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Diffen logo Laptop vs. Notebook Diffen › Technology › Computers LaptopNotebook A laptop computer, or simply laptop, is a portable computer which usually weighs 4-8 pounds (2 to 4 kilograms), depending on display size, hardware, and other factors. A notebook is a personal computer that foregoes some functionality to remain lightweight and small. Notebook computers typically weigh less than 5 pounds and are small enough — "notebook sized" — to fit easily in a backpack or briefcase. Initially, laptops were created to emulate the functionality of desktops; however, demand for laptops for entertainment purposes has led to the development of more compact devices, such as netbooks and tablets. Notebooks were also designed to function similarly to desktops, but were geared more toward personal use than business use. The handy notebook size was what defined notebook computers. When they were first released, they did not even have a replaceable hard disk or other associated peripherals.