Tablets take over as iPad owners ignore their laptops

32 per cent of tablet owners use their laptops "less often, or not at all."

Apple CEO Steve Jobs may have been onto something when he said that "PCs are going to be like trucks," as some tablet owners are reportedly letting their PCs gather dust.

According to Nielsen, 35 per cent of tablet owners with desktop PCs say they're using the computer less often than before, or not at all. The percentage of tablet owners who use their laptops "less often, or not at all" is 32 per cent.

That means the majority of tablet owners are using their PCs as much or more than before, but I think there's a little more to this story. In Nielsen's survey, 77 per cent of tablet owners say they use the device in ways for which they previously turned to a laptop or desktop, suggesting that people are replacing PC use with tablet use more than they let on. Either that, or tablets have compelled people to use all of their computers more than ever before.

Anecdotally, I can say that the iPad has replaced my laptop for almost everything but work. When Friday afternoon rolls around, it's not uncommon for me to leave the laptop off until Monday morning. The tablet is more convenient for reading e-mail, checking Twitter and browsing the Web -- the kind of things I'm inclined to do in the evenings and on weekends. In that sense, Jobs is right. The tablet's portability and ease of use makes it the vehicle of choice for basic tasks.

Still, I don't think his analogy is flawless. Comparing PCs to trucks, as he did at the All Things D conference in 2010, implies that most people won't own PCs. For the foreseeable future, that's quite a stretch. Laptops and desktops excel at typing, pointing, cutting, pasting, and multitasking. The things you take for granted on a PC, such as highlighting a chunk of text, resizing a photo, or looking at two application windows side-by-side, are a chore (or even impossible) on tablets. Even if I didn't use my laptop for work, I wouldn't want to be stuck without one. I can't say the same thing about a truck.

Follow Jared on Facebook and Twitter for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tablet PCAppleapple ipadnielsenhardware systemstabletstablet PCslaptops

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?