So stupid question, but I was talking to someone about the iPad today and I want to confirm this. So the iPad has WiFi, but do you have to get a contract with a phone company/internet provider? I mean is WiFi that readily available for free these days?
If you'd like to use it just for WiFi hotspots like Chapters, Mcdonald's, Your house, then the only provider you need is the one provided by said access point (meaning if you pay for internet already and have wireless, or are at a place like mcdo's that offers an access point, you don't need an ISP/3G etc)
However, if you plan to use it in your car, on a train, etc, you need 3g + a service provider like Bell.
I have 3g and it's good for what it is, say like if your internet goes down etc, but I actually have my 3g wireless paid for by my company, it's part of my cell phone package, they gave us one of those 300$ 3g cards for the PC, and you just use it on the fly when needed.
It's by no means fast, but it's internet on the go. If you have wireless at home already though and don't plan on using your ipad on the go, or outside of places with WiFi access points, you don't need 3g.
I do plan on taking notes with it. There are some really good note-taking apps (and iWork) avaialable right now, and I'm sure more will appear by the time I get one. I tried out the touch keyboard while I was in NY, and it was my biggest gripe when considering whether or not to buy an iPad, as I wanted to use it for web browsing, HF posting, email, etc...I found it surprisingly usable (not as much for portrait though), in fact, I typed up some sentences really fast on it. Andy Ihnatko apparently hit 80wpm on the iPad, which is incredible.
As for note taking, I have an iPad compatible bluetooth keyboard that I use with my desktop, so I'd take that along with my iPad for extensive note taking, but I'd use the touch keyboard for anything else.
You're an admitted apple fanboy slash dell/bell/ms hater though, so forgive me for taking your opinion on their products with a grain of salt, but I wouldn't try taking notes on a touch screen device, it just sounds retarded. However, I'd still rather take notes on a touch screen then some piece of **** netbook that has a keyboard the size of my hand. That having been said with laptops that have fairly good specs, even that can play some games which cost 500$ and cheaper on special days, why would I waste my $ on a netbook or an ipad, even if I was a student. It's far more practical to just get a real laptop, regardless of it's size, it's called buying a relatively good laptop with a good school bag, and you're good to go.
iPad is just a gimmick and a fad imo, it's another apple idea so people are on it like a fly on ****, but I just think it's a recycled idea, hrmm lets make the iTouch, but bigger. To me it's just a retarded product, no qualms with the people who do use it and enjoy it but I just find it's far less practical to buy an ipad/netbook over a 500$ laptop that's pretty solid for the price.
I understand people like their netbooks cause of the size and all (convenience) but the thing is, if you aren't using your netbook to take notes in school, what exactly are you using it for? And if you are, a real laptop is just more practical as it has a decent sized keyboard. I can understand I guess but I just find it's a waste of money when for so little more $ you could have a real laptop, and to me typing on some touch screen or tiny keyboard isn't the best possible way to take notes, and outside of school, I'd really have no real use for either, a laptop I could definitely use outside of a school setting, the portability is convenient even if it isn't the size of a netbook, and quite frankly, it's like comparing a Ford Focus Hatchback to a 4dr Honda Civic, why would I get the crappy focus when for just a bit more money I could have the civic, and it's bigger and better in most every way, well that's how I feel about netbooks.
The comparison I have for the iPad would be: Why would I buy an overpriced Toyota Hybrid over another fuel efficient normal car that costs less. Yeah the toyota is a hybrid, but it isn't all that necessary for me to drive one. Well that's how I feel about the iPad, it's just a totally unnecessary product. I can understand why people would use it, but I just find the lot of people who think it's the most epic product to grace the earth are mostly apple fanboys and all they seem to do is justify wanting/buying the product every which way they can, which is fine and all, but so far all of the justification I've been hearing has been stupid. Using it to take notes in class? I mean come on, it's not like laptop's didn't already exist, it's not like the product is revolutionizing note taking. What's the next huge upside to the iPad? To me there isn't one, other than to own a gimmicky gadget that's likely fun to use but I'd say like most games that have a gimmick, the novelty wears off. (Obviously the difference in the case of Hybrid's are environmental and that's fine, but I mean to say it's just not necessary, it's an extra step you don't have to take, only difference I'd say is that the iPad isn't going to save you gas $ )
I always find it funny watching people work out with bulky iPods on their arms that require a tourniquet-level compression sleeve to hold on, when I can get a marathon's work on music on a tiny mp3 player that I can't even tell I am wearing.
I didn't really care out the Slate or Courier, as I'm still not seeing were tablets fit in, other than to check e-mail/browse the web on the go, but I can do that on my phone already, and it's more portable.
I take notes every day at work, jot things down, in meetings, on the phone, or problem mapping. I'd be pretty happy with something I could date, tag and search rather than a bulky (paper) notebook that's a pain to sift through.