The iPad can play all the same apps that the iPhone and iPod Touch can, with the exception of the phone-based stuff. You can play games on it, which is cool, but the graphics don’t always looks so swell since the games were designed for a screen 1/3 of its size. Apple is also putting out an iPad SDK for software developers to start making apps specific to the iPad, which means you can expect bigger, better apps down the line. Your movies will probably need to be re-encoded at a higher rate to look their best on the big new screen, too.
In the promotional video you can watch on Apple.com, three of the biggest features they show off are email, internet, and photos. Since a great many people just use their computer for email and the internet, then maybe the simplicity of the iPad is perfect for them. The email program is really sweet and simple to use. The photo management software is very cool, too. The browser is pretty decent although it has no Flash support, which can be a problem when it comes to online gaming. Hopefully, this can be updated later. I’d really love to be able to watch Netflix movies online with the iPad, but it’s not yet available.
Basically, the average Netbook kicks the iPad’s rear in nearly every regard besides the ooh-ahh-wow factor. Just like the iPhone or iPod Touch, the iPad can only run one app at a time, so you can forget about multitasking.