While 39% of all tablet owners have an Apple iPad, it increases to 44% for Younger Millennials and 54% for Generation Z.
Half of tablet owners prefer to use their smartphone at home, rising to 72% of Millennials. Baby boomers are more likely to own a tablet and prefer to use them at home over a smartphone.
Despite the efforts from manufacturers to pitch tablets as a potential laptop replacement, they remain secondary items to either a traditional computer or a phone and one that is predominantly used for media consumption.
This guide is one of the guides in our alternatives to Amazon series.
Amazon produce both a Fire tablet and the eponymous ereader, the Kindle. We are calling a boycott of Amazon over its tax avoidance and would urge you not to buy either of their products, opting instead for one of our Recommended brands above. There are many alternative tablet brands.
For ereaders, this guide pits Amazon's Kindle ereader against its nearest competitor, Kobo. Kobo, though not a top scoring brand, scores better than Amazon. If you don't want to opt for Kobo, buy one of the better scoring tablet brands and use it as an ereader.
More on ereaders in the box below.
Carbon reporting and management
We rated all the companies on what they were doing to reduce their own carbon footprint and the footprint of their suppliers.
The following companies got our Best rating for saying how they were cutting their own emissions, reporting their emissions (including their indirect emissions – of their supply chain and use of their products) and having a reduction target in line with international agreements:
Acer, Lenovo, Apple, Microsoft, HP, Amazon.
About half of the companies got our worst rating and only two companies - Asus and Samsung got our middle rating.
All tablets contain the 3TGs (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold), minerals that are largely found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries. Profits from the sale of these minerals are the most significant financier of the armed conflicts that have plagued the country since the 1990s. This has made control of the mines that produce them an important military objective in itself.
According to research by the International Peace Information Service, 56% of mines have an armed presence from either the army or independent armed groups. This puts companies in a position of responsibility to ensure that their money is not finding its way into this conflict. On this front, there have been some signs of positive change.
Since January 2021, companies have been required to check their supply chain in order to respect human rights and prevent them from contributing to conflicts. Importers will be required to publicly disclose their due diligence practices and policies on an annual basis.
This piece of legislation was inspired by the Dodd-Frank Act which has been in place in the US since 2010.
More than half of the companies get our worst rating for conflict minerals. The exceptions are:
- Best rating - Lenovo, Apple, Microsoft, HP
- Middle rating - Acer, Asus, Samsung.
Student forced labour
Headlines about workers’ rights abuses in tech factories are depressingly frequent. So much so that it is easy to forget the individuals trapped in these abusive systems.
A 2017 investigative report by Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) gave voice to Chinese students who’d been forced into workplace ‘internships’ on the production lines of major tech company suppliers.