Well, now we know. Well, we know some of it, though there's still lots of things that are not entirely clear. I thought I'd take a look at a few of the plusses and minuses of what I've seen this evening, and make up my mind a little bit.
Physical appearance. Well, it's just a big iPhone, which is what I'd expected really - though it's a lot thinner and the weight isn't too bad at 1.5 or 1.6 lbs. The edge, or bezel doesn't cause me a problem either, although a few people are moaning about it already.
No multitasking. This is a pain I guess; no listening to music while wandering around the web, or reading the morning newspaper. For me, this one of the really big minus points about the iPad. Does this mean that I won't buy it? It's certainly not a deal breaker in the slightest - if I want to listen to music I've already got my music player - my iPhone. And if I'm going to be using it for what I'd intend to - as an eBook reader, it's not an issue.
Lack of camera. I honestly don't get why this is a problem for some people. It's not meant to be a camera! It's too big to be a camera - can you really see yourself trying to use it to take a photograph with? And you've already got a camera on your phone, or some other sort of camera. Sure, a webcam for video meetings would be nice, but there is an option to add one on as a peripheral, though I agree, that does mean more lugging around of devices. If you take photographs you already have a camera, and if you don't, you're not going to want one. Time to move on...
Keyboard. Until I can actually try the keyboard I have no idea what it'll be like, but I can just about type on my iPhone, so something rather larger isn't going to be a problem at all. Major issue there is going to be typing on the surface that I'm looking at, so I'm pleased to see the external keyboard, but again - there's that issue of dragging around more peripherals. But let's face it - if I want a proper keyboard and a webcam then I'm going to use a laptop. Why people are trying to turn the iPad into a laptop, or complaining when it's not one when it's not supposed to be, defeats me.
No HDMI plug. I'm not going to be plugging it into my tv anytime soon, why would I care? It's an annoyance that there are various other plugs that I'm going to need for it, USB adapters and so on - which again is just adding more to the dragging around.
No flash. Annoying, certainly, limiting the browsing around the web and streaming videos. It's an annoyance on the iPhone, and it'll be more of that on the iPad.
The battery. 10 hours video time and a month on standby IS impressive, if it's accurate. Even if it's less than that, it's still not bad at all. Though of course, the battery is going to be integral to the unit, which could be a pain if there's an issue with it.
I'm really keen on the idea of using it as an e-Book reader. It's the first item that I've looked at which actually makes me think I'd really actively enjoy reading from it. Again, I can read from the iPhone, and this is going to be a better experience. Not so keen that the iBookstore is US only at the moment - until I can buy a book there and then, download it and just start reading, I'm not going to be buying one. That for me IS a deal breaker. I want to go onto a site, choose a book that's been published today, download it and start reading there and then. Download the morning newspaper? Grab my favourite magazine - absolute requirements for me.
Is this going to kill the Kindle? I think it will, yes - at least if the Kindle stays in its current incarnation. Simply can't see the value in buying one, certainly not on price comparisons.
Price. £450 or thereabouts for the largest size wifi (without 3G) is going to be fine by me. I don't need instant connectivity to the net - I have a laptop/dongle and iPhone combination for that. Though the idea of running around with iPhone, iPad and laptop and dongle and any iPad peripherals is not a great idea. I suspect that I'd use it at home on my wifi, download what I need, power it up and be on my way. We don't yet know about dataplans in the UK, but I doubt I'll be tempted, unless my provider is intelligent enough to work out a dataplan that includes the iPhone.
There's a lot of interest in the use of the thing in academia already - just try a twitter search and see what I mean. On a tangent - I wonder how long it's going to be before someone publishes the Harry Potter 'Daily Prophet' onto it.
So - will I get one? I expect so, once I am reassured that I'll be able to download books/newspapers/magazines when they come out at a reasonable price when I want them.