IPS and VA display panel: Why you absolutely must know how to tell them apart?

What’s the difference between a IPS and VA panel? 

IPS stands for In-Plane Switching and VA for Vertical Alignment.

Typically, the difference lies in 3 aspects namely the: 

  1. Viewing angle
  2. Contrast feature 
  3. Black uniformity.

There is no best panel, it boils down to the user intent. It depends if you are a gamer or movie buff.

IPS and VA: Viewing Angle

IPS Panel:  IPS has a wider viewing angle. Their image accuracy remains fairly high even when viewed by the side

VA Panel:  VA display appeared visibly washed out when viewed at wide angles on the side.

IPS and VA Panel

IPS and VA: Contrast Feature

IPS Panel: An IPS panel offers a contrast ratio of 1000:1. When you watch a black color environment in an IPS panel, the black color will be slightly greyed out. 

VA Panel: VA panels offer a superior contrast ratio of 6000:1 which is very impressive. It has the capacity to show dark environments as darker. 

IPS and VA contrast

IPS and VA: Black Uniformity

IPS Panel: Any display of bright images from the center of the screen when the rest of the monitor is supposed to show black is what we refer to as black uniformity. Due to the low contrast ratio, the black color will appear slightly greyed out.   

VA Panel: In general, VA panels have better black uniformity than IPS panels. 

IPS and VA Black Uniformity

Conclusion : Choosing between IPS and VA

If you want the best contrast available, a VA screen would be the perfect fit. Movies and still imaging display great overall picture quality.

If you want fast response times, then IPS would be the better choice. IPS is the undisputed king for most gamers.

Another thing to consider is the brightness of the room you are in. Any office or a home with an open window or overhead lights will make a huge difference. IPS monitors are better at handling rooms with lots of light pollution.

The chart below is a summary of the comparison and the factors to consider based on your requirements. There is no one size fits all in conclusion. 


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