What people want from a Tablet PC

What people want from a Tablet PC

As we all know, the tablet market has grown wildly in the last couple of years – with major manufacturers shipping millions of units – to the extent that some doomsayers predict the downfall of the traditional PC market. (Of course, it must be remembered that doomsaying is fun).

Long, long ago, back when portable devices were more limited, the issues involved in buying one were fairly clear-cut. You needed n hours of battery life, and a weight that wouldn’t pull your jacket out of shape; and they stored your address book.

Now, however, with tablets rivaling laptops in power, they are reviewed and advertised on a large number of differentiators; speed, screen size, battery life and more. But we were curious; which of these qualities were really being perceived as important?

In lieu of spending time on a survey, we took a set of tablet models in the fiercely-fought-over 8-to-11-inch class, and grabbed some search traffic data from Google to use as a proxy for interest.

We then decided on key technical specifications (such as battery life), and looked at cumulative search interest for different levels of battery life, across tablet models. Search for models at the top of their respective classes was taken as a proxy for people’s interest in that category.

The results were interesting.

For example, no-one actually cares about display size – that is to say, 11β€³ screen diagonals aren’t resulting in lots of search for the models that possess them. There aren’t big increments of interest in processor speeds above 1 GHz. And… people don’t want RAM? Insofar as it’s not discouraging them in the least from buying iPads, we guess they don’t.

Its possible to get interesting quantitative insight into nearly any question with a look at search traffic. What have you learned from search recently?

The research was sponsored by Dell, as part of their promotion of their laptops.

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Posted Oct 24, 2011
 
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