Having digested the launch of the iPad I've concluded that this device will be a massive hit for the California company, and it looks like investors agree. As soon as the unexpectedly low prices were announced, Apple's stock began to rise. Often, following a new-product announcement, the reality trails behind the expectation and stock prices suffer. None of the commentators, in their wildest dreams, had expected a starting price of $499.
This time, Apple have it almost right. My only major beef is the absence of multi-tasking but I suspect this could be addressed for both iPad and iPhone in a future software update. The iWork demonstration was a stunner and it seems clear that the iPad can replace a MacBook for many people. The simultaneous announcement of an external keyboard was a masterstroke and meets head on one of my biggest potential gripes of viewing angle versus typing angle.
The iPad is already a dream machine and I can't wait to get my hands on one. I am glad I didn't rush out to buy a new MacBook Air or 13in MacBook Pro. Now I look forward to reading all the reams of comments and hours of podcasts on the topic of the year–the Apple iPad.