TN Vs IPS Displays In Laptops: Which One Is Better?

A laptop’s display serves as a communicator between you and the laptop’s hardware. It is through the display and other input hardware that you relay your instructions telling the laptop what to do. But, not every display are equal.

Some can make using your laptop a pleasant experience others can make it unpleasant. In shopping for a new laptop you might be overly concerned about what type of display a laptop has and whether it is a good one.

For some people, the display is a deal breaker for them. This even becomes a major deal breaker depending on what they are going to use their laptop for.

This brings us to the two common displays found in laptops: TN (Twisted Nematic) and IPS (In-plane Switching) displays.

Both have their strengths and weakness. This makes you think which one is worth it – a TN display or an IPS display. Here’s what you need to know about TN and IPS display before buying your laptop.

Differences Between TN And IPS Displays

Twisted Nematic (TN) displays have been around for a long time. Perhaps the oldest of all the display types. They are popular in budget laptops and competitive PC gaming. Although you can also find TN displays in expensive laptops.

The difference between them is that the TN displays are of higher quality. TN Displays are a form of LED panels containing a nematic liquid crystal confined between two plates of polarizing glass filters.

Related: 4K (UHD) Vs 1080p (Full HD) Laptops: Which One Is Worth It?

The molecules of the nematic crystals are realigned under an applied electric field. When the electrical field is off the alignment of the crystals is in a twisted state hence the name Twisted Nematic.

dell tn display
Dell TN Display

Once the electrical field comes back on the crystals align with the electrical field. TN displays generally suffer from poor viewing angles and colour accuracy.

In-plane switching (IPS) displays, on the other hand, are quite popular especially in the mid-range laptops and expensive laptops. They were made as an upgrade to TN displays to make colours richer on a display and produce better viewing angles.

Related: Are Touchscreen Laptops Good? Should You Buy One Or Not

The IPS display is able to achieve this by rearranging and switching the positions of the liquid crystal layer to be parallel to the glasses. This allows consistency in the liquid crystal.

dell ips display
Dell IPS Display

To spot a TN display from an IPS display stand at an angle to the display and take notice of how the display changes. If there is little to no colour distortion compared to when looking directly at the display, it as an IPS display. If there difference or change in colour is drastic as compared to when looking directly at the display, it is a TN display.

Some manufacturers are also kind enough to specify what type of display the laptop has. Always check the type of display in the specification sheet if you are concerned about it being a TN or IPS display.

TN Vs IPS Displays: Pros And Cons

TN Laptop Displays Pros

Cheaper

Yes, laptops with TN displays are cheaper than laptops with IPS displays.

Faster Response Times

TN displays are highly favoured when it comes to response times. Because they have the fastest response times and refresh rates, they are the preferred displays for competitive gamers. The fast response times and refresh rate prevent screen tearing, stuttering and ghosting. Negatives that can impact gameplay.

Consumes Less Power

The less power your laptop hardware components consume the better the battery life. TN displays do not need a lot of electrical power for it to work. As little as 1 V is required for it to re-align itself to the electrical field. This leads to better battery life your laptop.

TN Displays Cons

Everything Related To Colour Is Poor

TN displays have the worst colour reproduction out of all the display types. The higher quality TN displays included. If you are into video-editing, photography, graphic design basically anything that requires you to work with colours. Do not go for TN displays. This is because the alignment of the nematic crystals is not as consistent as IPS displays.

Poor Viewing Angles

Colours on TN displays distort as you stand at an angle or change the angle of the laptop display. Honestly, this is not big of a deal because you will be staring directly at your laptop’s screen most of the time.

IPS Display Pros

Good To Excellent Colour Reproduction

Displays with the best colour reproduction are IPS displays. Most IPS displays have the best colour accuracy, saturation and gamut.

Related: Which Display Is Better For a Laptop – Matte or Glossy?

This makes them perfect for tasks that focus on a lot of colours like photo and video editing. Entertainment is also pleasurable since movie scenes have vivid colours.

Good Viewing Angles

There is little to no colour distortion when viewed at an angle. This is because the liquid crystals are arranged parallel and horizontally to the glasses achieving consistency between the molecules of the liquid crystals.

IPS Display Cons

Not The Best Response Times

Refresh rates and response times are worse compared to TN displays. This is not saying that there aren’t IPS displays with high refresh rates and low response times. They are just not as fast as TN displays and won’t give you that competitive edge TN displays do.

Consumes More Power

IPS displays on the average consume more power than TN displays. A laptop with an IPS display will have less battery life than a TN display of the same model and specifications.

TN Vs IPS: Which One For Gaming?

TN and IPS displays definitely do have their advantages and disadvantages. But which one is better for gaming? For the everyday gamer, IPS displays are sufficient. They have high enough refresh rates ranging from 120 Hz to 144Hz some even have 240Hz and low enough response times to reduce the effects of screen tearing, stuttering and ghosting.

TN displays appeals much more to competitive gaming. As a competitive gamer, you need the right kind of gaming setup along with high refresh rates and low response times which TN panels certainly deliver. You can’t afford screen tearing, stuttering and ghosting happening and high refresh rates allow you to max out your FPS.

In short, if you are not a competitive gamer a high refresh rate IPS laptop display will get the job done. In addition, to having a display with decent colour reproduction and viewing angles. You would hardly notice differences between TN and IPS displays when gaming.

TN Vs IPS: Which One is Worth It? – Final Thoughts


displays
TN Vs IPS DIsplay – Which One Is Right For You?

TN displays are not as bad as they seem to be. Their colour accuracy or reproduction might not be good as IPS displays. But they are still good enough for every day or general use.

IPS displays are also common in most laptops. For the everyday user, you can decide to skip over a laptop’s display specifications and it won’t be such a big deal.

But, if your line of work is more into colours then you can’t afford to skip the display sheet since colour accuracy becomes very important.

To say which one is better entirely depends on your needs or situation. And you are the only who knows your needs. You might prefer a vibrant colourful display or a fast display for gaming.

Hopefully, you have gone through this article and know the strengths and weaknesses of each display. This puts you at a better position in making an informed decision to know which one is better.

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