Choosing a monitor can be challenging depending on what you predominantly use it for. There are three major panel types; VA, IPS, and TN. IPS and TN are among the most common types, but how do you tell your monitor is TN or IPS?
Whether you’re a content creator, gamer, or someone who wants an all-around option, this guide will help you differentiate between TN and IPS panels.
What is an IPS Monitor?
In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels are known for their better viewing angles and color reproduction. This leads to excellent color contrast that doesn’t lose clarity even when the viewer is at the wrong angle.
IPS monitors portray color contrast, image clarity, and brightness. They are the best at black reproduction, which eliminates the washed-out look in TN panels. IPS monitors are the best for video editors, photo editing, and general content creation.
IPS displays usually come with high refresh rates over 240Hz. Although TN panels have an advantage over IPS panels in response time, some high-quality IPS displays can match the response time and refresh rate of TN panels without compromising the color vibrancy of IPS displays.
IPS panels are also ideal for everyday use. They come with excellent image clarity that can support digital graphic design. There are also gaming-specific monitors and sRGB-focused IPS displays for designers.
- Wide viewing angle
- It comes in fast refresh rates of over 240Hz
- Strong color vibrancy and image clarity
- More expensive
- Slower response times compared to TN panels
- You may experience IPS glow at extreme viewing angles
What is a TN monitor?
TN, or Twisted Nematic panels, is one of the most commonly used monitor panels. TN is ideal for gamers because they have greater refresh rates and response times. With a TN monitor, you can take advantage of 144Hz or 240Hz refresh rates with less input lag. Responsiveness is a crucial factor in competitive gaming. If you are also a stock trader, a TN panel monitor will be a good bet.
TN panels are the oldest panel tech in monitors, making them cheaper than IPS panels. Since TN panels are older tech, they promise faster response time and refresh rate. This is because the panels produce less clarity and color vibrancy.
- Smoother on-screen motion
- High refresh rate and fast response time
- Ideal for gamers
- Cheaper compared to IPS
- Narrow viewing angle
- Less color clarity and contrast
Is My Monitor IPS or TN?
How do I check if my monitor has an IPS or TN panel? Well, IPS panels are known to have wide viewing angles. If you look at the screen from the sides, you will not see any change in color rendering. On TN panels, you will note a significant change when your viewing angle deviates from 90 degrees, while on IPS, there will be little or no change.
Alternatively, gently press the display in a dark area; TN panels will wash out/lighten under your finger, while an IPS panel won’t change. However, you should not press too hard.
You can also look at the label on the back of your display and search for it. The spec sheet indicates if it’s an IPS panel. If it’s not indicated, most probably, it’s a TN panel.
IPS vs. TN Monitors: Which is Better for Gaming?
Better is always subjective. If you use your monitor for work or watching movies, IPS will be an ideal option because it has better color vibrancy and color contrast. On the other hand, gamers may prefer a TN panel because of the 1ms response time for competitive gaming.
TN panels are the best in the eSports world. Even the budget models support high refresh rates and fast response times. If you play 1080p gaming, a 24-inch monitor will do well, but for 1440p, a 27-inch model is a great choice. You can also choose an IPS panel if you’re willing to sacrifice some contrast.
IPS vs. TN Monitors: Pricing
You can get a TN monitor for as low as $100. High-end TN monitors can cost over $1,000, but these monitors come with high-end features. On the other hand, IPS monitors start at around $150 and can go up to $2,000. The price of these monitors is dependent on the features packed in them.
Whether you opt for an IPS or TN panel, choosing the right monitor should be based on your personal preferences and needs. If your monitor has fast responsive specs, brilliant color reproduction, and wider viewing angles, then it’s an IPS panel.