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Survey: Tablets may be portable, but they don't get out much

Though tablets are clearly mobile devices, they don't leave the house all that much, according to a survey of ConsumerReports.org subscribers. Four out of five of the tablet owners among the 8,119 consumers polled said they use their tablets at home most of the time, with almost half saying they relied on their smart phone instead when they're on the go.

Consumers love to use a tablet at home even if they have a laptop or desktop, as the vast majority of respondents did.

Here are four reasons consumers power up a tablet rather than the computer:

  • Eighty percent said it was because their tablets were lightweight and easy to carry from room to room.

  • Nearly three-quarters said it was because they can use a tablet comfortably while it's sitting on their lap.

  • Along the same lines, 59 percent said it's easier to use a tablet than a computer while they're watching TV.

  • Impatience is another factor. Forty-one percent of the respondents said they prefer to use their tablet because it starts up more quickly than a computer.

For more on our survey, read "8 trends in mobile devices."

As much as we love our tablets, we're not averse to sharing. Kids get their hands on tablets in a fair number of homes: 28 percent of tablet owners said children 17 or younger also used their tablet. And half the folks surveyed share with a spouse or partner.

The survey was conducted in March 2013 by The Consumer Reports National Research Center.

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