PLS vs IPS – Which Panel Type Should I Choose?

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Have you ever needed to decide which panel type to buy for your monitor? If you have, you probably got surprised by how many different panels there are. It was much more straightforward back then: buy an LCD screen, and then you’re good to go. Of course, that doesn’t apply today unless you really don’t care about the monitor’s quality or price. 

You might have seen PLS or IPS (TN, VA, OLED, etc.) if you’ve been monitoring shopping. These are pretty technical acronyms that might get you intimidated at the store. But don’t worry, here you’ll learn more about the PLS and the IPS to decide which to buy. 

IPS Panel

IPS Panel

First up is the IPS panel. The IPS panel is one of three more common (and older) panels. It stands for in-plane switching. It’s often compared to the VA or the TN panels, too. In a nutshell, the IPS panel is a better version of the VA panel, but it’s not better than the TN panel in terms of speed. What do TN and VA mean?

These two are the other types of LCD panels; you must be familiar with them to understand how the IPS is right for you. 

The TN is the panel with the fastest response time among the three. It’s used for gaming because the screen has a response time of 1 millisecond. The second fastest panel is the IPS. It has a response time of 4 milliseconds. Although it’s slower, gamers don’t usually notice this speed difference unless they’re playing fast-paced combat games

When it comes to quality, the IPS tops the other two. Why? The IPS has a high contrast ratio, providing a consistent and accurate color to your image. The IPS are right for you if you’re a graphic designer focusing on color. The best part about the IPS is that you have a 178-degree viewing angle. This means you can see the same color quantity even when you’re watching from the side. 

PLS Panel

PLS Panel

Second, on the list is the PLS panel. This stands for plane-to-line switching. The vital thing to know about this panel is that Samsung makes it. Yes, you won’t find any other brand making a PLS panel because this is Samsung’s invention. 

What’s the difference between the PLS panel to the others? For starters, the PLS panel is meant to be 10% better in brightness and contrast than the IPS. It’s also said to use less energy. Samsung also claims that it is cheaper to produce. However, because Samsung solely manufactures PLS panel, it’s hard to tell whether it’s cheap. 

How to Choose Between an IPS Panel and a PLS Panel

So what should you get? Is it the IPS or the PLS? While the PLS does have a few advantages over the IPS, is it automatically the better one? 

Before you answer that for yourself, you have to go over certain factors to know which one is better for you. When picking monitors, it’s really about your preference and what you’re looking for in a monitor. To help you out, here are some factors you should look at and which monitor wins in those factors. 

  1. Contrast and Brightness

The most common concern of people who buy monitors is the quality of the image. You wouldn’t want a terrible image display even if you’re a gamer. 

Regarding contrast, the IPS has a more consistent image display. It’s also the best LCD panel to buy if you focus on color quality and brightness. However, this is still topped by the PLS panel. Even a low-tier PLS panel can be better than a mid-tier IPS monitor. 

  1. Viewing Angles

Viewing angles is essential if you use your monitor in a large room. If you’ll be using your monitor to watch movies with your friends or family, it’s better to look for a monitor with a broader viewing angle. Fortunately, this is what Samsung’s PLS panels offer. Although the IPS panels are not so bad, the PLS panels have better viewing angles. Coupled with its higher contrast and brightness, you get a much better viewing experience. 

  1. Response Time

Another factor to consider is response time. Response time refers to the time the pixels change from one shade of gray to another. A fast response time is vital for those who play fast-paced games and competitively and professionally. 

For response times, the PLS and IPS fare the same way, with around milliseconds for each panel. If you want the LCD panel with the fastest response time, the TN panel is right for you, with just 1 millisecond for its response time.

  1. Price

Because the PLS is said to be made cheaper than IPS panels, the former is the more affordable of the two. Of course, these two panels’ prices are way more expensive than your typical TN panel, but they’re not so bad for their quality. 

However, take note that buying a high-grade PLS panel can still be more expensive than an IPS panel. The same goes for the opposite. Remember that prices are functions of the brand, type, model, and added features, so make sure that you consider these all. 

In the end, both the IPS and the PLS are great monitors. If you’re not a fan of Samsung, you might want to go for an IPS panel available from most brands. However, if you love Samsung and what the PLS offers, then you might be more drawn to buy the PLS. It comes down to your priorities and what you’re looking for in an LCD monitor

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