Just in case you needed data to back up your assertion that tablets are exploding in popularity, the Pew Research Center has revealed its latest polling figures, suggesting that 19 percent of grown-up Americans now own a slate of some sort. More notably, there was apparently a lull in tablet ownership growth over the latter half of 2011, which now appears to have been a case of buyers waiting for the holidays before putting up the cash. A mid-December telephone poll showed 10 percent of US adults owned a tablet, with the subsequent spurt in ownership numbers ostensibly being down to a great deal of tablet gift giving.

Pew also reports an identical trend for ebook readers. Those were at 10 percent before all the presents were unpacked and have similarly leapt up to 19 percent in January. Owners of either a tablet or an ebook have gone from 18 percent of US adults to 29 percent in the same period. The latter number would suggest that most people are choosing either a tablet or an e-reader — a trend that may change in 2012 if the current drive toward ever-lower prices continues the commodification of both types of device.