Here's the deal: I'm off to Hong Kong in about a week or so, where i can nab a few electronic gadgets for cheap because i'm a spoilt brat. Now, i want to grab an iPad, mainly because i'm fond of its aesthetics, and i tried out my friend's, who showed me most of the functions. Knowing i have an iPod Touch, he only showed me what the iPad had that the iPod didn't, which was, iirc, a documents feature, but i did like the virtual keyboard at that size. However, my mum's been very insistent i don't get an iPad, because according to her, a laptop will serve me much better as i progress into Uni (which is year after next, and i won't be able to go back to Hong Kong again between this trip and start of Uni). Now, i'm no good with electronic stuff barring video games, so i can barely find the line that separates tablets/laptops/other gadgets. I look in a shop and they all look the same to me. However, i agree with my mum that i will need something to serve me well into uni, and given i want to go into Mechanical Engineering, and toy design after that, having stuff like Sketchup on a laptop would be very useful. But then again, i like my touch screens... So my question is, those of you who understand this computer age, can someone explain to me the advantages of the iPad vs a laptop (even better, which laptop), and/or suggest some other alternative? I have looked at the specs of each myself, but i seriously suck with computer stuff, so they make absolutely no sense to me. I'd like to say money is no object for me, since i am a spoilt brat who can manipulate a few aunts and uncles to get enough cash, though of course, i don't need something diamond-encrusted either. So if you guys would care to help me out, that would be great.