MacBook Pro Models With Apple Silicon To Shine Bright With Mini LEDs, Here's When

Apple MacBook Pro
Apple has already embraced mini LED backlighting technology with its latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which features what the company calls a "Liquid Retina XDR" display (hey, it's better than calling it a "Magical" display, right?). Having been sufficiently pleased with the result, Apple is said to also be using mini LED backlighting on a pair of upcoming MacBook systems.

It is expected that Apple will announce redesigned 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pro models this fall. We can anticipate they will both arrive with a new and faster Apple Silicon system-on-chip (SoC), and that in and of itself is interesting. However, that is far from the only upgrade headed to the next crop of Apple's MacBooks.

Apple has apparently put in orders with its suppliers for mini LED panels for its upcoming MacBooks. At least two mini LED suppliers are said to have ramped up production in anticipation for the launch, which is scheduled for September, and will be shipping more displays in the third quarter of this year to help Apple meet demand.

The laptops are also supposedly getting a more ports, including HDMI and an SD memory card reader, as well as a slight design change (flatter edges). However, it's the mini LED tech that could be the big seller. Mini LEDs are exactly what they sound like—much smaller versions of regular LEDs.

Switching over to mini LED backlighting means brighter images and potentially better image quality, compared to regular LED-lit screens. It's also what LG is using in its recently announced (but not yet released) Quantum Dot NanoCell TV lineup.

Generally speaking, mini LED screens still are not quite as good as OLED. That is where micro LED technology comes into play. Micro LED comes with the promising of being just as good as OLED (or even better) in terms of image quality, while being brighter and without any risk of permanent burn-in. But that's a discussion for another day.

In other news, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in a note to investors that Apple is pushing back the release of its second-generation AirPod Pro earbuds until next year. He also noted that demand for the current model will be "lower than expected" for the rest of 2021.

I'm a big fan of the AirPod Pros, and use them quite a bit while walking around town. They sound great and do an excellent job at suppressing external noise. So good, in fact, that one must be careful when walking on roads where the sidewalk ends—I don't always hear cars as they are approaching.

The AirPod Pro 2 earbuds should at least deliver the same performance and noise-cancelling chops (and hopefully even better in both regards), and are rumored to also bring better motion sensors to the mix, with an improved focus on fitness. But not until next year.