I finally did it: I purchased an ipad. I purchased the 32 gig device without 3g (although the monthly price was tempting indeed).
My main purpose was professional: to see how it would change reading and to test ebook designs on it. See Craig Mod’s article about book design on the ipad.
I am not a big fan of the multimedia magazine (especially since Conde Nast or Wired or Verve seem to be the only ones with the technical resources to do it). Nor am I a fan of branded ebook readers or the iTunes store. I remain relatively happy with Windows Vista and Vista 7 and my cheapo cellphone. I don’t mind buying a handful of applications, but I don’t relish the idea of buying a large number of single function applications. Nor do I relish the idea of having to sync things between Windows and the ipad.
On the other hand, I also look forward to new writing tools like Budding (which like Google Docs or Live Writer are indispensible to me now). As much as I enjoy the freedom permitted by the e-ink devices, I miss the interactivity and full color of the world wide web.
I don’t intend to turn into an Apple Fanboy, but frankly, I see no other device that competes in the same category. I’m sure I will find other things to despise about the iPad, but for now I feel the joy of having spent several hundred dollars on something no one has ever seen.