Laptop vs Notebook: the Major Differences

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The rapid rise in new innovative ways of computing has made many people familiar with new products and devices. Some decades ago, words like laptop and notebook were not popular, and nowadays, keeping up with the new terms has become quite tricky.

That leads us to this question that many people have been asking: “Is there any difference between a laptop and a notebook”?  Many computer users use these two terms interchangeably; however, there is a clear difference between them.

The first laptop was produced in 1981 by Adam Osborne, and it was designed to be a sibling to the desktop computer. However, desktop computers were more popular than laptops until 2005 that we witnessed a significant increase in laptop sales.

Many people started dumping their desktop computers for a portable device that is more powerful enough to handle their computing tasks. In 1989, NEC made the first notebook known as UltraLife: it was more portable than a standard laptop and was specially designed for personal computing tasks.

Laptop vs notebook: which is better?

The main difference between a laptop and a notebook is its weight and portability. You should choose a notebook if you are going to carry it around often and choose a laptop if you prefer power and performance over portability.


Until today, most companies producing laptops and notebooks are still making sure that their products are portable. Laptops are produced in different sizes with screen sizes ranging from 10 to 18 inches, and depending on the brand, they can be lightweight or bulky.

While notebooks are designed to be sleeker and smaller with screen sizes of 15 inches or less, most notebooks are incredibly lightweight in terms of portability, and you can easily carry them around in your briefcase or backpack.


In the price category, you can get a decent laptop under $1000 depending on the specifications and the brand.

On the other hand, you can get a good notebook under and 600.

It’s also important to point out that there are two different notebooks: netbooks and ultrabooks. Netbooks are designed for general computing tasks, and they are more affordable. Ultrabooks are high-end notebooks that are equipped with more powerful resources and more expensive.

If you need an even lighter option than a notebook consider choosing between tablet over a laptop.

The significant price difference comes with a considerable difference in the level of specifications.


Basically, a computer’s performance and capacity largely depend on the processor, the graphics card, memory, disk speed, and other related components. Most new desktop replacement laptops are equipped with a powerful processor and good displays to ensure that they can handle the most resource-hungry tasks.

Even mid-budget laptops and notebooks are packed with decent processors to ensure that you can efficiently carry out general computing tasks. However, since laptops are more expensive, they tend to be equipped with a higher level of resources.

Let me also point out that since ultrabooks are more expensive, they are also packed with more impressive resources that put them on the same performance level as most laptops.


Many modern laptops are equipped with a 1TB of SSD and supported with a memory capacity of 16GB. In contrast, a standard notebook comes with a decent 512GB of SSD and up to 8GB of memory capacity.

This apparent difference means that there are a few different types of users.

Users that are looking for high-end computing power will find everything that they need on a laptop. Users looking for a machine to carry out general computing tasks will find everything they are looking for in a notebook.

It also means that the high-end laptops will need stronger batteries because of their hardware level, which is why most laptops can only work between 6 t o10 hours without light, while a standard notebook can work between 7 to 15 hours without light.

Some major computer manufacturing companies have made significant progress in reducing the gap between laptops and notebooks by producing portable and powerful computers. One of these computers is the HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3 convertible equipped with 256GB of NVMe SSD, supported with 8GB RAM, weighs just 2.67 pounds, and is backed with a battery life of almost 10 hours.

This fantastic machine has proven that it is possible to combine power and portability, which makes it perfect for personal and business computing.


Laptops and notebooks have a lot of similarities and differences.  You need to be sure of what you need, and it’s always risky to judge a computer by just the design.

Although, design is one of the factors that you need to consider before making your final decision.

Every day there are new designs and new products, and we can expect to see more sleek and lightweight laptops equipped with powerful hardware for future high-end computing.

Alex Berg
Alex Berg

Founder, writer, editor-in-chief at LaptopTalks. Starting LaptopTalks is like a dream come true, combining two of his passions – writing and technology. Even in his free time, you can often find him by his gaming laptop playing the latest video games.

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