AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) represents the next level of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology beyond regular IPS. It boasts brighter and more clear colors as well as lower power consumption compared to IPS. Whether you’re shopping for a new laptop or monitor the panel technology supporting the display is one of the key elements that highly affects performance. Displays are complex. And choosing the right one largely depends on your needs and preferences. Input lag, viewing angles and response times are considerations that determine the performance of a display, especially if you’re a gamer, photo or video editor.
How Does LCD Work?
A liquid-crystal display has liquid crystal material sandwiched between two sheets of glass. The liquid crystals are parallel to the glass until the application of electricity. Once electricity is introduced, they turn vertical to the glass surface to produce what you see.
In other words, an LCD is a flat-panel display that uses the light adjusting properties of liquid crystals, along with a polarizer (a filter that controls light waves) to make what you see on the display. And since the liquid crystals don’t produce light themselves, they use a backlight to produce the images and colors.
As you can see this can get complicated. But this is enough to start understanding the basics of how LCD panels work.
Types of LCD Technologies
There are three different types of LCD technology: TN, VA and IPS. The type of LCD technology determines how the liquid crystals are driven.
TN (Twisted Nematic) panels were the first to be used commercially. They feature the simplest structure but with limited viewing angles.
VA (Vertical Alignment) panels have the liquid crystals vertically aligned. While you get a high contrast ratio, the viewing angles are still limited.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels work to overcome these drawbacks by vertically aligning the crystals. The results are superior picture quality, consistent color reproduction along with wider viewing angles
What Are Viewing Angles?
This is a reference to the maximum angular distance you can look at a laptop screen or monitor from the top, bottom or sides without change to how objects, color and contrast on the screen look.
A 178-degree angle means there’s no difference, which is fairly true for IPS and AH-IPS panels.
Horizontal and vertical viewing angles are often different. For instance, looking down on a screen may have less of an impact on how in-screen objects look versus looking at the same screen from the side.
Moreover, viewing angles are measured as the contrast between black and white when viewing a screen from different angles.
To better understand what AH-IPS is, we first need to know more about what IPS is all about. In-Plane Switching was designed to address the limitations of the TN and VA panels that were popular in the 80s and 90s, respectively. These limitations were color fidelity and viewing angle.
IPS technology arranges liquid crystals sandwiched between two glass substrates so that they’re parallel to one another. The result is rich colors. Additionally, the panels can shift horizontally creating ultra-wide 178-degree viewing angles. This means you don’t have to sit directly in front of the screen to see what’s on it clearly.
If you work with CAD, graphic design, photography or video, you’ll love the color reproduction and expansive viewing angles that IPS display have to offer. The super-wide viewing angles help to produce exceptional colors, even when viewing the display from off axis without the image shifting in terms of contrast or color.
Categories of IPS Technology
IPS displays can be categorized into variations of:
- S-IPS (Super In-Plane Switching)
- H-IPS (Horizontal In-Plane Switching)
- E-IPS (Enhanced In-Plane Switching)
- P-IPS (Performance In-Plane Switching)
- and PLS (Plane-to-Line Switching).
Not only do they all deliver super-wide angles and outstanding color. But each one enhances IPS technology in its own unique way. Now let’s consider some of the other well-regarded benefits of IPS technology.
Not only does this include IPS’ high color gamut and wide viewing angles. But the contrast between dark and light add to the sharpness of an image. What you get are realistic graphics. But IPS panels have a low contrast ratio of 1000:1.
The other downside is IPS glow. If the quality of an IPS display isn’t good, you’ll see glowing light from the corners of the display as you look at an image or watch content in a dark environment. This is caused by excess light passing through the panel. While it’s only minimally distracting, it’s not the ideal experience you want from your laptop or monitor.
Represented in Hz (hertz), this is the number of times per second the display refreshes an image. A 60 Hz monitor, for example, will refresh the screen 60x per second. Most gaming laptop displays and monitors have a refresh rate of 75 to 144 Hz where a higher number delivers the smoothest images. The latest gaming monitors and displays can refresh the screen 240 to 300 times per second!
This is the time it takes for a black pixel to change to white and back to black. The problem with a laptop display or monitor with an extremely high response time is ghosting. Also known as motion blur, this is when you notice vague streaks moving behind a fast action in-game object when playing fast-paced games like Overwatch.
IPS displays and monitors on average only have a response time of 4 milliseconds. Motion blur is hard to notice on IPS panels unless you’re a hardcore FPS gamer. But since panel technology continues to improve, response times have decreased to 2 milliseconds.
AH-IPS adds more bells and whistles to the IPS arsenal. Launched in 2011, it’s a modified version of the IPS panel technology. Developed by LG, it’s an upgrade that boosts color saturation up to 30 percent making colors vibrant.
Besides that, unlike standard IPS, AH-IPS panels offer incredibly crisp detail with crystal clear colors. This makes them excellent for professional applications that require accurate and consistent color representation for photo and video – watching movies is a delight too.
The increased resolution even creates impressive contrast. And AH-IPS panels consume less energy when displaying dark and bright images than just an IPS display.
AH-IPS’ Biggest Advantage
The feature advantage of AH-IPS technology is high resolution. LG displays backed by AH-IPS technology achieve a super high pixel density by squeezing more pixels than the greatest amount that can be seen by the human eye.
A display’s sharpness is important to quality Web browsing and activities like photo and video editing. AH-IPS achieves a high resolution of 300ppi and over. And as the need for color accuracy increases, AH-IPS improves color accuracy leading to precise color reproduction without distortion.
Additionally, if you like to use your laptop outdoors. It also brings to the table outdoor readability. For that you need high brightness, which also helps prevent eye fatigue even if you’re indoors.
Other Types of IPS Technology
Once again, IPS is one of the four main types of panel technologies that include TN, VA and OLED. These are simultaneously a type of LCD panel technology. Simply, AH-IPS is an upgraded version of the IPS display technology from LG.
Apart from AH-IPS, other types of IPS technology include: H-IPS, E-IPS and P-IPS, S-IPS, PLS, AHVA and IPS-ADS. Each one is from a different manufacturer:
|LG||H-IPS, E-IPS and P-IPS|