Most workers want a keyboard alongside their tablet

Forrester research shows demand for attached or wireless keyboards

Tablet in hand

A majority of information workers in Europe and North America want to use a keyboard with tablet computers, according to a survey of more than 1,000 carried out by Forrester Research.

It revealed that 35% want a keyboard that turns a tablet into a small laptop, such as Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2, or the keyboards offered by Logitech and Zagg for iPads.

There was a preference for wireless keyboards, such as those that Samsung offers for the Galaxy Tab line, among 27%, while 34% were quite happy tablets as touch-only.

The report says that information workers are likely to want a keyboard for the next few years because of the flexibility it offers, especially in allowing them input large amounts of information and to use certain applications.

Forrester Analyst JP Gownder said: "We know that a much larger percentage of workers (80%) would actually prefer to use a PC, a tablet, and a smartphone — all of the big three devices — for their work if they could," he said. "This means that a large number of workers are open to both using a tablet with a keyboard and to using a laptop for their work."

He added that keyboard should be detached or detachable so that it won't make the tablet less portable.

The report also hints that voice commands will become increasingly important as 37% of information workers using smartphones are already taking advantage of the technology.