QLED vs IPS – Which Panel Type Should I Choose?

QLED vs IPS

Display technology is one of the most important things to consider when buying a new screen. Wondering which display technology would fit your needs best? You should keep reading.

QLED and IPS both are decent technologies. QLED is better at delivering high-quality images whereas IPS has more of an advantage with wider viewing angles.

We’ll do a one on one comparison on QLED vs IPS that will help you see the features they have. Let’s start with what exactly is QLED and IPS and go through the details of each.

QLED – Benefits and Disadvantages

QLED technology, pioneered by Samsung and Sony, QLED (quantum dot LED) is a display technology that uses quantum dots, semiconductor nanocrystals that can produce pure monochromatic green, red, and blue light. Sony introduced it in 2013 but Samsung pushed the boundaries of this technology.

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Image of Samsung 65" Class QN90A Neo QLED (QN65QN90AAFXZA)
Image of Samsung 65″ Class QN90A Neo QLED (QN65QN90AAFXZA)

Here are the features that this technology has to offer:

Color Accuracy and Vibrancy

A very notable benefit of QLED technology is color accuracy and vibrancy. This enhances the overall picture quality and results in a more immersive viewing experience. QLED displays also have a high contrast ratio which means they show darker blacks and more luminant whites leading to greater depth and detail in the images.

Brightness and HDR Support

QLED displays offer high illumination levels that make them suitable for well lit rooms. It is also very beneficial for HDR content. HDR content has a wide range of colors that needs these brightness levels to be displayed with great clarity and color accuracy. 

Contrast and Black Levels

The contrast ratios of QLED displays are high, meaning they display deeper blacks and luminant whites. This leads to depth in images. Also it gives a better picture quality in dark. So for rooms that don’t have ambient light, your monitor will still be able to give you a great visual experience.

Gamut Coverage

QLED displays have a wider color gamut than the traditional LEDs. This means that your screen will be able to display a wider range of colors resulting in color accuracy and lifelike images. This results in an immersive visual experience. 

Response Time

Response time is the duration your monitor takes to change its pixels. For QLED displays that time is usually 1-2 ms. While it is great for everyday use, it might not be good enough for competitive and high-paced gaming where you need to react immediately to the events happening. 

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Disadvantages of QLED

While QLED TVs are excellent for multimedia consumption, they do have certain drawbacks. They don’t have high levels of color accuracy and wide viewing angles making them unsuitable for certain tasks.

QLED DIsadvantages

Limited Viewing Angles

QLED displays have limited viewing angles. When viewed from extreme angles the colors may degrade. It becomes a problem in bigger displays where you can’t always view the screen from a straight 90° angle. Shifting your viewing angle may result in image distortion and color shifting leading to a poor visual experience. 

Color Washout at High Brightness

An issue with QLED displays is that setting the brightness too high can cause color distortion and washed out colors. This happens because when the brightness is set too high, the color saturation and contrast levels are affected, resulting in a less accurate picture quality.

Risk of Burn-In

Although better than OLED displays in this regard, QLED displays still have a risk of burn-in. It occurs when an image is displayed on the screen for a really long time which results in burning of phosphors in the monitor. This in turn leads to the image being faintly visible even after the display is switched off. 

Limited Availability of Pure QLED

Pure QLED display technology refers to displays that utilize quantum dots as the self-emissive pixels, akin to OLED. It is not as readily available in the consumer electronics market. Developing practical, efficient, and cost effective, self-emissive QLED displays has been a challenging task.

Cost

QLED displays are generally more expensive than the traditional LED displays. This is probably due to the advanced quantum dot technology and other features that they incorporate. So QLED displays are not the most cost effective option there is.

Energy Consumption

QLED displays typically consume more energy than other LED displays, especially when displaying bright content. The backlight uses more energy that leads to higher electricity bills. So if you’re looking for an energy efficient option then QLED is the best choice for you. 

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IPS – Benefits and Disadvantages

IPS (in-plane switching) is a screen technology for LCDs. In this, a layer of liquid crystals is sandwiched between two glass surfaces. The crystals and glass substrate are aligned parallel to each other.

IPS monitor
Samsung – 28” ViewFinity UHD IPS Monitor (LU28R550UQNXZA)

Let’s go through some of the main features of IPS.

Viewing Angles

IPS displays are known for wide viewing angles. This means you can view your monitor from pretty much any angle without compromising the picture quality. There is no image distortion and minimum color shift. This gives a great visual experience. It’s also specifically helpful for larger displays where you can’t always look at your screen from a head on 90 degree angle.

Color Accuracy

IPS displays have excellent color accuracy. They were actually designed to resolve the poor color reproduction of the previously present TN panels.

A typical IPS panel has 8-bit RGB color depth that allows it to produce upto 16.7 million different colors. The high end ones have an even higher 24-bit RGB color depth.

Response Time

As mentioned earlier this is the time taken by a display to change its colors. IPS displays have a response time of around 1-2 ms. This makes them suitable for competitive gaming and may even result in motion blur and lagging.

Backlight Bleeding

Backlight bleeding refers to the light that you see around the corners of your screen. It’s pretty normal in IPS panels and is called the IPS glow. Sometimes you may even see it around the edges and It’s quite intense. It’ll make your viewing experience uncomfortable in dark spaces. 

Energy Efficiency

IPS panels are not the most energy-efficient option. They use around 15% more power than a standard TN LCD. So if you’re looking for something that requires less energy to run, IPS might not be the best option.

Disadvantages of IPS

Even though IPS display technology has impressive qualities, it is important to remember that IPS has its own set of drawbacks as well and is not an ideal choice for competitive gamers and those who view fast-paced content.

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IPS PROBLEM

Slower Response Times

Response time refers to the time taken by the display to change its colors. IPS panels normally have a response time of 1-2ms. This slower response time makes them unsuitable for competitive gaming as well as for content that is fast-paced. This slower response time also leads to lagging and increased motion blur.

Backlight Bleeding

Backlight bleeding is the light you see around the corners of your screen. IPS panels have the potential for backlight bleeding. Normally it shouldn’t be very visible except in dark environments and is called the IPS glow. Still sometimes it gets intense and uncomfortable for the eyes. 

Lower Contrast Ratios

With backlight bleeding, IPS displays can not produce deeper blacks. At best they display a dark gray color. This results in a lower native contrast ratio. Typically IPS displays have a contrast ratio of 700:1-1500:1, which is not ideal for professionals whose work is color critical. 

Higher Costs

IPS displays have a high production cost and hence a high market price. They are usually featured in high end panels. If you’re on a budget, IPS might not be the best option for you.

Limited Refresh Rates

Refresh rate is the number of times your monitor refreshes its display in one second. Most IPS panels have a refresh rate of standard 60Hz to around 144Hz. The limited refresh rates of IPS can cause problems such as flickering that lead to eye strain. They interfere with the smoothness and fluidity of motion and make your visual experience poor.

Potential IPS Glow

IPS displays are notorious for IPS glow which is the light you see around the corners or edges of your screen as a result of backlight bleeding. This makes the viewer’s experience uncomfortable especially in dark environments. 

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Types Of Panels Other than IPS and QLED:

There are different panel types based on the display technology they use. Each has its own features and benefits. Let’s go through some of them.

TN (Twisted Nematic):

TN panels are one of the most initial types to appear in the market. Twisted Nematic is a type of LED display technology that has liquid crystals sandwiched between two glass substrates. These crystals naturally align in a twisted form when no electric current is running through them, blocking the backlight. TN displays have been preferred by competitive gamers for long as they have fast response times, high refresh rates and are affordable. 

VA (Vertical Alignment):

Vertical alignment represents another type of LCD technology that is especially used in TVs where it outnumbers its counterparts. The liquid crystals cells in it are vertically aligned to the glass substrate. They’re known for their high contrast ratios that give the viewers an immersive experience.

OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode):

OLED is one of the more modern technologies for displays. It is a light emitting technology made by placing a series of organic thin films between two conductors. These are emissive displays and do not require a separate backlight.

MicroLED

MicroLED is a flat panel technology that has microscopic individual pixels that can produce light. It also does not require a separate backlight source as the pixels can emit their own colors and light. It’s a more efficient but expensive technology. 

What To Look For In Computer Monitors For Professionals?

When it comes to buying a computer monitor for professional use, selecting the right technology is crucial. Various types of monitors come with different features and are suited for different tasks. Let’s explore which technology suits different professionals best:

Graphic Designers

For graphic designers, color accuracy and wide color gamut such as sRGB or Adobe RGB are paramount. Both QLED and IPS monitors excel in this aspect. However, QLED monitors tend to offer better brightness and contrast ratios, which can enhance the visual experience. Additionally, built-in calibration tools or support for external calibration devices are essential for precise color work. Therefore, QLED monitors may be the preferred choice for graphic designers.

Photographer

Photographers also require excellent color accuracy and a wide color gamut for photo editing. IPS monitors are well known for their accurate color reproduction, making them a strong contender for photographers. They often offer good peak color accuracy and low delta E values. While QLED monitors can offer vibrant colors, photographers might find IPS technology more suitable due to its consistent and accurate color rendering.

Architects

Architects benefit from high-resolution displays and large screen sizes to view detailed designs comfortably. Both QLED and IPS monitors can provide the required resolution and screen real estate. However, IPS monitors often come with wide viewing angles, allowing architects to share their screens with clients more effectively. For architects, IPS monitors are likely the better choice.

Traders

Traders rely on monitors to view a vast amount of information simultaneously. A high resolution is crucial for reading graphs and data clearly. Here, QLED monitors might have a slight edge, offering better contrast and brightness, making the content stand out. However, IPS monitors can also be sufficient for traders, especially if wide viewing angles are preferred.

Programmers

Programmers generally don’t require specialized monitors. A simple 1080p IPS display can fulfill their needs. IPS technology ensures good color accuracy and viewing angles, which can be advantageous when collaborating with colleagues. Moreover, IPS monitors often offer various connectivity options, such as USB-C, to cater to the needs of modern workspaces.

Common Questions

Is QLED an LCD TV?

Yes, all QLED TVs are actually LCD TVs that have quantum dot technology. Quantum dots are tiny semiconductor nanocrystals that emit precise colors of light when illuminated. These are used to enhance the color and brightness of LCD panels. But due to advancements in technology, QLED is now available in monitors as well!

Is IPS good for TV?

Yes, IPS panels are a good option for TV especially if your viewing angle is not exactly frontal to the TV and you usually watch TV in a well lit room. 

Is OLED better than QLED?

It is if you don’t have a problem with paying some extra amount. OLED offers great picture quality but is more expensive. If you’re looking for a high quality display that’s more affordable then QLED is the way to go.

Which display is strongest?

Most experts agree that OLED displays are the best. They are brighter than LEDs and do not require backlight like LCDs. Since they don’t require a backlight, they’re energy efficient. 

Is an IPS panel good for eyes?

IPS technology does not directly determine eye comfort. The factors that actually play a role in determining it include brightness, blue-light and flicker.

Does IPS have a better color?

Yes, IPS panels offer good color accuracy and consistency. They can produce up to 16.7 million different colors making them suitable for color critical work as well as a good visual experience. 

Why do IPS panels glow?

The main reason for IPS glow is the structure of the IPS liquid crystal cells and the backlight used in these panels. The liquid crystal molecules are not entirely able to block light from the backlight in the off state.

End Note

The ultimate choice depends on your needs and preferences. Both display technologies have their strengths. 

QLED excels in color performance and brightness, making it suitable for HDR content.

IPS is known for its wide viewing angles and color accuracy making it a good choice for professional tasks and multimedia consumption.

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