I know that Apple doesn’t make the cheapest toys, but for working photographers, the iPad is most definitely cost-effective.
If you simply think of it as a way to show off your portfolio to prospective clients, the math works out. Printing portfolios is expensive, and it’s a continuing expense, replacing old prints with clean new ones, and keeping it updated with new photos is a running cost. With the iPad, all you have to do is load your photos onto it. You can divide them by type, by theme, or whatever else you’d like to do. If you really are working, and often find yourself in a position where you have to suddenly pitch yourself, the iPad earns it’s keep.
And that’s ignoring the fact that it also takes the place of your schedule book, your public transportation reading material, and allows you better use of your time.
I’m often composing these blog posts on my iPad while I’m out and about. If I’ve got a few minutes in a cafe between meetings, I can sit down and work on the web page. If the cafe I’m in happens to have wi-fi, I can even catch up on emails. I’ve got the Bluetooth keyboard, and I love it, but I think that I would have spent a little extra cash, and gotten a different keyboard that included a better case.