Laptop vs Notebook – What Are the Differences?

Although it may not seem like it, there are some key differences between a laptop and a notebook although many users do not seem to recognize it. As with every other piece of electronic equipment, both laptops and notebook have their own specific set of recommended usage patterns and why one thing is better for doing a certain task than the other.

In addition to this, it is necessary to understand that high-tech electronic equipment is marketed in a way that appeals to and meets the demands of a certain user type. For example, a student may only want a small, lightweight portable computer that’s good enough for taking notes during lessons and studying, which in this case would be a notebook. In this way, knowing the difference will help you make a better choice when deciding what to buy.

Let’s Clarify the Terms

Everybody knows what a laptop is, but if we are going by some standard definition about the term derived from common sense then that would be: a portable computer that has the power of a desktop CPU but in a much more compact and lightweight form factor, usually around 3 to 4 kilograms.

Notebooks are usually smaller, up to 13 inches in display size, and pretty lightweight (around a kilogram, or two). They don’t pack much power and can even be less powerful than a high-end iPad or a Samsung tablet, In plain words, they are the size of a notebook, hence the name and you can’t pack much punch in such a tiny and lightweight.

Is There Really a Difference?

If you are not a tech-savvy person the truth is you’d never even think in terms of differences between a laptop and a notebook and why you should care. However, although it seems that they are one and the same thing, that is not true. Let’s take a look at the differences between a laptop and a notebook in terms of comparing their main features against these four main aspects:

  • Portability
  • Price
  • Performance
  • Functionality

Portability

When it comes to portability, laptops can vary in size a lot, from 13 inches up to 17, and depending on the manufacturer, they can be either very slim or rather bulky if it’s a gaming laptop for example.

So while the laptops are portable by default, primarily they are meant to resemble a desktop PC in terms of hardware capabilities. That can make the laptop a little bulkier than usual, and when combined with a 17-inch screen, having 3-5 kilos in your back can become problematic.

Notebooks on the other hand are very lightweight and portability is one of their main selling features. So when a person is thinking about buying a portable device that will suit his or her needs by being slim, lightweight, and small (l15 inches or less), this person is looking to buy a notebook.

Notebooks can easily fit in your backpack or a briefcase since they are the more compact device when compared to the traditional laptop.

Laptops on the other side can get up to 17 inches in display size and up to 4 or 5 kilos in weight which makes them a bit on the heavy side when compared to notebooks. But with a laptop, you can have the power of a desktop pc in a portable form factor if that’s what you need.

Price

If we are to compare laptops and notebooks in price it’s plain to see the disparate difference in cost. And the cost of a product is an aspect that will always matter to users, and in many situations may even determine whether someone’s going to buy a laptop or a notebook. Laptops can range from $200 all the way to $2000 and notebooks on the other side can be bought for around $500, due to their low-end hardware specs which offer just basic functionality.

However, if you are looking to buy a thin, lightweight but more powerful device with lots of processing power, then an ultrabook like the Asus ROG Flow X13 is something you’d want to consider.

Performance

Depending on the needs of the user, performance can be either a deciding factor or just an afterthought. If you are looking into buying a laptop then you’ll have no problem finding a device with decent GPU, CPU and RAM, and disk speed although you might have to spend more than you planned. So, if your work depends on behind mobile and having a portable device that’s packing power.

However, generally speaking, the higher the price the better the quality of the product you’ll get. If you are looking for a powerful and thin portable computer, then you have to look into ultrabooks. Ultrabooks are like the love child of a high-end laptop and a thin, lightweight notebook.

Functionality

While functionality will totally depend on your personal needs, having a device with at least 8GB of RAM and an SSD disk can’t hurt, regardless of whether you opt for a laptop or a notebook.

It’s also important to mention that battery life can be significantly longer on notebooks since they don’t use much processing power, while a laptop can have a shorter battery life span. So, while a laptop might last you for 6-8 hours of continuous work, a notebook can definitely last you double that time or around 14 hours.

Conclusion

Knowing the difference between a laptop and a notebook will determine the purchase you make. That way you are more informed and the next time you need to buy a laptop or a notebook, you’ll know which one to get depending on your needs and the specs that each of the two can offer.

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