No one will be surprised that I couldn't resist and bought an iPad. At 9:30 Saturday morning. Walked right in to our local Apple dealer and picked one up (a teenager left in front of me brandishing his box and crowing "I'm a geek now!" I love seeing me some geek pride). As most people have heard, it's a slick device. I won't give a full review because there are hundreds of them out there; I just have a few initial thoughts. It's a pain to type on, but I'm getting pretty fast at it, and the learning curve is short. I could not use it as a computer replacement, but I never saw it that way. I've used tablet computers for work that ARE supposed to be computer replacements, and they don't work as replacements either. You can add a bunch of heft and complexity and get your file system and multitasking and "real" programs, or you can get an iPad. They're just different creatures (MacWorld just published an article here that makes this point in some depth).
I'll write a separate post on the iPad vs Kindle, but there are some solid reasons to stick with the Kindle. There are also solid reasons to read on the iPad. That post coming soon.
The iPad is notably fast. Blazing fast. The screen is very pretty---if you're not trying to run an iPhone app blown up to size. The only one I can stand that way is Bejeweled. I love the screen just for the photo browsing, actually. Photography is a big part of my life, and it's difficult to appreciate photos on an iPhone. Video looks great. Games look great. I shelled out the $$ for Plants vs Zombies HD and Scrabble, and my Crosswords app came with an iPad version. It makes a giant difference to play full screen.
It's awesome for twittering and reading news and RSS feeds. I do hope my beloved Echofon releases an iPad version, but Tweetings is a solid app in its own right. (I loathe the free but useless Twitterific, although props to the Twitterific folks for having a free Twitter app for us on iPad release day.)
Apps are sort of buggy right now, but developers have been using emulators instead of iPads, so I expect more solid versions of apps to appear shortly. The one photo-editing app I tried crashed repeatedly. Since there's no camera, I'm not sure how much I care or whether I'll even buy iPad versions of my fave iPhone photo-editing apps.
Basically, I love the iPhone, and this is a way to get it in a larger package that's easier to use for more complex tasks. It still fits in my bag so I don't have to carry a laptop bag with me. The battery is a freaking workhorse. It's a win for me. If I needed a portable way to do actual work, such as writing long documents or working with spreadsheets, it'd be a fail. (But so would a netbook. My husband has three of them. I hate them.)