Mini-LED iPad Pro display issues explained: What’s “blooming” and is there a fix

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alex mathos25 May 2021Last Update : 1 year ago
Mini-LED iPad Pro display issues explained: What’s “blooming” and is there a fix

And that’s how the war began! It’s like Apple challenged users to find flaws in the new Floating Retina XDR screen on the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Let’s make it clear first – The 11-inch iPad Pro is out of this equation as it uses a standard LED screen. So no drama there. It’s the big iPad Pro that seems to have “thriving issues”, which caused a shout out on social media.

LED screens light up! But how?

So with traditional LED screens, what we see is “global attenuation”. This simply means that when the screen becomes lighter / darker, the whole image is affected, which is why the contrast is very limited, and therefore the image does not “jump out” or stand out, as some like to say.

Then we have the so-called “edge-lit” screens. They have multiple attenuation zones, usually located on all sides of the screen. It’s an improvement over global dimming of LED screens, but it still does not come close to OLED levels of contrast.

Then “full array local dimming” or FALL LED screens take everything to the next level with thousands of mini-LEDs scattered throughout the screen. As you may have guessed, it is also called a mini-LED screen – the type found in the new one 12.9-inch iPad Pro and rumored to be getting into future MacBook Pro laptops.

So what’s the problem with the iPad Pro’s screen

First, this was never an Apple or iPad issue. Now that Tim Cook and company have decided to give the larger iPad Pro a mini-LED screen, it will of course possibly be one!

The challenges of mini-LED screens were there before Apple decided to use them. Aside from being harder to design and more expensive, FALL or mini-LED screens can display “blooming”, “ghost”, “a halo effect” or whatever you choose to call it.

The most remarkable thing about high-contrast scenes is why virtually all the photos showing the problem are taken in a toned black or generally dimly lit environment.

What happens is that when some of the little LEDs do their best to get brighter to get as dark as possible, others try to get as bright as possible. A perfect example is a white text on a plain black background.

This is where you might start to see “blooming”, which is simply when the light from the bright LEDs escapes and bleeds into the room with the dark LEDs. It is technically light bleeding, except not on the sides of the screen, but inside the screen.

The solution / solutions: You are wrong! (volume 2)

Do not be too quick to return your iPad Pro or cancel your order, as it is very unlikely that Apple can send you a “better”. The point is – if you’ve decided to go for the big iPad Pro, you’ll need to know what you’re getting into.

Moreover, the flowering will not be noticeable in games, movies and other dynamic scenes. You will often have to look for it to find it. Remember, it is most visible in scenarios with high contrast and high brightness. No one usually looks at their screen at 100% brightness when the room is dark. Unless you’re watching a movie and the iPad is sitting at your desk, in which case – the problem should not be noticed as the scenes are dynamic and you’ll probably be too far away from it.

In addition, the problem is most visible when you tilt the device. The photos you might see online are genuine, but not very representative of what you see if you looked at the screen in person.


Cameras and especially smartphone cameras are known for trying to make darker scenes brighter. While generally a good thing for night photography, it makes the iPad Pro’s version far more exaggerated than it really is. Ironically, it is The iPhone (or any other phone) can try to compensate for the extremely dark environment in which the picture was taken, and this is how it makes the “bloom” on the iPad Pro look much tougher.

The future of Apple shows: Oh! LED or OLED

Some game monitors that use local attenuation can easily disable it. Unfortunately, this is not an option with the mini-LED screen found on the iPad Pro. We doubt that Apple will make this available. While possible, it will more or less defeat the purpose of one of the biggest selling points of this year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

It is important to note that advanced gaming screens or monitors in general are noticeably more likely to show bloom, as the number of mini-LEDs found in them is often no greater than 500-600. In the case of the iPad Pro, the mini-LEDs are over 10,000! That’s probably why Apple made a “statement of improvement” that was found at the beginning of the article.
Well, clear – LED is LED. Apple refused to use OLED for its most premium iPad, and that could have been a mistake. Now our eyes are on the next MacBook Pro and iPhone 13 Pro models. Let’s hope they do not “bloom”.

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