Not all liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) use the same technology. There are several different types of LCD technology, one of which is in-plane switching (IPS). Over the past few decades, IPS LCDs have become increasingly popular. In fact, they’ve largely replaced the older twisted nematic field effect LCDs that were originally popular throughout the 1980s and early 90s. So, what is an IPS LCD exactly?

Overview of IPS LCDs

An IPS LCD is a type of LCD that’s able to change the orientation of the liquid crystals. Liquid crystals, of course, are used to create the pixels. With IPS LCDs, the liquid crystals can change their orientation. The individual pixels can rotate and move to achieve an ideal viewing experience — something that’s not popular in older, earlier-generations of LCD technology.

Advantages of IPS LCDs

There’s a reason why IPS LCDs have become so popular. Well, several reasons actually. For starters, IPS LCDs offer better viewing angles than other LCDs.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of IPS LCDs is their strong, solid color. Because they are able to move and rearrange their liquid crystals, they tend to produce better colors than other types of LCDs. Not only are the colors stronger, but they are also more consistent.

An advantage of IPS LCDs that’s often overlooked is their lack of tailing. The term “tailing” refers to a phenomenon in which touching an LCD with your finger or an object creates a temporary visual distortion. While you shouldn’t intentionally press your fingers against the display, you can rest assured knowing that IPS LCDs don’t suffer from tailing such as this.

Disadvantages of IPS LCDs

On the other hand, there are some potential disadvantages associated with IPS LCDs. They tend to consume more energy, for instance, than traditional twisted nematic LCDs. According to Wikipedia, IPS LCDs consume an average of 15% more energy than their twisted nematic counterparts.

Although there are exceptions, most IPS LCDs cost more than twisted nematic and other types of LCDs. If you’re on a budget, you may want to choose a different type of LCD. With that said, prices for IPS LCDs have decreased dramatically in recent years, though they still tend to cost more than other types of LCDs.

In Conclusion

IPS is a type of LCD technology that’s characterized by responsive liquid crystals. Unlike the liquid crystals found in twisted nematic LCDs, those in IPS LCDs can move and rearrange themselves.