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Netbook vs. Notebook: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 5, 2024
A netbook is a small, lightweight, and less powerful laptop ideal for basic tasks, whereas a notebook is a full-featured, portable laptop with higher computing power.

Key Differences

A netbook is a compact, lightweight, and typically less expensive version of a laptop, designed primarily for web browsing, email, and basic word processing. Notebooks, on the other hand, are standard laptops that offer more powerful hardware, larger screens, and greater versatility in software and tasks.
Netbooks usually have smaller screen sizes, ranging from 7 to 12 inches, making them highly portable and ideal for travel. Notebooks generally feature larger screens, from 13 inches to 17 inches or more, providing better viewing experiences for multimedia and productivity tasks.
The processing power in netbooks is often limited, with lower-end CPUs and minimal RAM, suited for light tasks and internet-based applications. In contrast, notebooks come with a range of processors, from mid to high-end, and higher RAM, capable of handling complex software and multitasking efficiently.
Storage capacity in netbooks is typically modest, with many models using SSDs for quick access but limited space. Notebooks offer a wider range of storage options, including larger SSDs and HDDs, catering to users needing more space for files and applications.
Battery life is a strong point for netbooks due to their less power-intensive components, often lasting longer on a single charge. Notebook battery life varies widely but may be shorter due to their more powerful hardware and larger displays.

Comparison Chart


A small, lightweight laptop with basic functionality
A portable computer with full functionality

Screen Size

Typically 7 to 12 inches
Usually 13 inches or larger

Processing Power

Lower-end CPUs, suitable for basic tasks
Ranges from mid to high-end CPUs

Storage Capacity

Generally limited, often with SSDs
Larger, with options for SSDs and HDDs


Extremely portable due to size and weight
Portable, but size varies

Netbook and Notebook Definitions


A netbook is a small, portable laptop designed for basic computing.
I use my netbook to check emails on the go.


Notebooks often have larger screens for multimedia use.
Watching movies on my notebook's large screen is enjoyable.


Netbooks typically have minimal storage.
I store most of my files in the cloud because my netbook has limited space.


A notebook usually offers more storage options.
I store all my large files on my notebook's spacious hard drive.


Netbooks are generally more affordable than laptops.
I chose a netbook because it was budget-friendly.


Notebooks balance portability with performance.
I prefer a notebook for its versatility while traveling.


A netbook is ideal for web browsing and word processing.
I bought a netbook for writing essays at the coffee shop.


A notebook is a portable computer designed for general use.
I take my notebook to work every day for various tasks.


Netbooks are known for their long battery life.
My netbook lasts all day without needing a charge.


Notebooks come with a range of powerful processors.
My notebook handles graphic design software easily.


A portable computer that is smaller than a laptop, with less processing speed and less memory, used primarily for accessing the internet.


A book of blank pages for notes.


(computing) An economical notebook computer.


A light, portable computer that is generally thinner than a laptop.


A book in which notes or memoranda are written.


A kind of user interface in literate programming, allowing calculations to be interspersed with human-readable comments, diagrams, etc.


Ellipsis of notebook computer


A book in which notes or memorandums are written.


A book in which notes of hand are registered.


A book with blank pages for recording notes or memoranda


A small compact portable computer


Do netbooks have good battery life?

Yes, netbooks typically have long battery life.

What is a netbook?

A netbook is a small, lightweight laptop for basic tasks.

Can I use a notebook for professional work?

Yes, notebooks are well-suited for professional and multitasking needs.

Are netbooks cheaper than notebooks?

Typically, yes, netbooks are more budget-friendly.

Are notebooks heavier than netbooks?

Generally, yes, notebooks are heavier due to larger size and components.

Can netbooks run office software?

Yes, but they are better suited for lighter versions or web-based office apps.

What is a notebook?

A notebook is a portable laptop with more computing power and features.

Are netbooks good for gaming?

No, netbooks are not suitable for gaming due to their limited power.

Do notebooks have better displays?

Yes, notebooks usually have larger and higher-quality displays.

Can I upgrade a notebook's hardware?

It depends on the model, but many notebooks allow for some upgrades.

Do notebooks have a variety of ports?

Yes, notebooks generally offer more connectivity options.

Is a netbook suitable for students?

Yes, for basic tasks like note-taking and web browsing.

Can I edit videos on a notebook?

Yes, especially on notebooks with higher-end specs.

Do netbooks come with SSDs?

Many do, but with limited storage capacity.

Is the keyboard size on a netbook smaller?

Generally, yes, due to the compact size of the netbook.

Can I play DVDs on a notebook?

Yes, if it has a DVD drive, though many newer models do not include one.

Are notebooks good for entertainment?

Yes, their larger screens and better specs are suitable for entertainment.

Can I connect a netbook to an external monitor?

Yes, if it has the necessary port.

Do notebooks support high-speed internet?

Yes, most modern notebooks support high-speed connections.

How portable are netbooks?

Very portable, due to their small size and light weight.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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