/response time).
|IPS (in-plane switching)||Better response time than VA but not TN. Usually low refresh rate.||Best viewing angles. Best colors.||Most Expensive.|
|TN (twisted nematic)||Best response time and refresh rate.||Bad colors.||Cheapest.|
|VA (vertical alignment)||Slowest response time. Good refresh rate.||Better viewing angles than TN but not IPS. Best contrast ratio.||Lies in-between IPS and TN.|