The difference between Laptops, Notebooks, Netbooks and Tablets comes down to size and function.  The amount of RAM (Random Access Memory), and the processor speed will determine how quickly it will respond and how many programs you can have open at the same time.


A laptop is a small portable computer that often has the same functions as a desktop computer.  They range in size from 13 inch to 19 inch, although 15 inch is the most common size. The larger sizes may have a DVD drive although more often these days this feature is being omitted. The weight of the laptop will depend on the materials used, and the features that are included.

Notebook or Netbook

A notebook computer is a personal computer that is designed to be lightweight.  A notebook usually weighs at the most 2.2 – 2.7 kilos and have a screen size of 10 – 12 inches.  These mobile computers were initially designed to be the size of an actual notebook so they could easily fit into a briefcase for easy transportation. Notebooks are also referred to as netbooks as they do not have a DVD and software is usually downloaded directly to the hard drive via the internet. These are often used in schools, although tablets are starting to become more popular.


Tablets are handheld devices that are mainly used for watching videos and browsing the internet. A significant difference lies in its use; laptops are generally used for content creation, while tablets are more for content consumption.  Functions will depend on the model but each new model does more than the previous and some have all the functions a Laptop does but not the memory or hard drive space. This is when cloud based programs for saving photos, music and documents, are required.