Report: Tablets replacing laptops and netbooks among consumers

Apple's iPad tablet has become extremely popular among consumers and many think that the success of the iPad as well as other tablets could replace the laptop and netbook. As reported by Industry Gamers, a new study conducted by Resolve Market Research shows that trend does indeed seem to be happening

The survey asked people which devices consumers would not buy after purchasing a tablet like an iPad. In 2011 the survey said that a whopping 53 percent of people would not purchase an e-reader after buying a tablet, which is up from 49 percent in 2010. 42 percent of survey participants said they would give up buying a laptop or netbook after buying a tablet which is well above the 32 percent of people who answered that question in 2010.

Once more survey participants said they prefer using a tablet over a laptop or netbook to perform various tasks like playing games, using apps, reading books, watching video, listening to music and podcasts and more. The laptop is still preferred for writing emails and creating documents but it barely edged the tablet in terms of browsing the Internet (47 percent for laptops vs 46 percent for tablets).

However that attitude did not extend to other electronics products. Just 26 percent of the survey participants said they would not purchase a portable gaming device after buying a tablet. That's down from a much larger 38 percent of survey participants in 2010. Similarly only 14 percent of the people who answered that question said they would not purchase a game console after buying a tablet. Again that result is down from 27 percent who gave that answer back in 2010.

Finally Apple's iPad still dominates in terms of consumer awareness. The survey said that 90 percent of survey participants were aware of the iPad and 83 percent were aware of the iPad 2. Other tablets were well behind; just 44 percent were aware of the Xoom tablet from Motorola while 46 percent were aware of Samsung's Galaxy Tab.

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Until they can put in a beefy GPU and a decent touch screen tailored for gamers, I'll still keep buying Desktop replacement laptop models.

Just got my second iPad 2. They are more capable than many Desktop/Laptop systems, and with iOS 5, they never need to be connected to a computer.

if tablets are replacing laptops and laptops are replacing desktops... where the hell do people write their essays, papers, etc?

have we gone from "will it run crysis" to "will it run angry birds"?

I think the rising demand in the table market makes a great deal of sense. Most people use laptops / netbooks to access email, web, and the occasional light game or two. For this use, tablets work well and offer more portability and longer batter life. Also, the touchscreen interface is very appealing to many users as it's a more natural way of interacting with the device.

I really doubt laptop will disappear. A lot of people don't use laptops as mobile units, they essentially use it as a mobile desktop. You may see the disappearance of netbooks or ultraportable, but anything up, the market is different.


If there are more Asus Transformers around, then a netbook have no reason to exist. A physical keyboard is all a netbook have on a tablet in MY lifestyle. An iPad with its on screen keyboard doesn't "click it" for me when I need high volume of work done whilst wanting something cheap and portable. Whilst a netbook just isn't good for general entertainment, its processing and graphics power is too low to play any games and even watching sites is a difficulty, and I have to watch battery life. I never have to even CARE about iPad's battery life, unless I left it uncharged for a week. And if you are on the go, the instant start up of a tablet beats a netbook.

The Transformer or any detachable keyboard tablets is the best of both worlds.

I love my iPad, certainly replaced my netbook, but I've still got a laptop.
Also why the **** does everything have to be about work and productivity with some of you guys, Jeez.

You can also use keyboards with iPads, Bluetooth .

I do tend to find myself using my Playbook more frequently than my laptop for basic things. However, I still do prefer my laptop for major things.

I'm not saying tablets don't have their place. There are definitely things that Apple got right with the iPad as a new platform. It's really nothing more than a smartphone with bigger real estate. But there are plenty of things you can't do on tablets, at least not yet, that the laptops are unmatched for in terms of being both portable and capable. When I want REAL power for my music studio needs and serious gaming, my desktop rules the roost. When I'm on business trips or vacation but still want all the capabilities of my desktop (to include portable drive use, access to CDs or DVDs, moderate gaming) my laptop is a must. For everything else, my Focus goes with me. A tablet just is too big to carry around all the time---I would feel like I'm back in school, carrying my books from class to class. I think its perfect niche is in the office, going to meetings, remote acessing, that sort of thing, and when you're on travel--when the full capabilities of a notebook aren't required.

As a netbook owner looking to buy again, I can see why people are tempted to look at other options. The serious lack of competition between Intel and AMD has left it dominated by lacklustre Atoms barely better than my first-generation model. Whilst tablets gain ever-increasing power, netbook users are stuck with hardware designed only with profitability in mind.

How is this a report? They asked a bunch of people a hypothetical question. There are no sales figures to prove this. If there are, people are more than welcome to prove me wrong and I'll happily step down!

What I find ridiculous is that apparently people prefer to game on tablets. I defy anyone to play Call of Duty on a tablet, even if it was available. It's bad enough on a console.

ScubaDog said,
What I find ridiculous is that apparently people prefer to game on tablets. I defy anyone to play Call of Duty on a tablet, even if it was available. It's bad enough on a console.

I think they will be thinking of Angry Birds as opposed to CoD. With my student life style, where I barely have time to play anything at campus, but have plenty of travel time, I will be better off playing easy relaxing games that is generally on tablets. Or if I need a break or two from work. If I'm going to go for CoD level of gaming, I save it till I go home where my desktop is.

A laptop don't have the kind of games available, generally, when people think of mobile gaming.

AFineFrenzy said,
How is this a report? They asked a bunch of people a hypothetical question. There are no sales figures to prove this. If there are, people are more than welcome to prove me wrong and I'll happily step down!

Not only that, but they asked if a tablet could replace a netbook. Seeing as netbooks were designed to be a secondary laptop, I'm actually surprised that there isn't a 100% "yes" responce.

If you look at figures here, and you can see that tablet sales are declining (http://www.netbooknews.com/276...e-drops-to-54-market-share/)

Quite honestly, if you ask people the right question, you'll receive the answer you want to hear, 100% of the time.

Until a tablet can run Lightroom or Photoshop (not the app, the real thing), then it is just a toy. All this proves is that the majority of notebooks are used for the web and little else.

clickbouyow said,
Until a tablet can run Lightroom or Photoshop (not the app, the real thing), then it is just a toy. All this proves is that the majority of notebooks are used for the web and little else.

Even then, I would think the precision needed with either programs could not be obtained on a tablet nor could one stay comfortable spending considerable amount of time in-front of a tablet working on photos/images.

I have no use for one at the moment. The things I need to do I either prefer to do them on my WP7 or on a full blown laptop. A Win8 laptop MIGHT change my mind, but we'll wait and see.

Easy to see why, a lot of convenience in a small package. I'll be the first in line for a Windows 8 tablet myself when they come out and I'll be getting a lot of use out of it. Only to a point though, you still can't beat a laptop with a real screen and keyboard when it comes to getting work done on the road.

Jen Smith said,
you still can't beat a laptop with a real screen and keyboard when it comes to getting work done on the road.

ASUS' Eee Transformer is pretty good if you want a tablet with a real keyboard.

As far as Windows 8 goes, I don't think it will catch on in the tablet market. I say this for three reasons.
1. Windows isn't optimised for touch screens. The windows phone metro shell only provides limited functionality. To access Windows as you would on a laptop, you'd have to drop out of the metro shell back into the touch unfriendly standard aero UI.
2. The high system requirements and inefficiency of Windows means any tablet based on it will be (a) expensive, and (b) have poor battery life compared with other iOS or Android.
3. And finally, if you buy an ARM based Windows 8 tablet, none of your existing software will be available. Unless Microsoft provides virtualisation, then existing apps will need to be rewritten and/or recompiled for the ARM architecture.

For those reasons, I don't think Windows on a tablet will succeed. I actually think that the Windows Phone 7 OS would be better for tablets because of its optimised touch UI and larger app store (for ARM).

Microsoft_Bob said,
As far as Windows 8 goes, I don't think it will catch on in the tablet market. I say this for three reasons. (snip)

That Transformer is an interesting design. Occasionally attach a USB to my current junker when needed, that Asus is a lot more elegant. Screen's still pretty small though for more demanding work, prefer the significantly larget laptop size for that sort of thing but that's just personal preference I suppose. (I strongly prefer 1680x1050 minimum, and squshing that into 10" is going to make my eyes shrivel up.)

As far as Windows itself goes, XP wasn't toooooo bad but Win7 actually handles a touch screen very well. Of course some apps aren't exactly friendly with it as you'd see on a phone/tablet, but they were designed for a desktop system in the first place. I can't possibly imagine a touch friendly phone version of say a development IDE or server admin console.. no thanks.

No arguments about battery life, just a lot more going on under the hood versus a "lighter" OS like the tablets (software and hardware wise) although my current does fairly well. Again, nature of the beast, a full OS versus a lightweight.

No surprises with ARM compatibility of course as it's not x86 compatible like the x64's.. will need ARM specific builds. Unless it's a dotNET based assembly of course then no re-building required as it's compiled to native and optimized for whatever platform it's running on at the time. The Microsoft stuff will be available of course (already shown Office, VS2012 is a given, etc) and I doubt the more popular software would take too long to show up with ARM builds.

WP7 OS on a tablet might be interesting (sorta like IOS), the big turnon for me for Windows 8 however is that it's actually Windows, not something different. Same software, same interface, no mucking around finding software that plays nice together, conversions and all that other nonsense.

The ASUS Transformer, then, essentially gives a laptop. So what's the advantage, really? And I completely disagree with your characterization of Win8 or the WP7 interface. So far, what I've seen in Win8 demos (working on a ARM-based tablet, no less) is that it really is poised to be the ubiquitous platform. The system requirements of Windows 7 were less than Vista, and Microsoft says the requirements for Windows 8 will be less than 7. You are also forgetting something very important: Even smartphone specs are ramping up dramatically. In fact, Microsoft noted that the specs of many smartphones now meet the minimum requirements to run Windows 7. With hardware advancing and operating systems becoming tighter, there's really not much stopping us from having the same OS across platforms. You said the Metro US only provides limited functionality---this is only because A) it's still early in Win8 development and B) all the apps are still "legacy". If you look at the iPad, it's just the iPhone only bigger and some of the apps that ran fine on the iPhone didn't look so hot on the iPad. So, some rewriting had to take place. Even so, all the apps you can run on either of those devices were written specifically FOR that platform. Some were ports, most were new. You're going to see the same thing with Win8. It's just a matter of time before apps move to the new meme.

Jen Smith said,

Screen's still pretty small though for more demanding work, prefer the significantly larget laptop size for that sort of thing but that's just personal preference I suppose. (I strongly prefer 1680x1050 minimum, and squshing that into 10" is going to make my eyes shrivel up.

It has a HDMI output, so you can just plug it into a 1080p monitor or tv if you want a bigger screen to work on.
Jen Smith said,

Of course some apps aren't exactly friendly with it as you'd see on a phone/tablet, but they were designed for a desktop system in the first place.

Yeah, that's the only problem with using Windows for a desktop as well as touch screen. It's really not optimised, nor are the applications running on it.
Jen Smith said,

No arguments about battery life, just a lot more going on under the hood versus a "lighter" OS like the tablets (software and hardware wise) although my current does fairly well. Again, nature of the beast, a full OS versus a lightweight.

Hopefully batteries will improve in time. Or better yet, use some superconducting electronics. It might be a while before we see those though
Jen Smith said,

No surprises with ARM compatibility of course as it's not x86 compatible like the x64's.. will need ARM specific builds. Unless it's a dotNET based

dotNet, java, html5/javascript can get round that problem, but the trouble is, most of the major and popular software is compiled to native code. We'll have to see what happens here.
Jen Smith said,

WP7 OS on a tablet might be interesting (sorta like IOS), the big turnon for me for Windows 8 however is that it's actually Windows, not something different. Same software, same interface, no mucking around finding software that plays nice together, conversions and all that other nonsense.

I can see why that might be attractive to some, but unless intel (i686/x86_64) tablets prove popular, ARM will most likely dominate, and that means all of the Windows software that people currently use, wont run by default without modification, unless of course it's interpreted code.

Microsoft_Bob said,
Hopefully batteries will improve in time. Or better yet, use some superconducting electronics. It might be a while before we see those though

On the plus side though, one of the design goals of ARM in the first place is low power consumption, so hopefully it'll be decent.

Microsoft_Bob said,
dotNet, java, html5/javascript can get round that problem, but the trouble is, most of the major and popular software is compiled to native code. We'll have to see what happens here.

True that, but fortunately the compilers are free so as long as the developers are still active and all that, shouldn't be too big an issue. Older inactive stuff obviously is a problem, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't some sort of free VM integration available like with Windows 7. Of course some code would have to be updated to take advantage of the Win8 specific API bits too, but that's an optional, "classic" programs will still work just fine.

Microsoft_Bob said,

ASUS' Eee Transformer is pretty good if you want a tablet with a real keyboard.

As far as Windows 8 goes, I don't think it will catch on in the tablet market. I say this for three reasons.
1. Windows isn't optimised for touch screens. The windows phone metro shell only provides limited functionality. To access Windows as you would on a laptop, you'd have to drop out of the metro shell back into the touch unfriendly standard aero UI.

Isn't it well know that they are going to have a fully optimized Windows 8 Tablet version..?

ScubaDog said,
The ASUS Transformer, then, essentially gives a laptop.
So what's the advantage, really?

1. It's a touch screen optimised device.
2. The keyboard is detachable.
3. It's far lighter and has a much greater battery life (ARM)
4. It runs Android.
Laptops and Netbook will eventually disappear. They aren't anywhere near as mobile as tablets. The Transformer is quite unique in that you can basically use it in the same way as a laptop (actual typing), then detach the keyboard and turn it into a mobile tablet for taking on the go. It's going to be very popular I imagine.
ScubaDog said,

So far, what I've seen in Win8 demos (working on a ARM-based tablet, no less) is that it really is poised to be the ubiquitous platform.

Except that the price / performance ratio is questionable, as is the battery life, usefulness outside of the metro shell when dealing with a touch screen, and let's not forget, most of your existing software will not run on it without modification.

Those are some big caveats.

ScubaDog said,

The system requirements of Windows 7 were less than Vista, and Microsoft says the requirements for Windows 8 will be less than 7.

Windows 7's minimum requirements are pretty hefty compared with the current tablet line up. 1GB Ram and 16GB disk space (just for the OS, ouch!). That's actually identical is far as I can tell to Vista. Unfortunately, a minimum requirements machine usually runs like a dog. Tablets need to be smooth, so It really needs at a minimum, 2GB of Ram, 16GB disk space, and dual core 2ghz+ processsor, as well as a Directx 9 GPU. That's going to be very costly.

ScubaDog said,

Even so, all the apps you can run on either of those devices were written specifically FOR that platform. Some were ports, most were new. You're going to see the same thing with Win8. It's just a matter of time before apps move to the new meme.

That assumes developers/companies will devote resources to an unproven platform (Windows on ARM). We'll have to see, but you can be sure that none of the major software will be available from the get go. That's going to disappoint a lot of users who were expecting all their existing software to work out of the box.

Microsoft_Bob said,

1. Windows isn't optimised for touch screens. The windows phone metro shell only provides limited functionality. To access Windows as you would on a laptop, you'd have to drop out of the metro shell back into the touch unfriendly standard aero UI.
2. The high system requirements and inefficiency of Windows means any tablet based on it will be (a) expensive, and (b) have poor battery life compared with other iOS or Android.

I didn't realize builds were out and available for hands-on testing. But clearly, since you already know how it will perform and the extent of the metro shell's integration, all of this must be finalized and accessible somewhere, right?

Aghares said,
Of course, after buying a tablet, the people would see that it is pretty limited to replace a desktop/notebook...

It completely depends what you are using it for.

Aghares said,
Of course, after buying a tablet, the people would see that it is pretty limited to replace a desktop/notebook...

Really? I think that the vast majority of people only use the web browser on their computer. Maybe a word processor and spreadsheet. What kind of limitations do you think the average computer user would face with a tablet?

I realize that probably most of the users here would find a tablet limiting in their day-to-day computing. I certainty couldn't perform all my job functions on a tablet. But I would argue that the average Joe home user doesn't have the same computing requirements that you do.

Shadrack said,

Really? I think that the vast majority of people only use the web browser on their computer. Maybe a word processor and spreadsheet. What kind of limitations do you think the average computer user would face with a tablet?

I realize that probably most of the users here would find a tablet limiting in their day-to-day computing. I certainty couldn't perform all my job functions on a tablet. But I would argue that the average Joe home user doesn't have the same computing requirements that you do.

I wish I could agree. I, however, can't. The browsing experience is limited. If we are talking about the iPad than we have no Flash, no Silverlight and no Java. Hence, the need for external applications when doing something like Netflix or MLB baseball (watching the games). This of course can be handled by other tablets, though... at least in the case of Flash it runs on average pretty poorly. On the positive side, we have HTML5 and OpenGL. It, however, would seem that they really require a bit more horsepower (CPU and GPU) then almost any tablet can give them for a good user experience.

As for word processing, I again would have to disagree. The experience is horrible. Typing on a virtual keyboard is awkward and fit only for making corrections to an existing document. You are not going to be able to type 10 to 25 pages a night. You can of course hook up an external keyboard using such things as bluebooth, but the process is so-so. Then there is the problem of printing, you are mostly looking at cloud printing because there are no native drivers. This has improved, but it has a long way to go to be really useful for most.

On a secondary note, the quality of word processing and spreadsheets are rather weak. No one cares about iWork. They want either Word or Wordperfect (yes, even the home user). I will be impressed when I see a full working copy of either running on a tablet or at least a copy of something like Nisus Writer (event eh Express edition). I just don't see this happening on the current limited hardware.

Finally, on the idea that most users only want to browse the web and word process... I have always found this kind of offensive. It seemed to be something, though I could be wrong, that began out of the mid to late 90s by the GNU/Linux community because they really didn't have an answer at the time for the level of software that Windows, and to a lesser degree, the Mac provided. It fundamentally may have been the hindrance in the beginning that pretty much led to the death of the "traditional" Linux desktop. If there was a push today, it might be different.

So I'll use my cousin (who I just got done doing some repairs on her computer, a notebook). I would consider her knowledge of computers/technology to be very low, and I think she would probably agree. I, however, disagree that all of a sudden makes her want a dumb down experience.

As you seem to suggest, she does use the web and a program to create documents (i.e. Word). It should be pointed out that she has a Macbook.
A few other activities she engages in:
1). Genealogy (the best app I've seen so far is Reunion and she felt it looked pretty bad)
2). She's an amateur photographer, she uses Photoshop
3). She's an amateur writer as well, she uses Word, Schrivener and needs to be able to create PDF and EPUB documents.
4). Her husband does a lot of video editing (of family videos and such). I believe that iMovie would not really fit his needs. Further, he generally likes to still dump the video to disc, which is a two step process of a tablet. Sure, they could upload the data into the "cloud." But they live in CA, and their current ISP has caps that they would quickly exceed.

Finally, I will reinforce that these people know almost nothing about technology by the standards of this website. They can navigate the web and use applications, but there are not really capable of fixing their own devices or debugging something when it goes wrong. We are not talking about a programmer, network admin or frankly, even a power user. We are talking about the typical end user.