Originally Posted by tjw
Apart from the fact that it is awkward to hold on your lap or table. A case with a stand improves this slightly but still. Also typing on a screen means your hands are covering the content you are trying to view, something that will never be resolved.
The Apple case for the iPad improves the experience a lot. The keyboard is presented at a comfortable incline, which is better than what you get on a laptop, IMO. (Just comparing the angle of the surface, not the typing aspect.) Also, the screen is large enough so that even if you take away the part that the keyboard occupies, the remaining part may be larger than a netbook screen, and the content you are trying to view is scrolled into that area. On an Apples to Apples comparison with netbooks, it seems to me that one must weigh the touch typing requirement against the larger screen size of the iPad. Since I don't type that much (but I typed THIS on an iPad with no problem) the iPad wins for me. If one also values the richness of the eco-system (which you do not, but I do) the proposition becomes a slam dunk in favor of the iPad.
Originally Posted by tjw
A laptop and certainly a desktop will always be a faster and more pleasurable experience for me.
I agree that laptops, or especially desktops, would be better for your stated purposes (i.e. you do quite a bit of typing, apparently). But I thought the issue here is how the experience compares to a netbook. (Actually, the original article compares the iPad to the Galaxy Tab, which also is sans keyboard and super duper small, but I digress...) Netbooks and tablets occupy a space that is characterized by devices that are lower price, highly mobile, not easily expandable, longer battery life, and perhaps a bit underpowered relative to the traditional PC, etc. So comparing an iPad to something outside of that category is somewhat off point.
From what little I can tell of your use cases (potential development, referencing cloud compilers, etc) and preferences (touch typing and seeing your content) it seems like the netbook should edge out the tablet (because of the lack of physical keyboard) but that you might have disdain for the netbook as well because of the lack of screen real estate. At the end of the day, it really sounds like you wouldn't be too well served by that Chrome netbook either, but you may have some other unspoken requirements that drive the need.
For myself, grabbing something new, such as a netbook running Chrome, would be a neat experience because of the feeling of "discovery". But that feeling usually fades within a few weeks, leaving you with whatever the device actually offers. My hunch is that that wouldn't be much on the Chrome netbook, and that when I actually wanted a physical keyboard, I'd either go to my desktop, laptop, or simply use my wireless keyboard with the iPad.