My iPad arrived on May 27th, a day before it’s official release and I’ve been using it pretty intensively since then. Here are some of my initial observations…
The iPad works really well as a web browsing device, since the high res screen makes web pages look beautiful and the low power ARM based processor means the battery life is fantastic. I’ve only had to charge it once so far with 2 days of heavy use. It would seem that that, unlike the iPhone, the iPad uses very little, if any, power when in standby mode. It effectively behaves like a computer with an instant on/off button. The lack of flash support is a bit frustrating but definitely not a show stopper and as more sites move to using native HTML 5 video this will become even less of an issue. The on screen keyboard is a little bit fiddly, but when you get used to it you can type at pretty much the same speed as a normal keyboard for short bursts. For serious typing you would probably want to make use of an external keyboard.
iPad specific apps look great – check out Weather Pro HD, Plants versus Zombies HD, XPlane 9, Wolfram Alpha and the F1 Timing App to name a few.
The built in apps (contacts, calendar, maps) also look a lot better than their iPhone counterparts as they have been redesigned to take advantage of the larger screen.
The worst thing about the new iPad is that it’s so addictive that you’ll not want to put it down!