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iPad Mini/iPad 4


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#21 Frost

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

Typing this on my new 64GB iPad mini. Total turnaround, I know.

The clincher was I discovered it fits perfectly into cargo pants pockets without them being huge, contrary to my expectations, making the mini immensely more portable than a full-size iPad and instantly removing the main reason I never bought an iPad. Quite happy with it so far, and the 1 GHz A5 really isn't as underpowered as I thought. My sole gripe is the screen looks like unfiltered ass compared to my iPod Touch 5, but I got it for $525 brand new off eBay, over a $100 discount from the Apple Store if you factor in taxes, and as mentioned before I got it with the understanding that I'll eBay it and replace it with a retina mini when they revise it in a year or so. So it's all good for now.
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Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#22 DaveyJJ

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:34 AM

I finally got up close and personal with one at the local Apple store in town and must say, was very impressed with the form factor. The thing feels unbelievably light and is the perfect size to be an e-reader in my mind. Id swap my 32GB iPad 2 for a 64GB one of these things in a second, if I had the cash.

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#23 Tetsuya

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

I replaced my iPad 2 with a Mini recently, as well.  The traditional 7" Android form factor always felt just a little to small for me to use as a full-on iPad replacement - i couldnt quite do everything i did on my iPad and hated having to continually pinch-and-zoom to read websites without eyestrain.  

The extra .85" on the Mini (and, i think, adherence to a 4:3 aspect ratio) brought it just to the usability point of being exactly as usable to me as a full size iPad.  As for the screen not being Retina - i dont notice a difference unless i put it right next to a Retina display, and even then, it isn't enough to make me want to pay hundreds of dollars more.  The fact that i can hold it in one hand without fatigue for hours (unlike a traditionally sized iPad) was what really made me pull the trigger on switching, though.

#24 Frost

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:36 PM

I don't really notice the drop in resolution much unless I'm reading text (which unfortunately will account for the vast majority of its usage). Pictures, video, and games look great. But any and all text looks aliased as hell and flat out terrible. Reading websites I feel like I've got fuzzy vision or something. That said, it does have a much higher ppi than my MBP's screen or my 24" Sony CRT on my G5, both of which have perfectly crisp text, so perhaps it's just the way iOS renders the text on that screen or something.

I have used family's iPads for extended periods and the weight doesn't really bother me more or less, but the form factor and thereby portability does make a HUGE difference for me. Probably my only gripe is you can't really hold it by the edge of the screen very well, but the only way to solve that would be to have bigger black borders like the regular iPad, and that'd have an adverse effect on the portability factor. At least for my hands it's a simple thing to hold both edges between the fingers and thumb, though, so that's mostly a non-issue unless I'm reading it lying down and therefore holding it in an elevated position, which starts to get a little uncomfortable before long; I'd actually say I like the standard-sized iPad more in that situation.

But, overall, happy enough with it until they upgrade the display later on and it fills the use that I REALLY could have used an iPad for but they just aren't portable enough.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#25 Frost

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:17 PM

Gave my mom Geekbench and asked her to run it for me on her iPad 4 and post the results to my profile.

Just for fun: Frost's Geekbench Profile

Benchmarked my iPod Touch 5, iPad mini, and my mom's iPad 4. Going to see if I can run a benchmark on my cousin's iPad 3 as well.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#26 The Liberator

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:14 AM

Hmmm, that's cool stuff there. Thanks!

I would be interested to see more tests.

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#27 teflon

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:06 AM

Text renderring will surely be more down to how far away you are from the screen?

You'd no doubt be using larger font sizes on OSX devices, and sitting with your eyes much further away than on the iPad Mini, where it'll often be renderring very small fonts and you hold it closer to your face.

So a double whammy of how you can make things look bad!
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#28 DaveyJJ

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:12 PM

Thanks for posting those Geekbench Profiles, "old man". :ph34r:

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"In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this." -- Terry Pratchett
"I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul." -- Jean Cocteau


#29 Frost

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

Updated them with iPad 3 tests. Got 653 shortly after startup, but 761 three times in a row after that, so I think that's an accurate reading.

Frost's Geekbench Results

iPad 3 vs. iPad 4 <-- Holy S
PowerBook G4 vs. iPad 4 <-- Wow

The A6X curbstomps the A5X. Hell, the A6X even whips the 1GHz G4 7455 in my Titanium PowerBook, which shocked me. All the other iOS devices I've tested beat it on memory performance, obviously, because it's from 2002 and PC-133 is just slow. But on everything else the ARM chips still got their butts kicked or managed a weak tie with a ten year-old laptop PowerPC. No longer! (Although if we're going by cores, the G4 still probably wins, but that's nitpicking)

Wonder if the A7X will challenge my G5... yyyeah, probably not. But I thought it'd be a while yet before an iOS device could bring down my trusty old TiBook on CPU scores. That is cool.

View PostDaveyJJ, on 13 December 2012 - 01:12 PM, said:

Thanks for posting those Geekbench Profiles, "old man". :ph34r:
Damn, he recognized me... guess I can't go around incognito anymore, I'll have to admit to being Frost Dax.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#30 Frost

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:18 AM

So, a month and a half later, my thoughts on my iPad mini:

Horsepower: I was wrong. The 1.0 GHz A5 is not underpowered at all, it's just fine. What's more, it never, ever gets hot. Hell, it hardly ever even gets warm for that matter. I got to disliking that pretty fast on others' iPad 3s. Don't know how the iPad 4 does for heat, but it's blissfully non-existent on the iPad mini.

Usefulness: it isn't a permanent pocket resident like my iPod Touch, but it's plenty portable, and highly useful. Totally satisfied in this regard.

Thin borders: They certainly don't need to be as big as the full-size iPad, but I really wish they were just a wee bit wider on the sides. A quarter inch or less on each side would probably do it and eliminate circumstances where you have to hold it by the screen if you don't feel like wrapping your hand around it. Very minor thing though.

Screen: Still great for games and images, but still has aliasing galore and just sucks terribly with any and all text. I'm not an ebook person, I like my paper, but if I were I would HATE reading on this thing and instantly eBay it for an iPad 4. Reading technical PDFs is bothersome enough. Fortunately I'm sure the iPad mini 2 will be along with a noncrappy display this year and I'll upgrade, thus eliminating my only gripe.

Movie watching: Nice if I'm in a chair or on a couch. In bed? Ugh. Just UGH. I dunno how you folks like doing that with your iPads. I got through two shows suspending a tiny device over my head for 45 minutes at a time before I said frak this popsnizzle and went back to putting either my PowerBook or my MacBook Pro on my chest and watching that way. Infinitely preferable, but I guess that's just me.

So overall, 80% satisfied. If it had a retina display, or even just a high enough PPI to get rid of the rampant jaggies, I'd say 98%.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#31 Tetsuya

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

I think the reason that the iPad Mini/2 seems to perform as well as it does is because... the spec is dead.  I think i went into this earlier, but especially for tablets, it isnt about the specs.  Its about how it works when you use it.  Yes, the iPad 4 is a technically superior device to just about every other tablet out there, including my wifes aging iPad 2....

but who cares?  When 2/3 - 3/4 of the market is using an iPad 2/Mini, the software will be written to take advantage of that hardware first.  Theyd be fools to lock themselves out of most of the paying market just to take advantage of largely worthless superior specs.  Thats part of why i think this super-rapid-fire iteration of phones and tablets is just stupid.  You're fracturing the market so badly that the all the new specs in the world dont mean a damn thing.  

I love my iPad Mini and im glad i side-graded to it from a 2; the smaller form factor is just that much bigger than sameish sized Android tablets, it does everything i want and performs beautifully. (i think the difference that makes it so much better than equivalent sized Androids is that it is still 4:3 and not 16:9 - 16:9 is a terrible tablet resolution). I read a lot (700+ pages a day when im reading a novel) and i dont notice the jaggies like Frost does.

The spec is dead.  

http://techcrunch.co...11/14/rip-spec/

#32 Frost

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

The spec is alive and well.

My iPod Touch 5 crushes my iPod Touch 4 performance-wise. How much of this is the dual core 800 MHz A5 beating up the single core 800 MHz A4 and how much is 512MB of RAM instead of 256MB I don't know, but you use them side by side and you notice a marked difference in very short order. There were numerous areas my 4 was just slow or had framerate issues on games and general slowness using the App Store, etc. All blissfully gone and replaced with glass smooth operation when I moved to the 5.

I was just worried about iPad apps' performance on the iPad mini vs. the iPad 3 and 4, but it seems there was nothing to worry about in that area as I guess developers are still actively targeting the iPad 2 audience. More than I can say for the still current gen iPod Touch 4.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#33 Matt Diamond

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

View PostFrost, on 26 January 2013 - 12:18 AM, said:

Movie watching: Nice if I'm in a chair or on a couch. In bed? Ugh. Just UGH. I dunno how you folks like doing that with your iPads. I got through two shows suspending a tiny device over my head for 45 minutes at a time before I said frak this popsnizzle and went back to putting either my PowerBook or my MacBook Pro on my chest and watching that way. Infinitely preferable, but I guess that's just me.

You just need a cover/stand that props it up, I guess.
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#34 Tetsuya

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:18 AM

View PostFrost, on 26 January 2013 - 08:06 PM, said:

The spec is alive and well.

My iPod Touch 5 crushes my iPod Touch 4 performance-wise. How much of this is the dual core 800 MHz A5 beating up the single core 800 MHz A4 and how much is 512MB of RAM instead of 256MB I don't know, but you use them side by side and you notice a marked difference in very short order. There were numerous areas my 4 was just slow or had framerate issues on games and general slowness using the App Store, etc. All blissfully gone and replaced with glass smooth operation when I moved to the 5.

I was just worried about iPad apps' performance on the iPad mini vs. the iPad 3 and 4, but it seems there was nothing to worry about in that area as I guess developers are still actively targeting the iPad 2 audience. More than I can say for the still current gen iPod Touch 4.

That isn't really a counter-argument to the spec being dead; its poor software development.  As was shown in the article, a spec-inferior machine can be made to perform if it is developed for.  The original Kindle Fire was garbage.  And yet, as noted, it was smooth as butter to use, and the far spec-superior Nook tablet was jittery and terrible.  

The problem is, really, that no one, not even Apple, gave a damn if the iTouch performed up to par.  My second generation iTouch (same internals as the then-current iPhone 3G) never performed as well as an iPhone of its time.  

It might be more clearly said that the spec is dead as long as the specs aren't so low as to be unusable.  Post that, the spec is meaningless and deader than a doornail.  These massive, rapid-fire iterations and advancements in handheld technology are just creating artificial gaps that will, by and large, NEVER be developed around.

You know how many Apps there are that take advantage of the horsepower in my Galaxy S3?  

None.. because no developer is going to shoehorn himself into such a limited market.  Then, after a mere year, the Galaxy S4 is going to come along in all its 8-core glory.. and be totally meaningless.  Then nine months later there will be a new phone or tablet that is even more powerful.  And the market will continue to fragment down into tinier and tinier and ever more meaningless subsets, and developers will continue to do what they already do:

Develop for the lowest common denominator, which is 4+ years behind the curve of the technology, because that way they can sell to hundreds of millions instead of single digit millions or even less.

#35 Eric5h5

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:18 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 27 January 2013 - 02:18 AM, said:

The problem is, really, that no one, not even Apple, gave a damn if the iTouch performed up to par.  My second generation iTouch (same internals as the then-current iPhone 3G) never performed as well as an iPhone of its time.

Indeed, it didn't perform as well, since it performed better.  It was clocked higher.  No doubt they figured they had headroom to drain the battery a little more since it didn't have the telephony aspects of the iPhone (which drain battery).  The iPod touch 4th gen had the exact same problem as the iPhone 4, namely a woefully inadequate last-gen GPU trying to power a 4X resolution screen.

--Eric