iPad Pro killer upgrade just revealed — and it’s coming next year

iPad Pro 11 Mini LED display rumor
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rumors had already been circulating that the next iPad Pro would feature Mini-LED technology, but it seems that fans will be seeing two screen types hit next year. 

According to Korean website The Elec, it claims that both Mini-LED and OLED iPad Pros will drop in 2021. Apple is taking a tiered approach, giving the early 2021 revision Mini-LED, and the late year model OLED.

The exact rationale behind this decision is unclear, but per reporter Jong Jun Lee, Samsung is currently renovating its A4 factory in Asan, South Korea, to produce OLED screens for iPads. 

Mini-LED is a new technology that aims to give the same clarity and chromatic pop of an OLED at a lesser cost. Because it’s new, prices aren’t significantly cheaper yet, but it’s expected that over time, Mini-LED (and Micro-LED which is its own separate tech) will bring that pristine clarity at more affordable prices. But unlike current iPads, which use an edge-lit display, Mini-LED is a full backlit array, making the panel inherently thicker.  

If current rumors are to be believed, then only the higher end 12.9” early 2021 iPad Pros will feature a Mini-LED display. So those opting for an iPad Mini will get the standard LCD. 

Both Mini-LED and OLED have many benefits over standard LCDs, most notably in its color saturation and contrast. Because both technologies allow precise local dimming, it’s possible to get inky blacks. Apple currently uses OLED displays in its iPhone and Apple Watch.

The current iPad Pro, which was redesigned in 2018, has been a consistently well reviewed product. Our iPad Pro review praised the current model for its blazing fast performance and improved keyboard. Hardware wise, it seems that Apple has created a near-perfect product, but one that can’t be seen as a MacBook Air replacement quite yet. 

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Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.