I am as qualified as most others to comment on the Apple iPad – I haven't seen one in the plastic, held one or used one. But I have looked at the pictures and read the comments, so here goes.
After an initial gush of "must have one", more composed reflection has led me to the conclusion that Apple has got a little ahead of itself here. It is easy to envisage a use for the iPad – properly multimedia magazines, newspapers, books and whatever other forms are still to be invented. But that content hasn't quite arrived yet. There are big companies that seem to be working on it and I am sure there are small start-ups doing the same. In a year or two we may be surrounded by iPad-friendly material.
On the other hand, the iPad itself may act as a spur to magazine and newspaper companies desperate for new revenue streams; make a good app (like Distill or the Guardian) and people seem willing to buy; tap into the seamless mobile/iTunes systems of charging and people won't even think about the cost (unless the eventual bill is too big).
Two final thoughts:
1) For those who think that the iPad isn't great at any particular thing, if there is one lesson that digital media has taught us it is surely that good enough is good enough (I won't bore you by tracking this concept back to Marshall McLuhan's theory of hot and cold media);
2) Why has the word "pad" inspired such a widespread puerile (and virginile) reaction? What do these people do when confronted with a note "pad" or a jotter "pad" or a touch "pad"?