One of the most frequent doubts when buying a monitor is the type of panel that is best for us to choose. There are monitors with IPS, VA, TN, OLED panels and some more, all of them with different characteristics. In this article, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of monitor panels .
Choosing a monitor with the right panel for the use that we are going to give it is very important. If we choose wrong, we risk getting a bad user experience, something we want to avoid. Next, we explain the different types of panels that exist , as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
TN (Twisted Nematic)
TN panels were the first to hit the market . All the first TFT monitors and televisions mounted this type of technology, which had been used for a long time in other devices such as calculators and mobile phones.
Panels with TN technology have a low number of molecules than liquid crystal aligned between two electrodes . These electrodes are responsible for providing the necessary energy to make the crystals move, letting the light pass or not and thereby generating the image.
This type of panel is the cheapest to manufacture and has a very interesting feature, which is the great speed with which the glass can change state . This makes it possible to manufacture TN panels with response times as low as 1 ms and refresh rates of up to 240 Hz. Most monitors for competitive gaming like Fortnite are TN.
Its main drawbacks are quite poor colors and rather poor viewing angles , making it necessary to look at them from the front to make them look good.
- Great speed of response and refreshment
- Cheap to manufacture
- Poor colors
- Bad viewing angles
VA (Vertical Alignment)
VA technology was the second to hit the market for TFT and LCD monitor panels. Its main objective was to reduce the weaknesses of TN panels . VA panels offer much more detailed colors, and higher viewing angles than TN panels.
These improvements are achieved by increasing the number of crystals inside the panel , making them closer together and smaller. The main drawback to this is that the crystals have a harder time moving around, which makes response time worse and more difficult to achieve high refresh rates. Still, TN panels have come a long way and you can already see models with a response time of 1 ms or 2 ms and frequencies of 144 Hz or even 240 Hz.
- Enhanced viewing angles and colors
- They maintain good speed of response and refreshment
- Very good contrast
- They are greatly overshadowed by IPS
IPS (In-Plane Switching)
IPS panel technology is the next leap in improving the image quality offered by monitors. Its main technical characteristic is that the crystals move on their own plane , hence the name of the technology.
IPS panels achieve better colors than VAs and also offer better viewing angles . This has caused it to be the most abundant technology in panels for televisions and smartphones, in addition to being present in most monitors for image professionals.
The most notable drawback they have is that crystals have an even harder time moving than TN panels . The first IPS monitors had very high response times, which made them unsuitable for video games because they produced a lot of ghosting. Ghosting is a wake that is produced in the image when it moves quickly as it happens in video games.
Image from Wikipedia.
However, this problem has already been fixed today and gaming monitors with IPS panels no longer have this problem in video games. It is true that they are not as fast as TNs and VAs, but they can be played with without problems . In addition, its high image quality makes the scenes look more spectacular than ever.
The main disadvantage of IPS panels today is that their contrast is lower than TN , and they can also leak light around the edges, something that is worse in the cheaper models.
- Excellent colors and viewing angles
- They are thinner and lighter
- Higher response time
- May have light leaks
- Lower contrast
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode)
OLED panels have several very different characteristics from all of the above. The first one is that they use organic components. This is the main disadvantage of this technology, OLED panels wear out faster and suffer from problems of "burning" with elements that are static for a long time, for example, the scoreboard in a football game. Manufacturers do not stop working to solve this problem that is reducing over time, but it is still present.
The other disadvantage of OLED panels is that they are much more expensive to manufacture , making the televisions and monitors that use them do not go below 1,500 euros. Its high manufacturing cost has prevented the technology from being more present in the market.
From there all are advantages with OLED technology. It offers the highest contrast, its colors are even better than IPS, the response time is almost non-existent, they have perfect viewing angles and they consume less power. We can summarize everything in that OLED panels offer the best image quality and are the ones that consume the least energy .
- Best image quality
- Best contrast
- Consume less energy
- They can be flexible
- They are very thin and light
- Suffer with static elements
- Very high price
There are several types of panels to give life to televisions and monitors, each of them with its differentiating characteristics, and that give them their advantages and disadvantages. None is better than the others, they are just different. This causes that the choice of one panel technology or another depends on the use that will be given to the monitor , we cannot recommend a specific type of panel for all our readers.