The iPad can certainly be used stand alone, once it's been configured with iTunes. I was going to do that for a colleague.
The biggest problem with that is if I configured it, it's linked to my laptop. She can't eventually buy a desktop and sync her iPad setup to her new computer. It would delete her music purchases and app purchases. Still, if she was willing to manage it only from the iPad (and never import a CD, for example) it would work well enough.
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner
"it is displacing" the laptop market.
Those stats can be misleading though.
For example, November before last was when the global financial crisis hit (right?), so it can be expected that suddenly people held off laptop purchases - with 2 consequences.
1) with such low sales, one year later it'd show a huge growth in sales.
2) many of those people who held off would have bought their laptops 6 months later, also showing a steeper growth than normal.
I do believe iPad is displacing some of the laptop market, just these stats aren't quite so significant.
I'd like to see an aggregate sales figures, include tablets with laptops