The iPad is real-life social in a way that a phone and a laptop just aren't. You really can just hand it to someone to show them what you mean: share photos, videos, writing with real people right next to you. I can see using it to learn with a child, share pictures with my mother, discuss house remodeling, and many other tasks normally done with paper.
In the office, the iPad offers a middle-ground I've found lacking in electronic devices. Bringing my laptop into meetings puts up a screen between me and others, is a hassle to unplug and carry around, and can be personally distracting. Taking my iPhone to make notes makes people think I'm bored of the meeting and sending text messages to friends instead. So normally I choose paper, and tend to lose my notes afterwards.
The iPad is a device that will find fans not only in a family setting, but in a creative setting where collaboration and comment is in person. Criticized for not being open because of digital rights management, the iPad is actually very open, in the sense that it erects few physical barriers to sharing.
I like the idea of "real life social," but I depend so much on the web for much of my social networks. I am really lucky that I do work in a place that I like the people I am with and that it is relatively open and social. I wonder how it plays out in a situation like what @Robin2Go wrote about yesterday? We are living in such splintered social times. All of these conversations are really interesting to me.
I do like the idea Edd mentions in that second paragraph … laptops and cell phones in meetings have not only become the norm, but a huge crutch. With an iPad I wonder if we'll see the birth of shorter standing meetings — where we can get together with our devices and never even have to sit down — just get to business and show each other our ideas. I have no idea, but not having my colleagues hiding behind screens may be an interesting change brought about by devices like iPad.