Here are the very first impressions: yes, Apple has created a very cool and smart device in iPad. I want one for myself (typing this with our gamelab iPad), even while I am not sure what I would be really using it for. Yet. The real power of this thing is in the user experience; it it so futuristic it feels like entering into sci-fi — and for me that is not a bad thing.
The UI logic is pretty much that of iPhone, the size makes huge difference though. The bright window into media, combined with the intuitiveness of touch, plus the fact that iPad is very fast, makes common tasks feel a bit magical.
There are the obvious downsides, too. Not having flash makes no sense to me at all. This thing would be the killer Facebook gaming device. Now, apparently Apple is trying to kill flash and make eveyone develop native iPhone OS apps. Shame on them. Also, the virtual keyboard is pretty ok, but it is not something that is intended for serious typing tasks. This is mostly a rich media plaything.
Together with rest of the UTA Gamelab folks we will continue to test iPad, but currently there is the technical limitation that there appears to be no way to get paid iPad apps (games, nor books, or movies) for testing. iPad apps are not yet available in the Finnish iTunes, and you need a US credit card or bank account to be able to buy from the US iTunes/App Store. Damn. Need to continue testing the free sample apps then.