LCD Types Explained: IPS vs TN vs VA

Very few buyers pay attention to PC monitors and TV screens beyond size and resolution. What many of them don’t understand is that monitors and TV screens are incredibly complex. Determining how good an image appears on screen, several other factors other the usual screen size and resolution do come in play – including lag time, viewing angles, colour reproduction, and response time to name a few.

The display industry has however been plagued with loads of marketing pabulum, which has seen to it that some of the attributes that determine the noticeable difference in the quality of pictures displayed on-screen becomes even more meaningless with time.

As you already know, PC monitors and TV screens come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. But at heart, they all have an LCD panel. It’s to be however noted that NOT all LCDs are the same. While some have been designed to offer better contrasts and produce more accurate colours, some of them are nothing but a pain to the eye.

So given all the options you’re likely to find in the market, which type of LCD should you settle for?



By stacking up the three technologies against each other, and finding out how they actually work, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to the type of technology that’s best suited for your display needs.

In this section of the post, we’ll try to break down each of the panels to their corresponding characteristics and make it easy for you to decide which one among them makes the best pick.


LCD Types ExplainedViewing Angle

Both VA and IPS are thought to offer a better viewing angle compared to TN panels. Meaning, you’ll be viewing the two panel from a much shallower angle and still be able to clearly see what’s displayed on-screen with little or NO colour degradation as opposed to a TN panel.



LCD Types Explained: IPS vs TN vs VAColour and Response Time

Again, both IPS and VA panels have been found to present a better reproduction of colours compared to TN panels. That’s because they have a better ability to control the light that’s passing through them.

For response time, IPS strikes out for having a faster response time compared to VA. That’s because its crystals don’t necessarily need to tip over and twist afterwards as with VA.

And even though it’s still possible to get a fast-refreshing gaming monitors that still utilizes the VA technology, most of them tend to offer a poor gaming experience, and that’s because they have a slow pixel response time.

TN is the fastest of the bunch, but IPS is still fast enough to allow for a responsive gaming.



VA’s strongest selling point is its contrast. But since it tend to block light in its resting state, its black level is considered the lowest of the three. It can however still present bright colours when required to.

A typical TN and IPS panel will produce a contrast rate of 1000:1 or even lower. VA panels can actually produce twice the number. It’s for this reason that most people prefer VA for home TVs, with the deep black level making movies even more enjoyable.



Each of the panels comes with its share of pros and cons. Contrary to what you’d like to believe, TN aren’t bad at all. For starters, they’re the easiest of the three panels to produce, which tends to make their screens and monitors way cheaper.

They also have the fastest response rate. With VA registering an average response time of 10ms, and the fastest IPS boasting about 4ms, TN panels can go as low as 1ms. This makes them a preferred choice of panels for gaming, as the faster response rate allow for display of clearer pictures.


LCD Types Explained: IPS vs TN vs VA Wrap

After reading the above statements, you may still find it hard to decide on the most suitable panel for your display needs. But the distinction is pretty clear.

If you’re looking for a screen that offers better quality images for day-to-day work use, and aren’t bothered much by its gaming competitiveness, then an IPS panel would make a better screen choice.

However, if you happen to be big on gaming, then you’re guaranteed a much better experience with a TN panel.

VA on the other hand tries to establish a middle ground between IPS and TN panels. It also makes a great choice of screen for home use and watching movies.

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