Difference between Laptop, Notebook, Netbook, Ultrabook, Tablet, Hybrid PC, Palmtop

Before few years, there were only two devices available for computing. One is mega sized Desktop and another is Laptop. But now due to the market rivalry and to bring more devices to the market to attract the mass, manufacturers are releasing devices with their own name like hp notebook computer, tablet, etc.

Let me brief you the difference between laptop, notebook, netbook, Ultrabook, tablet, hybrid PC, palmtop. Below are the devices that are ordered with respect to their size.

  • Palmtop,
  • Tablet,
  • Hybrid PC,
  • Netbook,
  • Ultra book,
  • Notebook,
  • Laptop.

In the above list, all the devices except Tablet share clamshell design. That is, we can open and close it like a clamshell. But the tablets are not like that and it also comes with touch enabled screen. Let us see in detail,


This is the smallest device with screen size of 6-7 inches that can give you the complete computing experience. Most of the palmtops run in a low version of windows called Windows CE. But few of the later models Palmtops were with the capacity to operate in Windows XP. Due to the computing device buzz, these palmtops became obsolete and you cannot buy a new one today (You can go for a second hand model in available in your country).


There is no need to explain this as the latest revolution is in the tablet market with the rivals Apple and Microsoft releasing new products ipad, ipad mini, Surface, etc. with fully packed features. But anyway let me brief about this. This is the mobile computer with touch or pen enabled screen with no keyboard attached to it.


In the tablet device, you can use a keyboard as an optional accessory if you are not able to use the touch screen. Some manufacturers like HPdesigned a separable screen that transforms into a full tablet when detached from the keyboard via a unified magnetic clasp. It is called as a Hybrid PC


Netbooks are with the screen size between 9-10 inches. They use windows as their operating system and tactile keyboard (keys which can be pressed rather than touching it). They are useful for daily computing tasks like checking mails, simple browsing, etc. They are not capable of handling intensive gaming, Photoshop, video editing software, or any other application which require much memory and power.

Their price will be from $200 to $500.


They are the next generation of Notebook. We can call these as Ultra-Thin Notebook. PC manufacturers responded for the ultra-thin and portable Apple Mac Book Air (this is the first true Ultrabook) with the Ultrabook.

The screen size will be like the normal Notebooks like 11 – 15 inches. But the thickness is astonishingly small like <2cm. This small thickness is achieved by compromising some hardware like DVD drive. Yes, it is not equipped with a DVD drive. Another difference is that they use SSD hard drives which are smaller, lighter and faster when compared with the normal HDDs. Since they are little bit expensive than the HDD, you will get only less memory space for your money. You can use this for all computing tasks and for some light weight games. You can’t go for heavy 3D games with this one.

They will need $700 to $1500 from your wallet.

Notebook and Laptop:

Laptops are the first model of computing device which was designed to replace the desktop. Hence it can be used for all computing tasks like heavy applications, high resource utilizing 3D games, etc. like a desktop. Since it replaces the desktop and still does all the computing by desktop, it is little bit bigger like 12-18 inches (15 inch is the average one).

Notebooks are little smaller than the Laptops to make it easy to carry. Nowadays, there is no distinct feature between a Notebook and a Laptop. Both are similar and PC manufacturers use Notebook and Laptops interchangeably. Some time they are called as Notebook Laptops.

Now, the term laptop is very rarely used. You can get the notebook with powerful graphics card for 3D gaming, all drives, ports, slots, huge battery. Etc. The price may go as high as $4000 for a fully packed Notebook.

I guess that is enough for you to know the main differences between the devices. If you are still looking for more details then just Google it.  J


Sindhu, a simple person with some real interest in software design, blogging, cooking and surfing net. She loves her life and enjoys every minute of it. More @


  1. jersey says:

    Thanks for the points you have shared here. Something else I would like to state is that computer memory needs generally rise along with other advances in the know-how. For instance, as soon as new generations of processor chips are made in the market, there is usually a matching increase in the scale calls for of both the computer memory and hard drive space. This is because the application operated by simply these processor chips will inevitably increase in power to take advantage of the new know-how.

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