So, the shiny new toy had arrived whilst I was on holiday and with the “we tried to deliver card” burning in my palm, I was knocking on the door of the UPS first thing Saturday morning to make sure I had it for the Bank Holiday.

I have to say first off that from the outset I thought iPad was a genius idea. Overpriced maybe (should be about £250-300 IMHO), but nonetheless a good idea. Why? So you can sofa surf quickly and easily; switch on, launch safari, go. Sure, there’s the thorny issue of Flash (or lack of), but this aside it has to beat faffing with a laptop clunking through windows startup. My better half had reservations, but these were soon nailed (like within 5 minutes of use – more on that later..)

As with iPhone and other things Apple, first impressions were that it is very, very slick. the touchscreen is second to none, it’s easy to handle and type – even when slouching on the sofa (am using it to write this entry), and battery life is excellent. I’d only had my hands on it for 5 minutes when the rest of the household were queuing to use it. 2 hours later and I was able to have a proper play.

All of your iPhone apps can be synced with it and you can then manually choose if you don’t want or need them to be on the iPad (e.g. TomTom). The apps that can run on both appear centred on the screen and you can 2x zoom to fill it – not perfect, but good enough. The “proper” iPad apps are very good indeed. One of the other key reasons for wanting it was to try newspaper subscriptions and it is very neat for that. I have The Times (hurry up with the Sunday Times app please!) and you simply pull down the content each day and then browse offline at leisure. I hear the criticisms about proper ebook readers being better, but for me the app is perfect.

One of the big talking points in the IT world currently is around whether or not they could be used as a business tool. Pages is pretty good as a word alternative and whilst i still wait for the Juniper Pulse client for SSL VPN, simply hitting our server through a standard web browser was a good experience. I reckon if juniper and the other vendors nail this, we will truly see some movement towards “consumerisation” because it beats the hell out of humping a laptop around! It could also stop concerns about DLP for remote devices too if done properly. We’ll see…..

Pretty much everyone i know who has played with it likes it and as for the better half – well, she has conceded. Facebook, rightmove, auto trader, and many more apps are being hit heavily on the sofa.

In summary, it’s a little pricy at the current RRP although if they were to drop it I reckon there that Apple may just have killed the netbook market and could start to seep into the corporate arena. Why so? Because like everything else Apple – it just works