Ok, so I've become a slave to trendiness, and I've reserved an iPad for pickup April 3 at my local Apple store. I'm convincing myself that it's less of a commitment than actually buying one online; after all, I can simply not show up before 3 pm that day, and my reserved iPad will be thrown to the general population. And I did reserve the cheapest model, the 16 gig wi-fi-only model, which is all I think I'll need for it.
I do have a rationale. I'm receiving an unexpected honorarium for my work on the law book I update every year; and I figure I should plow the money into something that will help me in future work. I often have to read piles of documents (court papers, appellate records, cases) for work; and I'd like an easy way to read them when I'm away from my computer. I have a netbook, which is handy for creating documents when I'm on the run; but I need a surface to set it on when I'm using it, so it's not so handy for reading documents in, say, court, or when I'm traveling. I have a Nook, which I initially bought in part because it handles pdf files. But while the Nook is delightful for reading books on, it's proven deficient in handling pdfs, for a variety of reasons: non-searchable pdfs are too small to read; searchable pdfs don't flow right; and ocr'ed pdfs show up as junk characters. Plus, they take a long time to load. I'm hoping the iPad will be more useful for that purpose.
But who am I kidding? I'm buying it not only for that, but because Apple has managed to make it look so darned cool for reading magazines, watching videos, light Net surfing, etc. Just hook me and reel me in.