Microsoft Surface is right behind Apple iPad in making people happy

“Why buy two devices when you have one that can do both?” Such a question must have crossed the minds of anyone who has considered, and ultimately purchased, a hybrid laptop (or hybrid tablet, depending on how you see it) – devices that can fulfill the functionalities of both a laptop and a tablet.

The idea of an all-encompassing device was powerful enough for Microsoft to throw its whole weight behind it, starting with the numbered-8 version of the company’s operating system, and while it’s taken some time, people are finally catching on, according to a new research, reports ZDNet.

Specifically, the research, from JDPower, measures customer satisfaction with tablets and hybrids across five factors: performance, ease of operation, features, styling and design, on a 1000 point scale. Overall, hybrids scores 11 more satisfaction points than tablets, with a not-too-surprising advantage in the features category, owing to the better variety of connectivity options, bigger internal storage capacity, and more variety of apps. Similarly, hybrids are found to be used more than tablets for Microsoft Office, internet browsing, and using social media, which, given the amount of time an average working person spends on laptop versus tablet in a day, should not come unexpected to anyone.

As demand increases for hybrid tablets―those with the capabilities of a touch-screen tablet and laptop computer― so have customer satisfaction and usage activity.

What is surprising from the research though, is that hybrid tablet owners apparently download more paid apps than tablet users in the last 30 days. The gloom and doom pictures often painted of the Windows app store should all but spell the exact opposite, but it seems Microsoft’s effort with improving its Store and courting quality developers is making a positive impact here: after all, no one would spend money to get apps they don’t want. The new move of publishing first-party, high-quality cross-platform games on the Windows 10 Store like Tomb Raider or Gears of War may further this spending in the next generation of PC users; only time can tell, however.

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JD Power satisfaction study

Of course, hybrid is still not dominant: Apple, the decided king of the tablet world, still reigns supreme in the satisfaction poll with 830 points. The current king of the hybrid world with their Surface line, Microsoft, is not far behind however, at only 1 satisfaction point difference; the data doesn’t make clear on whether the satisfaction comes from the tablet-centric side of Surface/Pro or the laptop-centric Surface Book, however. Nevertheless, the data makes a good point for the current trend of hybrids and Microsoft’s vision, and it will be an exciting future to see what vendors can come up with to revolutionize the laptop in the future.

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Which do you prefer and why: tablets or hybrids?