Different Types of Laptops Available in Today’s Market

Because technology continues to change and evolve, the various categories or types of laptops available to consumers continues to expand and grow. One new category is the recently introduced market of Netbooks, which has subsequently turned into the fastest-growing demographic within the entire personal computer market. I personally use the laptop for my working and that’s good for working

Some retail sites divide laptops into categories based upon price, weight, and available components, however, the industry-standard separates devices based upon screen size as the primary dividing factor because it is the most obvious and standard difference between the various types of laptops.


To many laptop users, the launch of the Netbook was one of the most exciting releases in recent years, however, others feel that the low-cost factor of these devices is more the result of a downward spiraling price war. Netbooks generally have a screen size somewhere between seven and twelve inches, come with a full keyboard, and are built around a low-voltage, single-core CPU.

Most of the early Netbooks came with tiny seven inch screens and were built around Intel Celeron processors, however today’s Netbooks typically come with a 10-inch display, single-core Intel Atom CPUs, an average of 1 GB of RAM, a large 160GB hard drive and a Windows 7 operating system.

The most obvious benefits to these units is their portability and low price. A standard 10-inch netbook can cost $300 or even lower. We can never get a standard laptop at such low price. The drawback is that they are capable only for e-mailing, Internet surfing, running web-based applications, and very basic office programs.

Netbooks are still growing and evolving, with many PC makers working hard to add faster CPUs and larger screens, allowing the portable and affordable Netbook to blur the line with the standard laptop offerings.

Characteristics of netbooks:

  • 9 to 12-inch screen
  • Do not have an optical drive
  • Single-core low-voltage CPU (normally Intel Atom)
  • Cost less than $500

Ultra Portable

These devices were popular before Netbooks were ever released. They have eleven to twelve-inch screens and low-voltage CPUs, which give them really strong endurance and high portability. In terms of processing power though, they are still underpowered compared to other mainstream laptops.

Netbooks have been a threat to the Ultraportable laptops — when you compare their prices, the Netbook which can handle most basic web and office tasks is coming in at around $300, while the UltraPortable which has almost the same size and processing power cost around $1500 which is five times higher.

However, with the dawning of Intel’s new consumer ultralow-voltage (CULV) processors, the UltraPortable division has a new lease on life with consumers. The CULV processors which are available in both single-core and dual-core versions are somewhat more powerful than the Atom processor but cost only slightly higher than the Atom CPU.

You may have seen these devices marketed more recently as “UltraThin” rather than UltraPortable, as the PC industry attempts to re-market these laptops as thin, upscale devices. Similar to the Netbook, many of these UltraThin or UltraPortable devices do not have an internal optical drive.

Characteristics of ultraportable law laptops:

  • 9 to 12-inch screen
  • Do not have an optical drive
  • Low-voltage ULV CPU
  • Cost between $600 and $800

Thin and Light

This category describes thin laptops that are approximately thirteen inches in size. If you are wondering why there is a specific category for the thirteen inch laptops, it’s because they stand alone against the other types of categories. It is considered by many to be the absolute smallest size that can be worked on comfortably all day, and yet is still small enough to be easily carried around from home to office and back.

Standing between the ultraportable and midsize categories, the thin-and-light laptop works pretty well for users from both side of the world. The thirteen inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro are perhaps the most well-known models in this category and many PC makers have attempted to imitate them and make similar versions.

Characteristics of Thin and Light laptops: 13-inch screen

Midsize (Mainstream)

This category consists of laptops with 14, 15, and 16-inch display. While the midsize unit is still technically a mobile device, it is generally used in a single location – either at home or at work, but rarely both.

There are 3 screen resolution available in this category – The cheaper version with 1280×800 pixel resolution; the wide-screen 16:9 version with 1366×768 pixel resolution; and the high-end version with 1600×900 pixel resolution.

Most of these mainstream laptops come with dual-core preocessors, typically the Intel Core 2 Duo line, and boast anywhere between 2 to 4GB of RAM with a 250GB 5400rpm hard drive and generally come with DVD-burning optical drives.

This is the most popular category of all laptops and can be priced anywhere between $500 to over $1000 per unit. However, the average price is between $700-900 for a typical configuration.

Characteristics of Midsize laptops:

  • 14- to 16-inch display
  • Dual-core processor
  • Internal optical drive

Desktop Replacement

If you are looking for a device that will completely replace your desktop PC in size, power, speed, and anything else you could require, this is the model for you.

The basic version of this 17-inch and larger model comes with the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, with the more powerful versions boasting Core 2 Quad CPUs or even more powerful Intel Core i7 processors. Most of these desktop replacement devices come with discrete graphics cards that enable the user to play High-Definition video or engage in 3-D games.

Blu-ray drive is becoming more and more common on these systems since they often have native screen resolutions that can handle hi-def 1080p content.

Unfortunately, because they are so powerful and have so many features, these types of units typically have short battery life. Also due to all the bells and whistles, these units are typically large and very heavy, so they are not as portable as any of the other types of laptops, making them more of an at-home or at-the-office type of unit.

17-inches is the most common size seen in this category, however, there are 18 and 20-inch models available if you want an even larger size. Some of these units come in sizes nearly as large as TV monitors, so these desktop replacement units work great as a part of your home entertainment system, allowing you to combine all of your video, music, and computing devices in one convenient location.

Characteristics of Desktop Replacement:

  • 17-inch (or larger) display
  • Intel Core 2 Duo of better CPU
  • Discrete graphics
  • Poor battery life

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