Laptops, Ultrabooks, Laplets?

The Traditional Laptop has undergone so many changes that there are now a huge variety to choose from. But what’s the difference between each one, and how do you know which one is right for you and your needs? In this section I am going to explore the different types of portable computers available and show you what makes them all so unique.



Trying to find a ‘bog standard’ ‘run of the mill’ Laptop nowadays is becoming increasingly difficult. However the term Laptop still refers to the tradition clamshell design with the screen in the top and the keyboard and components in the base. This design has been around for many years, and is still implemented in newer more advance devices. Does this mean that the laptop will forever remain in existence? Not entirely due to the high level of devices continually being released to replace the laptop it could eventually be phased out.




‘Ultrabook’ is a term you may or may not have seen whilst shopping around for a new Laptop. But what is an Ultrabook and what makes them so different to Laptops? Aesthetically, nothing, they look exactly the same . Ultrabook is a trademark term used by Intel, almost like a classification. A Laptop has to be of a certain specification to be classed as an Ultrabook.

So what do the specifications have to be?

The specifications are created by Intel, and they specify as to what type of processor the Ultrabook must have, the minimum battery life, the form factor (how thin) the device has to be, as well as a bunch of other features that must be included such as a touch screen. So as the name suggests it’s an ‘Ultra’ laptop, making it an overall more powerful machine that a standard Laptop



The term netbook is something you may have heard of in the past but is used very little recently as manufacturers stopped creating them a while back. Netbooks were designed to be cheap, they used cheaper materials for the body, basic components which were not as powerful. They usually had small 8-11” screens and some even used different operating systems such as Linux. They were primarily used for basic functions such as word processing and internet research.

Computer of this size are still available but have been replaced mainly by Tablets, where with operating systems such as Android, Windows and iOS can utilize the more basic components and not sacrifice on overall performance.




Tablets are the future for portable computing, Microsoft called it first and where selling Tablet PC form factor from as early as 2002. But back then the technology was still very large and clunky meaning the tablet suffered from being overly large, poor battery life and even worse touchscreens.

Enter Apple! When apple first launched their first iPad back in 2010 people were not quite sure what is was and were a little reluctant to try. Sounds odd doesn’t it? A time where Apple launched a product and people were not queueing at 4 O’clock in the morning to get one. A year later however was a very different story when the iPad2 was launched and its popularity sky rocketed. This was due to the iPad far exceeding expectations of this new type of computer, and end users where finding it very useful. They had perfected what was started all those years ago.

Enter the other large Mobile Manufactures, Samsung, Sony, HTC, Nexus, all products produced by these companies are thin, light have great and user friendly operating systems, have a battery that will last you roughly all day, and user interfaces that where built to be used on touchscreens. Almost everyone has one, having a portable device that doesn't require a huge charging block, doesn't weigh a tonne what’s not to like about them?



Hybrids and Laplets?

Over the last few years there have been many Hybrid devices produced that offer the best features of a laptop and tablet all in once device, hence the name ‘Laplet’. They possess the processing power and functionality of a Laptop but have the portability and great touch screen technology of a tablet. There are a few different variations of Hybrids that have been released. But there are two main versions, one being Laptops that rotate and convert into Tablets, and models that look more like Tablets but have an optional add on keyboard.

For example the Microsoft Surface or Sony’s Vaio Tap range are high end Windows based tablets which feature an add-on keyboard. Other machines such as the Lenovo Yoga series are more Laptop like but the hinge allows the screen to rotate completely around, so you can use the device like a Tablet, and the keyboard becomes a very convenient stand.

There are still new variations of these devices being released all the time, and it’s not likely to stop anytime soon.


Edited By: Joshua Thompson

Add comment

Log in to post comments