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A laptop, laptop computer, or notebook computer is a small, portable personal computer (PC) with an alphanumeric keyboard and a screen.

A laptop’s screen is typically installed within the upper lid while the keyboard is typically installed within the lower lid.

2-in-1 PCs with a detachable keyboard, on the other hand, are frequently marketed as laptops or as having a laptop mode.

Laptops are folded shut for transportation and thus suitable for mobile use. They are so named because they can practically be used on a person’s lap. Laptop computers are now used in a variety of settings, including work, education, gaming, web browsing, personal multimedia, and general home computer use.

As of 2021, the phrases laptop computer and notebook computer are used interchangeably in American English in other dialects of English, one or the other may be chosen.

Although the phrases notebook computers and notebooks were originally used to refer to a specific size of the laptop (originally smaller and lighter than standard laptops at the time)

The terms have grown to represent the same thing and notebooks no longer refer to any specific size.

Laptops combine all of the input/output components and capabilities of a desktop computer, including the display screen, small speakers .

A keyboard, data storage device, sometimes an optical disc drive,

Pointing devices (such as a touchpad or a pointing stick).

An operating system, a processor (Central processing unit (CPU)), and memory are into a single unit.

Most current laptops include integrated webcams and microphones, and may also include touchscreens. Laptops can be powered by an internal battery or an external power supply through an AC adapter.

Hardware parameters, such as CPU speed and memory capacity, vary greatly between types, models, and price ranges.


While the names laptop and notebook are used interchangeably nowadays. there is significant debate over the origins and uniqueness of either term. The term laptop appears to have been coined in the early 1980s to designate a mobile computer that could be used on one’s lap and to distinguish these devices from older and considerably heavier portable computers (informally called “luggables”).

The term notebook appears to have gained currency later, when manufacturers began producing even smaller portable devices, further reducing their weight and size and incorporating a display roughly the size of A4 paper;[3] these were marketed as notebooks to differentiate them from bulkier mainstream or desktop replacement laptops.

Types of Laptop

Since the emergence of portable computers in the late 1970s, their form has evolved substantially, generating a range of visually and technologically distinct subclasses. Except where there is a separate legal trademark surrounding a phrase (particularly, Ultrabook), there are rarely firm distinctions between these groups, and their usage has fluctuated over time and between different sources.

Since the late 2010s, the use of more descriptive words has become less popular, with sizes defined mostly by the size of the screen.

A smaller and larger laptop

There were previously a number of marketing categories for smaller and larger laptop computers; these included “subnotebook” models, low-cost “netbooks,” and “ultra-mobile PCs” where the size class overlapped with devices like smartphones and handheld tablets, and “Desktop replacement” laptops for machines significantly larger and heavier than typical to operate more powerful processors or graphics hardware.

Except for niche models, laptop sizes are often defined by the size of the screen, and for more powerful models, by any specialized use the machine is meant for, such as a “gaming laptop” or a “mobile workstation” for professional use.


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