from reviewer David Pogue:
It always surprises me how many people are made indignant by the very thought of the iPad, as though Congress passed a law that requires you to buy one!
You’re not, as it turns out. Buying one is totally optional.
That said, the question is a little odd, because the iPad really is very different from a laptop or an iPhone. I guess people have a lot of trouble with the idea that it’s a new category, something unlike anything they’ve used before. All people can do is compare it in their heads with stuff they HAVE used before.
But I’m telling you, the multitouch screen/software makes it very, very different from a laptop, and the screen size makes it very, very different from an iPhone. It’s something entirely new. So yes, if it appeals to you, you’d have to buy it in addition to your laptop or iPhone.
(Just one note of caution: If you have children in the house, don’t let them know there’s an iPad in the premises. I have three kids, 5, 10 and 12, and the competition for time with the iPad is like a daily World War III.)