Survey: College students still want laptops over tablets

Much has been made about how PC shipments are currently declining worldwide and how tablet sales might overtake the PC industry in the near future. However, it appears that college students have yet to fully embrace the tablet trend, at least according to a new survey.

Marketwatch reports that, according to the annual "back to school” survey of college students by the research firm Deloitte, a whopping 82 percent of students own a laptop, while 80 percent own a smartphone. Tablets are still a low priority purchase with just 18 percent of students saying they own such a product.

One of the big reasons is that students, at least the ones that are going to college to study and learn and not just to party, need a laptop to do school work. Louis Ramirez, senior features writer on DealNews.com, states, "You can’t write a 10-page research paper with an iPad." The article points out that while there are many third party physical keyboards for the iPad and other tablets, the good old fashioned Windows desktop user interface can handle multitasking better than iOS or Android devices.

Laptops also tend to have bigger screens than tablets as well as better speakers, which is important for students who want to watch videos or listen to music in their dorm room. Finally, laptop prices tend to be at their cheapest level during the back to school sales period. Students can buy a solid laptop for as low as $200 and many PC makers offer special deals for students during this time period.

Ultimately, many analysts believe that the notebook-tablet hybrid product category will replace the regular laptop and tablet for students. If that happens it could be a big boost to Microsoft and its OEM partners who have already released a number of such products such as the Lenovo Yoga line and products from Acer.

Source: Marketwatch
Student with laptop image via Shutterstock

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I still prefer the laptop (maybe not the big ones though) over any tablet. I mean its really cool to have one when you're just on the mall chilling in the restaurant waiting for your food but when it comes to writing research papers and doing things like a PowerPoint presentation, I would pick a laptop (heck even a netbook) over a tablet any day. Plus, most of the stuff I do usually involves multitasking like say, Firefox for articles, social media, YouTube and such while WMP is on and an IRC client is snapped to the side.

I don't think only students want laptops over tablets.I can use a tablet while on the road or not at home,but while I'm home I never use the tablet.

Yep. Wife is going to grad school in a few months and upon asking she said she'd much prefer a laptop vs tablet. I still hold to the thought that getting real work done is harder to do on a tablet.

No surprise there! College students computers for more serious purposes, and intensive keyboard entry, as in the huge number of papers and reports required for classes, is still required. Thus, table keyboards are not up to the task at hand. If one adds a remote keyboard to a tablet, you have a two-piece laptop with a tiny display--how smart is that?

A product class is defined by its usage. What people call tablets are designed for media playback with low power consumption. Laptops are general purpose productivity devices. They are clearly not in the same market. Clearly someone in school needs a productivity more than entertainment.

Spicoli said,
A product class is defined by its usage. What people call tablets are designed for media playback with low power consumption. Laptops are general purpose productivity devices. They are clearly not in the same market. Clearly someone in school needs a productivity more than entertainment.

The problem is that people associate the term "Tablet" with Steve Jobs interpretation of the concept; MS one, which coined the term Tablet but inexplicably never patented it, is quite different:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Tablet_PC

Granted the market response was poor and now the majority of people when the word "Tablet" is used immediately think to something like the iPad which is very unfortunate.

I have run into a lot people who who think they could everything done on tablet but end up not using it as much as they thought they would. They hit wall where tablet just isn't great experience. Its great for consumption activities but not productivity.

Melfster said,
I have run into a lot people who who think they could everything done on tablet but end up not using it as much as they thought they would. They hit wall where tablet just isn't great experience. Its great for consumption activities but not productivity.

Again it all depends by what you would define as a Tablet: I bought my first Tablet, a Toshiba 3505 which was a convertible one not a slate, more than ten years ago and since then I kept buying only others convertible devices and I have never missed a "regular" laptop.

Fritzly said,

Again it all depends by what you would define as a Tablet: I bought my first Tablet, a Toshiba 3505 which was a convertible one not a slate, more than ten years ago and since then I kept buying only others convertible devices and I have never missed a "regular" laptop.

Apple has changed the definition of the word "Tablet". You need to specify you have a Windows tablet now and many people still don't know that Windows tablets can be just like laptops.

mrp04 said,

Apple has changed the definition of the word "Tablet". You need to specify you have a Windows tablet now and many people still don't know that Windows tablets can be just like laptops.

You wanna try and use one of these...

http://avtomanual.com/uploads/...09-05/1243279225_proxia.jpg

Absolute heap of junk, that's what a tablet used to be. We actually got them sent in for servicing because they were taking too long to boot... (about 10 minutes) but that was just the standard time.

Windows XP

kayzee said,

You wanna try and use one of these...

http://avtomanual.com/uploads/...09-05/1243279225_proxia.jpg

Absolute heap of junk, that's what a tablet used to be. We actually got them sent in for servicing because they were taking too long to boot... (about 10 minutes) but that was just the standard time.

Windows XP

THAT thing ran XP? Looks like it's from the 95 era.

You can take a look at this tablet

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:X61_Tablet

Released in 2007. Not a POS like your linked one. This is a convertible which can function just like a laptop. I have it's descendent the X230 tablet which I love (other than its crappy 1366x768 resolution). They mostly stopped making slates until recently but you could always find one if you needed a slate.

There are many Windows tablets since Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (an even more before that). Windows tablets have existed and been useful for a long time. Just not for the same stuff that ARM tablets are for (which is not much though).

mrp04 said,

THAT thing ran XP? Looks like it's from the 95 era.

You can take a look at this tablet

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:X61_Tablet

Released in 2007. Not a POS like your linked one. This is a convertible which can function just like a laptop. I have it's descendent the X230 tablet which I love (other than its crappy 1366x768 resolution). They mostly stopped making slates until recently but you could always find one if you needed a slate.

There are many Windows tablets since Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (an even more before that). Windows tablets have existed and been useful for a long time. Just not for the same stuff that ARM tablets are for (which is not much though).

Yes XP unfortunately, the software on there is made by Citroen. They did actually move over to Lenovo which were far, far better.

The Panasonic Toughbook's weren't bad either.

Dushmany said,
I guess according to mcrosoft, this survey is wrong as well

No, this survey is justification for Windows tablets.

Lets face it, tablets in their current state are just toys to make us feel sophisticated. The most business you get done on a tablet is responding to email. I exclude current tablets with detachable keyboards and support mice.

MikadoWu said,
Put down your iPad and try a Windows 8 Tablet....... They will change you.

There's an issue with the word "Tablet". It has changed from the 2002 definition Microsoft gave it to the definition that Apple gave it which means "ARM tablet used for playing games and watching videos". That's the definition people think of nowadays. You have to specifically say Windows, Convertible, or Hybrid tablet to mean one which you can actually be productive on.

tablets just don't have a specs for all that college students need to do, 16 or 32 GB just isn't enough, especially when most students are downloading music and video files or storing work from the previous semester.

Um, again I do not think you have done your homework. My daughter has the 128G Surface Pro and a 64G MMC card. TO date neither are maxed out. She also has a 2T Portable HDD which has "Star Wars Old Republic" installed on it, all her Music, and around 50 amine series.

I could go on and on.

MikadoWu said,
Um, again I do not think you have done your homework. My daughter has the 128G Surface Pro and a 64G MMC card. TO date neither are maxed out. She also has a 2T Portable HDD which has "Star Wars Old Republic" installed on it, all her Music, and around 50 amine series.

I could go on and on.

So essentially, she has bugger all installed on it and, surprise surprise, it isn't full.

You'd be surprised. SO MANY of them carry around their macbooks and iPads. They're obviously capable of buying what they want. UNLIMITED LOANS!!

John, mind not using stock pictures of pretty girls with cleavage showing? It's destructive to my workflow as bad as it is already. Thxbai.

On topic: whatevs...

lol, I'm surprised you noticed that, it's only a tiny bit. I had to scroll back up to see what you meant. Just looks like a college kid with a laptop. Could have been a lot worse

On topic: I love my tablet, but it will never take the place of my laptop/desktop computers. It's more of a toy, a casual game machine, a reader, maybe an internet browsing machine. Not something I can get serious work done with.

Charisma said,
lol, I'm surprised you noticed that, it's only a tiny bit. I had to scroll back up to see what you meant. Just looks like a college kid with a laptop. Could have been a lot worse

This

I can't see anything wrong with that photo.

Perhaps Neowin should use an XKCD-style girl in the future to please the American readers and/or label the article NSFW?

I can't see either. It was meant as an encouragement through denial - noo, noo, John, what are you doing? More, pls, thx.

But most of all I very much wanted to drop a bag of hammers on the floor here. Now my foot hurts... oh well.

Buttus said,
Can you imagine writing a paper on a tablet? i mean, with no keyboard...

If it has a Stylus, yes. I have written a lot of papers and proposals on TabletPC era Tablets before the iPad changed the 'default' concept of a tablet to touch only.

The Surface Pro or any of the x86 tablets that have stylus support work well in just 'tablet form'.

They also work well with a traditional keyboard plugged into the device or better layout Bluetooth keyboards.

(This is where the disconnect exists. When you ask the majority of people about a 'tablet' for serious work, they immediately think iPad. And with the iPad even if you have a great keyboard accessory, traditional types of software is slow and rather badly done due to the framework limitations.

This disconnect works both ways, as I have seen people exposed to a Surface Pro or equivalent tablet, and they do not think of them as a tablet, because they are not limited to only the tablet form factor.)

You really need to sit down with the Surface Pro and Type Keyboard. The Type keyboard fits like a cover and you barley notice it is there. My Daughter types around 70 words a minute on yet, and she is a slow typeset, compared to her brother.

Plus Bluetooth Keyboard in the Dorm, just walk into the room and it is connected.

Mobius Enigma said,

If it has a Stylus, yes. I have written a lot of papers and proposals on TabletPC era Tablets before the iPad changed the 'default' concept of a tablet to touch only.

The Surface Pro or any of the x86 tablets that have stylus support work well in just 'tablet form'.

They also work well with a traditional keyboard plugged into the device or better layout Bluetooth keyboards.

(This is where the disconnect exists. When you ask the majority of people about a 'tablet' for serious work, they immediately think iPad. And with the iPad even if you have a great keyboard accessory, traditional types of software is slow and rather badly done due to the framework limitations.

This disconnect works both ways, as I have seen people exposed to a Surface Pro or equivalent tablet, and they do not think of them as a tablet, because they are not limited to only the tablet form factor.)

Stylus to write a paper? Yeesh. 100WPM on a keyboard is way better.

I loved using my tablet PC to write notes in class, especially because I could draw figures on it. Can't do that with a keyboard. But come time to write a lab report I used my tablet in laptop mode or my desktop.

No surprise there. A student needs two things, desktop MS office and a hardware keyboard.

Only a proper windows x86 hybrid tablet can/might replace a laptop; as long as they don't charge an arm and a leg for it.

Correct, but I can not see 'many' opting for a hybrid either. With laptop you pull it out open the screen and start using. While the tablet seems a lot better, but you have to erect it, set up the keyboard (maybe thats just me) and then adjust the screen tilt to match your viewing angle is just too cumbersome.

Blueclub said,
Correct, but I can not see 'many' opting for a hybrid either. With laptop you pull it out open the screen and start using. While the tablet seems a lot better, but you have to erect it, set up the keyboard (maybe thats just me) and then adjust the screen tilt to match your viewing angle is just too cumbersome.

I don't get what you mean.

http://tabletpop.com/wp-conten...nx-hybrid-tablet-review.jpg

Seems to work like a laptop in this form.

A little sloppy carrying to separate pieces, even attached. But you're right, upgrades to this, in the future, will be far better.

Blueclub said,
A little sloppy carrying to separate pieces, even attached. But you're right, upgrades to this, in the future, will be far better.

Ah, yes, I see your point now.
Current hybrid offerings are not exactly sleek; a bit chubby in fact. Things might get better with haswell tablets.

Blueclub said,
but you have to erect it, set up the keyboard (maybe thats just me) and then adjust the screen tilt to match your viewing angle is just too cumbersome.

You don't adjust the screen tilt to match your viewing angle when using a laptop?

x.iso said,
actually, Surface RT quite fitting for such purpose

The problem with these hybrids, and the Surface in particular, is that the keyboard is just awful for prolonged typing. Scissor switch keyboards on laptop are second only to mechanical keyboards for typing. Those chiclet keyboards are awful.

My Daughter Dumped her Laptop for the SURFACE PRO with the Type Keyboard. You can not pry it away from her now.

She does have a Bluetooth Full Size keyboard for her Dorm Room and a 24" Screen.

Wakers said,

The problem with these hybrids, and the Surface in particular, is that the keyboard is just awful for prolonged typing. Scissor switch keyboards on laptop are second only to mechanical keyboards for typing. Those chiclet keyboards are awful.


The Type cover is fantastic, actually. I can type for eons on it. Reallyh wish I had one for when I was in school. 2 years too late

Blueclub said,
Correct, but I can not see 'many' opting for a hybrid either. With laptop you pull it out open the screen and start using. While the tablet seems a lot better, but you have to erect it, set up the keyboard (maybe thats just me) and then adjust the screen tilt to match your viewing angle is just too cumbersome.

I am not sure that I follow you; I never liked the Slate format and always used Convertible Tablets. I open it as a regular laptop and start using it; if I want to use it as a Tablet I just turn the screen and place it on the keyboard. The device change the orientation automatically and I can either type or use the pen.

Blueclub said,
A little sloppy carrying to separate pieces, even attached. But you're right, upgrades to this, in the future, will be far better.

You can still get hybrids that travel as a single piece, an example being the Asus Vivotab (http://www.asus.com/vivo/en/vivoTab.htm). I had an Asus Transformer back in the day (i.e. the Android equivalent of the Vivotab) and it worked very well. With the keyboard attached it basically functioned as a laptop, and there was a button on the base to detach the screen to use it as a tablet.

That's the ideal setup for a tablet IMO, but they're somewhat prohibitively expensive compared to regular tablets and laptops.

You do know there is NO erect with the Surface. It coverts as fast or faster then your Laptop.

People if you have never user the Surface Pro, Go try it..... I personally will never by another Laptop in my life, and I am looking at my Desktop being my last one too.

BTW, Photoshop CS6 opens in 5-7 seconds on it, and you also have the stylist to draw.