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  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default Laptop or Notebook?

    Are the words "laptop" and "notebook" synonyms? Are they interchangeable?
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    Not for me- a notebook is smaller than a laptop.

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    True, a notebook computer is smaller than the traditional laptop.

    However, you will find that many people use the term "laptop" for any portable computer (that isn't an iPad-type tablet).

    I think "notebook" is more of a computer industry term than one in common use. The potential for ambiguity may be one reason (a notebook could be a computer or a pad of paper. The fact that "laptop" came first and still seems to apply is another.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    I use "laptop" for the larger (standard) type and "netbook" for the smaller, very light ones. If I hear "notebook" I generally don't know what size/weight is being referred to.

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    To me, only these will be notebooks.

    Rover

  6. #6
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    And if you go to the store to buy a portable computer, will you ask the shop assistant to show you a laptop or a notebook (not a netbook), which of the two words will it be more natural to use?

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    And if you go to the store to buy a portable computer, will you ask the shop assistant to show you a laptop or a notebook (not a netbook), which of the two words will it be more natural to use?
    Laptop. It's one word. If you walk into a store and ask where the notebooks are, they'll likely tell you they're next to the staples and pencils. So you have to say "notebook computer." But why say two words when one will do?

  8. #8
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    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    So, laptop rules?)

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    So, laptop rules?)
    For me, it's the word of choice.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Laptop or Notebook?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Laptop. It's one word. If you walk into a store and ask where the notebooks are, they'll likely tell you they're next to the staples and pencils. So you have to say "notebook computer." But why say two words when one will do?
    Maybe, but if you walk into a computer store and ask for a notebook, you'll be directed to the notebook computer section.
    To me, laptop, notebook are synonymous (perhaps not historically, but as they are popularly used today). Anything portable in the shape of a laptop computer, but usually excluding the little 10" screen jobbies (netbooks), can be either. And usually the c-word* will differentiate paper from electronic notebooks.

    *context

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