Social Networking, Emailing Daily Tablet Activities: Gartner

Tablet devices are most used for checking email, the news and social media browsing, according to a Gartner report.

As more and more tablet devices enter the marketplace€”Google and Microsoft are the latest to unveil tablets in an ever-expanding field€”users are growing more accustomed to them as part of their daily routine, with checking email and reading the news as the top two activities, according to a survey from IT research firm Gartner of tablet users in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Eighty-one percent of respondents check email daily, while 69 percent read the news, according to survey results, followed by checking the weather forecast (63 percent), social networking (62 percent) and gaming (60 percent).

€œThe rapid adoption of media tablets is substantively changing how consumers access, create and share content,€ Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said in a prepared statement. €œThe survey found that more than 50 percent of media tablet owners prefer to read news, magazines and books on screen, rather than on paper. On average, one in three respondents used their media tablets to read a book, compared with 13 percent for mobile PCs, and 7 percent for mobile phones.€

The tablet is also the preferred connected device in the home, according to the report, more so than mobile phones or PCs, with the highest usage taking place in the living room (87 percent), the bedroom (65 percent) and the kitchen (47 percent). Weekday evenings are the most popular usage time for tablets while at home, the report found. However, tablet users are also more likely to have other connected devices like smartphones or notebooks, and use these devices interchangeably rather than as replacements. Along with their tablets, most respondents also owned PCs, TVs and mobile phones.

€œWe do not believe that the €˜paperless home€™ will prevail, but it is clear that the €˜less-paper model€™ is the new reality,€ Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a press statement. €œThe ongoing convergence of previously distinct devices seems to be turning the market for consumer devices from hardware-centric to usage-centric.€

Survey respondents also indicated the tablet€™s form factor was the primary reason for purchase, due to its convenience, small size and light weight. The results also suggested users view tablets as a very personal device, more similar to a smartphone than a notebook or PC, with 45 percent of respondents saying they do not share their tablet at all. Women are more likely to receive tablets as gifts, while men are more likely to go out and purchase a tablet for their own use, the survey indicated.