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NPD: 40% of tablet buyers want keyboards, most don't get one

updated 08:05 am EDT, Wed March 14, 2012

NPD shows tablet demand not reflecting buying

Many tablet buyers want a keyboard even if they're not acting on it, the NPD Group found from a study. About 40 percent of those who were planning to buy a tablet reportedly wanted a hardware keyboard. "Most" of that subset wanted the keyboard fully integrated, the NPD said, favoring devices like the slow-selling ASUS Eee Pad Slider but ruling out detachable or docking keyboards like the same company's Transformer Prime.

The desires mostly contradict actual buying habits. IDC data showed that the majority of tablets sold, 83.3 percent, were from companies like Amazon, Apple, and Samsung that either don't have any option for a keyboard or for whom a keyboard model is an extremely small portion of their sales, such as the Sliding PC 7 Series.

Regardless of keyboards, analysts ruled out particularly large tablets like the Eee Slate or a rumored 11.6-inch Samsung tablet. Among those asked who had any screen size in mind, 40 percent wanted a screen under 10 inches.

With the exception of Amazon's Kindle Fire, most tablets sold in the fall have typically been at or near 10 inches, such as the iPad and Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The preferences may play a significant role in adoption of Windows 8. While the desire for the OS itself is still up for debate, its emphasis as a traditional PC with tablet elements might see more users looking for familiar elements like keyboards or larger screens than on traditional PCs where other platforms are designed to go without.

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    buy a bluetooth keyboard

    there ya go

  1. jfgilbert

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010


    This does not mean very much

    Without knowing how the questions were worded and how they were asked. The results look like something that was commissioned by a biased party who wanted to prove something, but we do not get to see what.

  1. MisterMe

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2007


    waste of money

    I purchased a keyboard with my original iPad. I never bothered to couple the keyboard to the tablet. The keyboard turned out to be an unnecessary purchased based on an unfounded concern.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    People THINK They Know What They Want

    ... until they get it.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2009


    people think all kinds of things

    Like when the desktop GUI arrived, *most* people still wanted to be able to access the command line when they needed to. Then they forgot all about it.

    They *think* they need a keyboard, and then a month later they realise they have gotten by quite okay without it.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2008


    So really what they want... a small laptop.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    Before the automobile

    If you asked the customer what they wanted, they would just say they wanted a faster horse. Same story here.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006



    Bull-c-r-a-p survey. Also suspicious (mind twisting questionare). No common sense. A tablet is not a laptop which is not a desktop. Yeah, about a tablet with built-in Blu-ray player and a touch pad.

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