One of the best presents I ever got was my tablet computer and bluetooth keyboard. Since the iPad, I have never gone back to using a laptop ever again. iPads fit into your large purchase, goes through airport security without having to open up your bags, lightweight, doesn't transmit EMF radiation heat to your fingertips as you are typing and have loads of productivity apps that people may not realise is available to them.
Here are some things I like to do with my iPad...for everything.
Check live stock updates. As long as you have internet connection, you have live stock updates.
Book rooms/ flights/ hotels. Airbnb has a superb, nicely designed app that lets you book from anywhere and is much better than its website experience. The only glitch I noticed is that sometimes when you change the currency, it is slow to update.
And of course there is online shopping. Houzz and 1stdibs makes it easy to browse interior design styles and the Houzz app is great to use to find very expensive pieces of furniture that you can then check out to see if there are similar ones on other websites for less. In contrast, I really like Etsy, but their mobile app is terribly designed and slow, so I tend to use the Etsy website instead, but it often crashes on the tablet computer, or the pictures download slowly, hence why I've stopped buying things on Etsy. I've found though that most U.S. eCommerce startups and companies have terrible mobile apps that are not really optimized for online shopping.
Aside from the usual emailing, video conferencing (via Google Hangouts or FaceTime) and accessing all the contents of your drive (via Google Drive or Apple iCloud), you could use your iPad or tablet computer to also watch movies and videos, or read electronic books. However, I've found that I've gone back to reading print copies of books, and use my iBook library for reference books instead, in which I can find information quickly through a search. There's also something nice about hanging out at the local bookstore, having some tea, and browsing the collections.
Green Apple Books in San Francisco, one of my favourite bookstores
If you think the tablet computer is just for watching videos and reading iBooks, you have been seriously deprived. Currently, the range of mobile apps out there are oftentimes, far superior to the software applications made for the desktop and laptop computers.