: iPad RAM and Memory

Oct 30th, 2010, 11:31 AM
Newbie question for you. I have been thinking about getting either the iPad or the new MBA. What I can't seem to find out is the amount of RAM the iPad has I will be using the machine for teaching and presentations. I like the keyboard and printability of the air, but I think I would need the 4 gig ram. I can't seem to find out how much RAM the iPad has, since it must have some ram to run the OS .... should I look at the iPhone or Touch as a guide to ram size, since the OS probably wouldn't take that much space.

Oct 30th, 2010, 11:45 AM
The iPad only has 256 megabytes of RAM.

Oct 30th, 2010, 01:42 PM
Thanks, that makes my decision easy......

Oct 30th, 2010, 03:53 PM
While it is correct in that the iPad has 256MB of RAM (the same as the iPhone 3GS, and half of and iphone 4's 512MB. Comparing that to a Macbook Air, is not even remotely close to an Apples to Apples comparison if you'll pardon the pun. 256 is plenty of RAM for running presentations on an iPad, as for teaching that really depends on what App you will be using to do that but pretty much all of them are designed to work with what the iPad has. It's important to remember you will be running iOS apps on the iPad and not full desktop applications. Importantly this means that even with multitasking coming to iOs 4.2 you are still rarely doing more than one thing at once (and never more than one intensive task, or one that requires the screen.) This significantly reduces ram requirements over a laptop where you would normally have multiple applications open and active all at the same time... That said even with many open applications, you will probably find 4GB to be overkill... (I have 8, but rarely use more than 5), and I have 14 applications open and active right now... of course you're millage may vary especially if you will be doing more intensive computing tasks (photo/video editing, encoding, 3D modeling CAD work etc...), though as all you mention are presentations and teaching your requirements would likely be minimal, and I would expect the stock 2GB on the new Macbook Air's to be more than sufficient.

Oct 30th, 2010, 04:03 PM
paul82, thank you as well. I am leaning towards the Air as I can print from it and store file folders of lessons and such. I'm not sure that the new OS for the iPad will do this... I am sure I read somewhere that the "multitask" functions with the new OS isn't really a multitask function. The reason I'm leaning towards the 4 gig is that for the money it's a pretty cheap upgrade. I don't store much on any of my machines so a larger HD isn't so much of a concern.

Oct 30th, 2010, 09:36 PM
The 256MB on the iPad is not limiting in the sense that the iPad only ever has to do one thing at a time. And the things it does are limited by other factors, so memory isn't really an issue.

Multitasking on iOS, which will come to the iPad next month, is not true multitasking in the sense that you still can't have two open apps at the same time. It mostly boils down to 'fast application switching', which is accomplished this way:
when you close an app (by hitting the home button) the app's state is frozen and saved. When you return to the app, instead of having a pause as the app goes through it's startup functions, the app 'instantly' picks up where you left off, as the state is restored to right where you left it.

The majority of apps will work like that - they do not run in the background, and you can't run things concurrently. Some apps though, such as GPS, VOIP, or music apps, can run in the background if the developer has specifically designed them to do so. In these cases, when you close the app or switch to another, the app is allowed to keep doing whatever specific task it is registered to do (play music, stay 'available' for incoming VOIP calls, or tracking GPS location.) Most of the app is shut down though, such as the interface etc.

As for which product would best suit your needs, I would suggest that RAM isn't the best way to differentiate between the iPad and a laptop such as the Air. If you need a real filesystem, need a keyboard, or need to run more than one thing at a time, then the Air will be more suitable I think. If you just need something that can run a presentation, and is inexpensive and lightweight, then the iPad might do the trick.


Oct 31st, 2010, 10:20 AM
Thanks Stephanie, very good points. I like the concept of the iPad, but I also like the new Air, so I'm still leaning in that direction.

One interesting thing I noted on the US Apple site was an iPad refurb page. Interesting...............I wonder what was refurbed as there appears to be no moving parts in thing. Maybe the screen......

Oct 31st, 2010, 11:09 AM
One interesting thing I noted on the US Apple site was an iPad refurb page. Interesting...............I wonder what was refurbed as there appears to be no moving parts in thing. Maybe the screen......

Refurbs are often customer returns, as well as units that failed for one reason or another.

Re: Air vs. iPad, I'd also venture to say the new 13" Air's 7 hour battery is good, but the iPad's 10-hour battery is better. It's truly an "all day use" device.

The new iOS 4.2 will have printing capabilities, and Apple's Keynote App for the iPad is great at doing presentations (combined with a Dock Connector to VGA dongle to get the presentation out to a screen).

But again, it's totally up to you! :)

Oct 31st, 2010, 11:15 AM
fyrefly, is the printing real printing or air printing as I didn't think the iPad had a USB port.

Oct 31st, 2010, 05:35 PM
It's air printing, as I understand it so far only a small number of printers natively support it, but with the 10.6.5 upgrade to Mac OS X you will be able to print to any local printer.

Oct 31st, 2010, 09:14 PM
I can tell from your posts you arent technical enough to figure this out so to me the iPad is out for you because if you want to print at places other than your house your going to have issues with the iPad.. That said the air is overpriced I would personally get a refurb MacBook if I were you. It's like 899 and you get a lot more for your money than you get from the air and also better battery life the only reason to get an air is if you NEED it to be thin (although the MacBook is thin also). The MacBook is better than the air in every way except thinness (if you need a super fast boot you can put an ssd in the macbook but on day to day tasks the normal hdd is more than adequate)

Oct 31st, 2010, 10:00 PM
fyrefly, is the printing real printing or air printing as I didn't think the iPad had a USB port.

Printing with iOS 4.2 is IMHO not a grand solution just yet. There are only 3 HP printers which support it natively. Aside from that you would either need your printer to be connected to a mac running 10.6.5 (which should come out at the same time as iOS 4.2), or to a Windows computer running iTunes 10.1 (also due to come out at the same time.)

In other words, you can only print to a shared printer that is already configured so as to be accessable to the iPad. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's not going to be 'automatically set up' as soon as iOS 4.2 comes out.

It also depends on the devs putting printing functions into their apps. For the apple stuff, you can be pretty sure that it will be there. Like Safari and Mail for sure, the various iWork apps will probably get updated to support printing, that sort of thing.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you're using printing or ability to print as a deciding factor, then it's going to be a checkmark for the MBA rather than the iPad.