It strikes you when you first touch an iPad. The form just feels good,
not too lightweight or heavy, nor too thin or thick. It's sensual. It's
tactile. And that moment is a good way to spot a first-timer, too, as I
observed with a few test subjects. The dead giveaway for an iPad n00b is
a pause, a few breaths before hitting the "on" switch, just letting it
rest against the skin.
Flick the switch and the novelty hits. Just as the iPhone, Palm Pré and Android phones scratched an itch we didn't know we had—somewhere between cellphone and notebook—the iPad hits a completely new pleasure spot. The display is large enough to make the experience of apps and games on smaller screens stale. Typography is crisp, images gem-like, and the speed brisk thanks to Apple's A4 chip and solid state storage. As I browse early release iPad apps, web pages, and flip through the iBook store and books, the thought hits that this is a greater leap into a new user experience than the sum of its parts suggests.