I may be tempted to one day buy the iPad as a crossover e-reader, but there's nothing magical about the device for me. Not unless you replace one of its vowels with a consonant.
The only pad I've ever wanted to lug around is the PADD, Star Trek's ever-present Personal Access Display Device. Here's six of my favorites.
This beefy PADD from the year 2260 used a stylus and included a button and two lights. I assume it also made boop and beep noises. The fact that this thing is bigger than the iPad and ugly as sin is outweighed by the fact that it was first seen cradled in Chekov's hands and sitting on Uhura's lap.
By the year 2370 the PADD had ditched the stylus and shrunk considerably. It also went from having a single large touch surface to a display area and a separate touch area: Perfect for running diagnostics or taking space drink orders.
Another form of the old 2370's PADD was this delightful, big-screen, horizontal job.
The Enterprise PADDs are great and all, but they all suffer from one thing: They carry the stench of humanity on them. This Andorian Imperial Guard PADD, about the same size as its stinky human counter-part, features a rounded shape and blue hue. And you know what they say: Once you go blue, you something that rhymes with blue.
The Ferengi, too, know a good PADD when they seem one. They also know how to use it. While everyone else is running around jotting notes and trying to find lost relatives, these aliens are busy bidding on sports memorabilia on Space eBay.
Finally you have the Klingon PADDs. Don't laugh or you'll be digesting one.