Still, most everyone I handed the iPad to thought they would still want a traditional computer for jobs that required a lot of time at the keyboard or would benefit from a bigger screen. Some, like Jim Peterson, thought the computers they had worked just fine for the things they do, no matter how handy the iPad felt. But most found its size and simplicity appealing.
“This is the first thing I could see myself sitting down at the breakfast table with and reading online,” says Peter Schmidt, a retired government analyst in Tucson. “Laptops are too clumsy. They take up too much space. This thing could work.”
The iPad may not quite cut it as your only computer. Apple’s requirement that you start by syncing with iTunes suggests the company doesn’t really see it that way, either. But if you’re looking for another computer to free you from your desktop, one light and small enough to carry around the house or throw in a briefcase, one that does a lot of fun stuff really well and that you’ll use without even thinking about what you’re doing, then the iPad could, indeed, be magic.
Reed Karaim lives in Tucson, Ariz.