This is my situation: This is for a work environment, my old laptop needs to be replaced, my pc just just bit the dust. My computing needs are fairly light, mostly email, office, database, phone recording, weather polling, accessing a fileserver. I need to have access in my office, in my vehicle, and several different buildings.
My budget is around 1300-1400 dollars. Should I split up the money and replace both my laptop and desktop? Should I just get a nice laptop with a docking station? Should I get a PC and perhaps trade getting a laptop for a tablet (if I got a tablet I would still need weather radar and email on it as well as needing to remote into my desktop)?
There is a way to make either solution work - as you know, you'll always get more bang for your buck using a desktop over a laptop - they have to cram energy and space-efficient parts into laptops which shortchanges performance. With the array of applications on the market place, you could absolutely spend your money on a fairly good desktop and good enough tablet or netbook. For my office laptop, I use a Dell E6220 - it's extremely portable and light weight, I have it outfitted with a 128GB SSD and a core i7 Dual Core proc w/ HT so it's fast enough to be convenient for when I am on the go and while I am on vacation and need to get into work files. When I am at home, I prefer to work on my Desktop which I spent roughly $1000 to build - AMD FX-8150, 16GB of RAM, GTX 560 graphics card, 128GB Intel SATA3 SSD.
I also have an iPad which I use to remote into my desktop when I am not at home and need to test site access and access documents saved on my home PC. There are a number of great remote access applications you could use to facilitate the need for document access on the go or you could save some formats in a dropbox account. It's all a matter of how often and how much access you think you need.
Based on what you said you would use it for, I would build get a good laptop compatible with a docking station. Dell obviously has compious options, Sony's Z series has an awesome dock connection - 1 single USB 3.0 cable and it has an internal video card in the dock.