What is the difference between a netbook, notebook, ultrabook, palmtop and laptop?

Abhishek Rai August 2, 2012

I would like to know the difference between a netbook, notebook, ultrabook, palmtop and laptop. Sometimes I just mess up with all of these terms, so it would be great if someone could clarify them. Thanks!

  1. Kiran Brar
    September 26, 2012 at 5:45 am

    thanks alot .,all the answers fascinating me

  2. Christopher Harlan
    August 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Netbooks: Small, very portable computers used for easy carrying. They usually do not have very much power and are used mainly for videos, or internet surfing.

    Notebooks: Normal to large sized laptops, the smallest normally being at around 13". They can range from anywhere from low to gaming quality.

    Ultrabooks: These laptops are extremely thin, and normally lacking the CD drive to save space. They sometimes weigh very little, but can pack a lot of power.

    Palmtops are more of a PDA, where they could pass as a micro computer (depending on which one). They are about the size in where they could fit into your palm.

    These are all laptops :)

  3. Reý Aetar
    August 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

    netbook, notebook, ultrabook are presonal computers that are portable and can be used keeping on your lap so they are called laptop, now netbook are those that have low specifications and can serve for simple office work and netserfing and playing light weight games or running light weight apps those dont require much processing powers..
    and notebooks are for those that has specifications close to desktops(those that you keep on desk,that are not portable) they can run heavyweight apps such as playing games and running video editors and those apps that need more processing power ,these have more powerfull cpu,gpu and more ram and more connectivity options then netbooks,
    and ultra books are just laptops just given the name becoz they are slim and just given a attracting name for marketing (just like apple gives its products a fancy name )
    and palmtop are those that are hand held like PDA and all which you can operate simply by holding in your hand

  4. Harichand Biswas
    August 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I want to know the clear idea of a laptop, netbook, notebook and ultra slim laptop.

    • Reý Aetar
      August 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

      netbook, notebook and ultra slim laptop are all laptop,(can be used keeping on your lap)
      and ultra slim are those like mac that are made slimmer

  5. Rizwan Saudagar
    August 6, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Netbook- Small size and cheap.
    Notebook- 12"- 14"
    Laptop- 15.6"
    Ultrabook- Slim, battery long life, SSD.
    Tablet- without keyboard.

  6. Jon Smith
    August 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    to some it up-size and performance

  7. Suman Acharya
    August 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    these are all portable computer form factors (layout, design, placement of components etc)
    netbook - small size 11" or 12"(i guess hp offers one with dvd drive), no dvd drive, cheap, low performance, designed specially for internet surfing.
    palmtops - are like smartphone these days.
    notebook - small size laptop, thinner than laptop, 12-14" screen.
    laptop - powerfull portable pc, full size keyboard, 14"+ screen, powerfull processing.
    ultrabook - slim, new offering by intel, ultra-portable, longer batterylife.
    tablet - computer without keyboard, monitor serves as virtual keyboard.

    • Abhishek Rai
      August 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      all the answers satisfied me. thanks guys and muo

  8. Vipul Jain
    August 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Netbook - 10-11 inch screens, useful for documenting work & portability. No heavy gaming. Generally low priced.

    Notebook = Laptop - 14-17 inch screens, useful for entertainment & gaming purposes. Generally medium priced. Heavy to carry except 14 inch.

    Ultrabook - New range of computers, releasing slowly. Usually 13.3-14 inch screens. Really fast & great battery life. No heavy gaming as of yet. High priced.

    Palmtop - Outdated & out of stocks, shouldnt be bothered. Were kind of little brothers of netbooks.

  9. Âdil Farôôq
    August 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Ultrabook is Intel's offering, a more powerful Netbook. It shares some qualities with Tablets (instant on and resume, low power) and laptop is a personal pc that you can have and do every thing you want,netbook is not a complete pc,because it is just for internet(for example you can have good games in it but you can play for example call of duty in your laptop),and i think notebook is laptop and just the name is different,and tablet is like ipad and samsung galaxy tab but i think ipad is the best tablet in the world and you can go to internet,play games,a lot of programs and...

  10. Mike
    August 3, 2012 at 4:11 am

    "notebook" simply is an alternate term for laptop

    "netbook" is a term used for small, lightweight inexpensive laptops which are designed for low cost and high portability by offering limited amount of performance, (non-legacy) interfaces and in general no optical drive

    "palmtop" is kind of the middle-stage between a smartphone and a netbook i.e. a PDA. However, with the ever increasing performance, functions and features of smartphones they are kind of rendered marginal except for certain industrial use.

    "ultrabook" is a trademark and definition by Intel for laptops that in simple terms meet a certain level of performance, size and weight

  11. LeviTashun
    August 3, 2012 at 4:03 am

    They are largely marketing buzzwords for different form factors of laptop computers, but there are some general characteristics under which these follow.

    Notebooks are a general term used to refer to all laptop computers, but with the different sizes these days people usually mean a mid to large size laptop.

    Netbooks became popular a few years ago, as cheap but very light low-power laptops. The typically have screen sizes no larger than 11". The Intel Atom CPU line was really popular in these, and at the time users tended to run Windows XP because it was less memory-demanding than Vista (Win7 wasn't out yet).

    The "palmtop", or handheld PC, was another small form factor of laptop computers that was produced during the 1990s. They stopped around 2000, and were replaced by the Pocket PC running on Windows Mobile (PDAs and such, precursor of modern smartphones) .

    Ultrabooks are the latest popular form factor of laptop computers, promoted heavily by Intel to push their new CPUs. The reason netbooks didn't get very popular was because even though they were cheap and light, they were often too weak hardware-wise to perform any tasks besides casual internet surfing and word processing. Ultrabooks attempt to combine the "ultraportable" form factor with more powerful modern hardware.

    Hope this helps!

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