Difference Between Laptops and Notebooks

Whether you’re buying a new computer for work, study, or entertainment, determining whether to choose a laptop or notebook can seem like a tricky decision. Both laptops and notebooks are portable personal computers, but they have some important differences in their specifications and use cases.

This article will break down the key variances between laptops and notebooks and discuss aspects like performance, portability, and ease of repair to help you identify which type is best suited for your individual needs.

We’ll also look at when certain situations may favour a laptop over a notebook, or vice versa. AMT Electronics, your local laptop repair service based in Melbourne, wanted to provide this informative guide to help customers make an informed choice.

What is a Laptop?

A laptop is a personal computer that is highly portable, typically weighing between 1.5kg to 3kg. As the name suggests, laptops have a “clamshell” design where the display screen is hinged and can be folded down to cover the keyboard, allowing it to be easily transported.

The majority of laptops run on Windows or Mac operating systems and typically have sizes between 13 to 17 inches. Some well-known laptop brands include HP, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Acer.

Key features of laptops include good processing power to handle tasks like working, studying, and entertainment needs. Laptop keyboards are full-size but compact to suit their portable nature. Battery life ranges from 5-8 hours, depending on use and model.

Laptops are versatile machines that can be used anywhere by opening the screen and using the built-in keyboard and touchpad. They are well-suited for students, home workers, and frequent travellers.

Ease of Laptop Repairs

While very portable, laptops can sometimes experience technical issues due to their compact nature. The batteries, screens, and other internal components packed tightly inside their cases can encounter problems from regular use and transportation.

Fortunately, most laptop repairs are relatively straightforward. The portable laptop design allows technicians to easily access components once the base cover is removed. Common laptop issues like faulty chargers, keys or touchpads can typically be fixed without needing to disassemble large portions of the device.

It’s important for laptop owners to be aware of warranty exclusions when considering repair options. Repairs or upgrades done by independent technicians may void the original device warranty. However, going direct to a laptop brand service centre can help retain warranty cover at a higher cost.

Budget-friendly options also exist with companies offering affordable non-warranty repairs. Knowing your repair rights and options is crucial for maximising your laptop’s usable lifespan.

What is a Notebook?

A notebook differs slightly from a laptop in its form-factor. Notebooks tend to have screen sizes from 13 to 15 inches and follow a more traditional ‘clamshell’ design where the entire system including keyboard is covered when the lid is closed. This makes notebooks more compact and light than laptops, usually weighing in the 1.5kg to 2kg range.

Common features of notebooks include vibrant displays, long battery life and good processing capabilities for regular computing tasks. Popular notebook brands are Lenovo, Dell, HP and Samsung. Notebooks are perfect for students and professionals seeking a highly portable machine weighing less than two kilograms.

Ease of Notebook Repairs

Notebook repair can face more complex issues than laptops due to their compact internal build. Thanks to smaller components and less space inside the casing, repairs involving the motherboard or other internal structures tend to be more difficult on a notebook. removing and replacing parts often needs complete disassembly of the base cover and surrounding plastics.

Typical problems like faulty keyboards often mean dismantling substantial sections. Notebook LCD screens also require comprehensive opening of the device to detach due to their tight integration. Warranty policies apply similarly to laptops, with out-of-warranty repairs generally being the most cost-effective option from professional technicians. Having the right tools and experience is crucial for delicate notebook systems.

What is the difference between laptops and notebooks?

Now that we’ve outlined the key aspects of laptops vs notebooks, let’s dive deeper into their main variances:

Screen Size:

As mentioned, laptop screens range usually between 13-17 inches, allowing greater visibility for tasks. Notebooks are more compact, with displays spanning 13-15 inches.


As mentioned, laptop screens range usually between 13-17 inches, allowing greater visibility for tasks. Notebooks are more compact, with displays spanning 13-15 inches.

Battery Life:

Expect roughly 5-8 hours of battery life from a laptop during regular usage of web browsing, documents, etc. Notebooks often deliver a longer battery, usually 8-10 hours from a single charge.

Processing Power:

Higher-end laptops offer more processing grunt for activities like video editing. Notebooks focus on efficiency and balance power with portability needs.

When To Choose a Laptop or Notebook

Understanding the main trade-offs between laptops and notebooks will help you pick the right device for your specific needs. Here are some general guidelines:

Laptops are good for:

  •  Software/hardware intensive tasks like video/photo editing
  •  Heavy multi-tasking with many applications and browser tabs open
  •  Large display desired for viewing multiple documents
  •  Long battery not essential, able to access power outlets often

Notebooks are good for:

  •  Purely portable work, studying on the go between classes
  •  Space and weight at an absolute minimum
  •  All-day battery life from a single charge
  •  Minimal processing needed, tasks like web/documents

Of course, your budget also plays a role. Laptops offer more power but cost more than an ultra-portable notebook. For basic use, a notebook delivers excellent value while laptops suit power users.


We hope this comprehensive look at laptops vs notebooks has helped explain their similarities and differences. While both serve as portable personal computers, it’s important to understand each type’s key specifications and suitability to specific usage scenarios. Choosing the right device can make a big difference in maximising productivity and enjoyment.