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Tablets Become Choice for Many Tasks in Daily Life

Tablets Become Choice for Many Tasks in Daily Life Credit: Man using tablet image via Shutterstock

From checking the news and weather to socializing with friends and reading emails, new research shows tablets have quickly become a big part of the world's daily routine.

The study by Gartner revealed the top five activities migrating from personal computers to media tablets are checking email, reading the news, checking the weather forecast, social networking and gaming.

“The rapid adoption of media tablets is substantively changing how consumers access, create and share content,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

The research also shows that a shift from paper to screen-based consumption is under way.

The survey found that more than 50 percent of tablet owners prefer to read news, magazines and books on a screen rather than on paper.

"We do not believe that the 'paperless home' will prevail, but it is clear that the 'less-paper model' is the new reality," said Meike Escherich, a principal research analyst at Gartner.

The study found that tablets play a more dominant role in the home than mobile phones or PCs, with the highest usage in the living room, bedroom and kitchen.

"Weekday evenings are the most popular time to use media tablets, and this usage flattens out during the weekend as people tend to be away from home," Milanesi said. [Read related article: The Best Business Tablets for Entrepreneurs

Most purchase a tablet over a PC for its convenience, small size and light weight, the study shows.

The research also found that 45 percent of respondents don’t share their tablet, confirming that a media tablet is almost as personal as a mobile phone when it comes to usage and consumer attitude.

While tablets might be used more in the home, mobile phones are used most throughout the day. According to the survey, the average owner uses their mobile phone an average of eight times a day for tasks requiring connectivity, compared to just twice a day for tablets and three times a day for laptop computers.

"The mobile phone is the most personal device in the hands of users, and it enables more private activities," said Annette Zimmermann, a principal research analyst at Gartner.

Males and females showed similar attitudes toward the use of mobile devices; however, men seem to prefer gathering information with their mobile devices, while women use them more for personalized entertainment activities like gaming and socializing via Facebook or Twitter, the research showed.

The study was based on surveys of more than 500 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia who own at least one tablet and two other connected devices.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.