From David Pogue’s Review of the iPad.
The iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it.Apple has pegged Americans as the ultimate consumers.
Confirmed by Farhad Manjoo in Slate.
So far I've done almost nothing with the iPad that I couldn't have done on either my computer or phone. If I were to run into a kind-hearted mugger tomorrow who forced me to give up only one of my gadgets, I'd throw him the iPad without hesitation. I need my phone and my computer to get things done, but I don't really need a tablet computer. The iPad is a luxury—like Steve Jobs' Mercedes roadster, it's the sort of thing you buy if you've got extra money and you want a fun, stylish gewgaw.
So, why would you pay at least $500 for a machine that merely replicates your other gadgets' functions? Because the iPad is the best media-consumption device ever made. Or, to put it another way, there is no better machine to use on the couch, the bed, or in the bathroom.