Product Reviews

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy A Cheap IPS Monitor

Matt Smith 27-12-2011

cheap ips monitor reviewComputer monitor technology has long had a champion, and it’s called In-Plane Switching, or IPS. This display panel technology has often been praised because it is capable of fixing many issues found in cheaper TN panel monitors Understanding The Differences Between LCD Display Panels [Technology Explained] Read More .


Yet IPS also comes at a price, and as the technology has filtered down to less expensive monitors, some disadvantages have been exaggerated. The decision to buy an IPS monitor for your next display is no longer as clear.


cheap ips monitor review

A common problem among LCD displays of every type, ghosting or blurring is essentially what it sounds like. It’s an image defect that causes objects moving on-screen to leave a unwanted trail behind. Both terms refer to the same problem.

Ghosting is a possible issue on almost all modern monitors and HDTVs, but it’s particularly prevalent on IPS panels. High-end displays usually do a good job of taming the problem through the use of high-quality panels and through the use of firmware features that compensate for blur.

In cheaper monitors these features may not be available, or are of much lower quality. Reviews mention this frequently, but you can see it yourself by visiting your local electronics retailer. Your sensitivity to this effect may vary, so it’s a good idea to check it out for yourself.


Not every cheap IPS monitor suffers from this effect equally. For example, the LG Flatron IPS226V has received some praise for its particularly good response times and lack of ghosting. It’s currently an exception, however – many other options, including other LG monitors, have been cited as having moderate to major ghosting issues.

Image Quality Isn’t Guaranteed

ips monitor disadvantages

To most geeks, IPS panel means awesome. End of story. That’s not really the case though.

There is no disputing that a display using IPS will have some advantages over TN. A wider color gamut is usually available, and display angles are almost always significantly better. However, these two benefits are all you can count on. Everything else is up in the air. Backlight quality depends on the types of lighting elements used and their location. Colors are impacted by the display’s finish, the backlight, and other factors.


The details are where cheap IPS displays from companies like LG and ASUS tend to fall short. Take the LG Flatron D2342P as an example. Though equipped with an IPS panel, it falls short of the best TN monitors in image quality. LG made a big deal of its new IPS monitors at CES 2011, and I’m sure the first round of geeks who bought them thought they were getting an awesome deal – but it turns out it actually is possible to make IPS look inferior to TN.

Lack Of Features

ips monitor disadvantages

When you stuff an expensive panel into a display that is supposed to sell for between $200 and $300, something has to give. And usually that something is connectivity, build quality, or both.

Take the ASUS ML239H as an example. For about $189.99 you can have IPS, but you can’t have DVI (you’ll need to use an adapter). You also only receive swivel and tilt adjustments, there’s no VESA mount support, and there are no built-in speakers.


cheap ips monitor review

There’s also a lot of backlight bleed. Remember what I was saying about quality?

To be fair, you don’t usually find height adjustment on cheap TN monitors, either. It is common to find at least three video inputs for that price, however. Speakers are also common. By going cheap in your quest for IPS, you’re sacrificing features that you may need more than you think.


When the latest wave of inexpensive monitors boasting IPS became available in 2011, I was hopeful that we were beginning to see a new revolution in inexpensive monitors. Instead, buyers received what they paid for – cheap displays. Sure, viewing angles were better, but that was the only consistent benefit. These inexpensive displays were often lacking in other areas.


If you want to buy IPS, you should do it right the first time. Remember, monitors tend to be a durable purchase. Usually they’ll last at least five years, and some kick around for ten or more. In addition, they are not quickly made obsolete. Save your pennies and buy a high-quality, expensive monitor The 4 Best IPS Monitors To Buy This Holiday Season Monitors are an important part of any computer. Given the widespread availability of cheap TN panel options, it’s easy to take the path of least resistance and purchase whatever looks like a good value. That,... Read More instead of a budget model. You’ll thank yourself over the coming years.

Related topics: Buying Tips, Computer Monitor.

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  1. John S
    June 16, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Its just as bad with IPS displays on cheaper laptops. I bought a HP with a FHD 1920x1080 15" screen which I figured would be better then a 1366x768 TN screen. Can't say its any better in color saturation, crispness or off angle viewing. If it is, its very much a slight improvement.
    I think its more a marketing angle for PC makers who now see Windows 10 support for HD screens better so they will provide higher resolution IPS as a means of taking advantage of this. However, their are poor quality IPS screens as this article points out. Obviously their are very good IPS screens in laptops but at the higher end of the market. I think screen quality is very important probably more so then resolution, type, or brand. Its probably better to read reviews, experience for yourself before you buy into the hype that one is better than the other.

  2. innn
    January 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Wrong. Lots are complaining from buying expensive IPS too. IPS went down to earth after all these years. The author picked two models from LG and Asus to trash around mentioning backlight bleed or ips something the more premium exhibit as well. I don't buy into it. Dell and others can and do crap themselves in taking your money.

  3. babadook
    November 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Duh, today even 1000+ $ IPS monitors have severe backlight bleeding, look at the ACER PREDATOR X34 for example...

  4. zvonimir
    February 12, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    I bought 2x dell u2413 both 500 eur not cheap one has a huge agresive backlight bleeding, another has dead pixel and not so agresive backlight bleeding and i have them 1 month, i dont think i would get them exchanged, but i will never buy dell monitor.

  5. Elijah Swartz
    January 22, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I think one of the bigger problems would be the risk of being an early adopter. A company starts using a new technology and it is rushed out the door so they can start taking advantage of some of those buzzwords people are attracted to. Let the technology mature a little bit and generally even less expensive models can be of great decent quality. One moral of the story is just to do research on a product before you buy.

  6. Car Insurance
    December 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    There is no disputing that a display using IPS will have some advantages over TN!!!

  7. draniqa
    December 28, 2011 at 9:31 am

    reasons are very general .. they do occur .. very informative from a buyers point of view.

  8. Susendeep Dutta
    December 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

    A very nice article.I also thought that cheap IPS models are good as compared to TN model.