Groundbreaking new 2021 Apple iPad Pro could be the first of its kind

Your next iPad Pro display could be much brighter (Image credit: Daniel Romero on Unsplash)

2020 was a bountiful year for iPad fans. From the new iPad Pro to the surprisingly powerful iPad Air, you'd be forgiven for struggling to keep up with the torrent of tablets the company released last year. And if new leaks are to be believed, 2021 is set to continue the trend – but not quite as soon as we'd hoped.

We've heard tell for a while that Apple is working on the first iPad to feature a Mini-LED display, and that it could launch as soon as this month. But it seems we might have to wait a tiny bit longer for what sounds like a sure-fire entry to our best drawing tablets list. 

iPad Pro 12.9 (2020)

Rumour has it the iPad Pro is first in line for an LED display (Image credit: Apple)

According to DigiTimes, Apple is expected to launch a 12.9-inch Mini-LED backlit iPad Pro "in the second quarter of 2021", which starts in April. Until now, rumours had suggested that the device would launch in the first quarter, and that an Apple event would take place this month.

Further to DigiTimes' report, renowned Apple leaker Jon Prosser has tweeted (below) that the next Apple event won't take place on 23 March as rumoured, but in April instead, which means we're unlikely to see any new products this month. Still, in theory, that means the first ever Mini-LED iPad could arrive in a matter of weeks.

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So, what's the benefit of Mini-LED? It's all about brightness and contrast – LED displays are much brighter, and can display far deeper blacks and richer whites. And not only do they look better, but they're also more power efficient and therefore easier on your battery. 

Currently, the only Apple devices to feature super-bright LED displays are its iPhone 12 line-up (as well as previous 'Pro' iPhone models), and it'll be great news for creatives if the tech finally hits Apple's tablets. The iPad is already a brilliant digital canvas, but a bolder and brighter display can only be a good thing for designers (though not necessarily for your wallet if you upgraded last year).

iPad Air 4

Last year's iPad Air is already giving the Pro a run for its money (Image credit: Apple)

While the iPad Pro was updated as recently as last March, it makes sense for Apple to want to update its top-of-the-range tablet so quickly. The iPad Air, launched in September, is so powerful that we even wondered if it might make the 2020 iPad Pro irrelevant. A new LED display would certainly set the Pro apart from its supposedly mid-range sibling.

Whatever happens, it seems Apple isn't planning to let creatives catch a breath when it comes to releasing new gear. As well as the new iPad Pro, rumours are hotting up about the iPhone 13 as well as overdue updates to the company's wildly popular AirPods. And there's already no shortage of brilliant iPads to choose from – check out today's best deals below, and take a look at our main Apple deals page for more unmissable offers. 

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.