My opinion: This machine will eventually replace the laptop in many (the majority?) of use cases, as well as expanding the use of computers throughout our lives.
As commonplace as the laptop is, it still has many flaws and drawbacks towards a pen and paper. Sat in a meeting or lecture, pulling out a laptop puts a barrier in front of you and except in certain circles, this can be very off putting. Hardly anyone I know at University uses a laptop in lectures, even in Computer Science it’s under 20%. All the notes are available as PDFs, everyone has a laptop, but nothing beats pen and paper…yet.
A tablet as a computing device is much more likely to replace a (paper) notebook. It will sit flat on a desk, unobtrusive and subtle. In a lecture the Professor won’t see you staring into a screen, you will appear like any other person, making notes on a flat device, but I can go home and see all the same annotated notes on my computer and view them on my iPhone when I’ve got a few minutes to spare. I can even see a tablet being pulled out in a boardroom setting. A quick glance down to look at your notes, flip over to your calendar, look up some quick figures for the point you are about to raise.
We’ll see what happens on the 27th, but I’m sure it’s going to shake things up more than people think. Laptops don’t make sense and a tablet does. This isn’t an Apple Kindle.
As an additional thought, could this mean the resurgence of the Desktop PC as a hub in the home, with creative tasks in mind?