Why MiniLED is a big deal for the New iPad Pro?

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Why MiniLED is a big deal for the New iPad Pro?
The 12.9-inch iPad Pro for 2021 brings with it a major display upgrade.
Image: Apple

techno.rentetan.com – The Liquid Retina xdr display, a screen technology that you could already have seen in connection with the super-costly Pro Display XDR monitor which the Apple sells as well, is a marquee feature of the 12.9-inch pad pro for 2021. But what do these terms mean exactly?

Let’s start with the term retina, used for both Pro Display XDR and the new iPad pros by Apple and used for years at this point in Apple products. Apple has invented a certain degree of marketing resolution and crispness on the display and has been used in several products in Apple since the term was introduced with iPhone 4 in 2013. It was used for several different products in Apple series.

There is indeed no fixed standard for what constitutes a Retina display, but it must be high enough to make the human eye different from each other. This will obviously vary depending on the distance of your eyes and how closely packaged the pixels are from the screen.

Today, almost every bit of Apple hardware can be called Retina, and that’s why you’ll be seeing additional words like “liquid.” Liquid in the iPad Pro listings means only more pixels per inch, and even less chance of your eyes seeing pixels, regardless of how close a screen is to the face.

However, what of the XDR section? Again, Apple has cooked up its products and you won’t find other manufacturers that use the term for their own displays. XDR is an enhanced HDR (high Dynamic Range) version which enhances its benefits in the simplest terms.

HRD retains a range of lightness-balance tricks for the darkest parts of a screen and the lightest parts of a screen. The idea is, even if the two appear simultaneously on a display, that the detail can be seen in the shadows and in the brightest highlights.

The key to HDR is the high contrast ratio or the difference between the blackest and the whites of the display. Apple has pushed its portfolio further with XDR. The Apple Pro display XDR is capable of handling 1,000 nits of full-screen, long-lasting brightness and a peak of 1,600 nits, with a contrast of 1,000,000:1.

A finely tuned backlight controller system is part of the secret of managing it, so that really high pixels can sit next to extremely dim pixels without any bleeding. Apple says it does this on the Pro Display XDR by using advanced LED technology, smarter (and faster) image processing and light forming (or controlling how light is emitted). Behind the screen there are 576 LED areas.

The Apple Pro Display XDR.
Image: Apple

There’ll be also a wider range of P3 colours, 10-bit color depth and 6016 x 3384 pixels resolution, with a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. There’s an overall 10-bit color depth. It also uses blue LED backlighting to improve control and thermal management, rather than conventional white.

In the new 12.9 inch iPad Pro the Retina XDR technology produces similar end results, but approaches them in another way. The display technology here is the emerging miniLED, rather than IPS LCD, as is the case on the Pro display XDR. The idea is the same: the brightness and dimming of individual pixels is superfine controlled so that very dark blacks and bright whites are possible.

We have written about miniLED display tech here, but essentially it means that the backlight areas behind a display can get even smaller, for better control and better management of colors (as 576 on the Pro Display XDR). These small LEDs can be as small as one-fifth of a standard LED size, so that you can mark the difference.

The tech also is developed to help bring LCD screens closer to the high bar set by OLED displays in tvs and smartphones. Every pixel is OLED’s own source of light, not necessary to backlight or to dim local, but OLED remains costly and hard to produce. Innovations like miniLED try to get the best functionality from both LCD and OLED panels.

The larger 12.9-inch iPad Pro is the one with the XDR upgrade.
Image: Apple

While the premium iPhones of Apple use OLED now, the company has used miniLED to qualify for the bigger iPad Pro model for the XDR label. It achieves maximum full-screen brightness of 1,000 nits, maximum brightness of 1,600 nits when playing with HDR and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, but much more compact in the Pro Display XDR monitor.

This is a very technical accomplishment. The Pro models in the range 12 of the iPhone (with OLED displays) can manage a peak luminance of 1,200 nits, while the (LCD) displays a new 24″ iMac top with a maximum capacity of 500 nits. Considering that miniLED can achieve higher brightness levels than OLED, it could be a while before Apple switches OLED on their tablets with less battery drain.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro display includes 10,000 miniLEDs with a total of 2,596 local dimming areas—a fantastic number for this small screen. We have the wide color gamut P3, a resolution of 2732 x 2048 pixel (264 pixels per inch) and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. We complete all the specs of this bigger iPad Pro.

So the Xdr label may well be valuable if you spend a lot of time working with the images and video when you select a new iPad. While Netflix and Hulu look perfect on every Apple tablet, you’ll probably appeal to creative professionals for extra luminosity and contrast with XDR.