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Mini-LED iPad Pro is coming in March -- what you need to know

MacBook Air vs iPad Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There have been rumors about an iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display for a while, but now we have solid idea of when it’s going to arrive. According to MacOtakara, Apple is planning on launching the next wave of iPad Pros in March.

That said, only a single model is set to come with the advanced Mini-LED display: the 12.9-inch model. Beyond that, however, there won’t be much in the way of design changes.

In the past we’ve heard that the Mini-LED iPad Pro will be the first step in Apple’s plans to bring the displays into the mainstream. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the goal is to have multiple devices, including iPads and Macs, packing Mini-LED displays before the end of the year.

Kuo said that this adoption would be key to helping bring the price of Mini-LED displays down, as this new display technology is rather expensive at the moment. If that’s the case, we could see more mass-market adoption of Mini-LED on tablets, laptops, and even phones. That means we could see a Mini-LED iPhone in the near future.

Mini-LED is a big jump over traditional LCD displays, like those used in the 2020 iPad Pro range. Screens are made up of clusters of tiny LEDs (100-200 micrometers wide) which can offer greater color depth, deeper blacks, higher levels of brightness, and better power efficiency. In other words, the picture quality is noticeably better, and they use less energy in the process. That’s very useful for devices that run on battery power.

MacOtakara also reports that the 2021 iPad Pros will be slightly thicker to accommodate the Mini-LED display, though it will lose the infamous camera bump at the same time. It's all very welcome, especially if you have plans to rest the tablet on a flat surface. 

We’ve also heard news about a second gen Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro, which should be an improvement on the existing one. Not a lot of information is known, but a patent suggests it could have microphones than can interpret when your fingers hit either the keyboard or your desk.

Of course, if the iPad Pro is too expensive, there is still another entry-level iPad coming later this year. MacOtakara promises that it’ll take design cues from the new iPad Air 3, with a thinner body and smaller bezels, though the home button and TouchID won’t be going anywhere.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.