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Laptop vs. Notebook — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 30, 2024
A laptop is a portable computer with full computing capabilities, often heavier and more powerful, while a notebook is lighter, thinner, and designed for basic tasks and mobility.
Laptop vs. Notebook — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Laptop and Notebook


Key Differences

Laptops are equipped with powerful processors and larger storage capacities, suitable for a wide range of computing tasks from gaming to professional work. Notebooks, on the other hand, prioritize portability and battery life over high-end performance, making them ideal for web browsing, document editing, and multimedia consumption.
Laptops typically include a variety of ports for connecting external devices and peripherals, offering greater flexibility in usage. Whereas notebooks tend to have fewer ports to maintain a slim profile, which may require users to rely on wireless connectivity or purchase additional adapters.
The display size of laptops usually ranges from 15 to 17 inches, supporting higher resolutions and better graphics performance for demanding applications. Notebooks, however, often have smaller screens, about 11 to 14 inches, focusing on making the device lighter and more portable.
When it comes to battery life, notebooks are designed to last longer on a single charge, thanks to their energy-efficient components and smaller screens. Laptops, with their more powerful hardware, generally have shorter battery life but provide more computing power.
In terms of pricing, laptops can vary widely, with high-end models being significantly more expensive due to their advanced features and capabilities. Notebooks are usually more affordable, appealing to users who need a device for everyday tasks without the need for extensive computing power.

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

High-end computing, gaming, and professional work
Basic tasks, web browsing, and multimedia

Size & Weight

Heavier and bulkier, offering more features
Lighter and thinner for enhanced portability

Screen Size

Typically 15 to 17 inches
Usually 11 to 14 inches

Battery Life

Shorter due to powerful hardware
Longer due to energy-efficient components

Price Range

Wider range, can be more expensive
Generally more affordable

Compare with Definitions


A portable computer designed for mobile use, with full computing capabilities.
She bought a new laptop to edit videos and run software for her design projects.


A cost-effective option for casual computing.
Buying a notebook was a budget-friendly choice for their family.


A versatile computing device with a built-in keyboard and screen.
His laptop is equipped with the latest processor and a high-resolution display.


A lightweight and thin portable computer for everyday tasks.
Her new notebook fits perfectly in her small backpack.


A mobile computing tool for professionals, gamers, and students.
She carries her laptop to the café every day for freelance writing.


A portable computing device with a focus on battery life.
The notebook lasted all day without needing a charge.


A device capable of running complex applications and multitasking.
The latest laptops can handle video editing and 3D modeling with ease.


A device designed for mobility, with basic computing power.
He uses his notebook for taking notes during lectures.


A portable solution for computing needs on the go.
I need a durable laptop for my business trips.


Ideal for users who prioritize portability over high performance.
Her notebook is perfect for travel, allowing her to stay connected.


A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with a screen and alphanumeric keyboard. These typically have a "clamshell" form factor, typically having the screen mounted on the inside of the upper lid and the keyboard on the inside of the lower lid, although 2-in-1 PCs with a detachable keyboard are often marketed as laptops or as having a "laptop mode." Laptops are folded shut for transportation, and thus are suitable for mobile use.


A book of blank pages for notes.


A portable computer with a display screen hinged to a keyboard, small enough to use on one's lap.


A light, portable computer that is generally thinner than a laptop.


(computing) A laptop computer.


A book in which notes or memoranda are written.


A portable computer small enough to use in your lap


A kind of user interface in literate programming, allowing calculations to be interspersed with human-readable comments, diagrams, etc.


Ellipsis of notebook computer


A book in which notes or memorandums are written.


A book in which notes of hand are registered.


A book with blank pages for recording notes or memoranda


A small compact portable computer

Common Curiosities

What makes a laptop different from a notebook?

Laptops offer full computing capabilities with more power, while notebooks are designed for light tasks and portability.

Can I play high-end games on a notebook?

Notebooks are not typically designed for high-end gaming due to their limited graphics capabilities.

Are notebooks more expensive than laptops?

Generally, notebooks are more affordable than laptops, especially high-end models.

Which is more suitable for students, a laptop or a notebook?

It depends on the student's needs; notebooks are great for portability and basic tasks, while laptops suit those requiring more power.

Do laptops have better battery life than notebooks?

No, notebooks usually have longer battery life due to their energy-efficient components.

How do I choose between a laptop and a notebook?

Consider your computing needs, budget, and preference for portability or performance.

Can I use a notebook for professional work?

Yes, notebooks are suitable for basic professional tasks like document editing and presentations.

Can notebooks run the same software as laptops?

Notebooks can run many of the same applications as laptops, but may be limited by their hardware in demanding tasks.

Are there hybrid models that combine features of both laptops and notebooks?

Yes, there are 2-in-1 devices that offer the versatility of a laptop with the portability of a notebook.

Is a notebook a good option for digital nomads?

Yes, notebooks are ideal for digital nomads due to their light weight and long battery life.

Is it easy to upgrade a laptop compared to a notebook?

Laptops often allow for easier upgrades to components like RAM and storage, unlike notebooks.

Do notebooks have fewer ports than laptops?

Yes, notebooks often have fewer ports to maintain a slim profile.

Do all laptops and notebooks come with built-in webcams?

Most modern laptops and notebooks come with built-in webcams, but features vary by model.

Can a notebook handle video editing tasks?

Basic video editing can be done on some higher-end notebooks, but laptops are preferred for more intensive editing.

What is the main advantage of a laptop over a notebook?

The main advantage of a laptop is its higher computing power, suitable for a wide range of tasks from gaming to professional work.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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