Optical interfaces are not always reliable at sample rates above 96 kHz so for me coax is the clear choice.
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Most would argue coax is the preferred connector, especially as optical inputs are starting to drop off on some of the newer equipment.
You don't mention all of your laptop details, but I'm curious how you would connect coax out from it?
If its an apple laptop and you have a digital 3.5mm output, I would recommend the Wireworld Super Nova 7 glass 3.5mm to optical wire. I use this on my imac with improved and positive results, and I typically fall into the cable naysayer camp. This cable changed my mind that cables make a difference, and it's within your stated budget.
Coax would give you more options down the road (where "high res" formats are concerned), as some equipment is limited by optical's ability to transmit the bits required. It depends on what your needs are. High res may just be the next DVD Audio for all we know.