I did see this exact same review and thought what a lot of people here do.
We are also a school doing a netbook scheme, this is now the 3rd year doing it. Parents are pushed in to spending £249 for a cheap netbook which is insured, warranty etc or a more expensive option £359/69 I can't remember the full price. Again this is insured/warranty for 2 years. The cost also covers a few other things.
As covered in my other posts this is by no means an easy thing to support. We went netbooks because they worked with the software we got. Some of this is available of iPads and some only recently. Staff training has not been heavy as a result. Supporting them is also simple.
BUT I have to say this has been an immense work load I walked in to and even after 3 months I am still 50/50 if I think its working. We are setting things in motion to improve the netbooks but its no easy task. I have made my opinion clear to the head, we will bend over backwards to make it work and improve it but I still believe desktops are the best way. We are aware when classes are using their netbooks because we end up with 2-5 up here with us with simple problems or damages - straight away that class is now affected in teaching and learning.
The Guardian article isn't exactly news is it? iPads are simply the netbooks/laptops of a few years ago and the same questions apply about does it improve and enhance learning etc - and grades of course <ducks>!
A large secondary school near me decided to go down the iPad Mini for every student route and parents would pay for them. However they would only go ahead with the project if at least 80% of parents agreed to it, and by that I mean agreed to "buy" one. I have just looked at their website and I think the scheme is going ahead although it is a little vague. They have a "10 reasons why iPads will help students" PDF just in case you couldn't think of any yourself!
I'm not convinced about the value of these schemes yet and neither have I seen any independent evidence to show their benefits. I'm happy to be proved wrong of course!