Engadget's Joshua Topolsky published his review earlier today, probably coinciding with the official launch. He believes the iPad is a 'computing revolution'. "The iPad as a computing revolution," he writes, "Does the iPad evolve the personal computer in a significant way? Yeah, actually, it kind of does. Despite what you think right now, and despite the limitations Apple has put on some aspects of this device, what it says to the market is significant. The iPad is powerful, elegant, and largely unlike any computer you've ever used."
He basically says that if you "listen to music, casually browse the web and read news sites, watch some online video, play games, and keep in touch with friends via Twitter, IM, and Facebook", then the iPad is perfect for you. This looks suspiciously like the 80/20 rule to me, and that rule is utter nonsense; at one point, you'll want to do something else, for which you will still need your laptop. Can you predict exactly when those moments come?
I'm still pulling stuff out of my bum here of course, since I've never used or even seen the iPad. Still, after all these reviews and videos, I'm still not exactly sure why anyone should buy the iPad instead of a MacBook or even a netbook. I don't see the iPad perform any task better than a notebook/netbook, which makes me wonder: why not just get a laptop right away?
Apple is trying to create a new product category here, and sure, the enthusiasts are all over this thing like ants over honey, but I'm just not convinced you'll still be using your iPad once the novelty wears off. Again - before I'm accused of being anti-Apple - I haven't yet used an iPad, so my opinion is effectively worthless. Let me add that while we're talking iPad now, this more or less applies to any tablet device I've seen.
I guess time will tell, and I'm fairly sure time will prove me wrong. At this point, I'm the only person in the world who doesn't see the magic or revolution - all I see is a big iPod Touch with some added UI elements that come straight from the desktop world. I do like the newspaper and comic books application though, they look pretty neat.
Can't beat reading a real newspaper on the can, though, and you can't share iPad comics.