Tablets chomp more of desktop/laptop market than expected

When Apple introduced its iPad to the consumer market last year to much anticipation and fanfare (it was often nicknamed the “Jesus Slate” before the device’s name was revealed due to the mass slavering over the device’s potential), people wondered how much the introduction of an iPhone/laptop hybrid would affect the PC and laptop market, or at least the computing habits of those who purchased an iPad.

iPads are not the only tablet on the market, but by far and away they are the most recognizable and influential. And the “magical” devices also seem to have transformed the way people view and consume contact and interact, or at least further trod down the road of desktop abandonment initially paved by smartphones and iPhones. Research firm Nielsen surveyed tablet owners and users recently to measure the foothold gained by the devices in the past year, and the results were pretty interesting.

Desktop abandonment is a bit higher than was expected, with a full 35% of those surveyed saying they used their desktops “less often or not at all” since they got into the tablet-habit. Interestingly, 32% of laptop users answered the same way, which was further illustrated by the reasons for which participants say they abandoned their old devices.

Portability was cited as the top reason for ditching the lappity toppity box or desktop, while ease of use came in second. Third was the faster power on/off capability that in iPads at least is rather more phonelike. The broader “convenience” was cited next, tied with size.

While direct competition with desktops and laptops is a while away, perhaps people are also paring down on the amount of content they consume that’s not suited to a smartphone or tablet. It will be interesting to see how this pans out as far as what news sites and blogs offer up- how often do you bypass a larger post or video because you’re in line at the bank on your phone and just looking to pass a few minutes?

Do you use a tablet on a daily basis? Has it made your other devices obsolete, and/or influenced your browsing habits?

[Nielsen via eWeek , Image]