As a new academic staff, I received an iPad from my department. I have never owned nor used an iPad before, so it is still in the box for the past week or so. I am a bit reluctant to open it, as I am not sure if it would be useful, and I have actually been thinking of returning it to the department. But to be sure I won't regret it, is there anything particularly good about an iPad that it would be nice for an academic staff to have it?
I don't think that an iPad does anything magically different for academic personell than for anybody else. Some of my colleagues review papers on them, some use them as a very small laptop while travelling, and (I presume) most just use it to read the news, play games, or slack off otherwise while in the train or plane.
In summary - if you have no idea what you would use it for then you probably don't need it.