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
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 months ago
The blooming brigade will go mad on this
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jjjlevin Avatar
15 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
15 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)

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