Unless you are totally disconenct with the digital world, else I am sure you will be aware of what an iPad is. Personally I am not a BIG fans of Apple products due to their close source platform - iOS, however I have to say iPad is the only Apple product that got my attention so far.
iPad does have its magic which attracts customers and this magic ingredient is simply the user experience.
To me Apple iPad is simply another Internet tablet (A tablet that allows you to go online via either 3G or Wi-Fi). There were UMPC a few years ago, however it never get popular due to its weight and dimension, Apple iPad does have an advantage on trimming the size and thus user feels it's slick and easy to carry around and the multi-touch gesture is another BIG plus in comparsion to the UMPC. In addition, did I mention having an iPad around you simply make you look kool and stylish?
Apple iPad also has the advantage of being the first Internet tablet being available in the market, thus it got a lot of attention. Being the first tablet appear in the market in-directly impact my next point, which is the user experience from the iPad applications itself. Due to iPad it's the first available Internet tablet in the market and gaining its popularity, a lot of apps developer are moving towards to the direction of implementing apps for iPad and most of these developers are / were mobile developers.
Apple successfully bring its iOS platform from mobile (a 3-4" screen) to a 10" screen size tablet. The new dimension (10" screen size) and resolution opens up a whole new world to the developers. (Newspaper and Magazine) Publications are joining in and utilizing the 10" screen size and the tablet platform for their publications. Interactive ads and interactive articles contents fully utilize the plaform of the tablet (noted I am using the term tablet here instead of iPad, which I will explain in a bit). Publications like New York Times, Oprah and Esquire are ahead of the game and as you can see from the following videos, the publication take a full advantage of the tablet platform and the interactive elements simply stunning and hence it's a BIG plus for user experience.
Oprah Magazine iPad App Demo via @Mashable
Esquire iPad App Demo via @Mashable
Is iPad the only platform that allow these kind of applications? The answer is NO! Android had been BIG these days and is cutting off the iOS market share quite a lot. The above publication simply utilizing the tablet platform but NOT the iOS platform. A fair say here, these days any features you have on iOS simply you can find an app in the Android Market or the same features probably already built in the Android platform. In another words the same app for the above publications literally can run on an Android tablet (provided it's written in Java) and the user experience will *most likely* the same.
Recently there are news reported about the Wall Street Journal rolled out their Android tablet app and is available on the Market. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab is going to be availble throughout the globe relatively soon (US already start rolling it out last week and Hong Kong already start pre-ordering and the first shipment will be available by this Friday), it will be interesting to see whether iPad will still able to stand strong, mean while whether there will be more big brand publications rolling out their Android tablet version app.