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 and are speedy. In fact, for a while it was rare to find an IPS panel with a refresh rate high enough for acceptable gaming (at least 75 Hz, although most gaming monitors offer at least 144 Hz). This is changing, but, again, comes at a premium in terms of price.
Note that some display may be labeled "IPS-level" or some other variant. This means that the panel was not made by LG and, therefore, the vendor isn't allowed to call the display IPS. However, the technology and end results should appear the same to the naked eye.
LCD Panel Types
|Performance||Fastest: low response times, highest refresh rates, minimal motion blur; Low input lag||Longest response times typically; Higher refresh rates possible||Slower response times than TN, faster response times than VA; Gaming-quality refresh rates are rare|
|Display||Worst viewing angles;Worst color||Viewing angles typically better than TN, worse than IPS; Good color; Best contrast;Best image depth||Best viewing angles; Best color|
|Pricing||Cheapest||Pricier models can have performance comparable to TN||Most expensive|
|Best Use||Gaming||General Use||Professional|
This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary.