The iPad is different from laptops in many ways, but it's foremost a
touch screen device. I can live with the onscreen keyboard that comes
with the iPad, and like the option of using an external keyboard too,
but if I know if I am going to type a long email, I will use my
laptop. I find myself going for the iPad, rather than for the laptop,
or even pencil/paper, whenever I want to jot something down, be it in
bed on a Saturday morning to capture an idea that's sprung in my head
or taking notes during a meeting.
Because of how I use my iPad, I've tried quite a few "writing pad"
apps in the past few months. Out of all the apps that I downloaded,
some paid and some free, I like Penultimate the most. It is a great
writing pad that lets you quickly write something down with your
finger, and not the keyboard. I like the "gel ink" of Penultimate,
which makes one's handwriting looks really nice. I also like the fact
that when you are done, you have a choice of emailing it either as a
PDF or a Penultimate file. I remember using Penultimate to answer the
"exit ticket" questions at the end of one of Ericka's differentiated
instruction sessions. I then emailed the answers, in the PDF format,
to Ericka that same evening.
I would highly recommend Penultimate if you haven't tried it.