Yes, a tablet is good for doing some stuff while standing, but seriously how many people need to do that. Even in a lab a large portion of your time will be spent sitting, where a laptop/netbook would be much more useful.
Usually with my hands too full to manipulate a touchpad or mouse, when direct touch input is much better. Working in an actual research lab is nothing like a college/high school lab courses. In those cases, yep, a laptop is definitely better (and what I use in my lab courses). But in an actual research lab, given the work I'm doing and the materials/animals/procedures I'm working with, a tablet is a better option.
I've worked in a lab for years now, I'd know. A tablet is a much better setup for biomedical research.
And don't even get me started on how tablets need to be standardized in hospitals.