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What is Mini-LED display tech and why is everyone talking about it?


CES 2021 hasn’t even officially begun, but we already know one tech trend that will dominate the tech conference. No, it isn’t 5G or self-driving tech but mini-LED displays that will be seen across swanky TVs this year. LG to TCL, every major television manufacturer has plans to show off new TVs with a mini-LED display at this year’s all-digital CES. While many see mini-LED as an emerging TV tech, some estimate that mini-LED technology will eventually come to mainstream laptops, tablets and even smartphones. But what is the brand new mini-LED tech and why are companies want to replace OLED displays with this futuristic display tech?

What is Mini-LED display technology?

Let’s get straight to the point. The micro-LED display is an improved version of LCD technology. Most modern LCD TVs use LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes for their backlights. Mini LED, which is sometimes referred to as a sub-millimeter light-emitting diode, is a better version of the traditional LCD display.

Mini LEDs work similarly to LEDs used in LED TVs or QLED TVs but are much smaller. At about 200 microns or 0.008 inches across, mini-LEDs are about a fifth of the size of the standard LEDs in use in LCD panels. Since they are smaller in size, more of them can be packed into a screen In fact, they provide much better control of the backlighting and this leads to better image quality.

But makes mini-LED display technology so interesting is that you get the same level of contrast and brightness similar to OLED. Having a backlit means, Mini LED-capable TVs can deliver greater brightness and deeper blacks but at a much lower price. Think of mini-LED tech as an affordable version of OLED, without screen burn-in issues.

mini LED, what is mini LED display tech, mini LED TVs, Apple Mini LED iPads, Mini LED vs OLED, Mini LED TVs CES 2021 MSI’s Creator 17 is the only Mini LED laptop you can buy in the market. (Image credit: MSI)

Advantages of mini-LEDs over OLEDs

*Greater contrast and improved black levels than OLEDs.

*TV manufacturers get more control over dimming zones, meaning how bright or dim parts of the screen can go.

*Less expensive to make than OLEDs.

*Mini LED tech is better at displaying HDR content.

Mini LED tech offers similar benefits to OLED, like deeper blacks and higher contrast. (Image credit: TCL)

Which TV brands plan to launch Mini-LED TVs?

Since last year, TCL has been selling Mini-LED TVs in the market. In fact, TCL was the first major TV manufacturer to launch mini-LED TVs. At CES 2021, the Chinese company said it plans to launch a new range of TVs with the next-gen Mini-LED technology. LG meanwhile says its QNED TVs will use Mini-LED backlight technology and the new range will be shown off for the first time at the tech show. Samsung hasn’t announced any mini-LED TVs yet, but we expect the South Korean major to be a big proponent of this display tech in the future.

Several Apple products to feature mini-LED displays this year

But while mini-LED on TVs or laptops hasn’t exploded yet, the technology might get a big boost once Apple starts to adopt this display tech. TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that several Apple products will launch with mini-LED display tech in 2021. Kou says mini-LED displays could come to the high-end iPad Pro and the MacBook Pro this year. In fact, Apple is rumoured to be working on as many as six devices with the new display tech. What does this mean for people who buy the new iPad Pro or MacBook Pro? Well, we have to wait for Apple to release these products first.





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