Articles: Monitors

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The following diagram compares the pixel rise time of the 16msec TN+Film matrix of a NEC LCD1760NX monitor and the 25msec S-IPS matrix of an LG Flatron L1910S. As you see, the graphs are much like each other:

As for advantages, the IPS technology has always been better than TN+Film in terms of color reproduction and viewing angles. In fact, S-IPS matrices leave no chance to other LCD technologies in the color-reproduction quality. They have soft and pleasant colors, which are natural and close to high-quality CRT monitors. That’s why all LCD monitors for professional work with color are based on S-IPS matrices, starting from relatively inexpensive to hi-end models of the Eizo ColorEdge series with integrated tools for custom hardware color-calibration.

The viewing angles are a treat after TN matrices: you can’t notice any distortions of the image, sitting in front of an IPS matrix. There’s only one specific defect – when you’re looking at the screen from a side, black color acquires a characteristic violet hue (by the way, this defect allows telling an IPS matrix from any other), but the manufacturers are improving on this. In most cases, this is an insignificant defect anyway.

The only real problem of the S-IPS technology is the low contrast ratio (about 200:1, like that of an average TN+Film matrix). In means you see a dark gray instead of pure black. That’s not noticeable at daylight, but if you’re working in a dimly lit room, you may be disappointed at the highlighting of the black color (coupled with the characteristic violet hue when you’re viewing the screen from a side).

Alas, but due to the reasons explained in the previous section IPS matrices are fully driven off the market of 17” monitors (save for the Iiyama H430S model, whose high response time only makes it suitable for work with static images), so the users who are not satisfied with the low image quality of TN+Film matrices but willing to have a low response time have to consider 19” models. Fortunately, you can choose here as quite a number of popular models are based on S-IPS matrices: LG Flatron L1910S and L1910B, NEC MultiSync LCD1960NXi (don’t confuse it with the LCD1960NX model, which is based on a matrix of another type), Philips Brilliance 190B5 and many others.

As concerns their possible applications, monitors with S-IPS matrices are the only wise choice for serious work with color. Besides that, these matrices seem to be more balanced than others with their excellent viewing angles and low enough response time, so they will suit people who are choosing a monitor for games, movies and the Internet. TN+Film matrices that have recently entered the 19” monitor market, have a better response time but worse viewing angles (140 degrees only), and thus can’t be called a good choice for a big-diagonal monitor.

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