Friday afternoon I picked up a 32gb, 3G iPad from the bookstore at Missouri State. I was a bit shocked when my friend Landon told me they had them available. Total elapsed time from awareness of them to having one in my hands was under two hours.
Earlier I'd commented about how the iPad wasn't really powerful enough to fill the void between a smartphone and a laptop. I still think that's a true statement, but in many cases the iPad is perfect.
The iPad is great as a content consumption device. Web browsing, social network tools, and video are great. It has the absolute best digital calendar interface ive ever seen – as good as using a paper planner. Reading is a bit hard because of the glossy screen and backlight, but it's not unbearable. I'm going to get a matte screen protector to cut down on the glare which should help a lot.
The iPad is also much more social than a laptop in group settings. It's easier to turn and show something to others, doesn't feel as isolating as a laptop and passes around quickly. There are a lot of great apps that make this an outstanding device.
It isn't a perfect device though. The lack of Flash still bugs me (especially after seeing really compelling demos on Android). Not having real filesystem access hampers content creation – I'm using DropBox to get around this limit. I hate that there's no support for http uploads which is annoying.
All the cons considered, I haven't used my MacBookPro at home since I got the iPad except to load it with apps/content. Everything I wanted to do for casual net activity has been done easily with the iPad. I used it in all of my meetings at work today, only using the laptop for rich content creation. I've even written this post on it via the TypePad web site (granted the rich text editor doesn't work).
There are a lot of apps that I'm already finding to be essential. I have a lot of hope for how much I'll be using the iPad. I can't wait to use it to preach this weekend.