New 'Tandem OLED' iPad Pro

Where to preorder the Apple iPad Pro (2024):

11-INCH MODEL

Apple iPad Pro

Starting at $999

Apple iPad Pro


13-INCH MODEL

Apple iPad Pro (2024)

Starting at $1,299 in the Apple Store

Apple iPad Pro

The new iPad Pro got announced at the May 7 “Let Loose” event — and it’s got the highly anticipated OLED display that Apple is calling “Tandem OLED” for an “Ultra Retina XDR” screen.

Why is it called Tandem OLED? It’s got two OLED displays put together, which outputs a super high contrast screen for true, deep blacks. Plus, the Tandem OLED display yields incredible brightness, too (1,600 nits peak brightness, to be specific).

If you’re not a screen snob, you may be wondering, “Why should I care about an OLED display?” That’s a fair question, so let’s run down the benefits of an OLED display so that you can make a decision on whether the new iPad Pro is right for you.

What is an OLED display?

OLED, which stands for Organic Light Emitting Diodes, consists of organic electroluminescent materials that glow when electricity passes through them. Each pixel on an OLED display has its own individual light source. In other words, as PCWorld puts it, each pixel can be turned off completely, “providing a deep, inky, perfect black level.”

This is what makes an OLED display more advantageous than, say, the mini-LED display featured on the previous-generation iPad Pro. Instead of per-pixel lighting, mini-LED displays have about 3,000 lighting zones (compare that to the OLED’s eight million).

TechRadar explained it perfectly:

“Imagine the whole screen entirely black, save for a single pixel out of eight million in pure, bright white – because that’s totally doable on an OLED. On a Mini LED set, it’s not even close: in a 4K panel with around 3,000 lighting zones, each backlight zone would actually drive around 2,700 pixels.”

As you’ll find out in the next section, this provides OLED displays with more benefits compared to the mini-LED screen on the last-generation iPad Pro (and the LCD panel on the iPad Air).

New OLED iPad Pro: 5 benefits

Streaming is one of the many reasons people purchase an iPad. It’s a comfortable way to cuddle up at night and watch your favorite shows without an uncomfortable keyboard jutting out in front of you.

As such, if streaming is a use case for you, there’s a good chance that having a tablet that’s the equivalent of eye candy is important. If so, you’ll appreciate the benefits of an OLED display on an iPad.

1. No ‘halo effect’

Some users of the iPad Pro 2022, which features a mini-LED display, experienced something called “blooming” or the “halo effect.”

You can see it happening around the Apple logo in Josh Teder’s X post below.

To put it succinctly, blooming is light leakage. This phenomenon occurs when non-black UI elements are illuminated from behind via a backlight, causing the light to seep into the surrounding black UI, as 9to5Mac explained.

iPad Pro with Tandem OLED display
New iPad Pro with “Tandem OLED” display.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

However, with OLED, this shouldn’t be an issue because, again, when something needs to be black, those pixels will be turned off entirely — not dimmed.

2. True blacks

iPad Pro on a table
The new iPad Pro
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

As aforementioned, OLED displays can completely extinguish light from pixels, allowing the screen to achieve perfect black levels when it’s appropriate — something mini-LED and LCD displays can’t do.

3. Better contrast

Thanks to self-lighting pixels that, again, can be totally turned off independently, OLED displays should deliver better contrast than mini-LED screens.

New iPad Pro 2024 on a table
New iPad Pro with the new Magic Keyboard
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

This provides a stark distinction between the true blacks and the other colors that are being emitted on the screen.

4. Better viewing angles

This won’t matter much when you’re using an iPad for yourself, but if your partner is peering over to see what you’re watching, they may get a better viewing angle on an OLED display compared to mini-LED and LCD screens.

13-inch iPad Pro
New 13-inch iPad Pro with Apple Pencil Pro.
Credit: Kimberly Gedeon / Mashable

Why?

According to PCWorld, an LCD screen, for example, can control specific pixels by using liquid crystals to block their light. This can cause images to look different from different angles because liquid crystals do not obstruct light evenly.

Plus, they “require a few milliseconds to respond to a charge, causing blur or ghosting in rapidly changing image.”

5. Superior motion performance

With the new iPad Pro, we expect better motion performance. OLED displays offer smoother, more seamless transition between frames compared to LCD technology. As such, they’re known for delivering zippier response times and better motion-blur management.

We don’t know whether the OLED iPad Pro, indeed, has a leg up over its predecessor in these five areas, but we’ll let you know when we get the tablet in for review.

One thing, however, we must warn you about when it comes to OLED displays is that they are known for causing burn-in, a permanent issue in which a faint image from the screen is “burned” into the panel — even though the image isn’t being displayed anymore.

Let’s hope that Apple has found a way to mitigate this risk by employing some clever techniques.

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