Apple’s Mini LED iPad Pro Is Coming, But What Is Mini LED and Who Is It For?

iPad Pro Concept Image 2020 Credit: TS Designer
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The latest rumors suggest that Apple is gearing up for an early 2021 release of a new iPad Pro – and this one will feature one of Apple’s first mini LED displays. While it’s not guaranteed, this is the sort of rumor that’s very likely and fits well within Apple’s ongoing plans. Let’s take a look at what that new display screen means and who should be interested in buying it.

Mini LED vs. MicroLED

Since display panel names can quickly grow confusing, we’re starting with a point that will help clarify some terms. Mini LED refers to a specific Apple-based technology that uses LED backlighting diodes less than 0.2 millimeters across. That’s….very small. This means these displays have an incredible number of dimming zones they can manage, which means very accurate blacks, sharp edges, and excellent brightness when needed.

Contrast and color on these screens are likely to be better than any similar-sized display Apple has produced before – it could also use less power and allow for even thinner (if possible) iPad designs. 

Don’t get that confused with MicroLED! While the names are similar, MicroLED is a brand name from Samsung given to new TV technology. This tech creates modular LEDs that are incredibly small but emissive, which means they produce their own light like OLED instead of producing it through a panel to create color.

MicroLED is only being used on very large Samsung TVs right now, and it will be years before it’s even available to the average consumer. Apple’smini LED is much more current – and so are its benefits.

Who Is Mini LED For?

The iPad Pro is already positioned as the “professional” iPad, with a larger screen and more versatile connections designed for the workplace. The addition of a mini LED display model is targeted right at designers who may want to use their iPads for some up-close work or detailed examination. Current rumors have the mini LED iPad pegged for the extra-large 12.9-inch iPads to provide as much drawing-room as possible.

That’s great news for graphic designers and visual editors who want to get their productions precisely right. With this kind of quality, it’s possible to use the mini LED iPad as a mobile workstation or an accessory device to a large desktop for zooming in on the minutiae to make sure everything looks exactly right.

Planners, sketchers, and photographers (perhaps with a little help from the Apple Pencil) should also consider a mini LED screen to be a serious upgrade for their professional iPad Pros. As with designers, other artists can also benefit from the improved clarity the screen provides, and photographers may be particularly interested in the improved color accuracy and edge definition that comes with the display. If you regularly use a Mac, you can use the Sidecar ability to extend or mirror your Mac screen to the iPad, which is useful for multitasking or working with others!

While the outsized iPad Pro is primarily designed as a professional laptop replacement device, it’s also well-suited for downtime. If you like to curl up with your iPad and catch up on shows, follow your favorite content creators, or even tap out a game to help reduce stress, then you should keep an eye on the mini LED capabilities, too.

That improved screen will help video and animations seem much crisper and easier to enjoy even at close distances. If your iPad Pro takes a frequent entertainment role, this screen improvement is definitely worth thinking about.

Keep an eye open for concrete information about mini LED iPads when prices and availability start to drop.

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