Choosing a new monitor is tricky, especially now when there are lots of different options available with each offering a pretty great set of features. There are a lot of things that you need to consider while buying a digital display of any kind such as display size, resolution, aspect ratio, color accuracy, and many others. But, there is a major underlying fact which affects the overall image quality and viewing experience on a display which is the display panel. There are multiple types of panels available in the market and each offers specific pros and cons.
Today, we are going to talk in detail about LED and IPS display panels. While looking for a new TV or monitor for your computer, you must have come across these 2 options more so than others. In this guide, we will talk about these panels in detail and discuss how the panel type affects the image quality and color accuracy on a display. We will also compare both of these options with regards to various important factors such as image quality, response time, power consumption, and much more. So, make sure you don’t miss that.
Before we move on to the comparison, let’s try to understand both of these display panels in detail.
LED Display Panel
LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. It is a very simple yet elegant display technology that dates back all the way back to 1962. This is basically a backlight technology where small diodes make up the entirety of the display and light up in a specific manner to create the image. A lot of users often get confused between LED and LCD display technology due to their similarities.
LCD is a slightly older technology compared to LED. Thus, LED is basically an upgrade to LCD display technology. Both of these display panels come with liquid crystals that generate the image on the display panel. But, the LED display panel features a backlight along with the liquid crystal layer.
There are a lot of applications for which LED TVs and monitors turn out to be the best options. Also, a lot of brands use LED technology along with IPS to offer the best of both worlds. Now that you understand what an LED panel is and how it works, let us take a look at some pros and cons of LED display panels.
- Compact and slim design
- Bright image production
- Sharp image quality
- Better contrast ratio
- Reliable for long term usage
- A slight change in color temperature and accuracy after prolonged usage
- Incostintant contrast ratio
- Comparatively expensive than a few other options
- Comparatively shorter viewing angles
IPS Display Panel
IPS is one of the recent technological advancements in display technologies. Even though the technology came out in the mid-1990s, it is just starting to become the standard option for TVs and monitors. There have been a lot of improvements in the IPS display technology since its initial release and most of its limitations have been overcome thanks to the new options and compatibility with other technologies.
IPS stands for In-Plane Switching. This is also a type of LCD display technology much like the LED display technology. However, a lot of users prefer IPS display panels due to their wide viewing angles and sharp color accuracy. IPS panels are also a preferred option compared to VA and TN panels when it comes to desktop monitors.
In an IPS display, the liquid crystal panels are aligned in parallel to introduce lush colors. There are also polarizing filters that have their transmission axes aligned in the same direction for even better image quality. Unlike LED panels where the crystals are at right angles, IPS panels feature liquid crystals lined up in parallel to offer extended viewing angles as well as color accuracy.
- Excellent color accuracy
- Best viewing angles
- Better visibility in natural brightness
- Reliable performance
- Response time is a bit slower
- Comparatively expensive option than VA or TN panels
- The contrast ratio is not as good as other options
- Power draw is higher for the given performance
Major Differences Between LED and IPS Monitors
In the majority of cases, users are confused between LED or IPS panels when it comes to buying a new monitor. Unlike TVs where you can simply go with a highly reliable brand in order to get the best experience, you will have to carefully check each and every aspect of the desktop monitor you are going to buy. While a lot of these aspects include refresh rate, color modes, black stabilizer, response time, etc, one major factor is the panel type.
A lot of these major factors in a desktop monitor change based on the panel installed on the monitor. And with that, the compatibility of the monitor also changes due to differences in specifications. If you are buying a premium desktop monitor, you should carefully consider the following comparison and check which type of monitor is best for you. Going forward, we will discuss IPS desktop monitors and LED desktop monitors and compare them based on various important factors.
IPS Desktop Monitors
As you might have guessed, IPS monitors are desktop monitors that are powered by an IPS display panel. And with that, you will get the same advantages as well as limitations as mentioned above in our take on the IPS display panels. However, IPS monitors are right now one of the most preferred options for desktop users.
Despite offering the best color production and viewing angles, IPS monitors were lacking behind for heavy usage due to low refresh rate and response time for quite some time. But not anymore as a lot of brands have overcome these problems by combining IPS technology along with other options. Thus, the premium range of IPS monitors nowadays will offer a high refresh rate along with a low response time. And on top of that, Most IPS monitors also offer higher resolutions along with HDR compatibility which makes them perfect for entertainment.
LED Desktop Monitors
LED desktop monitors are also not a bad option, especially if you are looking for longevity and reliable performance for all applications. Basic LED monitors will be highly affordable compared to high-quality IPS monitors. One of the best advantages of LED monitors is their efficient power consumption which also ensures their reliability for the long term. The overall temperature levels on LED desktop monitors are also significantly lower than that of an IPS monitor.
Furthermore, LED monitors offer a much faster refresh rate when paired with VA panel technology along with a faster response time. This makes them ideal for hardcore gaming. The few back draws of getting an LED desktop monitor are the comparatively shorter viewing angles, inconsistent contrast ratio, and fatigue effects on the display panel after long-term usage. Similar to IPS panels, you can also find a lot of great choices in LED monitors where the display panel technology will be paired with LED, LCD, or TN panels to overcome some of these drawbacks.
LED vs IPS: A Quick Comparison
By now, you must have understood the major differences between an IPS and an LED desktop monitor. If you are still not sure, here is our comparison between both of these options. Here, you can quickly understand both of these options and select the one which offers you the most benefits based on your application.
1. Overall Image Quality
When it comes to image quality, IPS display panels offer the best results in almost all aspects. Whether it be clarity, image sharpness, or viewing angles, IPS panels offer the best performance in all regards.
But as IPS panels have pretty high brightness levels, the contrast ratio on these panels might not always be great. On the other hand, LED panels offer pretty great black levels and high contrast ratio. If you decide to go with a VA panel, you can have both decent image quality as well as dark black levels which makes the image much more realistic.
2. Refresh Rate
The refresh rate of a monitor is basically the number of times a screen can transform within a second. The refresh rate is measured in the Hz unit. The refresh rate is definitely an important parameter for gamers as a high refresh rate offers a competitive advantage in games like CSGO, Call of Duty, PUBG, etc.
The response time for IPS display panels has always been lower compared to LED display panels due to differences in technology. But, recently released IPS display panels have overcome the drawback and offer up to 144 Hz refresh rate on a mid-range monitor. And if you were to choose a premium option, you can get even higher refresh rate monitors powered by IPS display panels.
But compared to VA or TN panels, IPS still falls behind when it comes to refresh rate and response time. To be specific, TN panels are generally the best option for high-paced FPS games as it offers the fastest response rate at the expense of image quality. Typically, an LED panel such as VA or TN will offer you 1 ms of response time.
3. Brightness and Color Accuracy
Again, IPS display panels seem to be the best option in this scenario. Due to the unique construction and working principle, you will get a very high level of brightness on the IPS panels. On top of that, the color accuracy and hue levels are not affected by the viewing angles on an IPS panel. This makes them a great choice for both primary as well as secondary monitors. Wide viewing angles will also benefit the viewing experience on TVs with an IPS panel.
When it comes to LED monitors, you will instead find better performance in terms of local brightness. With the array of LED lights powering the display, it manages to dim the darker area perfectly, offering a higher contrast ratio. Thus, the dark areas on an LED monitor look darker compared to the same image on an IPS panel. However, LED monitors still suffer changes in color accuracy and temperature due to variations in viewing angles.
4. Power Draw
Power consumption is yet another important factor for a desktop monitor. Your system might already be a power-hungry build, especially with a powerful CPU and graphics card. Thus, you wouldn’t want to add a monitor as well to the list.
As far as power consumption is concerned, LED monitors are far more efficient than IPS monitors. IPS display panels offer higher brightness levels, but at the expense of higher power draw. Also, IPS panels are comparatively less energy efficient considering the overall performance and power draw.
LED panels on the other hand offer pretty good brightness levels with efficient energy consumption. Due to features like local dimming, the overall power consumption of an LED monitor is much lesser than that of an IPS monitor. Thus, LED panels are also cheaper in terms of running costs.
5. Temperature Levels
As you can imagine, IPS panels generate more heat when they are active due to increased power consumption. It is not an ideal condition for the monitor or a TV, especially if you live in a considerably warmer region. Higher temperature levels might result in internal problems within the panel.
On the other side of the spectrum, there are LED monitors that offer almost similar brightness levels, but without excessive heat generation. You can easily install an LED display panel on your desk without worrying about increased temperature levels on your monitor.
6. Price Range
IPS panels are considerably more expensive than LED panels. As a result, IPS monitors are also more expensive than LEDs. And as IPS panels are usually combined with other display technologies to counter its disadvantages, the price range of IPS monitors further increases.
Still, due to the increased competition in the market and the rise of numerous brands, you can easily find a great monitor within an affordable price range. But still, you will find better alternatives with VA or TN display technology compared to an IPS panel. You can opt for a higher resolution or faster refresh rate instead of going with an IPS panel in the same price range.
Which Panel is Best For Gaming?
As far as gaming is considered, the most important aspects are resolution, refresh rate, screen size, and response time. Color accuracy and viewing angles are not really a major concern unless you are considering couch gaming. Also, the viewing angles are not much of a concern for desktop applications as you will usually install the primary monitor exactly in front of your sitting position.
Due to the reasons mentioned above, VA or TN panels are usually a better option for gaming. These monitors will offer you a higher refresh rate as well as screen resolution within the same price range which is always a better deal. However, you can always invest in a secondary IPS monitor for single-player games which benefit from better display quality and brightness levels.
IPS and LED display panels are always a matter of confusion when you are looking for a new display. There are a lot of options present in the market designed by various brands which offer a great range of options for both IPS as well as LED displays. In our guide, we have discussed both of these display technologies in depth and compared them based on some major factors.
Once you go through our guide, you will definitely find out which monitor is the perfect choice for you. If you are looking for a TV or a desktop monitor for watching movies or for productivity, then you should prefer getting an IPS panel. You will definitely benefit from the better visual quality and viewing angles in this scenario. However, VA or TN panels are generally a better option for gaming.