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Apple may release 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros with mini-LED screens this year

Having refreshed the iMac all-in-one desktop with a new design and the M1 chip, Apple is now expected to release new 14 and 16-inch versions of its MacBook Pro notebook featuring not only Apple silicon but also mini-LED display technology which debuted on the new iPad Pro.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • mini-LED brings OLED-like experience to LCD screens.
  • mini-LED uses thousands of tiny LED lights for backlighting.
  • The tech enables a better dynamic range via local dimming zones.

Apple to bring mini-LED to the MacBook Pro

That’s according to a new report from Taiwanese research firm TrendForce.

An updated 16-inch MacBook Pro along with a brand-new sixteen-incher, both using mini-LEDs, are apparently dropping in the second half of 2021. The mini-LED technology “will become the hardware benchmark for high-end tablets and notebook computers,” TrendForce added.

Apple typically updates its flagship Mac notebooks in October.

Confirming earlier rumors, the report claims that both models will feature mini-LED screens. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman previously said that the upcoming notebooks would bring back a magnetic power connector, an SD memory card slot and an HDMI port whilst ditching the Touch Bar and re-adding the physical function keys.

What is Retina Display XD?

Like with Apple’s Pro Display XDR, “XDR” in the name of the iPad Pro’s new Liquid Retina Display XDR stands for “Extreme Dynamic Range”. It’s Apple’s way of telegraphing to would-be buyers that these screens offer an even better experience than standard HDR.

The Liquid Retina XDR Display swaps a handful of LEDs used for backlighting for as many as 10,000 tiny LED lights. The software then groups the mini-LEDs into 2,500 local dimming zones that can be individually controlled, providing an OLED-like experience.

Aside from that, mini-LED technology enables the new iPad Pro to jump from 600 nits of standard brightness to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness with an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

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