A new supply chain report has confirmed an earlier prediction that the MacBook Air, Apple’s most popular notebook, will be adopting mini-LED display technology in 2022.
A mini-LED MacBook Air is in the works!
The sources expect that Apple’s 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros and 16-inch MacBook Pro set to be released in 2021 will be equipped with mini-LED displays and adoption of mini-LED will be expanded to its MacBook Air products in 2022.
That’s great news. Apple is prepping to gradually roll out mini-LED across its mobile and desktop products. The story corroborates December’s research note by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in which he predicts that a “more affordable” MacBook Air model will be launching in 2022, in addition to two new MacBook Pros coming in 2021, featuring an overhauled appearance.
The benefits of mini-LED
Traditional LED-backlit displays use a few strong LED lights to illuminate the pixels. Mini-LED technology uses up to 10,000 tiny individual LEDs that are capable of managing brightness on smaller areas of the image, which is important for HDR video. mini-LEDs also offer other advantages over LED and OLED panels, like richer colors, deeper blacks and better contrast.
While technically not using mini-LEDs, Apple’s $5,000 Pro Display XDR takes advantage of an array of 576 LED lights in its backlight module. Each of the display’s 576 LEDs is individually calibrated and has its light profile stored. According to Apple, an algorithm then uses this information to determine the exact light intensity at which each LED should be modulated to produce the best possible image.
Apple tablets to adopt mini-LED
Another report that we covered today, from the reliable Japanese blog Mac Otakara, has said that the next model of Apple’s $329 low-cost iPad will have a lighter, thinner iPad Air 3-like design. The next 12.9-inch iPad Pro, on the other hand, won’t see any significant design changes. In terms of hardware, that tablet is expected to adopt a mini-LED backlight and Apple’s next-generation custom chip, but that’s about it. In fact, Kuo expects the next 12.9-inch iPad Pro to become Apple’s first device to adopt mini-LED backlights.