When it comes to e-mail, people prefer their iPads, according to a recent survey by Perion. The company polled 4400 iPad users in the U.S. and found out that most of them prefer using their iPads to read and write e-mail over their PCs and smart phones. In fact, 90% of them said that using e-mail on the iPad was either very or extremely important, with two-thirds checking their e-mail on their iPad more than three times a day.

The company expressed surprise at the results, since many iPad e-mail clients are simple copies of their desktop counterparts. Perhaps that’s why only 41% of those surveyed are extremely satisfied with the e-mail apps they are using, the company notes, which is uncharacteristically low for iPad users, who are usually passionate about their devices.

While 97% of iPad users read e-mails on their device, two-thirds of them send only a few quick replies, if any. Also, only 31% read and send all their e-mails from their iPad. Apple Mail is the favorite app at 41%, followed by Gmail at 31% and Hotmail at 13%. Alternatively, 18% of users open Web browsers and use webmail rather than an app.

Women expressed stronger satisfaction with using their iPads for reading e-mail and are more likely than men to send e-mail. Additionally, 68% of women are more likely to use their iPads only for personal e-mail, while 52% of men send business e-mail as well. Overall, 60% of respondents said they use the iPad just for personal e-mail, while 38% use it for personal and work e-mail.

“E-mail has been heavily used on the iPad since its launch, but on a closer examination of usage and attitudes, different usage patterns appear,” said Ron Harari, general manager of the Communications Product Division at Perion. “Clearly, the device is popular, but the market is still looking for the right e-mail app.”

The survey was conducted online in the second half of 2012 among 4400 adults age 18 and older, of which 66% were women.