How do netbooks and ultrabooks differ?

More than a small difference: laptop and notebook

Most people today do not know the difference between a laptop or a notebook. As with other separate designs - for example subnotebooks or netbooks - the originally quite precisely defined terms are blurred. They are all used for a portable computer regardless of its size, configuration, or performance. It makes sense to differentiate between the different formats.

The size - a difference between a laptop and a notebook


  • Screen diagonal: from 15 inches (approx. 38 cm)


  • Screen diagonal: from 10.1 inches (approx. 25cm)

The name already gives a decisive indication, provided it is translated into German. A laptop roughly means "on your lap", while a notebook is a notebook or a notebook. Now no one will really want to hold their notebook in one hand for longer to take some notes, but it gives a practical impression of the size ratio as the difference between a laptop and a notebook.

In fact, a laptop is typically a larger computer. Unofficially, the limit is a screen diagonal of 15 inches or in the metric system of about 38 cm. A notebook, on the other hand, usually has a display of 13 inches (approx. 33 cm) or less. Almost all screens correspond to sizes that have become established over the years for various reasons such as resolution. Laptops, for example, often have 15.1-inch screens, and larger models also 17.3-inch screens. In the past, individual specimens were also launched with 19.1 inches or even 20.3 inches. There is also an exact graduation for notebooks: It starts at 10.1 inches and extends through 11.6 inches and 12.1 inches to 13.3 inches and 14.0 inches. The first two are also referred to as subnotebooks in connection with their very low weight, and as netbooks when performance is poor.

The equipment corresponds to the space available

The small design ensures that the equipment has become a decisive difference between laptop and notebook. Many laptops have an optical drive such as DVD or Blu-ray, while a notebook has to do without it. The same applies to the interfaces such as numerous USB ports or a graphics output. With a notebook, however, both can in some cases be made available by a docking station, which is set up stationary at a fixed workstation. For laptops, however, these are only available in exceptional cases, as the housing offers enough space for all desired interfaces.

Technical difference between laptop and notebook