What Is the Difference Between a Laptop and a Notebook?

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Notebook computers are smaller than laptops and usually weigh less than 6 pounds whereas laptops weigh up to 18 pounds. Laptops also typically have more functionality, including desktop accessories like DVD drives.

Developers originally designed laptops to be scaled-down versions of desktop computers that fit in a person’s lap. Notebook computers were developed to fit into a briefcase and have basic functionality for taking notes for business or school. Laptops have integrated DVD players, and this feature is not included in notebook computers. The exception is that notebooks often have a connection area that makes it possible to connect an external DVD player.

Generally, Dell, ASUS, HP, Alienware and Compaq make laptops while companies like Samsung and Apple create notebooks. Laptops have between 1 and 8 GB of RAM whereas notebooks often have considerably less depending on the brand and type. Laptop screens can be as large as 19 inches, but notebook screens generally are only as large as 15 inches though most of them tend to be smaller than that. Laptops need their own cooling systems due to the significant processing power they have inside. Notebooks tend not to have cooling systems that are nearly as complex since their processing power does not require it.