A laptop, often called a notebook, is a portable personal computer with a "clam shell" form factor, with a keyboard on the lower part of the "clam shell" and a thin computer screen on the upper portion, which is opened up to use the computer. The keyboard and screen are folded shut for transportation of the laptop. Most laptops these days use an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). Laptops are suitable for mobile use.[1] Although originally there was a distinction between laptops and notebooks, the former being bigger and heavier than the latter, as of 2014, there is often no longer any difference.[2] Laptops are commonly used in a variety of settings, such as at work, in education, and for personal multimedia and home computer use.

A laptop combines the components, inputs, outputs and capabilities of a desktop computer, including the display screen,speakers, a keyboard, pointing devices (such as a touchpad or trackpad), a processor and memory into a single unit. Most 2016-era laptops also have integrated webcams and built-in microphones. The device can be powered either from arechargeable battery or by mains electricity from an AC adapter. Laptops are diverse devices and specialised kinds, such as rugged notebooks for use in construction or military applications or convertible computers, have been optimized for specific uses. The hardware specifications, such as the processor speed and memory capacity significantly vary between different types, makes, and models.

Portable computers, which later developed into modern laptops, were originally considered to be a small niche market, mostly for specialized field applications, such as in the military, for accountancy, or for travelling sales representatives. As portable computers became closer to the modern laptop, they became widely used for a variety of purposes.