Apple's Spring Loaded event revealed a new iPad Pro with a mini-LED screen that Apple has dubbed the "Liquid Retina XDR" display. With more than 10,000 LEDs, it could be a massive improvement over the previous iPad Pro. But it looks like Apple won't stop there – according to industry analyst TrendForce, Apple will bring the same technology to the MacBook later this year.
TrendForce in particular assumes that both the 14-inch MacBook Pro and its 16-inch sibling will be equipped with this technology. This supports earlier reports from DigiTimes and renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, both of whom have claimed Apple has mini-LED MacBooks in the pipeline.
With Apple's recent iPad Pro launch, it's now likely that Apple will use the same Liquid Retina XDR name for the panels in the upcoming MacBooks. In the iPad Pro, this technology offers 1,000 nits of full screen brightness, 1,600 nits of peak brightness and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000: 1.
In comparison, the M1 MacBook Pro – which offers the best display of all MacBooks and one of the brightest screens of all laptops – can "only" achieve 485 nits of full screen brightness and a contrast ratio of 1,470: 1. While this is currently an industry leader, it may soon be overwhelmed by what Apple can offer when it rolls out mini-LED screens in its next MacBooks.
There is no guarantee that a Liquid Retina XDR display in a MacBook will achieve these iPad Pro levels because a portable tablet and laptop are used very differently and are held at different distances from your face. But it does show the big difference mini-LED technology can make – and might give some pointers on what we can roughly expect when Apple brings it to future MacBooks.
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If the rumors turn out to be true, a Liquid Retina XDR display might just be one of the exciting new features on the MacBook Pro in 2021. The 14-inch MacBook Pro is expected to be a major overhaul of the current 13-inch design, with thinner bezels for a bigger display, more port options (including the return of MagSafe), an angular design like the new iMac, and much more. It might even drop the touch bar.