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Survey: Most consumers would rather get a tablet than a laptop for the holidays

by David Needle

November 16 2011

Are laptop computers becoming the equivalent of black coal in the stocking for Christmas? Not quite, but a new survey indicates that when consumers are given a choice between getting a laptop and tablet, well, it’s really no choice at all.

The survey by online shopping site PriceGrabber, showed that the vast majority (79%) of consumers preferred getting a tablet for a holiday gift versus a laptop. 

As for which tablet, no surprise, Apple’s market-leading iPad 2 was the clear winner at 83%. Buzz for Amazon’s then yet-to-be shipped Kindle Fire was only starting to pick up when the survey was taken last month, which may help explain the device’s poor showing at at only five percent. No other tablet did even that well, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab a poor third place at four percent. 

Those surveyed also think tablets are having an impact on market for e-readers. Seventy-two percent of shoppers survey indicated that they believe tablet computers will replace e-readers as gifts this year. The survey was conducted from Oct. 18 to 26, 2011, with responses from 3,574 U.S. online shopping consumers.

"Apple has experienced enormous success with its groundbreaking iPad, and our survey data confirms that enthusiasm for the brand will likely remain during the 2011 holiday shopping season," said Graham Jones, general manager of PriceGrabber, in a release. "We expect that tablets, such as the iPad, will be a clear gift choice for many multitasking, budget-conscious consumers looking for an efficient and convenient computer at a relatively reasonable price." 

Of those shoppers who indicated a preference for tablets over laptops, 85% said it was because they are easy to carry and transport, 73% preferred the tablet's light weight, 67 percent cited convenience, and another 67 percent enjoyed the touchscreen. Sixty percent preferred the tablet's smaller size, 56% said that they can use the tablet for reading on the go, 49% cited speed, 42% liked its multimedia features that are similar to a smartphone, and 41% cited an exceptional battery life. 

When consumers were asked which tablet they would prefer to receive as a gift this year, a whopping 83% said they preferred the Apple iPad or iPad 2.

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