It’s hard to believe it’s already/only been three years since Apple introduced its category defining iPad. On the one hand, it seems like only yesterday. On the other hand, for those of us with tablet computers of one stripe or another, it’s hard to imagine life before our new constant companions—in the same way those of us who came up before the Internet can barely remember the days before Pine.

tabletThere was a great piece on Ars Technica about two weeks ago in which its editors reflected on the device, their initial impressions and its impact on their lives since.

I recall my own pre-iPad days as ones of awkwardly balancing a MacBook on my knees or an ottoman while doing my couch computing, or lugging it to the kitchen—and exposing it to risk of spills, splatters and crashes to the floor—while cooking. I resisted forking over the big bucks for a long time until I had the opportunity to buy one, and I was hooked, springing for the then-New iPad (aka iPad 3). Now I ponder not only when I should upgrade, but whether one tablet is enough. With the new Nexus 7 on the way, I have a feeling I’ll be dipping into the 7-inch form factor soon enough.

I read books, magazines and Web pages almost exclusively on this or other lean-back devices (I still love my Nook Simple Touch), and I consume media in ways I hadn’t thought of before through apps like Zite, Flipboard, Pocket and more. (I also play a ton of Scrab…, er, Words With Friends.) As weird and derpy as it might sound, I find myself to be generally happier, at least while I’m doing those things, than I did when I was dealing with my laptop (which I still use happily and voraciously for all that content creation business).

How has the tablet changed your life, and your business? Were you skeptical? Were you onboard from the get-go? Does your tablet make you happy? Tell me in the comments. And ask your friends to do so as well.

* This essay originally appeared on the website of Book Business magazine, a Teleread sister publication.