"It seems obvious to me that the iPad (and iPhone) are for casual use or travel. It may be productive to review sales figures, or tweak the wording in the presentation, while on the plane. Anything more requires a keyboard in my opinion."
You can easily pair a wireless keyboard to an iPad. This is how I got my parents to replace their computer with an iPad, and further lower my family tech support costs.
Yeah I remember that post and it definitely doesn't apply for my family at large. The majority of them are happy as luddites. They are happy to be in their locked down and limited Apple post computer device that "just works".
My dad is utterly overwhelmed by a computer with a mouse and keyboard. We could never email pics of his grand kids and family events because even something like the gmail login page (that users like you and me take totally for granted) was too much for him.
He'd fish out his login details from the desk drawer, hunt and peck them in and finally gain access (sometimes) only to learn that there is no new email waiting for him. At which point he'd throw the desk upside down and start kicking the computer to shit.
Contrast that with simply tapping the envelope to retrieve email and I say retrieve not check because the badge notifications mean that he never even has to tap the envelope unless there really are emails waiting.
You simply cannot underestimate the value of this for people on that side of the digital divide.
He now has a Facebook account, he messages us from that and uses regular email, he has access to family pictures, groups he shares interests with and generally does have an authentic slice of the digital age of his very own that he greatly enjoys.
Even hunt and peck typing is a more fluent thing on a touch screen... Who'd a thunk it?
My whole point is this: horses for courses.
You and I have no frame with which to reference the massive value of a 'Luddite' device just as my dad has no way of understanding the type of functionality guys and girls like us require.