What is the difference between the mini LED screen used in the new iPad Pro?

At one o’clock in the morning on April 21, Apple held a special event that brought us the new iPad Pro 2021. In addition to upgrading to the latest M1 chip, the screen of the iPad Pro 2021 is also a major focus of this upgrade. The iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch version uses a mini-LED screen, and the display effect will be significantly improved.

What is the difference between mini-LED and LCD screen?

Before the upgrade, the iPad Pro used a traditional LCD screen. Traditional LCD screens are relatively common. At present, most monitors, TVs, and notebooks use LCD screens. Traditional LCD screens need to have an independent backlight module, and then realize imaging through structures such as color filters, liquid crystals, and polarizers.

LCD screen principle (picture source Wikipedia)

Generally, the LCD screen backlight can only be controlled as a whole, and the pure black effect cannot be achieved when the black screen is displayed in some areas, but the dark gray close to the pure black, which greatly limits the contrast and display effect of the LCD screen. Some TVs can achieve multi-zone dimming through the multi-zone backlight design, bringing a purer black display and improving contrast. The basic principle of the mini-LED screen is similar to the zone backlight design, but it is very different.

You can think of the mini-LED screen as an enhanced and upgraded version of the LCD screen. The basic principle is similar to that of the LCD screen, but the mini-LED screen will have a large number of adjustable partition backlights, which can achieve fine backlight adjustment, and the number of partition backlights is far Partition backlight design for ultra-normal TVs.

In the newly released iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch screen, more than 10,000 mini-LED lamp beads are integrated, and there are more than 2500 local dimming zones. Each dimming zone can be finely dimmed according to the display content, thereby greatly improving the screen contrast and detail display effect.

The iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch screen can achieve an ultra-high contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, which is a qualitative improvement compared to the LCD screen. With multi-zone dimming, the screen can display purer black and restore more realistic picture details.

In addition, the iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch screen supports a full-screen brightness of 1000 nits and a peak brightness of 1600 nits. The overall screen specifications are not inferior to OLED, and the brightness part even exceeds some flagship OLED screens.

With the blessing of the mini-LED screen technology, the contrast and continuous brightness of the screen have been fully upgraded. The improvement of the screen display effect is not only reflected in daily use, watching videos and other scenes, but also can more easily meet the professional requirements of the screen. People, improve productivity.

The previous Apple Pro Display XDR display uses similar technology, but this display only uses 576 blue LEDs, and can still achieve 1000 nits of full-screen continuous brightness, 1600 nits of peak brightness, and 1000000:1 contrast ratio. The iPad Pro 2021 12.9-inch screen backlight partition is obviously more complicated and fine, and the actual display effect is worth looking forward to.

Another more common one is OLED screens, and most mobile phones currently use OLED screens. OLED screens can achieve pixel-level dimming because of their self-luminous characteristics, and have obvious advantages in contrast. The structure of OLED is simpler, and the screen is easy to be thin and light, saving space.

However, because OLED screens use organic materials, they are prone to aging. Displaying the same content for a long time may cause screen burn-in, while mini-LED uses inorganic materials, so there is no need to worry about the life of the material. It is generally difficult for OLED screens to guarantee high sustained peak brightness. Compared with OLED screens, mini-LED screens also have many advantages.

The mini-LED screen can be regarded as a display technology between LCD and OLED. The display effect is far better than that of the LCD screen, achieving a display effect similar to the OLED screen, and even surpassing the OLED screen in some aspects.

In addition to Apple products that use mini-LED screens, MSI notebooks, TCL TVs and other products also use mini-LED screen technology. Although there are not many products using mini-LED screens at present, it is believed that in the next period of time, products using mini-LED screens will gradually increase.

However, the mini-LED screen can only be regarded as a transitional screen technology, and should eventually evolve into a Micro LED screen. Micro LED screen technology is actually easy to understand. Both Micro LED screen and OLED screen are pixel-level self-luminous displays. While having the advantages of OLED screens, Micro LED screens have replaced self-luminous materials with inorganic substances, which are more durable and do not have to worry about lifespan and other issues.

At present, the display effect of mini-LED and LCD screen is quite different. The performance of mini-LED in terms of screen details, pure black screen, and brightness is significantly improved than that of LCD screen, which can be experienced by daily watching video and other scenes.

Thanks to the improvement of mini-LED comprehensive display quality, mini-LED screens can better meet the screen display needs of professional users. For professional users, choosing a device equipped with a mini-LED screen is still meaningful for creation. In the future, products with mini-LED screens are also worth looking forward to.