What is Tandem OLED on the New M4 iPad Pro? Explained

  • The latest M4 iPad Pro features the much-anticipated OLED display that Apple calls "Tandem OLED".
  • A Tandem OLED panel has multiple OLED screens stacked on top of each other.
  • With the Tandem OLED technology, the 2024 iPad Pro offers higher brightness levels, perfect blacks, and a better contrast ratio.

Apple launched the new M4 iPad Pro at the May 7 “Let Loose” event. For the last six years, the iPad Pro line boasted Apple’s flagship display technology, starting with the ProMotion LED display and then finally stopping at the mini-LED backlighting. Interestingly, the 2024 iPad Pro has the much-anticipated OLED display that Apple calls “Tandem OLED” for an Ultra Retina XDR OLED screen. Since the term Tandem OLED isn’t very common, many of you might be wondering what it is exactly and how it makes the new iPad Pro special. Isn’t it? Well, read on to find answers.

What is Tandem OLED?

Tandem OLED iPad M4Image Courtesy: Apple

Before we discuss Tandem OLED, let’s get a brief on OLED screens. The term “OLED” stands for Organic Light Emitting Diodes, which consist of organic electroluminescent films that emit light when electricity passes through them. In an OLED screen, each pixel has its own light source, and each pixel can be turned off individually for deep and perfect blacks.

The Tandem OLED panel has multiple OLED screens stacked on top of each other. This is what Apple has done with the Ultra Retina XDR OLED screen on the 2024 iPad Pro. Apple says the Ultra XDR Retina Display uses two OLED panels, combining light from both to enhance overall screen brightness.

This setup ensures that you get all the benefits of the OLED panels without losing out on the brightness. In fact, the Tandem OLED offers increased overall brightness for SDR and HDR content. In addition, it delivers perfect blacks, better contrast, and other benefits. We’ve summed up everything below. Let’s take a look.

Benefits of Tandem OLED on the New M4 iPad Pro

1. Perfect Blacks

Benefits of Tandem OLEDImage Courtesy: Apple

One of the most highlighting features of OLED panels is the ability to display deep, inky, and perfect blacks. An OLED screen can completely turn off individual pixels. This will allow the OLED iPad Pro to display perfect blacks when it’s required and appropriate. Well, this is something that LCD and mini-LED screens can’t do. With the Tandem structure, the new iPad Pro should deliver the truest black levels without any blooming issues that OLEDs are known for.

2. Better Contrast Ratio

Better Contrast RatioImage Courtesy: Apple

Another exciting feature of OLED displays is a high contrast ratio. Again, thanks to the individually dimming pixels, an OLED iPad Pro can offer better contrast than mini-LED displays found on the previous models. Now, a higher contrast ratio means we’ll get to experience more vibrant colors, improved readability, and better image quality on the latest iPad Pro.

3. Higher Brightness Levels

Higher Brightness levelsImage Courtesy: Apple

As we’ve discussed above, the dual-stack technology in Tandem OLED panels has two layers of organic light-emitting diodes stacked on top of each other. The Tandem OLED screen combines the light from both diodes to deliver a phenomenal full-screen brightness. Compared to the previous iPad Pro (2022) which supports 600 nits of brightness, the new iPad Pro supports an incredible 1000 nits of full-screen brightness for SDR and HDR content. Besides, you get 1600 nits peak brightness levels for HDR. At the moment, no other device of its kind has the ability to deliver this impressive level of extreme dynamic range. 

4. Improved Motion Performance

Improved Motion PerformanceImage Courtesy: Apple

With the Tandem OLED screen, the M4 iPad Pro can deliver a better motion performance. Compared to LCD panels, OLEDs offer a buttery smooth, and seamless transition between frames. As a result, OLED screens are more responsive to content in motion and better at motion-blur management. This makes a huge difference when you’re watching fast-paced action movies or playing high-speed games. With improved motion performance and a capable M4 chip onboard, we think the new iPad Pro makes a good screen for gaming too.

5. Better Viewing Angles

Better Viewing AnglesImage Courtesy: Apple

Compared to LCD and mini-LED screens, OLED displays offer better and more comfortable viewing angles. This won’t make much of a difference when you’re watching movies or scrolling content on your newest OLED iPad Pro, but when you do it with your sibling or partner, they will get a better viewing angle. There won’t be any major shifts in contrast, color, or the overall image quality.

That was all about the Tandem OLED on the new iPad Pro. While OLEDs offer several benefits over existing display technologies, they are also prone to burn-ins. It’s a permanent issue where a visible mark remains on the screen no matter what you’re watching or doing.

Well, we hope Apple has already found a way to mitigate this issue with some advanced techniques. After all, it can’t take any risks with its premium, top-of-the-line tablet lineup. Not to forget, the two OLED screens stacked together promise a longer lifespan as well. So, we might not have to worry a lot.