I was stinky mad about Apple's decision to not release the full technical information about the iPad 2. When I went through and read the reviews of the device by John Gruber and Engadget a few things occurred to me.
First, by my own reckoning, the amount of RAM being placed in other tablet devices seems excessive. This isn't to say that your casual user wouldn't benefit from a full gigabyte of RAM occasionally, but I struggle to think of when. Not releasing the spec might be Apple's subtle way of avoiding the issue.
The Engadget reviewer seemed to think the device should have had more than the 512mb that everyone seems think the iPad 2 has. Like everyone who makes that assertion, they are vague as to what exactly that extra RAM would be used for. John Gruber didn't have much to say other than folks with 1 gigabyte expectations would be waiting awhile.
I didn't have those expectations. I assumed it would the same RAM it had before. For a device that basically does one thing at a time while keeping track of a few small things in the background, 256mb is plenty. That manufacturers who went with Android seem to consistently go for 1 gigabyte of RAM makes me think those devices need it for some reason. That, or you are being charged for 768mb of RAM you don't really need.
Both of those situations are not very appealing.
Even Notion Ink's Adam is outfitted with 1 gigabyte of DDR2 RAM. Does Android and it's derivatives, having been designed for the smart phone form factor somehow need more memory when optimized for a tablet? Sure, seems logical.
Considering the most rudimentary function of RAM in a device it's importance seems to diminish where solid state drives are concerned. That being said, your bottleneck would seem be the processor in that case, the part of the iPad 2 that saw the biggest upgrade.
Hardware monkeys correct me if I'm wrong.
I guess my question then becomes how many of these Android devices have expandable memory slots and what role does RAM play in accessing storage placed in those slots if any? I wish I was a more casual consumer of technology and could just take all this for granted.
Regardless, Gruber's review all but sold me on upgrading to an iPad 2 just for the iMovie and Garage Band apps. Having seen the dual cameras put to good use with FaceTime is pretty compelling. Given my previous posts on such things it would require some considerable humility to trade up.
I'm all about seeking humility.
-- sent from my iPad mini. n_n