One of the key complaints about iPad has been its lack of multitasking. With it you can only run one application at a time, though music for example will still continue to play while you work. This is not how computers have traditionally worked, but it may not only be a bad thing. Om Malik notes:
In many ways, the iPad’s lack of multitasking ability makes it worthy of focusing on just the task at hand. In my brief usage of the device at the time of its unveiling, I felt a near-complete interaction with an email or a document or a web page. That was near nirvana when it came to consumption of content.
This is close to the way I work on my Ubuntu Netbook. When I use an application - be it a web browser or a code editor - I run it maximized, trying to rid my screen of unnecessary distractions. This is what makes the netbook my work machine.
My work machine is not a communications tool. For that I have my N900 universal communicator, a second screen with beautiful multitasking capabilities. The N900 is the hub of all the potential distractions - whether you call me, IM me, or ping me on IRC, the little notification led will start to blink. If I don't want to be distracted I simply leave the communicator in my bag.
So yes, in an increasingly distracting world, single-tasking may have a new purpose.