Best panel type for reading text?

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  • #54912
    LazVT2

    I know this question is kind of weird, but is there something inherent about the three different panel technologies that make one better for reading text? I’ve also heard that it might have something to do with the coating/finish on the monitor surface itself.

    #54914
    PCM2

    I wouldn’t say this is a weird question, although it is quite a subjective one and it really depends on the specific panel used and various attributes including but not limited to panel type. There’s a lot of crossover between which sort of monitor would be considered ‘good for reading text’ and one that’s comfortable to use in general. This article is worth a read as it focuses on key points to consider – and amongst them is panel type.

    VA panels can sometimes be preferred for reading text because of their stronger contrast delivering an ‘inkier’ and deeper look to text. Most VA models also have relatively light and smooth-textured (i.e. not overly grainy) screen surfaces, although there are exceptions. Some users don’t like the (very) mild ‘3D effect’ you get due to the subpixel orientation differences when displaying very dark shades against a lighter background and vice-versa (refer to the viewing comfort article). But the vast majority of users wouldn’t notice that or find it bothersome as it’s extremely subtle. Less subtle is that some VA models in particular are prone to having obscure subpixel layouts, including partial illumination and ‘squat subpixels’ – this affects text clarity.

    IPS-type panels are generally fine for reading text as are TN models. Some users prefer the more consistent white point of IPS models. You’ll observe significant changes in the colour temperature of a white background on TN models, particularly vertically, IPS models can have issues with uniformity as well, but all TN models (regardless of how uniform the luminance may be) will exhibit perceived shifts that IPS models are free from.

    So panel type is not really a very useful aspect to focus on, in isolation. Pixel density, screen surface, luminance adjustment range and subpixel layout should all be considered. Along with various other factors covered in the viewing comfort article.

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