The context of these paragraphs written by Marco Arment, the creator of Instapaper, is a negative review of the Kindle Fire. But they also capture why so many people either: 1.) Think anyone who buys an iPad must be some sort of uncritical Apple fanboi or 2.) Think anyone who isn't wowed by the iPad must be some sort of uncritical Apple hater.
A tablet is a tough sell. It’s too big for your pocket, so you won’t always have it available like a phone. It’s too small to have rich and precise input methods like keyboards and mice, and its power and size constraints prevent it from using advanced PC-class hardware, so it’s probably not going to replace your laptop. It’s just one more gadget to charge, encase, carry (sometimes), care for, and update. And it’s one more expenditure that can easily be cut and done without, especially in an economic depression.
“Tablets” weren’t a category that anyone needed to give a damn about until the iPad. It was a massive hit not because it managed to remove any of the problems inherent to tablets, but because it was so delightful, fun, and pleasant to use that anyone who tried their friend’s iPad for a few minutes needed to have one of their own.