Tablets will make a big splash in the home. A few things will have to happen: the interfaces must be simple, any syncing must be wireless, ebooks must be supported well, and the must be rugged.
The thing about tablets is that they can be many different things to the same person. To one person it could be a TV remote, an e-reader, a gaming device, a web browser, a calculator, a social media platform, a recipe card database and editor, a media player, a home indexer and on and on. What to take away from that is that someone may be using it as a remote, then go into the kitchen get flour all over it, wipe it off and watch an episode of Good Eats while the cake bakes. Beyond all that it's not inconceivable that the same device will be made off with by a two year old when you're not looking.
Students could use the heck out of tablets. They'd need a few things too though: everything from the home list, stylus input, palm rejection, e-textbooks, mic-in for recording lectures, et. al. As a student you juggle a lot, keeping track of class materials is no small part of that. Another issue is mobility. Get a few books in your bag and it starts to feel like a ton, in addition to being bulky. To me, replacing all that with a single tablet is a very very exciting proposition.
Carrying a lot of student requirements over like palm rejection is crucial. Throwing in PDF reading and note-taking sweetens the pot. With this though, wireless syncing becomes critical. Device backups are incredibly important. Mobile e-mail and calender alerts and updating are important too. I recently read about a hospital giving doctors iPads recently, to use for accessing patient's charts etc.
Red Leader's the one that really needs to be sold on tablets. When you can make them cheap enough and functional enough that everyone has to have them. That's when I'll know that tablet computing has really arrived.