My instant reaction to the iPad was the same as most nerds: lame. It’s just a giant iTouch with optional 3G. But what really sold me, oddly, is the iPad Case. Everyone has to buy a case to protect this very expensive toy. The case transforms the iPad into a movie player (pic 1) and quasi-laptop (pic 2).
This laptop mode sucks, but it can be improved by adding a thin bluetooth keyboard to the case. See that flap that folds back to support the iPad in pic 1? Instead, let that flap come forward and embed a small fabric keyboard into it. Embed a pop-out kickstand behind the iPad so it stands up at a usable angle. Now you can type on an adequate keyboard and use the entire iPad screen. Even if the fabric keyboard isn’t great, it has to be better than typing directly on the screen. With a decent keyboard, the iPad provides most of the functionality of a laptop for most non-nerd users. With the very cheap pay-as-you-go 3G, I’d definitely buy it (if I weren’t pathologically frugal!).