If you needed any more proof that Apple is confident you don’t need to use a hardware keyboard with the iPad, the tablet will start shipping on April 3rd. The official keyboard accessory won’t be available until a few weeks after that.
I’m still a bit skeptical that you’ll be able to write any lengthy emails, blog comments, or other text on the iPad display. While the on-screen keyboard is about the same size as a physical keyboard on a typical netbook, you’ll have to hold the iPad in an awkward angle to type with ten fingers. And while the on-screen keyboard looks a lot like the iPhone keyboard, it’s a lot easier to hold a smartphone that’s a few inches in both hands while using your thumbs to type than it is to hold a 10 inch tablet and stretch your thumbs across.
In other words, I think typing on the iPad will mean tapping away with one finger — or holding the tablet in one hand while using a few fingers on the other hand to type. But based on the fact that the hardware keyboard won’t even be available at launch, I’m guessing Apple knows something I don’t — or just really doesn’t care about the text entry experience on the iPad since the tablet is primarily designed for consuming media rather than creating it.