Professor B says:
In the last week I used my iPad to: Watch QI on Youtube. Watch TV shows, movies, and music videos from my iTunes library. Online banking. Online shopping. Web access. WSJ. BBC. Dinner reservations over Open Table. Deer Hunter. Online poker. Document access via Dropbox. Document editing via Quick Office. IMDB. Twitter and Facebook. Online cribbage. Paypal transfer. NY Times crossword. Listed to Sirius radio. Looked stuff up on Wikipedia. Blogged. Played around with a mind map. And, oh yes, read a couple of books. It’s become an essential gadget. A lighter, faster one with better hardware/software integration will be well worth it. Even if I do have to upgrade next year.
All of which, of course, can be done on a laptop. Which can also do one thing an iPad absolutely cannot do: real work. All for 30% less money (for the cheapest laptops).
If you just want the basic functionality of reading a book — the one thing that a laptop (or for that matter a book) is not very good at — you can get a Kindle for almost $400 less, and be able to read it in the sun, for long periods without charging, and without the distraction of the internet.
I will not convince Apple disciples of the drawbacks of the Book of Jobs. But maybe I can interest them in another gadget they might like.