1 in 3 potential tablet buyers want a physical keyboard

Sybase ocnducted a poll of 2100 Americans. The topic of the survey was tablets (features, price, apps, abilities). The press release came out yesterday. Some of the results are really interesting. Here are the ones that caught my eye.

  • When purchasing a tablet, 56 percent said they would prefer to buy a device at a lower cost with an attached data package versus purchasing a tablet at a higher cost with no contract.
  • When considering purchasing a tablet, 56 percent of respondents listed more software and applications as an important deciding factor.
  • Almost 33 percent of those surveyed stated that having a physical keyboard is a crucial tablet component.
  • The highest percentage of respondents preferred a nine to 10 inch screen size for a tablet (50 percent), followed by 12 inches (26 percent), seven inches (21 percent) and five inches (three percent).
  • Video conferencing and camera functions for tablets were of limited interest, with only seven percent and four percent of respondents interested in these features, respectively.
  • 29 percent of respondents stated that their ideal price for a tablet would be less than $300 USD.

I'm going to have to think about this one.

About Nate Hoffelder (11385 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on 1 in 3 potential tablet buyers want a physical keyboard

  1. Methinks… 33 percent of those surveyed don’t understand the definition of “tablet”.

  2. Hmm. There were tablets before the iPad. I remember them. Most of them had keyboards. According to Wikipedia’s “Tablet Computer” article, “Convertible” tablets–those with dedicated keyboards–have been the most popular form of tablets. Only “Slate” tablets, such as the iPad, have no keyboards.

    Even if we were just talking about Slate tablets, I think the point of the survey respondents, however unconscious, is that a tablet should be at least *compatible* with an external keyboard. This way, when serious text entry is required, a tablet owner needn’t boot up another computer to do so basic a task. By extension, I hope the makers of e-ink devices get this point sooner rather than later. (Go Pocketbook!) Eight years ago, I was carrying both my Palm V computer and Palm Ultra-Thin folding keyboard together in one pocket. Total weight: 14 oz/400 g. Set up time, about 5 seconds.

    Even after 15 years of the internet revolution, and the customer-driven business models it helped inspire, it’s as if most device makers still can’t see us as anything but consumers. Hello, we’re participants!

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