Tablets for children: Entertainers, teachers, pacifiers
One part of the tablet computer fanbase that's growing particularly rapidly is children. According to a study from market analysis firm Nielsen, nearly three-fourths of children who come from tablet-owning households have first-hand experience with the device.
Just as they do for adults, tablets are playing a wide variety of roles for children. The most popular function is entertainment. According to the study, 77 percent of children have used a tablet to download games, and 43 percent watch TV shows and movies on the devices.
The tablet also serves educational purposes for 57 percent of respondents. One of the tablet's more interesting functions is a pacifier. More than half of tablet-owning adults say they use the devices to keep kids quiet while on the road, and 41 percent do the same at restaurants and events, Nielsen reports.
Only 15 percent of tablet-owning adults say their children use tablets to communicate with friends and family.
An earlier study from Nielsen shows that tablets were the No. 1 most-wanted gift for children between ages 6 and 12 during the 2011 holiday season. Though parents should be careful when letting their children use the devices, it seems kids are just as excited about the technology as adults.