My first impressions of the iPad were pretty positive. Now that it’s been a couple weeks, has my initial enthusiasm faded? Am I ready to bring it back to the Apple store? In a word, no.

I don’t walk around in a continual state of awe (anymore), but I now view using my laptop as some form of a failure. The iPad is light and effortless to carry and to use. The laptop is not. Performing my most common tasks on a laptop feels like bringing a gun to a knife fight. My 80% tasks – email, calendar, Facebook, Twitter and good old Web browsing – are all perfectly suited for the iPad.

I’m so convinced that the iPad is the best device for 80% of what I do and 90% of what the rest of my family does, that I’m getting rid of the two laptops I currently use at home and replacing them with a desktop and an iPad. The desktop computer, a big, powerful 27″ iMac i5 will be used primarily for photo and video editing. The iPad will be used for nearly everything else. Here’s why:

  1. No cord strung across the living room floor
    No more laptop cordThe battery lasts 10-12 hours on a single charge, so you should never have to plug it in during waking hours (and even then, probably only every other day)
  2. No burned thighs
    It doesn’t get hot. It doesn’t even get warm. In fact, the only time my iPad has been warm is when I’ve placed it on top of a running MacBook Pro.
  3. No noise
    This should blow your mind. Remember how I just said the iPad doesn’t get hot? It also doesn’t have a fan. The Doors had no bass, the iPad has no fan. It’s cool and silent. There’s also no hard drive, so there’s no spinning disk noise and no vibration. You’d be surprised at the difference this makes.
  4. Fits on my kitchen counter
    I’ve got limited and shallow counter space in my kitchen, so finding a place to set a laptop is nearly impossible. Even if I do find a spot, there’s always the threat of food getting into the keyboard and gumming up the works. Not so with the iPad. In the Apple case (which, by the way, I love), it stands up just fine on its own. There’s no keyboard to get gummed up and it takes up almost no counter space.
  5. Easy to hold, easy to carry
    As an e-reader, it may seem just a tad heavy to hold in one hand. As a computer, it’s light as a feather. Carrying this thing around is like carrying around a notepad (the paper variety, not silicon). Try holding a laptop in your hands for a few minutes, then decide how “heavy” the iPad feels.

And I haven’t even mentioned how great this thing is to use at work (hint: pretty great)!

Do I still need my laptop?
At home, the answer is definitely no. The iPad does all those things I need it to do 80-90% of the time. When traveling for pleasure, the answer is still a definitive no. I don’t even have to take the iPad out of my bag for TSA inspection.

Do I still need my iPhone?
The jury is still out here, but I’m not the only one who is posing the question. Can I get a cheap (free) feature phone and a cheap voice plan, then use a 3G iPad for anything and everything data? Or, with iPhone OS 4.0 multitasking, perhaps the phone isn’t necessary at all and I could just run Skype.

If the iPad has me questioning future MacBook and iPhone purchases, I have to wonder whether it will cannibalize sales of either device. I’m already thinking that the next iPhone has to do something pretty spectacular to get me to shell out another few hundred bucks. That said, the iPad has already spurred me to buy a new iMac, so I’d say Apple’s doing pretty well getting money out of my wallet. As usual.