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Apple fudging new iPad Pro HDR capabilities

You can watch HDR movies on the new iPad Pro models - just not in HDR. (Source: Apple)
You can watch HDR movies on the new iPad Pro models - just not in HDR. (Source: Apple)
Apple’s new iPad Pro tablets have received largely positive reviews. One area that has come in for praise is its display. However, although claiming users can watch HDR movies on the tablet, all is not quite what it seems.

One of the areas Apple’s new iPad Pro models have received high praise is the quality of their Pro Motion displays. The second-generation LCD Pro Motion display continues to support refresh rates up to 120Hz, but gets the “Liquid Retina” display tag that Apple has given the LCD display in the iPhone XR. As with the first generation Pro Motion display, Apple claims that you can watch HDR movies from the iTunes Store on the device.

Naturally, one would be forgiven for thinking that your fancy new iPad Pro supports HDR, which its iPhone X/s smartphones do. However, Apple doesn’t list HDR as one of the features of the iPad Pro display in its tech specs. So what gives? A chat I had with Gareth Beavis, UK Editor in Chief at TechRadar has yielded some answers.

It is true that you can watch HDR movies on the iPad Pro; the problem is they are not actually screening on your device in HDR. They are actually outputting in EDR (Extended Dynamic Range), which is one step below HDR. In effect, the color gamut on the iPad Pro supports the necessary color range for HDR, but not the brightness. To gain HDR certification, the iPad Pro would need to produce 700 nits of brightness; it only produces 600 nits. It's better than SDR, but it is certainly not HDR.

So while it is true that you can playback HDR movies on your iPad, you are not viewing them in true HDR. Sounds like a bit of a fudge (and a potentially misleading one at that) to us.

 

 

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Apple iTunes gives the impression the iPad Pro supports HDR playback properly - it doesn't.
Apple iTunes gives the impression the iPad Pro supports HDR playback properly - it doesn't.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > Apple fudging new iPad Pro HDR capabilities
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-11-13 (Update: 2018-11-13)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.