In-plane switching or IPS LCD is a type of LCD technology first introduced in the mid-1990s and became popular in the mass market in the mid-2000s. Note that its development marked an improvement in tested nematic LCD and its further utilization rivals modern display techs such as OLED technology, Quantum Dots, and QLED technology.
The Pros: Advantages IPS LCD Technology and its Applications
Below are the benefits or pros of in-plane switching LCD technology:
1. Color Reproduction
One of the key advantages of in-plane switching or IPS LCD technology is that it produces more accurate and thus, better images than twisted nematic or TN LCD. To be specific, it has a color depth capable of producing 16.7 million possible colors.
2. Wider Viewing Angle
Wide viewing angle is another strength of IPS LCDs. Note that TN LCDs suffer from poor off-axis image quality while VA LCDs suffer from angle-dependent color shifts. High-quality IPS LCD panels produce minimal to zero image or color distortion when viewed from different angles.
3. Outdoor Visibility
Compared to both TN LCD and OLED display technology, an operating IPS LCD has better visibility under direct sunlight or bright lights. Remember that TN has a limited color depth while an OLED does not use backlighting.
4. Durability and Longevity
There are several reasons why in-plane switching LCDs tend to have longer lifespans. For instance, TN LCDs can suffer from poor manufacturing standards because of the inexpensive technology behind it. Moreover, OLEDs have noticeable pixel degradation and faster burn-ins.
The Cons: Disadvantages of IPS LCD Technology and other Limitations
Below are the drawbacks or cons of in-plane switching LCD technology
1. Inferior Contrast Ratio
Although an IPS LCD panel has a better contrast ratio than a TN LCD panel, it cannot compete against a VA LCD panel or an OLED panel. VA technology can effectively block backlighting while an OLED technology naturally produces deep blacks.
2. Energy Inefficiency
Power consumption is another drawback of IPS LCD, especially when compared to TN LCD and OLED. An IPS panel typically requires 15 percent more power than a TN panel. OLED saves more power because it does not require backlighting, unlike LCDs.
3. Pixel Response Time
Another disadvantage of IPS LCD is that it has a slower pixel response time and lower refresh rate than TN LCD and OLED. Hence, this technology is unsuitable for specific applications, particularly fast-paced and competitive gaming.
4. Manufacturing Cost
Cost is another issue of in-plane switching LCD. TN LCDs are less complicated to manufacture and thus, cheaper to manufacture. Hence, entry-level monitors, laptops, and other devices use TN LCD panels to drive down the market price.
Summary: Advantages and Disadvantages of In-Plane Switching LCD Technology
Based on the aforementioned advantages, in-plane switching LCDs are suitable for both general use and specific use cases. Considering its color accuracy, vividness, and acceptable viewing angle, it is also interesting to note that an IPS LCD is appropriate for photo editing, graphics design, and video editing.
The advantages of IPS LCD are undeniable. However, there are other display technologies that have superior features and benefits. OLED technology has become a standard display for mid-tier to premium-level smartphone and other mobile devices because it is energy efficient, has a slimmer physical profile, and produces higher contrast ratio.