Apple employee explains why the 11-inch iPad Pro (2021) doesn’t sport a mini-LED screen

Apple’s premium tablet series, the iPad Pro, features some nice hardware upgrades with the 2021 line. Both the 12.9-inch and 11-inch models are powered by the new 5nm M1 chip that delivers as much as a 50% improvement in performance compared to the last generation model, and both Wi-Fi + Cellular units support 5G. But one new feature, the mini-LED display, which Apple calls the Liquid Retina XDR display, is found only on the 12.9-inch variant of the iPad Pro (2021).
Two key Apple employees, Scott Broderick and Vincent Gu of worldwide iPad product marketing and display engineering respectively, spoke with Brian Tong (via 9to5Mac) about the latest generation M1 iPad Pro. Discussing the M1, Broderick says that the chip takes the performance of the tablet to a “new level,” and “pushes the limits of what you can do” with the device. He also answered the question that is on everyone’s mind: why did Apple decided not to use a mini-LED display on the smaller-screened 11-inch model?

Calling the display “a gamechanger,” Scott reveals that “What we know about the 11-inch user is that they just love bringing a super-powerful iPad with them in a portable 1-pound design. So they just love the form factor of that. Whereas the user who is embracing the 12.9-inch display they were looking for the largest canvas to do their most creative work on that product and it made sense to bring that XDR technology to the 12.9-inch display on the iPad Pro.”

What Broderick seems to be saying is that with the new screen adding a little more weight and girth to the iPad Pro (2021), those who traditionally purchase the 11-inch model might not be happy. The Liquid Retina XDR display provides superb contrast and true-to-life-colors. The latter delivers 1,000 nits of brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness and a 1 million to one contrast ratio. The 11-inch model continues to sport an LCD display.



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