Laptops and tablet PCs are both viable options. However, they some some key differences. In order to get the best computer for your individual needs, it's important to compare the key features of both laptops and tablets.
Laptop interfaces mimic a typical desktop setup, complete with a keyboard and mouse. Tablets, however, have a special touch-screen display designed for use with a digital pen, rather than a keyboard or mouse.
Laptops generally cost less than tablet PCs with comparable features according to the Microsoft.com article "Tablet PC vs. Laptop: How Do You Choose?"
Virtually all laptops are designed to be portable. Conversely, some tablets are lightweight and portable, but others are bulky, designed only for desktop usage.
Along with portability, battery lifespan is very important to ensure lasting usage. Laptops usually have a better average battery lifespan; however, some tablet PCs can be upgraded with "smart batteries" that improve charge duration.
Laptops often feature better hardware for faster performance with most general programs. However, the touch display of a tablet PC allows increased functionality with certain digital imaging programs like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw.