March 24, 2012, 7:09 AM —
Manufacturers--whether they make phones, tablets, TVs, or computer monitors--are always trying to convince you that their gadget has a better display than all the other gadgets. In doing so, they throw a bunch of fancy-sounding acronyms and technology terms at you: Super AMOLED. PenTile. LED. IPS. Super-IPS. Some of the hyped items are legitimate descriptions of new technologies, and some of them are just marketing buzzwords for minor tweaks. This guide will help you better understand how digital display technologies work, and what some of the major terms mean.
At its base, the situation is actually simpler than you might think. You're likely to encounter only three major types of digital displays: LCD, OLED, and plasma. We'll tackle them from least common to most common.
Bear in mind that this article is a simple primer. As complicated as this stuff may seem, this discussion only scratches the surface. You'll learn enough to make informed decisions about the products you buy, but digital displays involve a whole lot more than just the basics covered here.