Okay, so the ipad is just a big ipod touch, and filling the "device too large to always have on you but too limited to do lots with" between a handy with-you smartphone and a real computer.

If it was an accessory to a computer, THEN it would be interesting. Put it on the dock and it acts like a second screen. If you're reading a PDF or web page, you can send it to the ipad for display, grab the ipad and continue having your reference material up. How about an example:

  • I look up "How to do XYZ on some obscure server issue" on my computer. I do this on my computer because it takes a long time to find what I need.
  • I read through until I find the helpful bit on page 322 of a 700 page pdf.
  • I send that to my padd and walk to the server room where I can follow the instructions
  • Note there was no step for manually copying a file, bookmarking, manually opening on the padd, remembering I want p322, etc. Just drag send it to the padd (whether it's a drag, a click, whatever).

For inspiration, see interesting UI interaction done on Science Fiction. Star Trek has had accessory "padd" devices that acted this way. Minority Report had this as well (which was mostly un-noticed next to the gesture UI everybody did happen to notice).

Until that device comes out, I see no need for a cell phone that can't make calls, or a computer that can't run software.