When iPad first came out last year, I touched it and felt it a bit heavy and absolutely had no idea how to make it an useful tool in my life but just stared at it and played with it for about 10 minutes at local electronic store and just left there chatting about it with my friend on that day and basically forgot its existence.
About a year later, iPad 2 was released with a delay due to the earthquake incident, I figured I might want to take a look at it again to see what's possible with it. By then, I read that books including O'Reilly series were available on the store and that rose my interest but for everything else to do outside, for music, I had iPhone, for movie, I bet I don't have the need to watch them outside so often, for web, iPhone does most of it, besides, taking iPad out there all the time felt too heavy and bulky to start with and iPhone had enough games to fill a few minutes of random moments too.
That made me realize, it should be used in the house and not outside but then again, the big problem is I had a laptop and a desktop at home and since this is Japan, our place is usually pretty small and tight, which means, my computer isn't 10m away from couch or upstairs, meaning, if I wanted to do any sort of digital activity, my computer is just a few steps away, which can do anything in a better way than an iPad can. At this moment, I totally felt like I was trying to find the problem given the solution called iPad.
But I just went to get one anyway, as my job includes creating apps and just leaving iPad behind not knowing what it is capable of wasn't much of an option either.
So, I got it, first impression was, screen is nicely big and performance is pretty compared to iPhone given the size of the hardware. Google map was cooler with bigger area shown, Safari totally made much more sense with the bigger screen, some apps that support iPad had a much better interface with much less limitation on the screen estate, movies looked good enough to the point to watch on it exclusively and something that iPhone wasn't really capable of was to read books on it and iPad was big enough to actually feel like reading a book. And of course all of the usual iTunes and App Store and all the other Apple goodies made the device quite attractive.
On first day, I started to like it and by the end of the week, I didn't want to let it go... I can watch movies, read books, play games at much bigger screen (that alone makes the games much more fun even if it isn't iPad optimized) even on the bed before going to sleep. It just has enough use and services in it to just satisfy me and justify itself.
Right now, I play movies (with a stand) while I do something else on the computer or play a couple games on a quick break and the great finding about it is that I can carry so many books with this and iPad alone is only about as heavy as a magazine or two and it can hold so many of them and even buy a new issue of a magazine whenever it comes out at wherever a connection is available.
Putting a cover on iPad makes it look less mechanic and makes it easy to carry around and putting in a bag makes it much less of a burden to carry. These days when I get on a train or when waiting in a restaurant, I pull out my iPad and start reading the latest issue of computer magazines, a totally nice way to use those little 10 minutes in perfectly meaningful way when I used to play games for no reason on iPhone before because I had nothing better to do then when alone.
I was questioning myself how iPad was selling so great before I got one, but I guess people found their own reasons to use too. And it was questionable how easy it is to read books on a digital device, but ended up feeling it's the way to go. This way, there's no need to keep pile of books at home, I can pull out any issue I want to read anywhere and get the latest issues instantly.
Looking at bunch of O'Reilly books on iBooks shelf is something that makes you feel satisfied too. Oh, and I no longer need a dedicated bookshelf for these :)