Originally Posted by Aizmov
Apple can easily sort this one out while keeping iPhone OS.
What's there to sort out? Apple really doesn't have to do anything except for the typical evolution of their products.
The point of the picture is to paint the HP Slate is a "real computer" that runs Win7 with a minimum accoutrement of ports while painting the iPad is merely a satellite device that requires a computer. It has an implicit message that a real computer is better than what the "crippled" ones that Apple's iPhone OS X devices represent. That's the joke of the picture.
Anti-Apple fanboys are truly smart in their own way, but they are just as egotistical, just as susceptible to self-delusion as anyone. The joke that they don't get is that their worldview is not the worldview of the world-at-large. That's part of Apple's sauce. Apple doesn't think in a geek fanboy kind of way and that provides insight into the world-at-large and provides a better product. That doesn't mean world dominance, just a facet of competitive advantage. There other things that provide advantages for competitors too and it's a complex world.
iPhone OS X devices including the iPad do not need a hub computer. It's a walled iTunes garden with users being able to buy music, buy & rent movies, buy games, buy apps, buy e-books, and other content from iTunes. It can do basic email (not Outlook, but good enough for consumers) and other consumery stuff. It doesn't need a hub computer to do this. It's biggest requirement is that WiFi is really required for the large items (>20 MB). With broadband at home, a user can use an iPad as a home computer with a pretty good experience.
If one has lots of CDs and DVDs and other data one wants to put on an iPad, it needs a hub computer. The HP Slate needs a hub computer to do that too and is in the exact same boat as an iPad. Except the iPad will likely be a better experience. iTunes acts as a reasonable catchall conduit, reasonably good content organization/services, and provides an automatic backup solution. Erase and reinstall of the OS and restore of all your content will be manageable for most folks with iTunes. HP Slate will not. How are people going to update the OS on the HP Slate? OTA? What about reinstalling the OS, restoring content? Backup? Haven't seen what it will have, so who knows, maybe it'll be good.
For people who want a personal computer, the HP Slate is obviously the better choice. iPad isn't targeted at people want a computer. It's a misread to think that the iPad is for novices and computer-phobes and the ilk as well. In the long run, it's going to be about the integration of computing into one's life, band eliminating the typical traps of the computer. The point is to make the software disappear and just have people "do" stuff. You just "do". Whether the iPad can do that, we'll see.
Sync the iPad via the web. Allow syncing your iTunes library with your online account, and then just sync iPad with your account.
If you're thinking in terms of backup, the easiest solution (outside of iTunes and a hub computer) is to provide a Time Machine backup solution. Customer buys a Time Capsule. Replaces the home WiFi router with Time Capsule. Customer turns on Time Machine by flipping the switch in the Settings app on the iPad. Done. The cloud backup won't be ready until 10+ MBit/s, at the very least, uploads are cheap and bountiful. If you haven't noticed, upload speeds are horrible.
Though Apple is in a reasonably good boat here. If all your content is bought from iTunes, you don't need to back up any content bought from there. No syncing needed. All that needs preserving is the iTunes account. For user created data, Apple can update Mobileme to provide backup/syncing of that. Not too bad that. The easiest solution is the Time Capsule though. Fast fast fast. Best would be the Time Capsule and the cloud backup (which should have a multiple backups).