Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

Tablets are for playing games, not reading eBooks

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Video games are the No. 1 activity for users of tablet computers, according to a survey by Google’s AdMob division.

That’s not a huge surprise, given the huge popularity of games on the different app stores. It’s also a reflection of how good games can look on the gorgeous touchscreens of tablets such as the Motorola Xoom that give gamers much more real estate to play a game. Tablets have the graphics and processing firepower to play good quality games, and there’s a huge supply of inexpensive games available on places such as the Android Market and Apple’s App Store.

The survey of 1,400 tablet owners in the U.S. showed that 84 percent play games. That compares to 78 percent using tablets for search, 74 percent for email, 61 percent for news, 56 percent for social networks, 51 percent for music or videos, 46 percent for reading eBooks, and 42 percent for shopping online.

Admob’s survey, conducted in March, found that 59 percent of tablet users spend more time on a tablet than they do reading a paper book. The number is 52 percent for listening to the radio, 43 percent for using a laptop or desktop, 41 percent for using a smartphone, and 34 percent for watching TV.

The survey found that 38 percent of users spent more than two hours a day using a tablet. Another 30 percent use their tablets for one to two hours. About 82 percent of people use their tablets at home, compared to 11 percent who use them on the run and 7 percent who use them at work.

Some 28 percent of respondents said that the tablet has become their primary computer. About 69 percent said they use their tablets more on weekdays, compared to 31 percent who use them on weekends. And 77 percent said they used their desktops or laptops less after they started using a tablet.

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