Tag Archive for notebook

Laptops? And Notebooks? and Netbooks. Oh my!

Yvonne Bisk of the Long Island Business Networking Group asks:

“What is the difference between a laptop and a notebook?”


Dell Laptop

I know it can be hard to tell the difference between laptops and notebooks since manufacturers and advertisers will blur the distinctions to influence sales based on current trends and consumer demand. Also, since 2007, the rise of the netbook has caused the terms notebook and laptop to be synonymous, but, technically, you could say the difference revolves around processors, battery life, optical drives (DVD/CD), and size, but not necessarily weight due to varying levels or durability and ruggedness.

Furthermore, when discussing the “technical aspects” of laptops and notebooks there is no distinction between Linux, Mac , or Windows based computers.

Last of all, I will discuss what distinguishes the netbooks from the laptops and notebooks.


intel_logoLaptops will have stronger processors, often the same ones found in desktops. Notebooks will have processors that use less energy to prolong battery life.

amd-logoLaptops will either use Intel’s Pentium, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, or Celeron processors; or they’ll use AMDs Phenom, Athlon, Turion, or Sempron processors. The Core 2s, Pentiums, Athlons and Phenoms are the most powerful, and will use up the most battery power.

Optical Drives

Laptop with integrated DVD drive

Laptop with integrated DVD drive

Laptops include integrated (built-in) optical drives for playing DVDs and CDs. Notebooks, on the other hand, often do not include a DVD or CD drive to save battery life, size, and weight in that order. For the notebook computer the optical drive must either be purchased separately or added as an option.

Battery Life

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

Laptop batteries will hold a charge for 2 or 3 hours of operating time. Notebooks will run for 8 hours or more. How long the battery holds a charge is most affected by hard disk drive and optical drive usage. These devices have motors which spin the disks. Frequent saving and accessing of files on these drives will result in shorter battery life. The same applies to the playing of DVDs or CDs. Since notebooks often do not include a CD or DVD drive, the battery will last a little longer. Additionally, some computers may have heavier batteries than others.

Size, Not Necessarily Weight

Toshiba T-1000 (1985)

Toshiba T-1000 (1985)

Laptop computers are often more 12 inches wide, over 9 inches deep, and over 1.2 inches in height. As mentioned above, leaving out the optical drive allows a notebook to be smaller in all these dimensions. Weight is not necessarily a distinguishing factor. A laptop can weight as little as 5 lbs to as much as 10 lbs. or more. Notebooks can go can be as light as 3 lbs., but, depending on its ruggedness and durability, can weigh as much as 8 lbs. When traveling, a laptop often requires its own carry case, but a notebook could fit into a briefcase or a smaller container with other items.

Laptops versus Notebooks: A Summary

So laptops tend to be larger than notebooks and have a shorter battery life. Laptops also tend to have optical drives and the same processors found in desktop computers. There are many areas where laptops and notebooks overlap; and, since the advent of the netbook in 2007, the term laptop and notebook has become almost synonymous.


Asus Eee netbook

Asus Eee netbook

Netbooks are much smaller and lighter than the laptops or notebooks. Most netbooks have no dimension greater than 10 inches, and their weight is less than 3 lbs.

For processors many netbooks run on Intel’s Atom or Celeron processors.

The lightest, most energy efficient models use Flash drives, instead of hard disk drives, and they don’t have optical drives at all. Flash drives have no motors or moving parts, but are more expensive than traditional hard disk drives. Flash drives are like the memory chips found in digital cameras and some iPods. Flash drives are also called “solid state drives”, abbreviated as SSD.

Whereas laptops and notebooks run programs that are stored on the hard drive, netbooks rely more on Internet based services and web sites.


Larger, more powerful, more expensive netbooks resemble notebooks; and larger, more powerful notebooks resemble laptops.

Frankly, if the computer is small enough to fall between my legs when I am sitting comfortably with my knees apart, then it’s not a laptop.

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TigerDirect deals for the day

TigerDirect is offering some great prices on some refurbished items this week. Just in case you don’t know, a refurbished items are “like new”. They were previously owned, but returned. Often these are cases where the original owner received it as a gift or discovered they had purchased the wrong item.  Once they were returned to the retailer they were sent to the manufacturer to check that the item was in re-salable condition.

Not all the items here are refurbished. If they’re refurbished, it is noted in the description.

Check out what is, in my opinion, the top deal of the day: The 42 inch HDTV from LG.

6-23-2009 2-56-07 PMSAVE $10 – Linksys Wireless G Router 54Mbps, 802.11g, 4-Port SpeedBooster. This is a recertified (previously owned) item. Only $29.99

SAVE $15 – Samsung 22X DVDRW Drive with a SATA connector. This is an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) item, so there are no warranties, manuals, etc. This is for experienced PC builders. Only $29.99

SAVE $60 – Dragon NaturallySpeaking Standard version 10. Speech Recognition Software, so your computer types as you speak. Microphone needed of course. I recommend Logitech  USB headsets. Only $39.99

6-23-2009 2-57-29 PMSAVE $39 – HP 17″ LCD Monitor. This monitor has 1280×1024 resolution for crisp detailed images. It has an 800 to 1 Contrast Ratio, a 5ms response time for clean, non-blurry video for games and DVD playback. Uses a standard VGA connector that is compatible with most computers. Only $79.99 * Price after $31 MIR, rebate expires 07/15/09. Check TigerDirect for more details.

6-23-2009 2-58-43 PMSAVE $250 – Garmin Nuvi 680 GPS. Never get lost again with this GPS unit has a 4.3″ Touch Screen Display, an SD Card Slot, and Bluetooth connectivity. It also receives Dynamic Content From MSN (Microsoft NetWork). This is a refurbished itme (previously owned but recertified by the manufacturer). Only $149.99

SAVE $110 – Acer Aspire Netbook. Small light and extremely portable. Equipped with an efficient yet fast Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM (memory), and a 160GB hard disk drive. The screen measures 8.9 inches. It uses the Windows XP operating system. And it’s blue. This, too, is a refurbished item for the great price of $219.9.

6-23-2009 2-55-00 PMSAVE $200 – Acer Aspire Notebook. Here’s an AMD Athlon powered notebook computer. The processor has a 1.6GHz clock speed.  The motherboard has 3GB of DDR2 RAM (memory). the hard drive holds 160GB of programs, files, photos, and data, etc. The screen measures 15.4 inches. This unit runs on Windows Vista. Did I mention this one’s been refurbished? Only $299.99

6-23-2009 2-53-50 PMSAVE $150 – eMachines Notebook. Here’s an inexpensive AMD Athlon 64 TF-20 powered notebook.  (1.6GHz clock speed). With 3GB of DDR2 RAM (memory), a 250GB hard drive, a dual layer DVD burner (RW) for burning up to 8.4 GB of data to a DVD. the screen measures 15.6″ diagonally, and it  runs on Windows Vista. Only $349.99

6-23-2009 2-51-35 PMSAVE $620 – HP Compaq Presario Notebook. This is run by a powerful Intel Pentium Dual Core T3400 processor with a 2.16GHz clock speed. It has an extraordinary 4GB of RAM (memory). Many computers today only have 2 GB of RAM, but I say, “Get all the memory you can.” The hard drive holds 250GB of data, the screen measures 15.6 inches, and it uses Windows Vista. Only $499.96* Price after $30 MIR, rebate expires 06/27/09. Check the link above for details from TigerDirect.

6-23-2009 2-50-42 PMSAVE $570 – HP Pavilion Notebook. Equipped with an AMD Turion X2 RM-72 processor with a 2.1GHz clock speed. This one has a nice 4GB of RAM (memory), too. The hard drive holds 320GB. The screen measures 17 inches (very nice for a notebook computer). Powered by Vista. And the case is a beautiful metallic bronze color. This is refurbished. Only $579.96


6-23-2009 2-49-30 PMSAVE $400 – LG 42″ LCD HDTV. I think this is the best deal today. This HDTV uses full high definition 1080p technology. The screen resolution is 1920×1080 (that’s where the 1080 in 1080p comes from. The “p” stands for progressive scan as opposed to interlaced. See the example below. The contrast ratio (black to white) is an impressive 15000 to 1. This is a 16:9 widescreen set with a 5ms reposnse time for clean, non-blurry images. It also has USB connections and 3 HDMI connections for the easiest audio-video connections. It uses Clear Voice technology, which focuses in on dialogue and conversation when background noise gets in the way. It also uses an Intelligent Sensor and AV Mode to enhance picture quality and overall performance. View your collection of pictures or listen to your MP3s via the integrated USB 2.0. Get your hands on this complete package today before it’s too late! Only $799.99!


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