18-hour Apple iPad Pro 2024 battery life and 5,000 nits brightness trump a 12-year lifespan


Apple has set up a May 7 event next week, when it is widely believed to unveil the next big technological leap in its venerable performance tablet line, namely the new iPad Pro (2024). 

There should be both an 11-inch and a 12.9-inch versions, as usual, yet Apple is doing something for the 2024 iPad Pro unveiling that it hasn’t done for a while. It is holding an actual physical event, keynote and all, just to unveil a couple of tablets. 

It hasn’t done this since the iPad Pro 3rd-gen way back in 2018, so it must think that the 7th gen iPad Pros will be something special. It is called dual-stack or tandem OLED display that can last more than a decade. Even the “Let loose” iPad Pro (2024) event slogan hints at its dual-stack OOLED display tech, doesn’t it now?

Crazy long iPad Pro 2024 lifespan?


One of the key advantages of dual-stack or tandem OLED panels, and the reason they are now used in automotive applications (i.e. car screens), is the quadrupling of the screen’s lifespan. 

While this is important in cars that will be used at least a decade, it is not a firm requirement for a display on a consumer tablet, be it in Apple’s performance Pro line targeting imaging professionals.

According to Statista‘s charting prowess, in 2027 the average age of a tablet that owners will replace might barely cross 6 years, and by that time the iPad Pro (2024) will already be 3 years old.

Apple is evidently very proud of what it has done with the new iPad Pro series and that is why it has set a special event to talk about its abilities and showcase it in the flesh, rather than issue it with a press release like the few generations before it.

Still, even Apple is unlikely to be so full of marketing fluff to expect that its 2024 iPad Pros are so good that people will buck the trend and keep them twice longer than the average tablet lifespan.

Then why go through the trouble to source a rare and expensive dual-stack OLED from the sole supplier that can be tasked with making both panels – LG – and the juggernaut Samsung as a distant second supplier for the smaller 11-incher?

Remarkable iPad Pro battery life and brightness?

Yes, please!
Recently, storied display industry analyst Ross Young of DSCC fame chimed in on the iPad Pro (2024) specs. Steeped in the industry’s supply chain, he is not a person to be easily impressed by its technological advancements. Still, according to Ross’s latest report:

Notice how the increased lifespan of the tablet displays comes last in the chain of thought of the analyst? This might be because it would be the least important consideration in the eye of the iPad Pro beholder as they come to an Apple Store and marvel at all the enhancements listed before it.

They are also not going to be surprised by the near-perfect wide color gamut coverage or credible color temperature representation, since Apple’s per-unit display calibration is a tradition it is likely to keep with the new iPad Pros.

The tandem OLED displays, however, are simply two layers of organic diodes stacked on top of each other, adding up each layer’s separate virtues. According to Roland Wooster, VESA’s Display Performance Metrics Task Group chair, OLED panel longevity and burn-in phenomenon are not an important factor anymore, even without tandem display tech.
What the dual-stack manufacturing brings, however, is extremely high brightness and much lower power draw at the same time. The top layer is nearly transparent, tips Wooster, so that the cumulative luminance of both organic emitting diodes can shine through. This can lead to peak brightness levels of 5,000 nits, as exemplified by the first phone with tandem OLED that Honor released not long ago.

Moreover, when the brightness of both tandem OLED layers is added up, this reduces the power draw needed to reach a certain level by each layer, resulting in an up to 40% drop in power consumption compared to single-stack OLEDs, too.

Those big and bright Apple tablet displays have always been the main power guzzler, so the inevitable battery life boost will most certainly be appreciated. With the tandem OLED screen and the new more frugal M3 or even M4 processor, the iPad Pro (2024) battery life in our web browsing test could hit the whopping 18 hours of screen-on time. 

The drastic increase in iPad Pro (2024) display brightness and battery life are certainly numbers that Apple can brag about with far more marketing success than a 12-year lifespan, by which time the tablet will be technically obsolete anyway.

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