With an IMAP account for syncing server stored mailboxes between Outlook, the iPad, and iPhone, and with an email account that supports over the air syncing for contacts and calendar events if this represents "etc" with your post.
It is now possible to access a Gmail account as an Exchange account with the Mail app with an iOS device which provides over the air syncing for Google contacts and calendar events, but I not sure if Google provides a free option to sync contacts and calendar events with Outlook on a PC as well.
Yes, Google has a standalone app that runs as a service to sync outlook calendar. I use it on my laptop to sync my work computer with google calender then have my Blackberry and iPad sync with it as well, so any change I make on any device will be added to all the others.
as for Contacts, Google is a bit lacking on a good app, but there is a 3rd party app (free) [GO Contact Sync Mod] that I use to sync my contacts across platforms.