IDG’s Computerworld Survey of 1,100 Users Finds Little Consumer Demand for Tablet PCs

FRAMINGHAM, MA – NOVEMBER 14, 2002 – Users confirmed that there isn't much call for all-in-one notebook computer devices that bundle non-computing capabilities such as paging. Respondents to an exclusive survey by IDG's Computerworld ranked bundled capabilities the least important category out of 13 notebook PC criteria. In addition, pen-based input, such as the new tablet PCs that allow information to be written directly onto the screen, drew little enthusiasm, possibly foreshadowing a nasty surprise for Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and others ready to roll out tablets.


The Computerworld survey of more than 1,100 notebook computer users found that display size and battery life are the top items on the notebook PC user's wish list. But even though users ranked long battery life and high processor power as "very important," vendors say they won't have both in the same machine for the foreseeable future, according to Computerworld. Price and the size/weight of devices were not top priorities for most users.

Survey Results

Respondents of the recent online survey of 1,150 users of notebook PCs were asked to evaluate the importance of 13 notebook PC criteria, with a rating of 5 indicating "extremely important" and a rating of 1 indicating "not at all important" to generate the following average scores:

Display quality 4.22

Battery life 4.14

Processor power 4.02

Memory or disk capacity 3.96

Ruggedness 3.85

Purchase price 3.82

Weight 3.71

Size 3.63

Multimedia capability 3.48

Wireless capability 3.19

Hardware security features 2.84

Pen (handwriting) capability 2.08

Built-in non-computing capabilities (e.g., paging) 1.86

The survey is part of a special report to be published in the November 18, 2002 issue of Computerworld on "the future of notebook PCs." The report suggests that future laptops will be lighter, faster, smarter and even have bendable displays. To speak with a Computerworld expert regarding the survey results, notebook computers or tablet PCs, please contact Kristen Wylie, Marenghi Public Relations, at (781) 915-5024.

About Computerworld

Computerworld is the only integrated media company focused exclusively on the information needs of IT Leaders – those who manage and implement technology in Global 2000 organizations. The company's flagship weekly newspaper — along with its Web site and conference series for IT Leaders — form the U.S.-based hub of the world's largest worldwide IT media network. Publishing since 1967, Computerworld has been recognized numerous times by Folio: Magazine and the Computer Press Association as the best computer newspaper, and was named to the "Media Power 50" in 2002 by Crain Communications' BtoB Magazine. Winner of more than 70 print and online editorial awards since 1998, Computerworld has a newspaper circulation of 202,000, a total print audience of 1,846,000 (according to IntelliQuest CIMS v.9.0), and an online audience of 800,000 unique monthly visitors (according to DoubleClick). Breaking news and resources for IT leaders are available at

About IDG

Computerworld is a business unit of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research and event company. IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through (, which comprises more than 330 targeted Web sites in 80 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related events worldwide, and IDG's research company, IDC, provides global market intelligence and advice through 51 offices in 43 countries. Company information is available at