It’s odd how people perceive the iPad after a decade. From what I read, the view overall seems negative. Even smart analysts like Stratechery call it “tragic”.
I can see why reviewers see that. They had an expectation of what the device could be, and lament that it never became that. That is one way to perceive it.
I think there are two different and better ways to view it. One way is seeing the iPad as a secondary device. The iPad will be always secondary to the iPhone, just as the Touch will always be secondary to the iPhone. The iPhone is the premier Apple device, and all other devices do and even should be secondary to it. The iPhone sits at the center, and the Watch and the Airpods and the other devices sit outside of that.
Another way of looking at it is that perhaps the MacBook, the iPhone, Apple TV and the iPad will merge over time. Perhaps in the future there will be no separate MacBook and iPhone. Instead there will be a Display, a Keyboard or UI of some form, and and a Network Device. Underneath it all will be software that brings them all together. That’s my long term expectation.
The iPad is a great device. It’s not the iPhone, and it’s not a Mac. It does what Apple needs it to do right now, and it will continue to do so over time.