In a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 29 percent of Americans owned at least one tablet or e-reader in January. This is an increase of 18 percent since from just two months before in November 2011.
In the 2000s, Microsoft attempted to create tablets for the purpose of having a portable computer on hand when doing field work in the business world. Now the purpose of these tablets has shifted to media consumption.
One of the most well-known tablets is Apple’s iPad, selling its first version of the iPad at $499 for 16 gigabytes. Amazon created the e-reader known as the Kindle followed by the Kindle Fire, which functions similarly to the iPad, at a starting price of $199 for eight gigabytes.
According to the study, those with a higher household income and with a higher level of education are more likely to own a tablet.
“My grandparents have one and when they saw that I didn’t have a laptop they bought me one as a belated high school graduation gift,” said Lisa Teixeira, a junior biochemistry major.
The iPad has a storage space ranging from 16 to 64 gigabytes, which is no problem to Teixeira since she only uses her tablet for note-taking. In addition, the compatibility of the tablet allows her to easily carry it around.
“I go home a lot,” Teixeira said, “so it is very easy to bring home all my notes as opposed to having to lug physical notebooks home.”
The TechHub, located in the UC Davis Bookstore, provides iPads and the Asus tablets.
“The iPads are definitely more popular since they came out with it first and Apple already has a good reputation with iPods and MacBooks,” said Sales Counselor Kee Vang.
Teixeira noticed an increase in the usage of tablets in the academic world during the Spring quarter of her sophomore year.
“I would say about 10 percent of the people in my classes have tablets,” Teixeira said.
Fifth-year psychology and economics major Joe Espena has also seen an increase in the number of students and professors using tablets in his classes.
“The tablets seem pretty cool,” Espena said, “but I wouldn’t be able to afford them because everything is really expensive when they first come out.”
He also said that he probably will not be able to get one for a very long time since it takes a while for the price of a new and mainstream technology to come down unless a lot of people are buying it.
“At least two to five iPads are sold a day,” Vang said. “I have seen a lot of departments buy them because they like to bring it around since it is very light.”
Vang added that the price of tablets hinders students from buying, but if Apple were to give students a discount then students would be more likely to buy the tablets.
Teixeira, Espena and Vang all agree that the use of tablets will most likely increase because they are portable and very convenient.
MEE YANG can be reached at email@example.com.