As many of you know, I now have added an iPad to the collection of devices I use. I have concluded that for my use, it is somewhere in between and iPhone and a Windows 7 Laptop. My conclusion is that for its size and value, it is worth adding to my backpack, but I won't be removing the laptop.
iPad > iPhone
The iPad is definitely capable of doing much more in a more ergonomic fashion than an iPhone. For instance, surfing the web, doing some online shopping, and checking in on your friends using Facebook (I am using 'Friendly lite'). It is not a phone though. I am using the WIFI version, so I always need a WIFI connection to use the internet, but not to watch videos.
My favorite use of the iPad is to watch TED videos on the plane.
Also, the most surprising thing about the iPad is the battery life. I can go a whole day, with heavy use, and never worry about battery life. More on that below.
iPad > Tablet PC (Lenovo X61 Tablet)
The biggest thing that the iPad does for me is to allow me to be untethered during the day, keeping up with meetings and urgent emails. It weights so much less than the Thinkpad, even though I have a small Thinkpad. I recently discovered the iPad makes a great 'carrying around' device for coferences. You can take notes, email them, then later dump them into OneNote (one of my favorite apps, especially when used with Windows Live SkyDrive and the 25 GB it offers for free. OneNote natively integrates, so I have my Notebook on every Windows PC I use, work, home, laptop, lake house PC.
One big difference between the iPad and the tablet is the battery life. All day (iPad) versus 4 hours max. (Tablet, with Battery settings minimized, and the screen is hard to see).
Tablet PC > iPad
The iPad is not a replacement for a desktop Windows 7 machine or laptop. At least, not for business uses. Most of my business apps do not run on it. For instance, if I need to schedule a Live Meeting with coworkers... can't do it. If I need to work with SharePoint and office documents, the iPad just doesn't get it done consistently. Office Communicator... no way.
And, many web apps do not support the Safari browser. There is no Flash player (at least unless you want to Jailbreak, search for 'Frash').
There is one glaring feature missing in the iPad, which requires Jailbreaking to get. That is the ability to hook a projector up and run a demo of your homegrown iPad application. If you Jailbreak, there is a great app called 'DisplayOut' which works like a charm, but for some reason Apple doesn't like it.
One of my coworkers said the other day: "Steve Jobs likes to play God. He makes the decisions for you whether you like them or not."
Ok, Tofurkey is coming soon, with family and friends, so I will cut this short... Enjoy your holiday!