A lot has been said and written about the iPad revolutionising the future of the netbook and Tablet PCs. Just about every OEM has tried their hand at Tablet PCs at one time or another. Though none has even come close to matching what Apple has achieved with the iPad. Perhaps the point where Apple scored over all the others is timing. Enough said its time whether the fast growing netbook market will now start to wither away faced with the stiff competition from the Tablet PCs or will history repeat itself and the Tablets fade back into oblivion.

The netbook’s have come at an interesting time. The world was revaluating its computing needs and people were willing to shift to smaller screens and lesser power for ultra portability. The iPad has arrived riding this new trend. There are many Apple crazy fans out there to buy an iPad just because Apple has made it but there is also a sizeable population who are having a hard time trying to decide whether to opt for the beauty of the iPad or the functionality of a conventional netbook.

The most important reason anyone would pick up an ultra portable is to get work done on the go. Therefore it is very much necessary to evaluate what sort of work you actually do. Access to Gmail is provided by the iPad but complete access to Gmail is not included. Even the tailor made Gmail app for iPad does not include the full version of Gmail. The iPad ships with a 1GHz A4 Cortex chip which makes it pretty snappy but not snappy enough to get complicated jobs done. For instance if your work involves Photoshop or Excel spreadsheets, the iPad would be of no use. In fact the iPad cannot even accommodate a full scale OS. Whatever Apple may claim, the fact remains that the iPad is still an oversize phone. In case your work includes a lot of mailing and occasional presentations, then the iPad is the right device for you. The onscreen keyboard is actually better than some of the cramped keyboards offered on some of the netbook’s.

The area where the iPad scores high is the fun factor. No netbook has an app store or is even close to having one. The iPad enjoys a very healthy developer support and this ensures a never ending supply of apps and games. With a battery life of 10+ hours the iPad will ensure you never have a dull moment. The iTunes on the iPad is elegant with an interface to die for. Comparatively on a Windows based netbook, apps are available but are far and hard to find.

On the whole the Apple iPad is a fun and exciting device. The touch screen is crisp and bright. We are yet to see another device comparable to the touch capabilities of the iPad. Add to that an ever growing app support and we have a tablet that spells entertainment. On the other hand the iPad is very limited on the hardware side. There is no USB support for printing and other stuff except for connecting cameras. The iPad also lacks a webcam. Though it is available as an extra accessory, it seems stupid to shell out extra for a webcam.