Notebooks Vs Laptops

By Matthew Richard Kerridge
Tags:notebook computers,notebook computersNotebooks Vs Laptops,Notebooks Vs Laptopsnotebook computers notebook computers
There seems to be a general amount of confusion regarding what exactly a "notebook" is in comparison to other kinds of portable computers. Unlike netbooks, which are a recent emerging kind of portable PC with a distinctly different role to play, notebooks have been around for a while and are now almost indistinguishable from standard laptops. The two terms are, in fact, often used as synonyms today.

The term "notebook" was coined around 1989 to describe emerging lines of smaller laptops that were about the size of a typical A4 paper notebook. The first two to fit the original label were the NEC UltraLite notebooks and the Compaq LTE line of systems, with the IBM ThinkPad arriving a couple of years later to really popularize the form factor. Laptops before then (and many since) were usually wider, taller, and thicker, with the laptops of today being so to fit extra goodies into the system, increase airflow to cool really powerful processors, or to simply have a larger, eye catching screen (or all of the above, as the case sometimes is).

For a while thereafter, the term "notebook" was used as a term to describe smaller laptops, which were generally used by businessmen and students thanks to their lighter weight and smaller form making them easier to carry around. Thanks to this reduced size, though, notebooks were generally known for something else as well.

Due to the reduced size, notebooks were generally less powerful than their larger laptops, making them great companions alongside desktops but not good replacements for them. This differentiation has lasted until today, despite the fact that notebooks come in a variety of sizes now, making them look and feel like laptops. With heftier, more powerful laptops claiming to be capable of anything all but the most powerful desktops, it is still relatively easy to pick out the less powerful, more streamlined notebooks, even when they do have 16`` screens and DVD drives.

This means, of course, that notebooks are now situated between laptops and netbooks in terms of processing power and general usage. Where netbooks are the extreme in portability and low prices, they are also the lowest denominator in regards to processing power and storage space. Unlike netbooks, notebooks are not specifically designed just for office use and surfing the Net - they can perform almost every task that laptops and desktops can.

With notebooks and laptops converging and becoming increasingly similar, it is possible that very soon there will not be any difference between the two at all.

In closing, we would like to mention that there is one distinction between laptops and notebooks that is actually increasing at the present time: touchscreen functionality. At present, the percentage of notebooks with a built in touchscreen is rising quite rapidly. While there are laptops with touchscreen support, the function is, at least for the moment, a notebook thing.