Sure, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a nice M1 processor, but the new Mini LED display is the real star of the show. A teardown video from iFixit gives us an inside look at the impressive new Liquid Retina XDR Display technology, plus a quick tutorial explaining how LED backlighting works (and why the iPad Pro̵
As with older models, opening the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro requires a gentle hand and a little heat. Apple hasn’t changed the interior layout of the iPad Pro much, despite the upgraded M1 chip and new ultra-wide, AI-powered selfie camera.
But the new Mini-LED display (Apple calls it Retina XDR) marks a major shift from the company’s Liquid Retina panels. While other iPads are lit by a single row of LEDs, the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro has 10,384 LED backlighting divided into 2596 dimming zones. These incredibly small LEDs can adjust their brightness according to the content on the screen, providing the deep blacks and high contrast usually associated with OLED panels.
So why does Apple use Mini LED instead of OLED? Simply put, LCD panels are still brighter than OLED panels and they are much less prone to burn-in. A bright screen allows iPad Pro users to watch YouTube videos or write novels outdoors in the middle of the day — a task supported by the new iPad Pro’s 5G capabilities.
To learn more about the new iPad Pro screen, check out iFixit’s teardown video! You can also buy an iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit to take apart or repair a new iPad Pro at home (who knows, you might discover something interesting).