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What do you think of the iPad?

It’s close to what I was hoping for, as I alluded in here. It’s basically an iPhone with a bigger screen and real (optional) keyboard. (I think it even permits an external display, although I don’t know if you can do keyboard and display simultaneously).

I think it has the potential to be the ideal computer for 90% of the people in the world who really only use a computer to read email and surf the web. The one catch: it seems (as far as I can tell), you still need an “iTunes base station”, albeit only occasionally. I understand that there are people who have iPhones that have never connected them to their PC, so, perhaps the iPad can also run stand-alone (once activated)?

I am angling to get my company to buy one (because I think we can make some hay on Steve’s anti-Flash stance and OpenLaszlo’s ability to deliver to Flash and HTML from the same source). If they won’t, I will surely buy one myself, rabid fanboy that I am.

If “grampa” were not such a technophobe, I would say it would be the perfect computer for him, because it should be simple enough to operate that even he could read email. Even if he never replied, at least he could see email, see pictures his children and grandchildren send him, etc.

For the student (for any casual user who mostly takes notes, looks things up on the web, and maybe has a few job-specific applications) I can see it replacing the laptop they carry now. Modulo the concern above that you need an “iTunes base station”. Maybe the Mac mini will be repurposed to be that?

For the geek household, I see it as replacing the hand-me-down laptop that you keep rather than sell, just so you have one you can browse with from the breakfast nook, or loan to visitors so they don’t accidentally peek at your bank statement that is open on your machine in your office. I don’t see it replacing my laptop. Although I wonder how long it will take for someone to package Emacs as an app?

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