When you’re looking to purchase a new monitor, it can be pretty difficult to decide which monitor is right for your needs. There’s many different things you need to take into account, from your refresh rate to your resolution.
But this isn’t all you want to think about when you’re going to purchase a new monitor. You’ll also want to think abut the technology used in your display itself. Different types of display panel will have their own benefits.
For this, currently there are three alternative types of display panels that are used; IPS, VA and TN. Depending on what you’re going to be doing, one of them might be a better choice than the other. They’re all types of LCD display – LCD and LED are different.
We’re going to look at the characteristics of each of them, and how you can work out which is going to be the best one for your needs.
IPS vs VA vs TN Display Types: Explained
The simple difference between them is that IPS displays are expensive and great for all viewing angles, whilst VA displays are better for high contrast visuals. In comparison to this, TN display panels are great for low cost gaming monitors.
This is a short explanation of what the three types of display panel are best used for, but it doesn’t show the full picture. Let’s look at them in more detail to work out more differences between them.
Commonly found in: Laptops, televisions, expensive monitors, smartphones
For those who’ve been searching for a laptop in recent years, you’ll likely have seen the IPS display label before – it’s the most expensive of the three different types. Although in the majority of cases this means that they’re the highest quality, this doesn’t really give us the full picture.
IPS stands for in-plane switching, and it works in a slightly different way that the original TN display design. Although they’ve come to the fore recently in terms of popularity, they’ve actually been around since the 90s.
However, the last few years have seen many laptop companies using IPS panels for their displays, even using it as a major selling point. There are a couple of major reasons for this, including colour reproduction and solid image quality.
Key Points about IPS Display Panels
So if you have a big living room and a lot of people will be watching your TV, then it could be worth looking at one with IPS panels.
Both IPS and VA panels are the most commonly used in LED televisions in the modern day. VA panels have their own benefits too.
Best for: Televisions
Often considered to be a compromise of the two other types of display monitor, this is a pretty unfair way to describe VA display panels. They definitely have their place in the world, but they’re probably the least common of the three.
In terms of price, VA (vertical alignment) panels are somewhere between the two other types of television. They’re often used for televisions as they can have a very high contrast ratio. VA panels are also more limited at wider viewing angles than IPS panels too.
Need to Know about VA Display Panels
The long response times are the main reason we don’t really use this technology in gaming monitors. High refresh rates and a fast response time are key for gamers.
So if you’re looking for a gaming monitor, then the likelihood is you’re going to want to look at TN panels.
Most practical use: Gaming monitors
The most common form of monitor out there uses a TN display panel. You won’t find this technology as commonly used in TVs, especially in new models which tend to opt for VA technology instead. TN simply stands for twisted nematic, because the display uses twisted nematic liquid crystals.
Looking at TN vs IPS panels, there are a few main differences. Much of your decision may come down to cost, in which case, TN is the better choice.
Characteristics of TN Display Panels
The are some key advantages to TN Display panels which makes them the better choice for some uses.
In conclusion, in the modern day if you’re looking for a laptop or a television to watch sports with your friends, then you’re going to want to opt for an IPS panel display.
If you want a television with the best quality contrast to watch films late at night, a VA panel display might prove to be better. And for gamers looking for the fastest response time possible, then a TN panel display will still be king.