What Is The Difference Between A Laptop & A Notebook? – Ultimate Guide

Both a laptop and a notebook are often considered synonymous because people think they refer to the same things: Portable Computing Devices.

However, there is a major difference between them. A laptop is a much broader category while a notebook is just a type of laptop.

In 2024, notebooks have advanced as a separate category completely and hence are recognized distinctively from laptops.

In this article, we will explore the differences between laptops and notebooks. We will be sharing everything you need to know about both of them. So, let’s get right to it:

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between A Chromebook and A Laptop?

Laptop Vs Notebook: What’s The Difference?

There are numerous differences that can be observed between a laptop and a notebook in 2024. Not in appearance but also in their performance and functionality.

Let’s take a deep dive into the most common differences between them.

Portability: Size, Weight, and Thickness

The most distinctive feature that defines the difference between a laptop and a notebook is the portability.

Notebooks, just like the name suggests, are like the traditional notebooks that you took to school.

They are thin, lightweight, and extremely portable. You won’t feel their weight while carrying them around in your hands or in the bag.

Notebooks are laptops that are appropriately sized for ultimate portability. They come in ultra-thin designs and have ultra-thin yet reliable batteries. They are more compact and weigh much less compared to traditional laptops.

On the other hand, laptops offer a diverse range of sizes, thicknesses, and weight choices. A common laptop would be thicker, larger, and heavier compared to a notebook.

Notebooks today even have an upgraded form which is known as Ultrabooks. Ultrabooks offer even more superior portability and come in the most lightweight designs.

Power & Performance

In terms of power and performance, laptops hold superiority. When you are searching for a laptop, you will see options ranging from basic computing potential to the most advanced processing power in the world.

However, when you see a notebook, you will have limited prospects in these terms. The reason is that notebooks were not built to provide you with powerful performance but rather efficiency and portability.

They are ideal for working on the move and hence have focused only on providing the performance that could assist you with efficiency and work-related needs. So, for heavy-duty performance, notebooks will not be a suitable choice.

Compared to that, laptops offer a wide range of selections for the specific needs of performance enthusiasts. Whether you are a student looking for basic performance or a professional looking for extreme, there will be something for everyone.

Battery Life

Since notebooks have less potential in terms of power and performance, it automatically gives them more battery life.

You won’t be disappointed with the battery life of a notebook laptop. Most notebooks come with long-lasting batteries and in 2024 they will support fast charging.

Compared to that, the battery life in laptops is varying. It usually lasts a good number of hours when you are dealing with normal tasks, but runs out quickly when you are dealing with performance-intensive tasks.

Memory & Storage

Laptops offer broader options in terms of memory and storage as well. You can select anywhere from 4GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage to 64 GB or higher RAM and 4 TB or even higher storage.

However, in the case of notebooks, these options are particularly limited. You won’t get that much higher specs in the first place and even if you do get good specs, there won’t be potential for more expansion.

A laptop, no matter how extreme the specs get, might always have room for more upgrades, which provides it with better futureproofing.

But, as I already mentioned, the purpose of a notebook was never hardcore performance. Hence, they don’t focus on making it a powerful beast, but powerful enough to handle your needs.

Also Read: What Is A 2-in-1 Laptop?


Not all laptop manufacturers are making notebooks. You might see some of them being quite popular in the notebook industry but most brands are focused on making a diverse range of laptop series and pay no attention to this sector.

The most prominent brands that you often see in the notebook category include HP, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, and Apple.

While other brands might have something in terms of slim and portable laptops, they never termed it specifically as notebooks.

Price Factor

Last but not least, considering the price factor when looking at the difference between a laptop and a notebook can also prove to be helpful.

Laptops, being a broad and diverse category, range from a mere 150 dollars to 4000 dollars and above. However, notebooks and Ultrabooks only have a limited price range.

You can purchase a good notebook anywhere between $400 to $800. These notebooks will offer good features and good specs, that are ideal for basic computing and everyday needs.

You can use the notebook for light office work, but for heavy-duty professional performance, I wouldn’t recommend that you choose a notebook.

In terms of laptops, you will have much more options and you can choose an option according to your specific needs and budget.

Also Read: Best Laptops for Multitasking in 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better notebook or laptop?

Laptops are significantly better in a broader sense, but if someone is specifically looking for superior portability only, then he can be considered notebooks better. Overall, laptops are a superior choice.

Can a laptop be called a notebook?

A notebook is a type of laptop and hence they can be called interchangeably. However, notebook refers to a specific series of brands that focuses only on portability. There are many laptops that might be similar to notebooks but are not called notebooks.

What are the primary advantages of notebook laptops?

Notebooks have superior portability. Although they have limited potential in terms of power and performance, they offer ultimate portability which is unmatched and also comes at an affordable price.

What is the major difference between a laptop and a notebook?

The major difference between a laptop and a notebook is size and weight. Notebooks are smaller, lighter, and thinner as compared to laptops. On the other hand, laptops are more powerful and have higher performance potential.

Wrapping Up!

Summing it all up, there are not many differences between notebooks and laptops, and it is true that both are often considered interchangeable. However, there is one significant difference that cannot be ignored.

In terms of portability, notebooks have a significant advantage as they refer to a specific series of laptops that have superior portability.

Laptop, being the broader category, offers a wide range of choices in terms of performance, power, and many other aspects, which are quite limited in just notebooks.

Also, there are many laptops that might appear similar to notebooks but might not be called by that term because the brand didn’t choose to use them. I hope the above guide makes the difference between a notebook and a laptop clear enough for you.

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