No way. As others have stated one would have to look at the screen to type the whole time. That alone rules it out. As for hospitals, I would bet that over 90% of hospitals use a form of windows and would most likely go with a windows tablet if they were to go that route. The ipad is a e reader that can do multiple fart apps, one at a time.
The iPad is nearly an ideal platform for hospitals. Not just for charts, but for delivering diagnostic imaging, etc.
Honestly, as a student i use a TON of websites that use flash. It sucks that the iPad browser doesn't support flash. I think this ipad forum post also gives a lot of insight into the subject.
im going to b an art student & am required to have a mac computer. i dont have a laptop @ all. im going to get the 32g wi-fi model, would it get the job done? will i have 2 put down @ least $1000 for a macbook, too?
rorschach23, I'd advise against trying to use this as your primary computer. It's not going to be able to run things like Photoshop and other applications you're undoubtedly going to need as an art student.
It would be fantastic to have, though as your primary piece of tech to carry to classes. Light, fast and 10 hours of battery life. If you can't type fast enough on the soft keyboard to take notes, get yourself an Apple bluetooth keyboard. It's small and light and would work with both the iPad and a full blown Mac.
I'd consider getting an iMac and an iPad instead of a MacBook or MacBook Pro... More bang for your buck and the iPad will let you carry 90% of what you need to do for most classes much easier.
From an education use stand point for K-12(or k-8) there some other issues that keep the iPad from being "Yes Please!" item. First, like all Student issues (and really really bad for Apple sorry to say) is no support for Flash and the older Shockwave. K-12 does tend to be behind the tech curve and many old education sites are not maintained or not forced to ever upgrade. This makes the iPad DoA for many sites I'm sad to say.
Another issue is App control. At least under 3.1.2, it does't seem like you can lock out spesific 3rd party apps. Only Restrict by age rating. This does not help if we want to say create an iPad based testing program and lock out all fuctionality besides the testing software during that period. Even to just restrict it to say a VNC client spesificly setup to connect to a multi-user terminal setup (a some testing software would likely never make it to any mobile device).
If Jobs wants this as a kids teaching tool platform there are going to need to be some adjustments before it can be taken seriously.
If is is not a sole device, the various shortcomings of the iPad may or may not be deal breakers for any given purchaser, but it is still not a general purpose device.
By the time little Billy bought the 64GB 3G model and keyboard dock, he could have bought himself an iBook. Not as portable or as ooohhh, cool!, but much better suited to what he needs to do.