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Tablets replace PCs as web browsing tool of choice

Tablets have replaced PCs as a primary means of accessing the internet whilst at home, a new study has revealed.

With 60 per cent of tablet owners suggesting the touchscreen device has become their primary tool for accessing online content, latest figures have revealed that portability is a primary factor in this move away from the traditional PC.

The figures, compiled by the second annual CCS Insight Tablet User Survey, have found that with tablets becoming an increasingly must-have addition to consumers’ tech arsenals, 60 per cent of those who own a tablet now use it as their main means of accessing the web. This is up considerably on the 28 per cent of tablet owners who said they still favoured their PC for online activities.

“Britain’s love affair with tablets looks set to continue as the mass market starts to get on board in 2013,” Martin Garner of telecommunications analyst firm CCS Insight said. “For tablet users, their tablets are starting to displace the household PC as the primary computing device and, for many services, people prefer to use their tablet over their PC and smartphone when they want to use the internet at home.”

With 55 per cent of tablet owners citing portability as the main reason for this switch away from the PC, a further 45 per cent of those questions listed convenience as the primary cause for change.

Trumping even smartphone usage, this tablet based online activity extends to the likes of social networking, with 44 per cent of tablet owners now using the iPad or rival device as a primary device for accessing the likes of Facebook and Twitter, up on the 21 per cent of PC stalwarts and 16 per cent who prefer smartphone use.

One of many trends spotted in the rapidly evolving tablet markets, the latest study has also found that whilst existing tablet owners have favoured Wi-Fi only models, new tablet buyers are focussing more on increased portability with 3G and 4G compatible models.

According to the latest figures, 35 per cent of new tablet buyers are looking to snap up a 4G capable device, up on the 24 per cent targeting Wi-Fi only models.

“These new buyers have different expectations and buying criteria from early adopters, which will shake up the market,” Garner said. “With new buyers more interested in using their tablets out of the home than existing owners and starting to get excited by 4G, we can expect to see greater sales opportunities for the UK’s mobile operators and retailers.

“However, they will need suitable new data tariff plans to balance users’ interest in mobile connectivity against greater price sensitivity.”

Are you a tablet owner? Has your tablet device replaced your PC as a primary means of accessing the web? Let us know via the TrustedReviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comment boxes below.

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