"The question in my mind is just how important will this be... On one level I think this has the potential to challenge the laptop, it has the potential to, I think, even challenge the whole user interface we've had on computers and sort of set up a slow evolution towards multitouch and gesture and away from the mouse-driven interface.... That's it's potential. But it depends on whether -- not everyone, but enough people decide that they can carry this instead of a laptop or a netbook. That is, that it can do much of what they want to do on their netbook or a laptop most of the time... so that they can just pick this up and take it with them, or use it around the house, and not crack open that bulkier, heavier laptop. We don't know the answer to that.
"My own judgment, after a week of testing it, is that for a lot of people, it really will do the trick."
Walt goes on to point out the things the iPad won't do: high-level office work, heavy word processing, video chats, etc., but he allows that not everyone will miss these features. He did a battery test playing videos back to back from 6 am to 5 pm -- 11.5 hours, about 15% over the specified 10-hour battery life.
"I think Apple, all and all, has done a beautiful job with this thing.... This is a robust, general-purpose device. How did it perform as an e-reader? I thought it did very well; I enjoyed reading books on here more than I so on my Kindle, because of the size of the screen and the sharpness of the screen, and the fact that you get color illustrations -- and I'm a fan of the Kindle, but I would pick this." Uh, Amazon, you might want to do some reading...
You can see Walt's complete review over at All Things D and the WSJ, and his video below. Suffice it to say, he's enthusiastic, and so are we.
Photo courtesy All Things D