iPad: IPS screen technology explained

Find out more about the IPS screen technology used in Apple's upcoming iPad.

During Wednesday's unveiling of the long-awaited iPad, Apple CEO Steve Jobs detailed that the new 9.7-inch tablet will make use of In-Plane Switching display technology. So, what excatly is In-Plane Swicthing, what does it do and why is Apple choosing to make use of this display technology for their new device?

In-Plane Switching (IPS) is an LCD technology first introduced in 1996 by Hitachi. It was initially developed to correct the poor viewing angles and color problems that LCDs had at the time.

Due to initial high-costs, IPS adoption was low at first, and mainly found only in high-end monitors, aimed primiarliy at the professional sector. Of course, over time, IPS was improved and refined, and as is the case with most new technologies, costs eventually came down to an acceptable level for mass-production. For example, Apple's newest iMacs use IPS displays..

The IPS display used int he iPad is a 9.7-inch 1024-by-768 resolution LED-backlit LCD screen. IPS gives the iPad an impressive wide viewing-angle of up to 178 degrees. Other LCD technologies tend to have narrower viewing angles, especially in the vertical direction.

Ensuring that the device can be held in a variety of ways without major viewing angle issues was clearly of great importance to Apple, especially considering that you'll rotate the iPad depending on what you're viewing, and Apple positions the iPad as a casual use 'living-room' device, perfect for consuming an assortment of multimedia.

Typical casual-use devices, namely netbooks, use a twisted nematic (TN) display technology. TN although cheaper, offers inferior color reproduction (only 6-bit color, while IPS supports richer 8-bit color), and lower viewing angles, so Apple's use of a higher quality display techology (IPS) for such a casual device is welcomed.

You can find out more about how IPS technology works at PCTechGuide, and for a full run-down of iPad specs, see Jason Cross' story on the topic.

Follow GeekTech and Chris Brandrick on Twitter.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleapple ipadlcdiPad

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Brandrick

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?