Oh, like I’m going to be able myself. I mean, I don’t have the money – but I can dream right. In the UK, I suspect we won’t see these in the shops for a few months yet, but I can desire, right? I can envy those who have touched this device of apparent beauty. I trust Stephen Fry when he says that seeing it online cannot prepare you for what it’s really like to touch and use. I cannot ignore the fact that when I saw a picture of it for the first time, a few hours ago, I had a feeling like a giddy schoolboy. Like one of Charlie Higson’s characters from The Fast Show, I had to apologize because I just came.

Yes, iPad doesn’t sound quite as impressive as the iSlate (the pre-launch guess at a name); but, iSlate sounds heavy, and Apple clearly have this aimed at a ‘lighter’ market, a casual device that provides the gliding, easy functionality of the iPhone with the size and convenience of a small laptop. Really, it looks like the base of a MacBook with the monitor embedded where the keyboard should be. I love the prospect of a ‘slide-out’ keyboard, as featured on the iPhone. A keyboard can be so damned redundant, at times you only need to shift the cursor or slide the page… so, why not have the option to make the keys vanish.

I enjoy reading on a laptop, a page rotated sideways on the screen and zoomed to the max so I can sit it on my lap, or lie back, bend my knees and lean it against my legs. I perceive no barrier in possessing books purely in digital form, as my wife would certainly appreciate the opportunity to reclaim some of the space in the house currently occupied by bookshelves.

So, well done to Apple. Congratulations, Steve, on presenting such a thing of beauty to the world. Please bring it to the UK as soon as possible, so that I might venture forth to the Apple Store and stroke it in silent, awe-struck wonder. I promise I will save my pennies – and one day I might own it myself. Pretty thing. Pretty shiny-shiny iPad.

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