I think both Intel and tablet/slate aficionados are missing the mark here. It's not a question of "tablets vs. laptops," but one of convergence.
Laptops are old hat, and while they are still the preferred method of computing for mobile businesspeople, for many individuals, a tablet/slate is suitable for everyday tasks. For example, do you really need a device with a full keyboard and hardware pointing device (touchpad/pencil-eraser joystick/bluetooth mouse) to read an email and type "Yes, go ahead, place the order" in response, or to look up market data on your favourite financial website?
It is understood, I believe, that taking a laptop and making it into a tablet has probably failed, insofar as market penetration is concerned (although tablet-convertibles are quite popular in certain niche markets, such as the medical office records industry). Convertible laptop/tablet hybrids are too heavy to be held in a comfortable reading position for long periods of time, and their swivel/flip hinges aren't known for long-term reliability if the device is frequently changed from one mode to the other.
However, taking a native tablet and turning it into a laptop, by plugging it into a dock with full keyboard/mouse/external video support, shows a lot more promise. This model gives you the best of both worlds: the ultra-mobility of a device that lets you perform basic business tasks while travelling, yet can become a full-fledged computer when you return to "home base." In addition, lightweight "mobile docks" could be carried in your luggage. This way, you can still have the convenience of using a full laptop-like computer in your hotel room, while still carrying just the tablet to that meeting at the customer's office. The first device falling into this category is likely to be the Asus Eee Pad Transformer:
-- -- ASUSTek: Eee Pad Transformer TF101:
-- -- -- -- http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Pad_Transformer_TF101/
-- -- Engadget: ASUS Eee Pad Slider and Transformer arrive for those that can't imagine using a tablet without a physical keyboard:
-- -- http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/04/asus-eee-pad-slider-and-transformer-are-here-for-those-that-can/
Some may also include the Motorola Atrix in the "dockable tablet" category, even though it is designed as a smartphone:
-- -- Dvice: This Motorola smartphone dock is secretly a full-fledged netbook
-- -- -- -- http://dvice.com/archives/2011/01/this-motorola-s.php