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I've been eyeing a tablet for a while. Unfortunately, the pickings with Android are rather slim, so that really only leaves the iPad. I haven't bought the iPad (6th gen) due to it only having 2gb of ram, but maybe the Mini is right for me.

I had the original iPad and then an iPad Air 2 and have used the crap out of both of them. Especially on the Air I've played a bunch of "triple-A" games, etc.

It's like a console, not a computer. The software is matched to the hardware, you don't need to worry about it. The Air 2 has 2GB of RAM and it plays X-Com smoother than my PS4 lol. So honestly, no need to worry about the specs.

I've found the iPad line to be extremely long-lasting as well.

I know that the HN crowd likes to complain it's not a "real computer," and I agree it's not the same thing, but it IS a pretty awesome portable computer-like console :)

I'm curious, why are you concerned about 2gb of ram? What do you plan to do on the iPad that requires more than that?

I'm not even sure. I probably wouldn't do anything too extensive. Probably Plex and some light browsing. I just didn't like the idea of limited ram someday causing me issues.

You can't really measure iOS RAM usage to a PC or Android device. The OS handles memory completely differently.

At most you might notice that some memory hungry apps that don't suspend correctly "start over" when switching between multiple apps.

> some memory hungry apps that don't suspend correctly "start over" when switching between multiple apps

Correction: memory hungry apps that don't implement state restoration correctly.

How is that different from how a modern Android manages memory? That's all I've ever noticed from limited RAM for many years now.

Android requires significantly more memory because it’s a garbage collected environment (one of the reasons). Apple’s platforms by comparison have much more efficient memory models, though the developer overhead is arguably a big greater (which Swift has helped to address a bit). To get the same performance on an android device that you would get on an iOS device requires significantly more memory on the android device.

> I just didn't like the idea of limited ram someday causing me issues.

Ignore the specs. Try one out and you'll find that it simply isn't an issue in the vast majority of cases. iOS is very good at managing RAM.

Where it has been an issue in the past is iOS upgrades- part of the reason that older iPads 'slow down' is the baseline RAM starts to be consumed as the OS gets more resource hungry.

Also with the new multitasking features added in recent releases, additional memory becomes a bigger feature add.

Apple gates multitasking features by model, so having more RAM is not a feature add in this case since you do not have control over this.

Plex runs well on the first gen iPad with 256Mb of RAM as does Netflix. Browsing is a different issue. My 2017 iPad is perfectly fine.

Browsing the web?

Yeah, no. 2 GB of RAM is plenty for browsing the web; this isn’t Android where everything less than some absurd number of gigabytes (4? 6?) is useless.

Maybe I open too many tabs at once, but my 5th gen iPad runs out of RAM while web browsing.

I've never once felt like the iPhone browser (mine has 2GB too) lacked RAM.

Same here. The lack of Firefox with extensions is by far and away the single biggest pain point I have with web browsing on iOS, 2GB of RAM doesn't even register.

On the iPhone it's fine, but my iPads have always been constantly reloading tabs and felt like they cheaped out too much on the RAM (or needed a swap system)

It's vanishingly unlikely that you will ever notice any RAM-related issues on the Mini. Certainly not during web browsing.

The Pixel Slate has been a fantastic travel computer.

I wouldn't want to work on it all day, every day. However, it's convenient to carry, and it runs Android and Linux apps reasonably well. So, if I want to work remotely for a week and then take a month's vacation, I can use Sublime on the Slate and then totally unplug from work without lugging a MacBook around. I can download Netflix for planes/trains/buses. And of course, it's perfect for any web surfing.

I realize it's a luxury to have a device that's just for relaxing in bed or taking on the road, but the Pixel Slate is really underrated for that use case.

Problem with the Pixel Slate is that once you attach the keyboard it's both heavier and more expensive than the PixelBook for comparable specs. (And also is perpetually out of stock outside of the US Google Store.)

Android tablets are dead. Now there are Chrome OS tablets and 2-in-1s that run Android apps. I've found that I prefer the 2-in-1 form factor and that I reach for it far more often than I ever reached for a tablet.

Surface Go?

I second this recommendation for anyone looking for a (non-Apple) tablet these days. The Surface Go is a good tablet and its built-in stand works really well. It's a "real computer" too, with a surprisingly usable snap-on keyboard cover, and can power my 3840x1600 ultrawide + all peripherals through a single USB C cable.

Unfortunately it’s slow and runs Windows. Windows is a horrible for touch UI.

Windows used to have a horrible touch interface, but it's quite wonderful these days.

It’s still horrible and inconsistent. Tried using Office with just touch? Even going into some of the Windows settings brings up an old fashion UI.

I have a Dell 2n1 running Windows 10.

Agree about some of the inconsistency, especially in preferences. It really feels like creaking around old corners of the 20+ year old UI it is. Microsoft needs to work on that. Also swipe-typing on the keyboard doesn't work in all apps (notably, Chrome).

But some of these interface issues are just hard. How do you make the same interface work well when you're using your finger on a small tablet vs using a trackpad/mouse connected to big monitor?

Overall I really enjoy my Go. It's great as a tablet for tablet things, and if you want to do computery things like use an Office suite, snap on a keyboard or plug it into a monitor and it works fine there too. Using Office for very long with touch is not something I'd want to do even if the UI for it was perfect so it seems like a strange complaint to me.

It’s not just Office. Most of the apps aren’t optimized for a touch UI. At the end of the day,it’s still Windows with all of the millions of services slowing it down, and a processor and an operating system not optimized for low power environments.

The Intel processor it uses is not as performant as the processor that comes in the $329 iPad. The battery life is worse than that of an iPad (https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/surface-go-battery-life)

I don’t even want to imagine the sluggishness of the GPU in the Go.

The iPad has been getting 10 hour+ battery life since 2010.

The trackpad is the showstopper for an iPad for many, but you can use any third party BT keyboard.

The Go is physically larger than the Mini.

pixel slate?

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