Differences between a notebook, laptop, netbook, hybrids, ultrabooks and PC

These days,  choosing and buying a computer that really suits what we need is a kind of challenge,  mainly because of the large number of models and brands that exist in the market, but above all, because of the types of computers that are available. at our disposal, very different from each other.

We are talking about  notebooks, netbooks, laptops, ultrabooks, PCs and hybrids,  that strange but interesting combination  between the world of the PC and that of tablets. Such magnitude of variants will surely confuse us, preventing us from reaching an adequate determination.

In this diverse scenario, choosing a computer that perfectly fits what we need from it  implies that we take into account the characteristics that each one of them offers and the way in which we will use it,  that is, if it will always fulfill its function in the same place, if we need it to move, if we are dedicated to design or we will only use it for office tasks, the type and size of the screen and many other aspects. In short, a long task awaits us.

Fortunately, in this article we will find the most important differences between one computer and another,  which will be useful to choose the type of computer that best suits us.

What is a notebook?

Beautiful wherever you look at them,  the notebooks were designed with the express purpose of guaranteeing the user total mobility,  and that is why the whole set is light and strong, which makes it possible to carry it around with minimal effort.

One of the characteristics that make notebooks an excellent option when purchasing our next equipment is that despite their compact size, depending on the hardware they contain , they allow us to carry out the same tasks that we do with a desktop computer. .

In this sense, it should be noted that although the first notebooks could not be compared with desktop PCs in terms of performance and processing speed, the truth is that today the disparity that existed between the two has disappeared. Today, a notebook has practically the same functions and features as a desktop PC.

However, we must point out that there is still a limiting factor in the field of notebooks, which can determine that one of these computers is not precisely the ones that suit our needs, especially in the case in which we dedicate ourselves to carrying out work of design type, or that we use it regularly to play.

We are talking about screen size, since we well know that in a desktop PC we can connect a screen of the size we want, while in the notebook we must choose the one that has the largest screen on the market, which so far is just over 18 inches.

With regard to their technical characteristics,  modern notebooks include powerful hardware, even as much as that which equips desktop PCs. Of course, the larger the size of its screen and the more powerful its components, the notebook will grow in size and therefore  the autonomy of its battery could be diminished.

Although as their specifications grow, their weight and dimensions grow, the truth is that they are the best alternative available for  all those who have the need to work with tasks that require an intense process , as long as they have a source of energy. by hand.

However, it is important to note that with the enormous advances that have occurred in recent years in the field of notebooks, there has also been a notable evolution in batteries, which currently have a longer useful life, can be recharged in less time and its autonomy is more extensive. This is extremely important in this type of computer, since let’s not forget that we are talking about a laptop, so battery life is key.

There lies precisely the most outstanding characteristics of notebooks, that they have the ability to allow us to transport them easily.

Finally, it should be noted that perhaps a point against notebook computers as opposed to desktop computers is that in general their costs are higher, even when we make a comparison between two computers with the same characteristics and similar capabilities. However, its portability is what makes notebooks the chosen one in many cases.

What is a laptop?

In general, the term laptop is used interchangeably to refer to notebooks or any other type of laptop, but the truth is that a laptop is not the same as a notebook, nor is a laptop the same as a netbook.

Although it is a term that does not refer to a specific model of computer, the truth is that the word laptop is used to refer to all those laptops whose main characteristic focuses on their weight and size.

That is why a notebook can be a laptop, as long as it is an ultra-light and ultra-thin device. It should be noted that it is often said that a laptop is that laptop that we can use resting on our lap. For this, it is key that the laptop screen does not have large dimensions.

However, if we have a notebook we can refer to it as our laptop, since ultimately it is also an appropriate term to define it, as long as it is a light and thin laptop.

What is a netbook?

The netbook is another type of laptop. Similar in many respects to its older sister the notebook, the main difference between both types of devices is that  the netbook has been designed with extreme mobility in mind,  and that is why they generally do not have powerful hardware or are distinguished by autonomy. of your battery.

Furthermore, netbooks  generally  do not offer a CD / DVD drive and have few USB ports available,  but this brings with it very flexible mobility due to their relatively small size. This has a lot to do with the size of the screen,  which generally does not exceed 10.1 inches.

However, this is not a problem for us to have an excellent user experience,  especially if we use the netbook only to browse or write reports and similar tasks. Of course, if we have a little patience, this type of device can carry out all kinds of work, especially if they have Windows installed, but the objective is not exactly that,  but to obtain good comfort when transporting it everywhere.

It should be noted that contrary to what is usually thought, and as its name might suggest,  a netbook is not only to be used always connected,  since they usually come with hard drives of up to 500 Gb.

Since, as we mentioned, netbooks tend to be considerably smaller in size than notebooks, we must point out that this is achieved with the incorporation of smaller screens, smaller hardware, and generally less capacity, as well as the lack of of DVD and CD players.

Despite this, netbooks are quite complete laptops, since among other things they usually include several USB ports, video output port, SD card reader, integrated speakers and connectors for microphone and headphones.

Almost all models also include a built-in camera, and their keyboards tend to be quite a bit smaller than notebook keyboards. The same happens with the battery, which also has a smaller space, so its autonomy is less.

In short, a netbook is a computer more than adequate for those users who are looking for a computer with great portability and who have simple needs, since it is ideal for writing texts, surfing the Internet, using social networks, reading and others, anywhere. place and time.

What is a hybrid?

The appearance of this type of device on the market is quite recent,  and Windows 10 seems to have some influence on it,  the operating system that equips most of these devices, although they can also include the Android operating system.

The  concept of a hybrid between tablet and notebook offers the user a flexibility and power  that few could imagine just a few years ago, this is so thanks to the perfect amalgamation of the best features of both worlds in the same device.

The combination of the particularities of these two devices, that is, the union of powerful processors, large amounts of RAM,  full QWERTY keyboards, removable and also touch and high definition screens, long-lasting batteries and many other features,  have opened the user the doors to a new world of possibilities,  yes: a world where we will have to have a good budget to achieve any of these models.

On virtues and disadvantages, they are so recent in the market that we still have to go a long way to know how far they let us go.

In most of the hybrid laptop models that we can find in the current market, in general they usually include a touch screen between 10 and 13 inches, which is attached to a keyboard, which in most cases allows its separation, so that we can use the equipment as if it were a powerful tablet.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the main advantages of hybrid laptops, however they have not yet managed to be the object of desire of most users. This is because for many people hybrids turn out to be heavier than a tablet, and at the same time their performance does not reach the level of a notebook.

However, hybrids can be a great option for people who travel a lot and need a laptop to view documents, edit them, surf the internet, visit social media, watch videos, listen to music, and more.

What is an ultrabook?

Ultrabooks are the newest that we can find on the market,  and it could be said that they are the evolution of notebooks.  Lightweight and extremely thin, they are very easy to handle and transport, as most of them do not even weigh one kilogram.

However, its size and weight are not a problem, since it manages well so that  it can house very powerful processors and large amounts of memory,  and although its screen may seem small, between 13 and 14 inches, it is excellent quality,  and can be of the tactile type.

Undoubtedly, in addition to the power of their processors, one of the aspects that make the  difference in speed of ultrabooks with respect to notebooks  is that they are equipped as standard with  SSD disks , solid state storage units or SSD, Solid- State Drive by its initials in English.

We must also take into consideration the battery life, quite important by the way,  since in use they are capable of reaching a range of up to 5 hours,  while in rest they reach up to 10 hours of duration.

As general characteristics of ultrabooks , we can mention that among its main requirements this type of portable equipment must have a thickness that does not exceed 18 or 21 mm, must have WiFi connectivity, a touch screen and include USB 3.0 ports.

The most prominent ultrabook models have a casing made of metal, which is because this material allows better and greater heat dissipation to occur, compared to what happens with other materials such as plastic.

In addition, as we already mentioned, ultrabooks include an SSD-type hard disk , a slim, small but long-lasting battery, and they must also have enormous ease of use, such as allowing instant start-up.

What is a PC?

For many users, the desktop computer or  “Desktop”  is still the most logical type of PC,  since in addition to providing us with much more power and flexibility than other types of PC could ever give, it  is capable of growing to its limits. unsuspected, that is to say that if we buy a desktop PC to do office tasks,  over time we can expand it to be able to carry out much more complex and heavy work.

In addition, adding peripherals such as keyboards, digitizer tablets, mice, printers, cameras, telephones and others is really simple, since they generally have several ports to connect them to, and if these are all occupied,  we simply add an expansion board or a hub and issue solved.

The same happens with the boards that make up the PC, we can always buy a more recent model to replace the old one.  Also with storage something similar happens: it is almost unlimited.

However, despite being the cheapest type of PC, there are a couple of drawbacks that are not suitable for all users. The first of them, of course, is the immobility of the set, due to size and weight, and the second is that when the power is cut, so does the equipment,  unless we connect it to a UPS,  but the latter many times it has the same value as the entire computer.

Despite being obvious, we must say that a desktop computer is basically a personal computer, hence its acronym PC, which has been designed for the user to use on a desktop.

It is made up of the cabinet, which is a kind of box in which all the hardware components of the equipment are located, including the motherboard, processor, RAM memory, hard disk, power supply, video cards, audio and the rest.

In the cabinet there are also arranged the different ports that the desktop PC includes, such as USB ports, audio, video, HDMI, RJ45 connectors and others, which will vary in type and quantity depending on each equipment. A DVD, CD or Blu Ray reader is also usually included, as well as an SD card reader.

Added to the cabinet is a screen, called by many an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard. But in addition to that, we can include webcams, speakers, headphones, and almost everything that comes to mind, since basically in terms of connectivity and features of desktop PCs, we could say that our imagination is the limit.

It should be noted that within desktop computers we can also find those called All In One (all in one), which due to their format have a smaller desktop surface, since the hardware components are not located within a separate cabinet but on the computer screen itself.

At this point, All In One computers are considered by many to be something of a middle ground between a laptop and a desktop PC. However, we have to bear in mind that the main disadvantage of All In One computers is that they do not allow the level of upgrade that traditional desktop PCs do.

On the other hand, despite the enormous advances that have occurred in recent years in relation to laptops, even today desktop PCs are still the best option for those users who seek maximum performance, since they are capable of integrating the most powerful components to perform the tasks that require the highest performance, such as video and sound editing, design and use of games.

Differences between Notebook and Netbook

With the work needs of these days, and  the increasingly marked trend of users choosing laptop-type equipment,  with all the advantages that this represents, the market for notebooks and netbooks has expanded in an astonishing way.

If you are about to buy a laptop and you are faced with the doubt of which is the right choice,  from this point we will tell you some of the most important details that should be taken into account before buying the new computer. 

Bear in mind that many times, in the absence of knowledge from inexperienced users,  some unscrupulous merchants can mislead the consumer by claiming that a netbook is almost the same as a notebook. 

So that they cannot deceive us,  here you will find a comparison between both types of laptops,  and what are the main advantages and defects of each team.

Big differences between Notebooks and Netbooks

Because the term netbook is fairly new to the world of ordinary computer users, malicious merchants sometimes take advantage of consumer inexperience by offering netbooks as notebooks, or as  small computers similar to PCs. desk. 

In principle, it should be noted that  there are a large number of differences between these two types of laptops,  and in this lies the diversity of prices that exist between the different computers.

One of the most notable differences between notebooks and netbooks  is in their hardware and the processing capacity of  the same.

Let’s bear in mind that a notebook usually includes a powerful processor and high-capacity memory  since it has a series of  components similar to those used by a desktop computer. 

In the case of notebooks, the hardware elements have been manufactured with special materials, which allow to achieve a physical size significantly smaller than those components included in desktop PCs. 

In general,  a good quality notebook includes a low-power processor,  which can be an Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Turion, a 2.5-inch or smaller hard disk, one or more RAM memory modules of the type SO DIMM , video card, a CD and DVD player, in addition of course to its integrated TFT or WXGA screen, keyboard and touchpad or trackpad.

On the contrary,  in the case of netbooks, they have been conceived in order to offer a type of laptop of low cost and reduced size,  with the aim of providing a highly transportable computer to carry out basic tasks from anywhere .

As its name implies, it  is the right equipment for Internet browsing, although it also allows you to do some basic work, such as reading PDF, and running applications such as word processors and spreadsheets.

Netbooks are by no means the recommended laptop for those users who require a computer that allows them to perform heavy video and audio editing tasks, or play complex and modern games.

Storage, displays and keyboards

However, it should be noted that in terms of mass storage, that is to say, the hard disk they use,  netbooks generally have disks with a capacity similar to that of notebooks. 

Before deciding on the possible purchase of one of these laptops, and faced with the temptation to choose a netbook, it is important to bear in mind that it is a subnotebook computer,  which was created with the aim of providing a team that meets the necessary tools. for those users who work outside their home, such  as for example on a business trip.

Based on this characteristic that completely defines the functionality of a netbook, the rest of the benefits it offers revolve. Being a subnotebook, its screen is smaller than in the case of notebooks,  since they only have screens of up to 12 inches.

This is perhaps one of the great advantages of notebooks compared to netbooks , since the former has a larger screen, accompanied by a full QWERTY layout keyboard with conventional sized keys, which makes them one of the more comfortable equipment to use,  especially for those people who are not used to working with portable devices.

The only defect that comes from the size of the screen and the keyboard of the notebooks, is that it actually  reduces advantages when evaluating the true portability of the device.

Optical media

At this point,  netbooks are much more portable equipment due to their reduced size,  which has been achieved by incorporating not only small TFT screens, but also with the use of ultra-compact keyboards.

However, as we mentioned, netbooks, since they have to contain all their physical and hardware elements in a reduced space, are affected in other aspects, since for example  this type of subnotebook computers do not have optical drives for reading and writing of CDs and DVDs. 

This factor often prompts the consumer to opt for a notebook, which includes an optical media reader, although with the new types of storage,  more and more users choose to save the material on memory cards or pen drives, which can be seamlessly connected to the netbook.


One of the great advantages that small netbooks have is undoubtedly their connectivity, since in general,  most of the models available today not only have Wi-Fi, but also include Bluetooth connection, and in some cases have  support for the 3G standard . 

This makes them  a true connectivity laptop,  which is ultimately the fundamental concept on which its creators have been based to develop this new type of laptop.

For this reason,  many cell phone companies nowadays offer modems and special Internet connection services for netbooks , and there are even models of these small computers that include the built-in modem.

Although notebooks are the ideal equipment for the most demanding users, and in some cases they can even be the replacement of the conventional desktop computer, the truth is that despite the few functionalities that characterize netbooks,  these are the most recommended laptops for Internet browsing from anywhere and at any time. 

It should be ruled out that  netbooks also allow the use of applications in online versions, that is, it is not necessary to install them to be able to run them on the computer, thereby reducing the space used on the subnotebook’s disk.

This is a great advantage, especially  for users who only require a laptop to surf the Internet, use the office suite, edit photos online , and a large number of useful tools that are provided by connecting to the network. .


Regarding the autonomy provided by both computers, it should be noted that netbooks generally  have smaller batteries than those included in notebooks, which is why they cannot withstand more than three hours of continuous use of the equipment, a  point that in notebooks it is clearly an advantage, since in most of the more modern models they allow to obtain a really superior autonomy.


A really important point, beyond the hardware, but one that is closely linked to this aspect, is the type of software that laptops and subnotebooks support, and that  many times can become the determining factor when acquiring a new team. 

Generally, most of the newer models of notebooks include Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system  ,  while most of the netbooks have some  GNU / Linux distribution or Windows XP  pre-installed.

This is due to two specific factors. On the one hand, it responds to a commercial strategy, to make netbooks one of the most economical laptops on the current market.

On the other hand,  netbooks have processors that cannot support the most modern and complex operating systems , such as Windows 7, due to their scarce resources and the lack of memory necessary for this.

That is why, on many occasions, consumers choose to purchase a laptop that not only provides important software features, but also the possibility of updating its functionalities.

In conclusion

A notebook usually includes  high-capacity RAM memory, a video card, a CD and DVD player, a powerful microprocessor,  among other hardware components, which allow us to use sophisticated and modern applications.

For their part,  most netbooks, which have been designed to offer a team totally linked to connectivity,  have a built-in webcam, USB port, Bluetooth, Internet connectivity via Wi-Fi, removable memory card reader, speakers and microphones, thus offering us a complete portable equipment to keep us permanently connected to the network.

Being smaller computers,  netbooks actually weigh less than any notebook,  so its most notable advantage is the true portability it offers.

In summary, notebooks are the ideal equipment for those who need a true and complete computer, which allows them to perform different tasks, even complex ones such as video editing.

Netbooks are the most recommended laptops for those users who are looking for a comfortable and efficient device to surf the Internet and perform office work, when they are away from their homes.

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