TV screen technologies are coming to mobile computers in more ways than one. Last year saw Samsung’s launch of the first QLED screen on a laptop and this year might see the first mini-LED display on a tablet. That will come via Apple’s new iPad Pros that are expected to debut later this year, utilizing LG’s expertise and resources to upgrade what is already touted to be one of the finest tablets screens in the market.
Although they all use Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs, mini-LED isn’t to be confused with the more commonly advertised OLED screens used on phones. Screens with mini-LEDs still use an LCD panel at the very top with LEDs providing the backlighting. mini-LEDs offer smaller LEDs that conventional LED-backlit LCD screens, allowing more LED chips to be crammed and, therefore, give the device manufacturer more fine-grained control over the brightness of certain areas, resulting in brighter colors and darker blacks than a traditional LCD screen.
That’s the advantage that mini-LED technology has only started to deliver in the TV market but Apple is now reportedly jumping on that train courtesy of LG. It’s probably for the best that it will still be using LG’s LCD screens as its OLED displays have had a rather bad reputation on smartphones that used them. The LED chips themselves, however, will be manufactured by Taiwan’s Epistar and rumors claim Apple is looking into Samsung as its second supplier.
The new mini-LED LCD screen is expected to first debut on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro later this year. This could give Apple’s premium pro tablet an added advantage, especially when compared with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S line. The latter’s Super AMOLED screens have always been rated highly for their quality.
Apple isn’t stopping at iPads either. It will reportedly expand its mini-LED use to monitors and even MacBooks. Its 6K Monitor Pro Display XDR already uses LED but its 576 LED chips pale in comparison to the thousands that could be used on a mini-LED iPad Pro display.