For iPad owners, the iconic Apple-branded tablet is now their favourite device to read, write and organize emails, beating out desktop PCs and smartphones “by a wide margin”, according to new research published today by Perion.

The developer of email client IndrediMail conducted a survey with 4,400 iPad users based in the United States, and found that ninety percent said that being able to access email on the tablet was either “very” or “extremely important” to them. A further two-thirds said that they now checked email on their iPad more than three times a day.

The realization that users are increasingly grabbing their smartphone or tablet, rather than powering on their desktop PC or laptop, to carry out basic tasks such as browsing the Internet and sending email is not a new one. The research published today, however, is notable because it’s not only one of the first times that email consumption has been looked at in great depth, but also through the lens of how it relates to the iPad specifically.

The report published today also found that while 97 percent of iPad owners use their tablet to read email, only two-thirds use it to send replies. Just under a third said that their iPad was the only device they used to read and write emails.

That last finding is a signficant one, as it adds weight to the counter-claim that laptops and desktop PCs still have a place in our daily lives. While tablets, such as the iPad, can be useful for reading email on the go and generally keeping up with the deluge of work-related messages, it’s not the silver bullet for reaching inbox zero.

Of course, when users said the iPad wasn’t the only device they used to write and read emails, they could also be talking about other mobile devices, including competing tablets such as the Nexus 7, Surface RT or BlackBerry Playbook. That last scenario, however, is likely to be quite rare.

The survey also found that women enjoyed using their iPad to read emails more so than men. As a result, they were also more likely to write or reply to emails using the tablet. Sixty-eight percent went on to say that they only used their iPad for personal messages; in comparison, more than half of the male respondents said they used it send work-related email too.

Apple’s built-in Mail app was found to be the preferred way of accessing email, at 41 percent, with Gmail close behind at 31 percent and Hotmail lagging slightly at 13 percent. Interestingly, almost a fifth of users said they used an Internet browser to access their email, rather than using an app.

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