Laptops, Notebooks, Netbooks & Tablets Laptops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets (iPad). There are a many different options out there for your computing needs, so how is the average person suppose to figure out what the basic differences are? Laptops Most of us are familiar with laptop computers. They are much smaller than desktop computers and called laptops because they are light enough to be operated in the users lap. (dictionary.com) They are usually just as powerful as desktop pc's and can run the same programs as their stationary counterparts. Notebooks Notebooks are a portable computer smaller than a laptop model, often approximately the size of a 8x11 sheet of paper. (dictionary.com) They are similar to a laptop, but called a notebook to emphasize the size difference. Netbooks Netbooks are the really tiny computers that are designed similarly to laptops (having a screen and keyboard, folding together). They are fairly inexpensive [in the $300-$600 range] and are used primarily for Internet, email, and other web based applications. (dictionary.com) Netbooks have a difficult time running common programs such as Microsoft Office due to their low processor speed. Tablets A tablet computer is in a completely different category when one considers all the similarities between the first three mobile computer models. It is a type of flat graphics computer that uses a stylus, digital pen, or fingertip instead of a mouse and keyboard for input. (dictionary.com) Tablets were designed specifically for consuming information. They are excellent for reading ebooks, emails, webpages, viewing photos/videos, and playing with different applications from their respective marketplaces. They are extremely popular right now because they operate similarly to smartphones, and have a larger screen. Contrary to popular opinion, the netbook and the tablet were not designed to replace a personal computer. They were designed to allow easy access to certain content for those who require more portability than the traditional laptop or notebook offer. In conclusion, there are many different models to choose from and all of these devices have their place in the technology world. Before you make any type of technology purchase, it's good to create a list of things you want the new device to do. As you begin researching your options, refer to your list to make sure whatever you buy offers the options you need.