Reports Suggest Mini-LED 'Blooming' Effect on New MacBook Pro Displays Not an Issue

Reports suggest that despite the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros sharing the same mini-LED display technology as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the new Mac computers are not obviously suffering "blooming," a phenomenon found on the ‌iPad Pro‌.

macbook pro blooming
The new MacBook Pros and the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ consist of mini-LED technology, which uses dimming zones. These local dimming zones allow specific screen areas to turn completely dark when they're not needed, resulting in richer blacks and improved energy efficiency.

Unlike traditional displays, which control individual pixels, displays with dimming zones control separate zones rather than individual pixels. If one dimming zone is lit up, artifacts from it may be noticeable in neighboring zones with a black background, leading to "blooming," as shown below on the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌.

ipad pro xdr display blooming
Blooming is typically only noticeable when viewing black content or text and when viewed from the side. Apple has in the past addressed the phenomenon by saying the ‌‌iPad Pro‌‌'s display is designed to minimize its visibility. Given that the new MacBook Pros announced last week include the same mini-LED technology, some have been concerned about whether the new MacBooks will face the same issue.

According to users' reports and reviews, that doesn't seem to be the case. Brian Tong noted in his review of the new M1 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro that while blooming is still present on the new displays, it's only visible with "deep black backgrounds, and bright white text or a white logo is contrasting it." Additionally, Tong stressed that the blooming effect is exaggerated when recorded with a camera and that it's much less obvious when viewed with the naked eye.

New owners of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are also sharing their thoughts on the MacRumors Forums. Compared to the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌, the new MacBook Pro makes better use of mini-LED and dimming zones. As one forum user wrote:

Overall I think the IPP 12.9 display is awesome but the XDR on the mbp is even better because when I play HDR content only the window portion is super bright - on the iPad everything just looks bright. You're not going to get gimped here on the display of the new mbp. well maybe the ghosting issue is annoying for some overall it is a fantastic display.

Another user shares the same thoughts, saying that despite the small instances of blooming, the new MacBook Pro displays are "fantastic."

Comparing the 12.9" iPad Pro and the new 16" MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro is a bit better. Much less blooming, and the colors pop a bit more. That being said they are both amazing screens. When I first used the iPad I was really impressed by the screen. When I first used the MacBook Pro I was completely blown away. As a test I played a 4K HDR demo and the peak brightness, colors, and the realism is one of the best I have seen on any screen (not counting extremely high end TVs).

Michael Kukielka, also known as DetroitBORG, noted on Twitter that blooming on the new MacBook Pros is almost "imperceptible" compared to the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌.


The Liquid Retina XDR display on the new MacBook Pros includes several new features, including higher sustained brightness for HDR content and ProMotion, allowing for a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ includes 2,500 dimming zones, and while it's not entirely clear how many zones are in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros respectively, it seems that Apple has improved its display technology with its new high-end Mac computers.

Related Roundup: 14 & 16" MacBook Pro
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

MrGimper Avatar
11 months ago
That iPad picture is such a misrepresentation of what the blooming is actually like on the iPad.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
11 months ago

No not really, I returned my ipad precisely because of this
I kept an ipad because it's nothing like this.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Loudsilvereel Avatar
11 months ago

Unlike traditional displays, which control individual pixels, displays with dimming zones control separate zones rather than individual pixels. If one dimming zone is lit up, artifacts from it may be noticeable in neighboring zones with a black background, leading to "blooming," as shown below on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro
I would say 'traditional displays' don't have dimming zones, instead using a constant backlight across the whole display. Not quite right to say they control individual pixels unless you're referring to OLED.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bp1000 Avatar
11 months ago
What do people expect with mini zoned LED technology. The moon on a stick? This isn't OLED.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krspkbl Avatar
11 months ago
"not an issue" here doesn't mean it's not an issue. it's more like "I don't care" or "I'm ignoring it because I refuse to say anything negative about my Apple toy". it looks fine in some content but on text/dark backgrounds it's definitely noticeable. Mini LED is good for TVs but shouldn't be in anything like an iPad/Laptop.

yeah sure it's better than a standard LCD but let's not kid ourselves on here: Mini LED is a stop gap technology. Apple will eventually move to OLED and then Micro LED. OLED is by far the superior technology when compared to Mini LED but of course it has it's own flaw which is a risk of burn in. I'll take the the risk it MIGHT happen after a couple years over having to deal with annoying blooming every time you look at the display as soon as it's out the box.

Micro LED is the true end goal. the LEDs will be so small they will be able to light up individual pixels instead of tens or hundreds of pixels with Mini LED. if there's any blooming with Micro LED it might spill over to the next pixel but you'll never notice that unless you put it under a microscope. of course Micro LED won't be at risk of burn in like OLED.

as long as Apple is using Mini LED i'm not touching their products. these MacBook Pros and even the iPad Pro should've came with an OLED display as it's currently the best tech available.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sandstorm Avatar
11 months ago
Very happy to see this. It's been a long, long time since I've been so excited about a new Mac product.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

macbook pro 13 inch banner

Apple Could Discontinue the 13-Inch MacBook Pro – Here's Why

Friday November 26, 2021 2:20 am PST by
Following the launch of Apple's long-awaited 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, there are early signs that the company could discontinue the entry-level 13-inch model, which is starting to look like an outlier in the product lineup. Last updated in November 2020, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is now an anomaly in the Mac lineup, being the only device with the Touch Bar. With no rumors of a 13-inch...
mac studio and studio display

Kuo: Mini-LED Versions of 11-Inch iPad Pro and Studio Display Unlikely This Year

Wednesday March 16, 2022 8:00 am PDT by
Apple is unlikely to launch any products with new mini-LED display sizes in 2022 due to cost concerns, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a tweet today. When asked for further details by email, Kuo clarified that only Apple's existing mini-LED products like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro may be updated in 2022, with no additional products to transition to mini-LEDs this year. For example, Kuo...
macbook pro thermal system

New MacBook Pros Include Improved Thermal System That Apple Says You'll Rarely Need Thanks to Apple Silicon

Wednesday October 20, 2021 7:54 am PDT by
The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros include entirely new designs and a new chassis, and one improvement of the newer chassis compared to its predecessor is improved thermals. Apple says that the new thermal system in its latest high-end MacBooks is capable of moving 50% more air at lower fan speeds. While the new thermal design is greatly improved, the efficiency of the new M1 Pro and...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo

11-Inch iPad Pro No Longer Expected to Gain Mini-LED Display in 2022

Thursday March 10, 2022 2:13 am PST by
The updated 11-inch iPad Pro expected to launch sometime this year can no longer be expected to feature a mini-LED display like its larger 12.9-inch sibling, display analyst Ross Young said today on Twitter. Earlier rumors indicated that after keeping mini-LED exclusive to just the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in 2021, Apple would expand the newer display technology to the smaller 11-inch form...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
MBA Mock White Front Blue

2022 MacBook Air Getting Major Display Upgrade With One Drawback

Friday December 3, 2021 3:01 am PST by
Apple's next-generation MacBook Air is reportedly set to bring over many of the new MacBook Pro's features, with one noticeable omission, according to recent reports. The latest MacBook Pro models feature a mini-LED "Liquid Retina XDR" display with deep blacks and support for up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The display also features Apple's "ProMotion" technology, which is capable of...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Gurman: Redesigned MacBook Pros to Launch Between September and November

Sunday July 18, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to release its redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros sometime between September and November, as part of another packed fall season for new product launches, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the new MacBook Pros will go into production in the third quarter and can be expected to be...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Still on Track for 2021 Launch, But Supplies Likely to Be Constrained into Next Year

Tuesday May 18, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Volume production of the redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple silicon and a mini-LED display is set to begin in the first quarter of 2022, while mass production of the smaller and new 14-inch MacBook Pro will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited in a paywalled DigiTimes report. Yesterday, DigiTimes posted a preview of a story reporting that the la...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...