Laptop vs Notebook vs Ultrabook – What’s the difference?

Maybe you will become confused by seeing the title of the article “Laptops vs Notebooks vs Ultrabook vs Netbook”. Like the title the appliances mentioned above are also confusing as all are similar but different from each other. 

Suppose, a person who lives in Tamil Nadu, will think that Udhagamandalam and Kodaikanal both are situated on top of the mountains. If you ask the same question to a person residing in Shimla or Kullu, he will feel that these are small hills in comparison to what they have in their area.

So, in a way, we can say that the perception is the matter. But at the same time, there are subtle differences. Explore the article, you will get to know this. 

There is no such boundaries or any standardized rule as to which constitutes a laptop or a notebook. You may have 15-inch laptop screens, as well as Ultrabooks and notebooks and notebooks, which are comparatively smaller. Let’s see the concept now. 

In the article, we will discuss an additional device to add to the confusion. Not actually to increase the confusion, we will provide proper knowledge about these appliances. We shall now look at five such appliances.






 Before starting the discussion, you should know that all of them are computers. We have arranged the appliances in order of their size and portability.

1. Palmtops 


The palmtops will provide you all the features of a computer in your hand as they are the smallest of all these devices on the list. The average screen size of these are around 6 to 7 inches. They will give you a complete computer experience as they run on a special low-powered version of Windows OS known as Windows CE.

You will find some of the later palmtops can work on Windows XP as well. But with the invention and availability of smartphones and tablets, these palmtops have gone out of fashion and marketplace as well. You may find them in some second-hand electronics shops.

2. NoteBooks


The netbooks are quite bigger than palmtops. The average screen size of 9 to 10 inches which were very popular before the introduction and availability of the iPad. The netbooks come with the specifications of a complete computing solution because they are featured with a keyboard in which you can type out the words instead of using the touch screens as you have to do with the iPad. AS they are smaller in size, it doesn’t have a built-in CD drive but they support low screen resolution. 

There is a difference between these netbooks and the tablets because you can run Windows applications on these netbooks. But tablets and smartphones are not able to run all the regular Windows apps. As the iPad offers greater flexibility than netbooks, these appliances have lost their popularity

However, netbooks are still famous and ideal for simple computing jobs. But remember that you cannot play the latest computer games or do video and photo editing on the netbooks. The interesting thing is it is known as ‘the poor man’s laptop

3. Ultrabooks


Ultrabooks are quiet similar in some ways  to notebooks except for the fact that they are incredibly lightweight and portable. It is amazing that the latest inventions of Ultrabooks weigh less than 1.5 kg and are extremely thin as well. PC manufacturers given the name of these notebooks as a direct response to Apple MacBook Air.

Though they are very thin (less than 2 cm) the screen sizes of these Ultrabooks are amazingly able to match their rivals, the notebooks. You also can have Ultrabooks with screen sizes between 11 and 15 inches as well.

You will notice that most of the Ultrabooks are equipped with SSD hard drives. Naturally, they are lightweight, silent, and super faster than the regular HDD drives. Therefore, the Ultrabooks have negligible boot-up times. In spite of being faster than the HDDs, SSDs are quite expensive at the same time. 

Consequently, you will not get much memory according to the money you pay for this. You may  get the highest up to 128 GB as memory. Keep in mind, Ultrabooks do not come with a DVD drive. So, you have to cut corners if you want to get ultra-thin devices.

Therefore, if you want to  watch DVDs on your device, you should stay clear from these Ultrabooks. You may face struggles to play games like the high-end 3D games, but this appliance is suitable and perfect  for almost all computing and lightweight gaming activities.

4. Notebooks & laptop

laptop and notebook

Now understand the most popular and available appliances- Notebooks and Laptops. You will find not much difference between the notebooks and laptops. Traditionally, the laptop is quiet bigger than the notebook. A laptop is designed to be a replacement for your desktop computer so that it could sit on your lap and you can do your work more comfortably.  Laptops contain all the input and output components and capabilities of a desktop computer along with the display screen, speakers, a keyboard, data storage device, sometimes an optical disc drive, pointing devices with an operating system, a processor and memory into a single unit.

On the other hand, notebooks are smaller and lighter thereby, featured with lightweight and easier portability as compared to the laptops. You will notice that manufacturers use laptop and notebook-these two words interchangeably today. You may not find many manufacturers who use the word laptops instead of they prefer to use ‘notebooks.’ Remember, the screen size for the notebooks could be somewhere between 12 and 18 inches and the average size is approximately 15 inches. The notebook has the batteries which is able to run 4-5 hours without any external power source. It doesn’t have a mouse, it is replaced with a touchpad.  

Nowadays, new notebooks are introduced with powerful graphics cards that will let you play 3D gaming. The fundamental difference is that notebooks are featured with a DVD drive. If you do not find any DVD drive,  you can as well call them ‘Ultrabooks.’ Notebooks also contain multiple USB ports along with it has Bluetooth and wifi support.  

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is the main difference between a notebook and an ultrabook?

A notebook is only an ultrabook if it is up to 1.5cm thick, has an Intel processor, and has an SSD disk. The biggest difference with notebooks or laptops is that an ultrabooks can possesses more powerful hardware, it always has an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, and it is more transportable than notebooks.

2.Which is better notebook or laptop?

If you consider functionality and processing speed, laptops are generally faster and more powerful than notebooks. They can be parallel to the functionality of a desktop computer and for this, laptops are typically heavier and bigger in size, on the other hand notebooks typically have a slower processing speed and are more lightweight

3.Can I print from a notebook?

Yes, you can print. A notebook computer has the ability to print a document directly from a connected printer just like other systems. However, even if the notebook you are running does require this setup, it will only take a few moments to get ready to print documents from your notebook

4. Which USB port should I use?

Generally, you can plug standard devices like mice and keyboards into a USB 2.0 port, as speed isn’t a priority for them. But the devices that will transfer data, like an external hard drive, should be plugged into a USB 3 port to get faster speed and best results 

5. Can I play games on an ultrabook?

Ultrabooks are more powerful but the thin, lightweight ultrabooks are not featured with gaming systems. So you can’t choose high end 3D games to play on it. .  

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