Tablets becoming popular bathroom activity, survey finds

With the market flush with hot-selling tablet computers, it shouldn't bowl anyone over to learn that many users are taking the plunge and bringing their devices to the bathroom.

According to a new survey published by Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples Inc., 35% of tablet users copped to using their iPad or other tablets while in the bathroom, while a whopping 78% of tablet users said they used their tablets while lying in bed. And in a data point sure to further damage techies' reputation for social skills, Staples Advantage also reported that 30% of tablet users said they used their tablets while at restaurants.

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Tablets are also becoming a fixture of the workplace, the survey found, as 75% of tablet users say they check corporate email on their device, 60% say their tablet has boosted their work productivity and 33% say they review and edit documents with their tablet. What's more, 60% of users say they use their tablets during vacations to check up on work email or to do work. The survey also highlights some vulnerabilities for enterprise tablet users, however, as two-thirds of users said that they didn't back up data regularly on their tablets and less than 15% said they installed encryption or antivirus programs onto their tablets.

The Staples Advantage survey results mesh well with findings released earlier this year by Strategy Analytics showing that 61% of U.S. corporations have found that their employees are already using tablets for work purposes, whether they've been formally purchased by the company or not. Strategy Analytics said that the chief contributors to enterprise tablet adoption have been "bring-your-own-device" work policies, the advent of 3G and 4G wireless networks throughout the country and the rise of virtualization and cloud computing.

Research from Social Nuggets released last month showed that business activity accounts for more than 25% of all activity on Apple iPads and BlackBerry PlayBooks, while it accounts for just under 20% of all activity on Android tablets. Games and shopping were also popular activities on tablets, as shopping accounted for 23% of the activity on Android tablets and games accounted for 17.5% of activity on iPads.

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