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What Is an IPS Monitor

Everyone who buys a new computer monitor needs to decide on the best display technology for their uses. This doesn’t just mean the size or resolution of the screen – you also need to decide on the panel type you want to get. That’s especially true for photographers, graphic designers, and anyone who works with color; the wrong decision could mess up the colors you see. This article explains IPS monitors and why you might need one for your work.

What Is an IPS Monitor?

To truly understand what an IPS monitor is, you have to dig into some details about how they’re built and manufactured. We’ll cover that later. To start, here is a more general definition that will help you learn the basics:

  • IPS is a panel technology used in LCDs (liquid-crystal displays), including many computer monitors and phones. It stands for “in-plane switching.” Today, IPS technology is more commonly found in higher-end screens, although some inexpensive monitors with IPS panels also exist. Photographers, artists, and graphic designers often prefer these monitors because – among other reasons – they give consistent colors at a wide range of viewing angles. They also allow for more accurate color reproduction in the first place. Often, you will see monitors with IPS panels referred to as simply “IPS monitors.”

Although the end of this article has a more technical explanation of IPS monitors, the definition above is the most important thing to know. Once you understand it, read on to figure out if you need an IPS display for yourself.

Which Devices Have IPS Panels?

Right now, many products on the market have IPS panels, and the number is only growing. For example, most Apple products today include them, from phones to iPads to laptops. Although there are many reasons why companies want to produce IPS displays, the most important is simply screen quality.

However, this doesn’t mean that all screens, or even a majority today, are IPS. Standard desktop computer monitors tend to have less expensive TN panels instead (“twisted nematic”). And televisions often have VA monitors (“vertical alignment”) which can display dark tones with more detail. In short, although many displays on the market ar