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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Appleapple ipadlcdiPad

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 Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?