Apple iPad Pro 12.9 “with M1 chip and mini LED display in the test

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With the 2020 model of the iPad Pro, it was advisable to take a look at the data sheet to identify the changes to the predecessor. With the new iPad Pro, at least the 12.9-inch version we tested at the end of May 2021, the jump from the previous generation is clearly visible in the sense of the word – thanks to the new “Liquid Retina XDR Display”.

This is still an IPS panel and not an OLED, but backlighting from mini LEDs creates 2596 local dimming zones. Apple promises a contrast of 1,000,000 to 1 and a peak brightness of 1,600 cd / m2 for HDR playback. We were actually able to measure 1400 cd / m2 in the laboratory – a value that currently no other mobile device can match. The high contrast value results because the backlight LEDs are switched off on black content.

The difference to the iPad with a normal IPS panel can be seen with the naked eye in HDR images: For example, the sun really stands out on the new display in a sky filmed through a dark corridor, while the contours of the clouds are clearly visible. The fact that the iPad Pro 12.9 “now costs 100 euros more than its predecessor – the starting price is 1200 euros according to the list – is bearable. As usual, the panel renews image content at up to 120 Hertz, and the software automatically adjusts the refresh rate to save electricity.

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