In my experience, tablets tend to be web browsing and very light gaming machines - most everything else they're a little clunky for. Without a keyboard accessory even long-form typing for word processing is a chore on them. Since it sounds like this is going to be your primary computing source, I'd probably go laptop. The exception there maybe being if you do a lot of travel - they're both mobile devices, obviously, but a tablet will generally be a little lighter and a little easier to throw in a bag and go.
If you are looking laptop, I've had pretty good luck with Asus the last few years.
One other piece of advice that I'm learning firsthand - if you do decide to shop tablet, you probably want to consider the accessories that go with it, especially the power supply. For Christmas a few years ago I picked up a Surface tablet, which is produced directly by Microsoft. It uses a method of charging that is apparently not common in the market - there aren't third party chargers. I unfortunately am having power supply problems, and am learning that the pieces are being phased out - stores have stopped selling them within the last few months. Which means that I have a tablet that is effectively a black square, because ordering the manufacturers part directly from Microsoft is essentially 1/3rd the price of a brand new tablet and I can't bring myself to do that.
So short version... make sure that you have other options for charging whatever you get when you get it, beyond trusting one cord to hold up for the next four years.