To decide if a product is better than the other, we normally compare their features list. But, if the products aren't in the same category, this doesn't work so well. This is why I think comparing the Apple iPad to laptops, iPod Touch or netbooks is pointless and irrelevant. When Apple entered the mobile phone market, they didn't care if their iPhone was lacking in features. Instead, they focused on what they thought was more important to a phone user. The iPhone isn't a phone for everyone but there was enough people that loved it.
After the App Store was added to the iPhone, you started to see the other mobile manufacturers attempting to match this feature by building their own. All of a sudden, the once-lacking-in-feature phone is now the one to beat.
I think the key to building a revolutionary product is to make your competitors' features list irrelevant. Invent your own category and if you succeed, your product's features list will then be the industry standard.