14.1-inch iPad might lack typical 'pro' features

14.1-inch iPad might lack typical ‘pro’ features

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iPad Air 5
The 14.1-inch iPad might have more in common with the iPad Air 5 than iPad Pro.
Photo: Apple

Surprising details leaked out about the rumored 14.1-inch iPad. Aside from its large size, the display might not include top-tier features offered by other iPad Pro models, like a very fast refresh rate.

These might be an attempt by Apple to control the price of the extra-large tablet.

14.1-inch iPad lack ProMotion and mini-LED

Analyst Ross Young recently broke the news that a 14.1-inch iPad is coming in early 2023. The device, even larger than the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro, would likely appeal to mobile professionals and students who use a tablet as their primary computer.

But Young now has some fresh details from his sources in Apple’s supply chain, and they could disappoint some potential buyers.

Most notably, he says via Twitter the screen will “not likely be ProMotion.” If true, that means the display will not have a 120Hz refresh rate, a signature feature of the iPad Pro line.

The analyst is also being told the 14.1-inch iPad will not have a mini-LED display, just standard LED backlights for its LCD. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro has mini-LED but the 11-inch version does not.

In mini-LED screens, thousands of tiny LEDs to provide a backlight that can illuminate very specific areas. The result is higher contrast, blacker blacks, improved brightness and better power efficiency over standard LED backlighting.

Without ProMotion or mini-LED, Young says, “it won’t likely be an iPad Pro, just an iPad.” He reiterated his earlier prediction that the tablet, whatever it’s called, will be out in the first quarter of 2023.

Young is a display expert with contacts in companies that supply screens to Apple. These have enabled him to make some very accurate predictions.

Keeping cost under control

Apple not including a top-tier screen in the 14.1-inch iPad could be about cost. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1099. A larger display will inevitably push that price up. By using a less expensive LCD, the increase might not increase the cost of the device beyond too many buyers’ ability to pay.

As Young pointed out, a standard 60Hz 14.1-inch screen isn’t expensive. “Panel prices are really cheap and getting cheaper, so it won’t cost much more than the 10.2″,” he said on Twitter.