"Magnificent graphics, small size, and long battery life"4.0 starson by B. Scott Andersen
Pros: The large, bright, color display is the centerpiece of this product providing exceptional viewing. Navigation via the touch display is sharp, fast, and very responsive. Battery life is exceptional providing a full day of use between recharges.
Cons: The capabilities of the platform cry for direct support for moving desktop documents to and from the device and viewing MS Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF. The means to move and view documents is clunky, only supported by 3rd party apps.
Summary: After a day or so of use, the Apple iPad measures up nicely as an electronic book and magazine reader and personal data appliance. Unless you are running special, specific software for work, road warriors should consider taking this instead of a laptop or even NetBook. The device is superb at displaying information, zooming, flipping, searching, and browsing. Books, magazines, personal documents, and reference material such as manuals, standards, and other bulky items can be reduced to weightless bits without loss. I suspect this family of devices will become the preferred means of managing manuals for field personnel for many companies in the near future.
Those who live on airplanes and suffering in small seats will enjoy the ease of viewing their media without the need to wrangle a clamshell notebook or NetBook. And, when you arrive at your destination, a Bluetooth keyboard provides full speed typing for email and other posting. In fact, the built-in spelling checker and corrector iPhone users have come to know works extremely well in tandem with the keyboard. I found my typing speed increased with this feature.
If you don't want to type, just talk. Dragon Dictate is a FREE application that worked for me right out of the box. It might be the fastest way to enter text is not to type at all--just talk.
The iWork applications are new for this platform and there is room for improvement. Keynote, the excellent presentation software for the Macintosh, was built for the iPad. I moved my latest presentation there and received a warning that the iPad version had lost all my presenter's notes. This is disappointing--and hopefully will be fixed soon. I have not tried the other iWork applications on the iPad.
For all the talk of price and value, the low-end iPad at $499 is well in line with a similarly priced Kindle DX (which has far less memory and only serves as a book reader), and is double the price of a small screen iPod Touch. This is NOT just a big iPod Touch; this is a whole new product category and provides substantial value beyond a mere iPod.
If you don't travel, have no driving need to be connected, if you don't care about electronic publishing or viewing the web or video on a large screen handheld device, then the iPad is not for you. It isn't for everybody. But, if any of the above does describe you or your needs, this is a product worth exploring. With a reported 700,000 sold the first day, it should be possible to find somebody you know that has one. Try it. Then decide.