I know I posted a few weeks ago about why not to buy an iPad (yet). Then I bought one. The reason is simple - it does something right now that I want it to do and nothing else comes close. Plus, it has a fantastic amount more potential to be useful in so many other ways.
The thing I wanted it to do right now is replace my music book - to be precise the massive paper book of chord charts for songs that I play in various church settings. Having had it a mere week I got to test it this weekend on a church retreat. 70 songs in three days. I uploaded all of the songs needed for the weekend in pdf format, some in Word and was set.
And the thing performed like a champ. With a ten hour battery life, I was able to go two days of use without recharging. Flipping between songs was faster than I could do it in a paper book. The page size is smaller than a physical page, but with a two finger zoom I could always zoom the page to be at least as large as the paper page, and it was brighter. In dim lighting, no book light required. For a relative leap in the dark, there was nothing about the experience that didn't work.
Even better, before the weekend, I was dreaming with a couple of friends about the perfect app for managing music. We figured out a whole host of features. Then, when I got to the retreat, the leader - a musician himself, had an iPad and already had an app (OnSong) that does 99% of the things I was dreaming about. For $4.99.
So let's call that a big win for Apple and Steve Jobs' wallet (not for the first time...)