Date of purchase:April 2010
I LOVE it! It handles the standard stuff well: email, web, YouTube, games, e-books, etc. Most e-readers are available such as Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Adobe, and Stanza, among others. There are some wonderful music apps and great educational software that really make the iPad shine. There are virtual guitars and tuners, violins, pianos - Magic Piano gives a unique view to music! They can play loaded music on their own or you can play. There are many free scores available too!
"The Elements" is an amazing periodic table that makes learning chemistry fun...unlike my own high school chemistry class was. :) There are some addictive, fun and high quality games available, both free and paid, such as Scrabble (paid), which is playable via "pass and play" as well as Internet using a Facebook account or WiFi in your own home! There are MANY free apps for lovers of Sudoku, crosswords, math challenges, etc. Read reviews! I used it in graduate school, at conferences and at work for note-taking, email and browsing. All social media apps work well, with various options for Twitter and Facebook. Several Facebook games are available as separate apps and sync directly with your account for on the go Farmville fans.
There is a Microsoft Office app and numerous other word processing/spreadsheet apps including a built-in notepad. I often default to the notepad to write quick memory joggers or stuff I hear on the radio or TV that I want to check on later. Netflix looks wonderful on the iPad though streaming is dependent on the connection you are using. Some public WiFi connections will stream for a minute or two then stop to buffer before continuing. If you want it for video viewing, I recommend the 3G version unless you're using your home WiFi which has no buffering problems.
The only drawback I see is the web browser does not allow Flash. Though I'm not a Flash fan, many sites do not provide an HTML option. I have only one site I regularly visit that I cannot view on the iPad. This may limit the amount of sites that can be visited successfully, frequently ones geared for younger users. The Farmville app has some elements that are not available to PC/laptop users that appear to be Flash related. Not just a toy and not just for kids. It can be a time waster as well as a time optimizer for the on the go adult.