Monitors are one of the hardest peripherals to pick out, in our opinion. That is mainly due to the sheer amount of technical jargon and acronyms slung at you. IPS, LED, LCD, and TN are just some of the panel types out there. This article will look at two of the most common monitor types: IPS and LED.
So, whether you are looking for your next gaming monitor or something to work from home, we will go over the advantages and disadvantages of LED and IPS monitors. By the time you are done, you will know which monitor type is right for you and what these terms mean.
IPS vs. LED Monitors: A Side-by-Side Comparison
|IPS stands for In-Plane Switching||LED stands for Light Emitting Diode|
|Uses more power and typically has a longer response time than LED||Take up less energy and typically has a faster response time|
|Very accurate colors and superior screen consistency||Better image quality with better contrast ratio and brighter screen|
|Much wider viewing angles without any distortion or shifts in color||Similar viewing angle characteristics with just slightly less range than IPS|
IPS vs. LED Monitors: What’s The Difference?
Before we dive too deep into which monitor is better in each use case, we must first go over how these monitors work to understand their full advantages.
What is IPS?
IPS is one of the most common display technologies today and for good reason.
It was developed as a means to combat shortcomings of monitors in the past, like inaccurate colors and poor viewing angles. As a result, most IPS panels today offer significantly wider viewing angles compared to their TN and VA counterparts. As a result, they can show the most lifelike and vibrant colors out of these three dominant panel technologies.
IPS is an improved version of TN panels that were common with some of the first non-CRT displays. For those that don’t know, CRTs are those big boxy monitors that look that you have to be a weight lifter to pick up. Behind an IPS display is an LCD, or liquid crystal display, that creates the light, and the IPS on top controls how you view that light in the form of an image.
Unlike TN panels, IPS panels are able to keep the liquid crystal molecules aligned, creating wider viewing angles.
What is LED?
LED stands for light emitting diode and is a flat panel display technology that uses an array of light emitting diodes as a light source. LEDs convert electrical to optical power by carriers that are injected into the LED through electrodes, and then they recombine to produce light.
LED displays, while not as color-accurate, consume less power, last longer, and are way thinner and brighter than other display technologies. As a result, LEDs are typically used for much larger displays like TVs or outdoor displays.
An IPS display typically produces a much better image than LED displays because of its accuracy and sharpness, regardless of your viewing angle.
Conversely, LED monitors display less color accuracy and reliability alongside the limited viewing angles at which you can get the best quality.
It is worth pointing out that, with the rise of QLED, or Quantum Dot LED, we might see this trend switch in a few years.
Response time, or refresh rate, can determine how snappy and responsive your computer feels on a monitor. You can have the fastest computer, but if you have a sluggish monitor, you will never be able to tell the difference. Therefore, the response time is a primary spec you should look at if you are looking for a gaming monitor.
IPS monitors used to receive a ton of criticism about their slow response time. Even though they have improved quite a bit, IPS screens do not really focus on it as a selling point. On the other hand, LED monitors offer response times as quick as 1ms.
LED is the way to go if you are looking for a power-friendly monitor. While brighter than IPS screens, LED displays take way less energy than their LCD-based competitors. High power is one of the significant downsides of having excellent screen performance with IPS monitors.
If you are worried that a new IPS monitor will rack up your energy bill each month, do not worry that much. While it does take more energy, it will not take up enough power to make a noticeable difference in your energy bill.
This is certainly the factor that determines the choice for a lot of us. Despite being perceived as the scrappy underdog for the last 5 years or so, LED continues to be the people’s champion with typically a lower price range than IPS monitors.
IPS monitors leaning towards the higher end can go for $500 or more. In comparison, you can find some high-end LED monitors running for as low as $200. Of course, there is a difference in features and use cases but, if you are looking for a budget-friendly solution, LED monitors are the way to go.
IPS vs. LED Monitors: 4 Must-Know Facts
- IPS monitors offer more color-accurate images than most LED monitors on the market currently.
- LED monitors are brighter and more power-efficient than IPS monitors.
- IPS monitors have slower response times than most LED monitors.
- If you are looking for wider viewing angles, IPS monitors are the best option.
IPS vs. LED Monitors: Conclusion
Both IPS and LED monitors offer excellent performance depending on what you are looking to use them for. If you are looking for your next work-from-home monitor or you are a designer that needs a color-accurate display, IPS is the way to go. But, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option that has fast response times and is energy-efficient, LED monitors will not disappoint.
We thought it worth mentioning that if you are a big fan of OLED TVs and you are waiting to pick up a monitor with OLED technology, do not hold your breath unless you are willing to shell out an exorbitant amount of money to get one. We think it will be at least a couple of years before OLED monitors are accessible to the public.
Interested in more comparisons? Check out the articles below:
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- Unified Memory vs. RAM: How Do They Compare? One is a volatile form of memory, the other, is non-volatile. Discover other features they possess which set them apart and which is the more efficient of the two.
- UHD vs HDX: What’s the Difference? They are both formats for video streaming. Here are the key features which set them apart.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/haizon.