Panel Type: TN vs VA vs IPS vs OLED

TN vs VA vs IPS vs OLED

Short Answer

There’s no best panel type. All panel types have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to you to decide what aspects matter when choosing your monitor. For a majority of cases, the ranking is as follows: OLED > IPS > VA > TN.

Each monitor has a panel, which has a type. The most common types are TN, VA and IPS. As of today, OLED monitors are not common. There are more panel types than these, but they are more or less subtypes of these three.

TN Panel (Twisted Nematic)

A Twisted Nematic (TN) film panel type is probably the most common one out there among desktop monitors. These types of panels usually have a very short panel response time (1ms is common) so they are not subject to ghosting effects. They are also cheaper than IPS panels, which is another advantage. The major disadvantage about a TN panel is the bad color quality compared to other panel types. Furthermore, TN panels have bad viewing angles, so you have to look at them straight and not from an angle to get the optimal image quality. For this reason, TN panels are not suited for color critical work.

VA Panel (Vertical Alignment)

Monitors using a VA panel have the one advantage that they will have better color quality than TN panels, usually very deep black levels due to the very high contrast ratio that these panels boast. The viewing angles aren’t as bad as TN panels either, but they are still not optimal for color critical work. This panel type is not as common as TN panels and IPS panels, and there are more subtypes of the Vertical Alignment panel type:

  • MVA (Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment)
  • P-MVA (Premium Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment)
  • S-MVA (Super Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment)
  • AMVA (Advanced Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment)

IPS Panel (In-Plane Switching)

An IPS panel is objectively the best of the three panel types mentioned here. They offer superior color quality and viewing angles as well. The response time of modern IPS panels are also very good, usually offering a 4ms response time. The disadvantage of an IPS panel is that there is a white glow when viewing dark content on the display. This is also known as IPS glow and is perfectly normal for IPS panels to have. The following In-Plane Switching panel types are also a subtype of this amazing panel technology:

  • PLS (Plane to Line Switching)
  • AD-PLS (Advanced Plane to Line Switching)
  • AHVA (Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle)
  • S-IPS (Super IPS)
  • S-IPS II (Super IPS II)
  • p-IPS (Performance IPS)
  • AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance IPS)
  • E-IPS (Enhanced IPS)
  • AS-IPS (Advanced Super IPS)
  • H-IPS (Horizontal IPS)
  • e-IPS (economic IPS)

OLED Panel (Organic Light-Emitting Diode)

OLED vs IPS (LCD)

This particular panel type, also known as AMOLED, is special due to the nature of it. An OLED display has no backlight and is, therefore, able to display very deep black levels. Furthermore, they can be thinner and lighter than LCD displays and have even faster response times than TN panels, typically at an incredible 0.1ms!. With an OLED display, you will get more colors, superior black levels, even better viewing angles than IPS and they also use less power if the white level is low. The image can, however, look very over realistic due to the amazing vibrancy of colors that you get with an OLED display.

A disadvantage of OLED displays is something called OLED burn-in. This is simply a form of image retention, which is caused by having a static image on the screen for too long. The other disadvantage of OLED panels is the steep price tag. Sure, if you got $5000, you can buy the Dell UP3017Q OLED monitor, but most people don’t want to spend that much on a monitor. We are sure the prices will be cut down in the coming years, as popularity and demand rise.

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