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What work? Tablet owners prefer to slack off with their slabs

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Tablet owners love their fondleslabs, but hardly anybody thinks of them as tools for business, according to a new report from JD Power and Associates.

The study, based on a survey of 1,857 tablet owners that was conducted in February 2013, found that just 20 per cent of them admitted to using their devices for "business activities."

Similarly, only 31 per cent of respondents said their employers reimbursed them for the cost of their tablets or contributed to the purchase in any way.

The study also found that owners of tablets that "originally evolved from e-readers" – which presumably refers to the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook lines – were even less likely to use their devices for business than owners of other kinds of kit were.

So what are people using their fondleslabs for? Naturally, surfing the web ranks highly, with tablet owners who also have smartphones reportedly spending 36 per cent more time browsing the web on their slabs than on their phones.

One somewhat surprising finding, however, was how much tablets get passed around the house. Fully 51 per cent of the tablet owners surveyed reported that they shared their device with at least one other person, and many reported that their tablet was shared by four or more people.

More specifically, 46 per cent of tablet owners said they shared their devices with one audience in particular: their kids. Furthermore, of those who said their children shared their tablets, 30 per cent said they had downloaded education apps.

On the whole, tablet owners seemed satisfied with their purchases. Overall satisfaction among people who were the sole users of their tablets was 824 out of a possible 1,000, while satisfaction among people who shared their tablets with others was actually higher, at 852.

Not surprisingly, Apple ranked highest among tablet makers – as it has done in previous JD Power surveys – with an 836 satisfaction score, categorizing it as "among the best."

The next three runners-up – Amazon, Samsung, and Asus – were only rated "about average," with satisfaction scores of 829, 822, and 818, respectively. Lumped among "the rest" was Acer, with a comparatively unsatisfying score of 784.

One point of which hardware makers should take note, however: Although 94 per cent of highly satisfied tablet owners said they were likely to purchase more devices from the same manufacturer, only 27 per cent of all tablet owners said they were likely to buy another tablet in the next 12 months.

That's actually down significantly from last year's Tablet Satisfaction Study, when 37 per cent of respondents said they were thinking of buying an additional tablet in the next year.

The take-away? Although tablet sales might be making up for sagging PC shipments for now, fondleslab makers shouldn't expect the sales boom to go on forever – and if cracking the enterprise market is their goal, they'll need to try a whole lot harder. ®

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