What's the Difference?

What's the difference between a notebook, ultrabook, transformer book, etc?


The term, "Notebook", as it pertains to a laptop computer is a lightweight laptop which is can be operated via an internal battery or powered with an additional AC plug. Notebook laptop computers usually weigh less than 5 lbs and are less than 3 inches in thickness. They were designed to fit easily into a briefcase and able to be used in small spaces such as on airplanes or coffee shops. Their computing power can be equal to a desktop computer but are more expensive.


"Ultrabook" was a classification developed by Intel and so laptops wanting to classify their laptops as an "Ultrabook" have to be equipped with an Intel processor. "Ultrabook" laptops have faster processors, longer battery life, more RAM, better storage capacity, bigger displays and higher prices than Notebooks do. They are also very thin, less than 0.8 inches and are therefore light in weight.


"Chromebook" is a new category of laptop computer that runs on Google's cloud based OS. Its designed primarily for web browsing using Google Chrome web browser. They lack processing power and have limited hard drive space but do boast of near instant-on and quick response time.


A "Slatebook" is a category created by HP for a type of Netbook that converts to a tablet or to a standard type of Netbook. It differs also in that it uses an Android OS. Its total weight is under 3 lbs and like other Netbooks does not come with a disk drive.

Transformer Book

The "Transformer Book" is a category created by ASUS. This is a laptop which can be converted or "transformed" into a tablet, laptop or desktop; but not all models convert to a desktop and its done via a docking station. It comes with two different storage drives; a standard hard drive and an SSD drive. It has plenty of power and function.


A "Sleekbook" is a category created by HP to counter balance Ultrabooks. A Sleekbook uses an AMD processor whereby UltraBooks are not allowed and are forced to use Intel processors. Sleekbooks are generally heavier but allow for larger displays.


"Tablet" computers can be defined as an all contained general purpose computer which uses touch instead of a mouse to manipulate its applications. Tablets come in various sizes from about 7 inches to currently 27 inches. As a rule they don't come with any disk drives either.


A "Netbook" laptop is similar to a Notebook laptop but is smaller in size and has less computing power. It usually comes with a smaller screen size, about 7 to 10 inches and weighs under 3 lbs with a much smaller standard keyboard which is attached like a normal laptop. Netbooks come with wi-fi, hard disk, USB ports, ethernet and slots for memory cards, but don't come with CD or DVD drives.


A "Workstation" is a high-performance, single-user computer typically used for production graphics, CAD, software development and / or scientific applications. It can be a RISC-based computer which usually are Unix or Linux based systems; the major vendors being Sun, HP, IBM and SGI. It also refers to a PC using higher end Intel or AMD CPUs. In simple terms it applies to a machine with a fast CPU, large amounts of fast RAM, a large hard drive and a high end graphics card with a large amount of its own RAM that is geared toward the professional user rather than a typical home user.