Originally Posted by Shaun, UK
I agree with your last point, I think Apple have hit the nail on the head with the iPad. I use mine while I'm sitting in the living room relaxing. I use it to surf the web, read personal emails, read eBooks and play a few games mostly. In contrast I use my Mac to run my business. Nothing to heavy but I wouldn't use the iPad to do that kind of stuff.
I don't think I'm all that unique in the way that I use my iPad. Maybe "toy" is juvenile - it's an entertainment device shall we say. Which as you say is probably what most people use their computers at home for anyway but its nice to wind up all the radical fanbois on here once in a while. It stops them howling at the moon instead.
Well, the thing is, "running a business" generally involves managing emails, scheduling, accounts, payments, orders, assets, possibly a web presence, payroll, records, various forms, etc.
There's nothing in that list that isn't well within the capabilities of an iPad. In terms of actual computing horsepower, they're trivial. For certain things a keyboard is handy, but those are available for the iPad as well.
Even if your specific preferred software isn't yet available, that's not a structural problem with the iPad, it's just a matter of the newness of the platform. With the speed at which the iPad is moving into various markets, new business software is coming online daily. Arguably the biggest hole is Office, but rumor has it that's on the way (and MS would be foolish not to, even if they wait until after their Windows 8 version is shipping).
Even within the specific feature sets of a given iPad port of a given software title the same principle applies as what I'm claiming for computers-- that for instance Office is vastly more powerful and unwieldy than most users want or need, and an iPad version, while almost certainly less expansive than its desktop counterpart, will nevertheless probably satisfy the majority of the use cases. I suspect that's true of a whole raft of software titles-- tablet ports are going to focus on what's really needed, and discard several generations of feature bloat. At which point people start wondering the same thing they wonder when they start using their iPad for a lot of tasks formerly done on desktops or laptops-- "Why did I need all that extra stuff"?