It's hard to say how sales of this will go (probably very good), and then sales of books through its iBook store, but with this and the Kindle, piracy worries are definitely lessened.

Not erased, just lessened.

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How is having this thing mashed up against the side of one's head any LESS idiotic than any of the other devices people mash up against the sides (front, back, top, whatever) of their heads to keep themselves from paying attention to the present moment?
The iPad is deficient as an e-reader because of the screen; no e-ink or Pixel Qi technology. A netbook already does everything the iPad does (and without the stupid name) and more. The iPad has no usb ports, no card slots, no support for flash, only one application at a time, the same thickness and weight as a netbook, no keyboard. It does have a touchscreen. Netbooks are popular because they fit a niche that nothing else did yet. But the iPad is just a crippled netbook. Even the iPhone can do more than the iPad, and the iPhone can even fit in your pocket. Plus the starting price for an iPad is the high end price for a netbook.

Aside from fanboys and people who just don't know any better, I can't see what need or desire this thing meets that another product doesn't already meet much better.
An e-reader with a back-lit display isn't an e-reader at all in my book. Plus the iPad weighs twice as much as a Kindle which is itself heavier than a paperback. Can't imagine reading comfortably for long having to prop that thing up.
Aside from fanboys and people who just don't know any better, I can't see what need or desire this thing meets that another product doesn't already meet much better.

PC die-hards have been saying this same grumpy thing about Apple products/users since the paleolithic era, back in the dim and distant 1980s. I just spent a few minutes looking at netbooks online, and they are virtually identical, regardless of manufacturer, not to mention uniformly dull and uninspiring. Teeny little screens, teeny little keyboards, all in a cheesy plastic box. Woo hoo. Now, don't get me wrong: I have a certain admiration for people who are so rigidly practical that every product purchase they make is based on a strict 1:1:1 comparison of USB ports and card slots (not to mention flash! How could we possibly live without flash?!?!?), but as an Apple enthusiast I have to admit I just don't think that way. Maybe you have to love an iTouch to really get the iPad (and yeah, the name's unfortunate, granted), but trust me, this thing's going to sell a TON of units. And nobody cares about e-ink or Pixel QI technologies, much. The iPad looks like exactly the ereader I'd build for myself--nice big screen, two-page spread, touchscreen interface so you're actually turning pages, much more a virtual book experience--plus I can listen to the Bach cello suites while I'm reading. In comparison, the Kindle looks clunky, cheap and crude. And what's up with that dim gray screen? WTF are all those little buttons? If the iPad weighs 14 ounces more than the Kindle, given all the extra functionality you get, I can live with that.
One correction: in portrait mode, the iPad is a single page ebook display--not sure about landscape mode. But God, it looks gorgeous--super high res, nicely backlit--much more like reading an actual book, as I say. You should watch the video, John:
I think Apple have deliberately created a very interesting niche with this product. Which is pretty much what they always do. I'm amazed at the amount of naysayers, especially since hardly anyone has actually seen or used the thing in person.

Personally, I was disappointed by Apple not putting out a netbook/tablet with Mac OSX on it. Until I started thinking about it. And the more I think about it, the more I think they've probably done the right thing.

Oh yeah, and I always thought the Kindle looked totally dorky. And yes, I have used one.
I wouldn't be surprised if they came out with a netbook, too. Make it smaller, faster, slicker and more seamless than the PC versions: put it in a nice brushed aluminum case with both touchscreen and keyboard. Why not?
I think they've deliberately stayed out of that very price/features competitive market. Apple is always about the 'experience'.
Good point. Innovate, don't imitate.
I think the magnitude of naysaying is due in part because of all the hype associated with it. It was supposed to be revolutionary or something, like the iPhone was, but instead all we got was an iPod Touch XL.
plus I can listen to the Bach cello suites while I'm reading.

How can you do that when you can only run one application at a time?

Here's some of the iPad's competition in the months to come. None of these will be as popular as the iPad because, well, Apple sells, and the iPad was obviously designed for the more casual user (evidence that it's not meant for the tech savvy is that the iPad is being ridiculed all over tech sites). But anyhow, I don't see the iPad as superior to anything, except maybe the Kindle, though they aren't direct competitors. For what it's worth, I don't have anything nice to say about the Kindle either.
The HP Slate looks pretty nice--I like the wide screen. Unfortunately it's a Windows-based machine. I hate Windows.


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