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What Is an IPS Display? A Basic Definition

Dell S2719DM IPS Monitor

IPS stands for in-plane switching, a type of LED (a form of LCD) display panel technology. IPS panels are characterized as having the best color and viewing angles among the other main types of display panels, TN (twisted nematic) and VA (vertical alignment). However, IPS panels are also the most expensive of the three.

When choosing a PC monitor, you may opt for an IPS panel because of its great image quality. Their best use case is professional (art, graphics et cetera) work. On the other hand, gaming monitor manufacturers tend to opt for TN panels because they're the fastest of the three main LED panel types. In fact, it’s rare to find an IPS panel with a refresh rate high enough for acceptable gaming (at least 75Hz, although most gaming monitors offer at least 144Hz).

LCD Panel Types:

PerformanceFastest: low response times, highest refresh rates, minimal motion blur; Low input lagLongest response times typically; Higher refresh rates possibleSlower response times than TN, faster response times than VA; Gaming-quality refresh rates are rare
DisplayWorst viewing angles;Worst colorViewing angles typically better than TN, worse than IPS; Good color; Best contrast;Best image depthBest viewing angles; Best color
PricingCheapestPricier models can have performance comparable to TNMost expensive
Best UseGamingGeneral UseProfessional

This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary.

Further reading: