Difference Between Laptop and Ultrabook

Laptop vs Ultrabook

We used to have an alarming rate of development in the mobile computing market over the last few years. It was mostly about smartphones and tablets and rarely about laptops. But now we are at a juncture where we see rapid development of a new breed of mobile computers which are identified as Ultrabooks. These Ultrabooks were introduced by Intel and typically uses their hardware. They are slimmer, more stylish and thin compared to the regular laptops we use. They sometimes use alternative operating system although they would mostly stick to Windows operating systems. So we thought of comparing the Ultrabooks against the regular Laptops to find out the difference between these two similar product categories.


Ultrabooks are known to be thin and light although there is no governing guideline so as to say which a laptop is and which is an ultrabook. However, their display sizes vary from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches having efficient Intel processors mostly. Given the processor has better efficiency and the reduced display size means Ultrabooks have more mileage than regular laptops. For anyone looking at the shell, Ultrabook is also a laptop, but a typical difference you would notice is the lack of optical drives because of the thickness. Ultrabook manufacturers also try to weigh their devices as less as possible, starting from around 3 pounds. Ultrabooks also have an apparent aesthetic appeal represented by the premium magnesium, aluminum or glass materials that are used to build them. However, because of the thickness, Ultrabook keyboards often tend to fall shorter than the regular laptop keyboards.

Ultrabooks are build typically on top of Intel’s ULV platforms enabling them to exploit efficiencies of the less powerful processors to yield better battery life for the device. Although they offer more than 5 hours battery life in average cases, battery is usually non-removable in order to adhere the thickness standards. Ultrabooks also use super-fast SSDs to maintain fabulous boot times that almost makes them equal to boot times of tablets. Be warned though, some Ultrabooks might not have all the ports you would have wanted from a regular laptop.


As the name implies, Laptop is a device that can sit on your lap and provides you with a portable mobile computing experience. They were made to mimic the capabilities and extensions of your ordinary PC with portability in mind. As such, mobility was not a priority. Someone might ask what the difference is; back in early 1990s, the ordinary PCs were sufficiently large to be carried around even inside a moderate conference hall. The laptops were built to address this problem where you can take it here and there inside a closed place without much hassle and wires tangling you.

Following the loosely defined specifications; one can understand that Laptops had more features than notebooks. They had more resemblance to your PC with extendable ports and peripherals. The hardware components used were also different which mimicked the PC as much as possible while being limited by the restrictions of battery power. A fine example for a Laptop is Compaq SLT/286, which was released in late 1980s. It weighed around 15 pounds and was rather thick. If you are familiar with the old IBM horizontal casings with a floppy drive in the front, you can easily imagine the SLT/286, as well.

Ultrabook vs Laptop

• Ultrabooks are typically smaller, thinner and stylish compared to regular laptops.

• Ultrabooks usually varies sizes from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches while regular laptops varies sizes from 13.3 inches to 18+ inches.

• Ultrabooks have less powerful processors enabling them to offer more battery life compared to regular laptops.

• Ultrabooks use Intel ULV platforms, whereas regular laptops have no such restrictions.

• Ultrabooks typically consist of SSD drives to offer super-fast boot times compared to regular laptops.

• Ultrabooks also feature a better aesthetic appeal by introducing premium elements like Aluminum, Magnesium etc. to the design whereas regular laptops may or may not include these.


If your question is to whether buy an Ultrabook or a regular laptop; that would depend on the way you are going to use it. If you have power hungry applications that you run in your laptop and also want to duplicate it as a gaming laptop, Ultrabooks are probably not your choice. It is evident that Ultrabooks fall short in gaming without dedicated GPUs to provide the wonders regular laptops do. However, if you want the device to work with regular office apps and native Windows apps that are available without heavy restrictions on the performance, Ultrabooks can be a very stylish option for you.

  • phaneendra

    Thanks a lot..