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Dial 'T' for entertainment

Last updated on: January 9, 2012 16:36 IST

Dial 'T' for entertainment

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Rajarshi Bhattacharjee in New Delhi

While tablets are giving stiff competition to other mobile devices, according to a recent online survey by IMRB International, they still have some way to go before they emerge as the perfect entertainment companion for digital consumers.

What was so thrilling about a tablet when you held it in your hand for the first time?

Surely, it would have been about the tablet's possibilities in terms of multi-tasking, convenience and the entertainment value.

No wonder, it's raining tablets in India and they are giving a stiff competition to personal computers, notebooks and mobile devices so far as consumption of entertainment by the digital consumers is concerned.

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A study that was conducted online by IMRB International among 1,512 internet users, including 582 tablet users, indicate that mature internet users prefer the tablet to watch movies, listen to music, to play games and carry it around while travelling.

In fact, while some of these users have been using PCs, notebooks and mobile phones for years now, it is the tablet that appears to be the most rewarding in terms of the experience offered when they access content related to entertainment.

About 50 per cent of the 476 users who browse internet on PCs and laptops rated their experience as 'excellent'.

Thirty nine per cent of the 455 users browsing internet on tablet rated their experience as being similar.

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Dial 'T' for entertainment

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The report reveals the experience of using the internet on a tablet with a 3G connection closely matches the experience of using internet on PC.

Of the 455 users who browse internet on a tablet, the mean score of satisfaction was 4.12. (455 readers were asked to rate their experience of browsing internet on a tablet on the scale of 1 to 5 -- 1 being least satisfied, and 5 being extremely satisfied.)

Specifically, users accessing the internet on a tablet using a 3G connection rated their satisfaction at 4.35 which is similar to the experience of users who accessed the Internet using their PCs.

The survey among internet users was conducted last month.

A link for online survey was sent to these users (in December 2011); if a respondent was not a user of tablet the online survey was terminated.

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Image: Amazon Kindle Fire.

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"User feedback reflects that tablets provide a better experience in watching movies and listening to music compared to the PC, notebook or other mobile devices.

They offer an even better internet experience than on PCs or notebooks," says Tarun Abhichandani, group business director, IMRB International.

He adds that tablets have a superior interface to access applications and are increasingly becoming a family-owned device.

PCs and notebooks, on the other hand, require a steeper learning curve as compared to a tablet.

Agrees Sabyasachi Patra, executive director, Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology.

"PC, mobile phone, tablets and other such smart devices all have their strengths and would appeal to different segments and usage," he says. "Unlike a PC, a user carries a phone or a tablet for a longer period of time and even outdoors while taking a walk or while being involved in other activities.

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Image: Reliance tablet.


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So accessing online content is easier with these handheld devices.

Tablets score over the mobiles in terms of both screen size and processing power.

Also, as these become cheaper, the tablet will be more affordable for a large segment of the Internet population over time," he adds.

In short, Patra seems to think that purely from the cost perspective, tablets tend to offer a better entertainment package for a large majority of people.

He adds that tablet-to-tablet video conferencing will also increase as many grandmoms and grandpas start using a tablet to connect with their extended families. 

Also, a range of tablet accessories are out to take its entertainment quotient to a newer level.

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Image: Apple iPad.

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According to Patra, tablets can now be customised with accessories depending on the preference of users.

"In noisy environments, one may like to go for closed headphones or even noise cancelling headphones. This will also help multiple users of one tablet to customise it for their respective usages," he says.

Speaking about the global trend, Abhichandani says, tablets in mature economies have been embraced for a more diverse purpose than in India.

In India, the use is restricted to playing games, surfing the internet or using certain applications.

"In other countries among mature internet users, tablets are also being used to watch movies and watching television content thereby cannibalising traditional media platforms such as the television.

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"This has become possible because of the high bandwidth availability in those countries. That luxury is some way off as far as India is concerned," he adds.

The IMRB study deduces that in terms of their potential tablets are placed between the mobile phone and PC/notebook.

They offer the functionalities that both of these devices.

However, to make the tablet a truly multi-functional device, a few improvements will have to be incorporated.

Experience on tablets becomes better when a faster internet connection is provided to users.

MAIT surveys indicate screen resolution is an area where consumers will start demanding more.

Better computing power can allow faster downloads, open large images faster, it says.     




Tags: MAIT , IMRB , India

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