iPad versus netbook: which is better?

If you’re in the market for a new laptop for your kids or maybe something more portable than that 15 inch beastie the office forces you to drag around, what should you choose? A netbook or the iPad?

Apple’s iPad is hard to resist, what with its shiny screen, impressive interface, and typically brilliant Apple software and luxe good looks. Then there’s the inexpensive netbook, any brand of which offers pretty much everything you’re used from a notebook, but for less money and in more tote-worthy dimensions.

So which device is better for students, for writers and for home? And which will best suit those of us who like to conduct a little portable business where ever we go?