Laptops Are Favorite Productivity Tool While Tablets Lag Behind, According to Survey from APQC

Calendaring exceeds all other software tools in daily usage by at least thirty points

(Houston, Texas - August 15, 2013) - APQC, the nonprofit leader in benchmarking and best practices research, has released results and an infographic from a recent survey on personal productivity in which it found that—by a large margin—laptops beat smartphones and tablets as the favorite device of survey respondents. Despite extensive media attention, tablets such as the iPad® or Nexus 10 have yet to capture respondents’ hearts like the old warhorse laptop—only 17 percent of respondents chose the tablet as their favorite device or tool.

“The primary objective of this benchmarking survey was to understand how individuals are using tools to be more productive at work and in their lives in general,” said Jonathan Kraft, research program manager, APQC. “The results were somewhat surprising in that the tool which has seemingly garnered the most attention over the past year—the tablet—is at this point not viewed as favorably in making people more productive.”

APQC’s survey gathered responses from 336 individuals across more than 15 industries.  Consulting, financial services/banking, and energy and utility were the top three responding industries in the survey.

The laptop also surpassed the smartphone and tablet in its effectiveness at making respondents more productive. Specifically, 68 percent felt it was totally effective in making them more productive, and 30 percent felt it was moderately effective at doing so. Somewhat strong but still behind was the smartphone, which 38 percent rated as totally effective in making them more productive (54 percent felt it was moderately effective). The tablet’s rating for effectiveness is not much higher than it is for preference: 20 percent rated it as effective in making them more productive—even less than the desktop, of which 27 percent rated it that high.

In looking at rate of usage, the laptop and smartphone far exceeded the rates of other hardware tools. Specifically, 94 percent and 90 percent, respectively, use the laptop and smartphone two times or more per week. Most (89 percent and 85 percent, respectively) use the laptop and smartphone daily. Just over one half of respondents (52 percent) use a tablet at least two times per week, and only 31 percent use it on a daily basis. Validating a longstanding trend towards mobility, the desktop is increasingly meeting its demise as nearly half of respondents (48 percent) indicate they do not even use one.

In terms of the favored software tool, more than nine out of 10 respondents (91 percent) said they use calendaring on a daily basis.  This usage rate far exceeded that of the next highest rated software tool—productivity software—of which only 61 percent said they use on a daily basis. 

View the full personal productivity research collection to learn more.


About APQC

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the world’s leading proponents of knowledge management, benchmarking, and best practices business research. Working with more than 750 organizations worldwide in all industries, APQC provides organizations with the information they need to work smarter, faster, and with confidence. Visit, call +1.713.681.4020 or follow @APQC and learn how to Make Best Practices Your PracticesSM.

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