See the Dramatic Improvement Mini-LED Brings to the M1 iPad Pro's Display

Aside from the M1 chip, Apple's 12.9-inch 2021 iPad Pro models have one other standout feature - the new mini-LED display. It's the best ever display used in an iPad, and there's such a stark difference between the mini-LED display and the display of the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ that we had to show it off.


The ‌iPad Pro‌'s mini-LED display, which Apple calls Liquid Retina XDR, features more than 10,000 LEDs with 2,500 local dimming zones, allowing for much deeper blacks and higher contrast depending on the content that you're viewing.

As you can see in the video up above, with a black background displayed, the 2020 ‌iPad Pro‌ is more of a dark gray with light bleed from the LEDs, while the ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌ essentially has the mini-LEDs turned off thanks to local dimming, resulting in a much darker display that's more of a true black.

The difference is easy to see with an all black background, but the increase in display quality is also noticeable in day to day usage, though the disparity between the two displays is not as stark.

Watching HDR content is a much more immersive experience with the 2021 ‌M1‌ ‌iPad Pro‌, and it's a much nicer tablet for editing HDR photos and videos. In fact, you're going to see the most improvement with HDR content.

It's worth noting that some users have complained of a blooming effect caused by the extreme brightness of LEDs. Apple says that the design of the ‌iPad Pro‌ is meant to minimize this, but there are situations where more blooming than expected is visible. Blooming is an unavoidable consequence of local dimming technology. When one zone is lit up and one zone is dimmed for a truer black, the light from the lit zone can bleed over.

Right now, blooming seems to vary somewhat from ‌iPad Pro‌ to ‌iPad Pro‌, and it's something that bothers some users more than others. It's highly apparent in images and less extreme in person, but it is something to be aware of before making an ‌iPad Pro‌ purchase.

Did you get a new 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌? Let us know what you think about the Liquid Retina XDR display in the comments below.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

techno-Zen Avatar
9 months ago
The blooming is a non-factor unless you're looking for it in non-practical situations

The Brightness, contrast and blacks on this display are 100% worth upgrading for. In my opinion.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LDN Avatar
9 months ago
The attack on the XDR display's apparent blooming seems to be a coordinated one. If you look at an OLED iPhone's boot screen in the complete darkness, your EYES will see blooming around the Apple logo. Everything about this has been highly exaggerated.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
9 months ago
Science: Using mini-LED technology at the highest brightness in the darkest environment results in blooming.

YouTube: The new iPad Pro is DOOMED?! YOU WILL BE TOO IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW OUR VIDEO SPONSOR WH…
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
9 months ago
The blooming brigade will go mad on this
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jjjlevin Avatar
9 months ago
In my experience the blooming on black backgrounds is extremely noticeable in both text and video. Although the problem isn’t big enough for me not to still love the thing
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tazdevl Avatar
9 months ago
Mine is great in daylight. Using at night with the brightness all the way DOWN with Kindle background set to black with white text, watching Netflix, writing in Notes or Dark Mode Home Scteen, the blooming and random square and rectangular shadows darker than the already dark background too distracting FOR ME. I’m returning. Not surprised Apple loosened acceptance criteria from suppliers due to chip shortage (dont want to send back panels that wouldn’t normally cut it), hence the variability, to meet demand and make shareholders happy.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
iPad Pro Mini LED

DigiTimes: 12.9-Inch iPad Pro With Mini-LED Display No Longer Expected to Ship Until At Least April

Wednesday March 17, 2021 2:44 am PDT by
Apple will not launch a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display until at least the second quarter of the year, which begins on April 1, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. From today's report: Epistar has become the exclusive supplier of miniLED chips to be used in 12.9-inch miniLED-backlit iPad Pro, with nearly 50% of the corresponding production capacity booked up for...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

iPad Pro Getting Thicker in 2021 to Fit New Technology

Tuesday February 9, 2021 11:35 am PST by
Apple's affinity for thin and light product designs is well-known, so it is not often the case that the company chooses to make its existing products thicker. This year, Apple's largest and most expensive iPad offering, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, is looking to buck the trend and get thicker, according to recent reports. Alleged factory CAD drawings leaked in January revealed that, as...
iPad Pro Mini LED yellow

iPad Pro With Thunderbolt and Mini-LED Display Coming 'As Early As April'

Wednesday March 17, 2021 2:58 pm PDT by
Apple will introduce new iPads as early as April, according to a new report shared today by Bloomberg. The April date comes following incorrect rumors that Apple planned to hold an event on March 23. Apple will refresh its iPad Pro lineup, introducing new models that "look similar to the current iPad Pros" in the same 11 and 12.9-inch screen sizes. The two iPads are expected to feature an...
ipad pro xdr display blooming

Apple Says iPad Pro's XDR Display Designed to Minimize Blooming, but Some Users Still Notice the Effect

Monday May 24, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Some users are noticing more blooming on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro's Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED display than expected, despite Apple's claims that the effect is minimized. According to recently published Apple Support documents, the iPad Pro's Liquid Retina XDR display is designed to improve on "the trade-offs of typical local dimming systems, where the extreme brightness of LEDs might cause a...
m1 ipad pro display

Apple's Greg Joswiak: No Plans to Merge Mac and iPad

Thursday April 22, 2021 2:09 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week introduced refreshed 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models with few external changes but one notable internal change - the introduction of the same M1 chip that was also used in the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini refreshes back in November. Apple marketing chief Greg Joswiak and hardware chief John Ternus this week did an interview with The Independent to talk...
iPad Pro Mini LED

iPad Pro to Be First Apple Device Featuring Breakthrough New Display Technology

Friday January 29, 2021 6:10 am PST by
Apple's 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro is widely expected to be the first Apple device to feature advanced mini-LED display technology, before it expands to other devices throughout 2021 and 2022. Mini-LED displays offer impressive wide color gamut performance, high contrast and HDR, and local dimming, which dims the backlight behind black areas of the screen while keeping bright parts lit for...

Popular Stories

AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo Orange

Next iPad Pro Might Feature Large Glass Apple Logo to Allow Wireless Charging

Friday January 14, 2022 10:44 am PST by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu last year reported that Apple had tested a new iPad Pro with a glass back for wireless charging capabilities. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said he expects the new iPad Pro to be released in 2022. While the new iPad Pro is still on track to feature wireless charging, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito today reported that Apple may have ultimately...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...