The middle ground of monitors.
Whether youre gaming, working, or just browsing the internet, there is a lot to consider when buying a monitor. From response time to color accuracy and viewing angles, the panel type determines the quality of a monitor. You be used to hearing about twisted nematic (TN) and in-plane switching (IPS) panels, but there is also the less commonly used vertical alignment (VA) panel.
VA stands for vertical alignment. These LCD panels use vertically aligned liquid crystals perpendicular to the substrates. A substrate is another way to reference the piece of polarized glass used to make an LCD screen. When adding voltage, these vertically aligned crystals tilt to let the light through the screen. This technology differs from IPS panels, where the liquid crystals are positioned parallel to the substrates.
Between TN, VA, and IPS panels, VA models are considered to be the happy medium of the three in terms of color and response time. VA panels typically offer the best color contrast of the three panel types, thanks to their vertically aligned liquid crystals. These vertically aligned liquid crystals especially help make the black levels on a VA monitor deeper and more defined than the other two panel types.
While TN panels are known for their response time, and IPS panels are known for their fantastic color accuracy, VA panels dont stand out much outside of their color contrast. VA panels dont have as strong of colors as the IPS and are typically slower in response time than TN panels. VA monitors also dont have the best viewing angles, meaning there will be a big loss in image quality and accuracy when viewing from the side. IPS panels, with their design opposite to VA panels, offer the best viewing angles.
Gamers often look toward TN panels for their responsiveness, while creative types gravitate more towards IPS panels for their color accuracy that helps with tasks such as photo and video editing. If you are looking for the best of both worlds, a VA panel monitor is still an acceptable option as an all-around monitor.
The quality of each panel is also reflected in its price. TN panels are typically the least expensive due to their color accuracy and picture, while IPS panels are most expensive due to their image quality.