When it comes to tallking about computer, Which word is more natural to use: laptop or notebook?

Thank you.


From my perspective (2019, in the northeast US), "laptop" is more common.


Some people maintain that a laptop is a larger portable computer, weighing about 2 kg and about 4 to 5 cm thick, whereas a notebook is generally 1.5 kg or less in weight and 1 to 2 cm thick. Also notebooks are more portable, small enough to be carried in a backpack or briefcase, which means a screen size of 15 inches or less. However, many people, especially those who don't work in computer stores, just call them all 'laptops'.


For a time, manufacturers preferred to call their products "notebook" computers, and there was a noticeable shift away from the word "laptop" in marketing. I would guess that they were trying to get away from the idea that the computer literally "sat on your lap" so that they could be marketed in ways that allow them to replace traditional desktop computers, such as selling them with a docking station.

However many manufacturers are using the term "laptop" again, and I would guess this is partly because English speakers never really stopped calling them that, but possibly also because the size of portable devices has begun trending upwards again. For example, mobile telephones got smaller and smaller each year until smartphones emerged - now they are getting bigger and bigger again. Likewise with laptops - about 10 years ago there was a trend for tiny laptops which were sometimes known as "notepads" but they were quickly supplanted by touchscreen tablets. Laptops seem to be getting larger again as they are marketed as something better and more powerful than a tablet.

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