What is IPS?
IPS, also known as In-Plane Switching, is a type of monitor display and screen technology. More specifically, an IPS panel is a type of TFT LCD (or “active matrix” LCD). LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, is the use of light modulating properties from unlit liquid crystals for providing a flat panel or electronic visual display. TFT, which stands for Thin Film Transistor, is an LCD display variant built and marketed for enhanced color, as well as contrast and black levels. The two most common types of TFT LCDs are IPS and TN displays.
The active matrix IPS TFT LCD was developed by Hitachi in 1996 as a solution to the display limitations of TN TFT LCDs (Twisted Nematic) from the late 1980s, which are standard non-IPS LCDs. The TN display is known for its flawed viewing angles, such as inverting colors at extreme angles, and poor color quality. By contrast, IPS displays provide wider viewing angles and higher quality color reproduction by altering pixels to be parallel, rather than perpendicular. In an IPS screen, the liquid crystals run parallel with the panels when energized. In a TN display, the crystals turn perpendicular to the top of the panel.
High-performance tablets and smartphones deploy IPS display technology because these electronics are commonly used to watch movies, video chat and store photos. The improved angle and color technology features provide an overall better experience for the user. Creative professionals also benefit from an IPS monitor because an IPS LCD that provides a wider color gamut and greater viewing angles help achieve better aesthetic accuracy and superior results.
Other IPS versions include the following technologies:
- Super TFT (IPS) for a wide viewing angle
- Super-IPS (S-IPS) for color shift free and an improvement on pixel refresh timing
- Advanced Super-IPS (AS-IPS) for high transmittance
- Enhanced IPS (E-IPS) for an enhanced diagonal viewing angle and reductions in response time
- Horizontal IPS (H-IPS) for an improved contrast ratio and an Advanced True White polarizing film that creates a more natural color of white
- Professional IPS (P-IPS) for truer color depth
Do I need IPS?
An IPS display, also known as an In-Plane Switching panel, is a type of high-quality display technology typically deployed in high-performance computer and laptop monitors, tablets and smartphones. IPS provides a better user experience because of its wider angle and enhanced color quality, display features which have evolved quite a bit over time since TN-effect LCD displays were introduced and ubiquitously used in the 1990s.
To help determine if IPS is best for your computing needs, first you’ll need to understand the display technology TFT LCD. TFT LCD stands for "Thin Film Transistor" and "Liquid Crystal Display." LCD uses polarizing material and liquid crystals to form a display. TFT LCDs, also known as “active matrix,” were developed as a variant of LCD. TFT LCDs improved the color, contrast and response times of passive matrix LCDs.
The two most common types of TFT LCDs are IPS TFT LC and TN TFT LCD. TN generally has a faster response time, which provides better entertainment experiences for watching sports or gaming, but IPS was designed to solve TN display flaws, such as a poor viewing angle and low-quality color reproduction. If you use your laptop or smartphone for creative purposes, to watch movies, video chat or upload photo albums, you’ll want an IPS for the best viewing angles and color accuracy.
How does IPS compare to TFT?
IPS (In-Plane Switching) is one of the most common types of TFT LCD display. TFT LCD enhances the image quality of a basic LCD display using thin-film transistor technology. IPS LCD, which is a variant of (active matrix) TFT LCDs, further improves display technology by providing better color reproduction and a wider, more accurate viewing angle. IPS TFT LCD technology is widely used for high-performance computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. It’s a thin screen type that formulates a bright panel display using two layers of polarized panels and a liquid crystal solution. Light projects through the liquid crystals to produce an image, yet because the liquid crystals are unlit, they need a backlight.
TFT LCDs (also known as active matrix LCDs) were developed to produce greater color, contrast and response times in LCD displays. The two most common types of TFT LCDs include TN TFT LCDs (standard non-IPS) and IPS TFT LCDs. A monitor with an IPS display provides enhanced features, such as optimal viewing angles, color accuracy, invariable color reproduction and better power consumption. In summary, IPS is a variant of TFT LCDs that improves upon technological limitations within TN panels that have been flawed by poor viewing angles and color reproduction.
Does Lenovo sell laptops, tablets or desktops with IPS monitors or displays?
Lenovo's ThinkPad X Series Laptops offer high-performance lightweight laptops designed with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technologies. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook provides a stunning display produced by the ThinkPad ColorBurst Display, an antiglare screen and 300 nit with IPS features that provides 180-degree, wide-screen viewing. Nit is the standard measurement of luminance or candela per square meter. Units with a nit of 300 produce greater screen brightness and clarity, so you can expect clear text, bright imaging, true coloring and an anti-smudge screen.
The ThinkPad X1 Yoga, also part of the ThinkPad X Series, is equipped with a stunning display and IPS technology. The ultrabook’s IPS technology ensures exceptional user experiences by providing features that display high levels of brightness, rich and vivid coloring and 180-degree viewing angles.
Lenovo also offers tablets with HD display and IPS multipoint touch screens providing bright and crisp viewing. Experience the high performance of IPS LCD technology with IdeaTab, Yoga, ThinkPad and Lenovo Miix series.
For a full list of Lenovo PC desktops with IPS technology, visit the Desktops & All-in-Ones page on the Shop Lenovo page. Learn more about premium performance ThinkCentre and stylish IdeaCentre desktops with HP and frameless IPS displays that create high brightness, color vibrancy and a wide viewing angle.