Tablet owners migrating PC tasks to the slate

Summary:A survey conducted by the NPD Group of 2,400 tablet owners shows a marked decrease in usage of the PC in favor of the tablet.

A survey conducted by the NPD Group of 2,400 consumers shows a marked decrease in usage of the PC in favor of the tablet. The three tasks that respondents find to be better suited for the tablet are email, social networking and web browsing. These tasks also fit the smartphone well, but owners are not as satisfied with using the phone as they are the tablet.

The survey didn't specify which tablets are being used for these activities, but logic dictates the majority are using the iPad due to numbers of the Apple tablet that have been sold to date. Survey respondents claimed that 30 percent of tablet owners are using the PC less for email and web browsing, while 28 percent of them prefer the slate for social networking. While 35 percent of smartphone owners report using that device for more email than the PC, the smaller display leads to much less phone usage for web browsing and social networking than PC.

The impressive numbers from the survey indicate a high satisfaction rate with performing these tasks on the tablet. Over 60 percent of tablet owners are satisfied with how well the devices work with email, social networking and web browsing. The satisfaction rate is much lower with the smartphone for all tasks with the exception of email.

There are several factors contributing to user satisfaction with the tablet for these tasks: screen size, comfort and battery life chief among them. The increasing pattern of greater smartphone usage over the past few years demonstrated the benefits of a highly mobile device for such core functions, and the larger screen of the tablet improved the experience and has captured the attention of consumers. The tablet is almost as mobile as the smartphone, yet delivers a much richer online experience than that of the smartphone.

NPD points out that due to the decline of PC usage in favor of the tablet, PC makers better get a tablet in their product lineups or lose out to the shifting usage patterns.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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