When it comes to purchasing a new monitor – regardless of price or performance – there are always considerations to be made. By having a greater understanding of the intricate features of mini-LED technology, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision on your next monitor purchase.
In this section, we’ll be highlighting all the main features of mini-LED tech so you exactly what to look for.
The first thing you must realise when it comes to mini-LED monitors is they won’t be cheap. The technology is relatively new in the monitor industry and, like most new technologies that offer a large performance boost, a premium is naturally applied to monitors that utilize it.
At the time of writing this, there are only a few mini-LED monitors in today’s market – all of which lie in the upper echelons of the market. Of course, other specifications play a major role in the price of a monitor, but on average, a Mini-LED monitor will set you back over $1,000.
One of the big differences that separates Mini-LED and LED monitors is the HDR performance they provide. To experience ‘true’ HDR, a monitor must meet strict requirements (FALD, WCG, high contrast ratio). While only a handful of LED monitors feature these core aspects, all Mini-LED monitors should adhere to these specifications.
The design of the mini-LED backlight means that FALD is always a feature on these displays. Furthermore, users can expect a much wider color gamut (98% DCI-P3), higher overall peak luminance, and greater contrast ratio – thanks to the additional local dimming zones it provides.
See our complete HDR10 vs Dolby Vision guide here.
What is FALD?
FALD stands for full-array local dimming and refers to the number of zones in which the backlight can dynamically change brightness. If a monitor has a limited number of dimming zones, you’ll often see annoying screen artifacts like haloing around bright objects. With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why a normal LED with a lack of FALD performs poorly in HDR scenes.
Many modern Mini-LED monitors will feature a minimum of 1,152 local dimming zones, enabling the display to support much higher levels of HDR performance when compared to the 16 dimming zones (average) of LED.
Color accuracy & color gamut (WCG)
Another key feature in the arsenal of Mini-LED is the color accuracy and WCG (wide color gamut) they offer. Again, to perform HDR to a high standard, monitors must be able to reach certain gamut requirements – 95% DCI-P3 for true HDR.
Mini-LED monitors will be able to support a wider color gamut thanks to the higher peak brightness they produce – mainly thanks to 0.2mm design of the LED diodes.
Of course, color accuracy normally comes down to some form of factory calibration. However, with Mini-LED featuring strong HDR performance, we’ll likely see most with some form of calibration (to an average deltaE <2)
Mini LED vs LED vs OLED
With such a large price increase over generic LED panels, you might be struggling to see the value in the new technology. Furthermore, we’ve not even touched upon OLED and how it compares to mini LED either.
Below, we’ve made a rough graph showcasing some of the more important features and differences between Mini-LED, LED, and OLED technologies.
|Local dimming zones||Edgelit-16zones||up to 2048 local dimming zones (FALD)||Pixels operate independently|
|Color Gamut||100% sRGB||135% sRGB (98% DCI-P3)||135% sRGB (98% DCI-P3)|
|Contrast Ratio||Up to 3000:1||Up to 3000:1||Infinite Contrast ratio|
|Viewing angles||Good (depending on panel technology)||Good (depending on panel technology)||Excellent|
|White luminance||< 500 nits||1000 nits||500-600 nits|
|Black depth||>0.05||0.05||True black (0.00)|