Apple just announced that the new iPad Pro 2021 has undergone a substantial upgrade. The 12.9-inch model is equipped with a mini LED display (sorry, an 11-inch iPad Pro might be launched next year?). But what is a mini-LED and why should it be?
More importantly, what does the mini LED display mean for the image quality, design and even price of the new iPad Pro? Let's take a look and find out.
What is mini LED?
Mini-LED refers to a new backlight technology that installs diodes on the LCD panel of the new iPad Pro. Its size is only one-fifth of a standard LED and the diameter is only 200-600 microns. Not to be confused with micro-LED, which uses smaller LEDs, not as a backlight, but as a single pixel of the display. If you still have questions, please check our guide on Micro-LED and Mini-LED. What's the difference? )
This smaller size means that you can install hundreds of individual LEDs behind the iPad Pro’s 12.9-inch screen. But more importantly, the densely packed mini LEDs allow for smaller and stricter control of the lighting area.
Smaller LEDS = Better picture quality
On TVs, this makes the performance of the LCD display close to the level of OLED. On the iPad or MacBook, it will definitely bring better video playback and richer visual effects of games and other content.
Mini LED screens for iPad and MacBook have been rumored for some time-since the spring of 2019-presumably to provide a stepping stone between the current LCD panel and the eventual switch to OLED displays. It remains to be seen whether it is an upgraded premium option or a complete replacement of the upcoming mini LED display.
So far, the mini LED has shown that it is a solid victory when used on displays at any time, although we have only seen it on TVs so far. However, even with a smaller screen size, there is no reason to believe that the Mini LED will have other improvements besides the current liquid retina LED lighting panel of the iPad.
How does this help the iPad Pro?
But the changes brought by the mini LED are not only the brightness of the picture and the improved color performance. They also allow manufacturers to make screens thinner and even have better energy efficiency than current LED backlights.
The promise of thinner displays provides options for thinner iPads and laptops, but when does Apple want a thinner and lighter design? Well, considering that Apple continues to use "Air" as its brand of laptops and tablets, there are many. The thinner design is a clear choice for mini LEDs.
Assuming that the existing battery size and capacity are not changed, the more energy-efficient display brought by mini-LED will also bring better battery life. But it is also worth noting that the thinner display on the iPad can also allow the use of a larger internal battery. This combination could be a huge upgrade.
Thinner, lighter design, better battery life and better graphics, all sounds like considerable improvements.
Unfortunately, such gains will have to wait for next year, if any. The 2021 iPad Pro is slightly thicker than its predecessors, with a thickness of 0.25 inches (the 2020 iPad Pro is 0.23 inches thick).