monitor panel types

The type of panel you choose for your computer will determine how it looks and performs on the screen. There are three main types: Twisted Nematic, Vertical Alignment, and In-plane Switching or Plane to Line Switching. IPS and PLS are different panel types but provide the same advantages and disadvantages, IPS being the industry standard and PLS being Samsung’s custom-made panel said to exceed the IPS panel in brightness and viewing angles.

Twisted Nematic (TN) are the most common panel type, being the first mass produced LCD panel. They run from 60 to 144Hz with high frequency, faster response times, and more fluid gameplay. The problem with the TN panel is the limited view angles which can lead to color distortion the further from the center of the monitor you’re viewing from. Motion blur and uneven lighting are common issues with all LCD panels.

The Vertical Alignment (VA) panels are the middleground between TN and IPS panels. VA panels provide higher brightness, better viewing angles, and more accurate colors than most TN panels. Though, that is to be taken with a grain of salt in terms of gaming. While VA panels for regular computer work are a step up from the TN panel, they have slower response in games leading to motion blur, so if you’re a gamer then TN or IPS are the recommended panel.

IPS panels are the most expensive of the three panel types. The reason is, IPS panels have the richest colors with little to no color distortion and the best viewing angles. The brilliant display comes at a cost to refresh rates and response times, leading competitive multiplayer gamers to lean toward TN panels for that reason alone. IPS panels would be recommended for gamers that enjoy visual experiences like No Man’s Sky and Skyrim.

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-Joshua Lepard, Author

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