Best IPS Monitors for Photo Editing 2012 – 2013

In the last several years IPS monitors have made huge strides towards response times (as low as 5ms) and are beginning to become a viable option for gaming. While a TN panel display is still more desirable while watching video, we wanted to highlight some of the best rated IPS panels for 2013. For a specification sheet check out our IPS Computer Monitor Tab above.

IPS vs TN – What’s the difference? 

TN or twisted nematic panels are limited in that they can not reproduce the full spectrum of the color gamut. TN panels use 6 bits per color (red, green, and blue) for a total of 18 bits. While dithering and other techniques have come a long way to increase the amount of colors that appear to be displayed on a TN panel, a IPS panel monitor is still ideal for photo editing. Since it’s release in 1996, IPS panels have come a long way. The most recent version, Professional IPS, released in 2010, goes beyond the true color spectrum with 30-bit color depth or 1.07 billion colors which is 1024 shades per color. This gives photographers and others who need perfect color reproduction the right vehicle to do so.

Affordable/Cheap IPS Monitors Now Available

Although they are limited in some areas, it’s important to note that while some IPS monitors continue to be rather pricey several budget models are now available. In our top ten list we’ll review a variety of inexpensive monitors that are appealing for those looking for accurate color reproduction but don’t have the money to spend on the higher-end models.

Best IPS Monitor Brands

Eizo – Although pricier than most Eizo makes some of the best IPS monitors available. If you are into professional photography, graphic design, post production, and broadcasting and have the money, then take a look at Eizo’s ColorEdge line of computer monitors.

HP – HP’s Sbuy series has become extremely popular because of it’s high-end specifications and mid-level price range. HP has partnered with companies like Dreamworks to come up with many of the exact specifications and solutions that Video editors (including those working on Shrek and Kung Fu Panda) require.

Apple – Apple’s Thunderbolt and Cinema Display models are desirable for color reproduction; however, Apple gamers may want to look another direction.

Dell – Dell’s Ultrasharp series has become big competition for Apple. Similar IPS monitors at a discount.

Viewsonic/Asus – Viewsonic and Asus have released IPS panel monitors which are just as affordable as TN.

Best IPS Monitors 2012 – 2013 (By Price)

1. Eizo ColorEdge 30IN LCD 2560X1600 850:1 CG303W-BK Dvi-d USB Black 12MS

Did you know that a 2560×1600 resolution computer monitor offers you twice as many pixels to work with as a 1600×1200 resolution monitor? With the Eizo ColorEdge CG303W-BK you get hardware calibration which means color settings are adjusted inside the monitor so there is no displayable loss of tonalities. ColorNavigator is bundled with your purchase so you can easily calibrate it.  All you need to do is input target values for brightness, white point, and gamma. Technical details include Active Display Size – 641.3 × 400.8 mm. 260 cd/m2 brightness, 850:1 contrast ratio, pixel pitch 0.2505 × 0.2505 mm, sRGB/Rec709/EBU/SMPTE-C: 100%, Adobe RGB: 98%, vs. NTSC: 102%, DVI-D 24 pin × 2, USB 1 upstream, 2 downstream / USB 2.0 and a 5 year parts and labor warranty.

See more information on the Eizo ColorEdge CG303W-BK.

2. HP Sbuy LP2480ZX 24IN LCD Monitor

The Sbuy  LP2480ZX is the world’s first monitor to incorporate the DreamColor Engine initiative which is “a two-year technology collaboration between HP and DreamWorks Animation that aims to deliver accurate color that remains consistent from application to application, device to device, and medium to medium. HP introduced the first printers built on the DreamColor engine in March 2007.” . This gives the monitor broad color support, rich visual quality, and consistent results that provide a range of more than 1 billion colors in a 30-bit, LED-backlit display. Technical details for this color critical monitor include: 1920 x 1200 resolution, 0.270 mm display pixel, brightness 50 cd/m² minimum and 250 cd/m² maximum, contrast ratio 1000:1, viewing angle 178° horizontal; 178° vertical, 6 ms response time, connectors 1 Component video; 1 Composite; 1 DisplayPort; 1 S-video; 1 HDMI 1.3; 2 DVI-I, tilt and swivel Tilt: – 5 to +35°; Swivel: – 45 to +45°, Anti-glare, Asset Control, Anti-static, Language selection, Plug and Play, 4 USB hub.

Read more about the Sbuy LP2480ZX.

3. EIZO ColorEdge CG241W

Another solid high-end option from Eizo. This 24 inch monitor includes Hardware Calibration for Better Color, Simple and Precise Calibration with ColorNavigator, Wide Color Gamut, Certified GRACoL Grade #1 by IDEAllianc, and Brightness and Color Uniformity.

Technical Details: 1920 × 1200 resolution, 850:1 contrast ratio, 300 cd/m2 brightness, and Dual DVI-I inputs. The monitor hood as well as a 5 year parts and labor warranty is included.

Eizo ColorEdge CG241W

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4. NEC MultiSync PA271W-BK-SV 27-Inch LCD Monitor

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5. Smart Buy 30IN LCD 2560X1600 1000:1 ZR30W Dvi-d Dp 7MS S-ips U.s

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6. Apple Thunderbolt Display MC914LL/A (NEWEST VERSION)

7. Apple LED Cinema Display 27-Inch MC007LL/A

8. Dell UltraSharp U2711 27-inch Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor – Max Resolution 2560 x 1440 (WQHD)

9. Dell UltraSharp U2410 24-inch Widescreen LCD High Performance Monitor with HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and HDCP

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10. Asus PA246Q 24″ LCD Monitor

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Inexpensive/Cheap IPS Panel Computer Monitors

HP ZR24w 24-inch S-IPS LCD Monitor

ViewSonic VP2365WB 23-Inch IPS LCD Monitor

HP ZR22w 21.5-inch S-IPS LCD Monitor

ASUS ML249H 24-Inch LED Monitor (Black)

About: We hope you’ve enjoyed this review of the best IPS monitors for 2011. For a comparative specification chart see our IPS Computer Monitor tab above.

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