Thank you all
Some very good and enlightening posts here (well, for ignorant me, anyway).
I can now see how a handy, reasonably sized device be a better alternative to a laptop.
And I guess, I should agree that if I just had a nagging question to look up on wikipedia, I'd rather fire up a tab and get my answer than waiting for the entire boot sequence of a laptop.
Also, having an overview of one's mail/social not working situtation is also ideally suited to it.
As a non-user I'm not entirely convinced about the merits of the larger screen but I withhold judgement until I use one for a while and compare with my smartphone.
I'm tempted to side with user who argued over "post-pc" eras. Well, if some casual browsing, light emailing and similar activities is 90% of most users' needs then I'd agree that a PC (or a laptop) would be overkill. Yet I constantly find myself having to fire up "the beast" (aka my PC) for things that a tablet/smartphone couldn't handle.
P.S. Sometimes, the comments are even more educational than the articles, go go Register.