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What are the differences between laptop and MacBook? A laptop is typically a portable personal computer. It normally runs on a battery that you can recharge with an AC cord.
You can also run a laptop plugging the cord into an electrical outlet but it is primarily used to charge up the in-built battery of the laptop.
Laptops usually have two parts. The upper part, or the lid, double as the screen of your computer. It can be an LED or LCD display.
The lower part, or the base, has the keyboard and the pointing device attached to it. This device works just like the mouse of a desktop PC. This pointing device may come in different forms such as:
- A touchpad
- A trackball or
- An isometric joystick.
The purpose of all is the same: to use for navigation.
These two parts of the laptop are attached by a hinge which enables you to fold the entire system. This makes it a portable computer.
A laptop is also referred to as a notebook. All modern laptops come with powerful processors and graphics, more storage, and high-power batteries that help the devices to perform as efficiently as any desktop computer.
The battery of the laptop can be of different types such as:
- NiMH or
These batteries can supply the system the needed power for several hours, depending on the make and model of the laptop.
Apart from the built-in components of a laptop computer, you can also add several external devices to it using the different ports and sockets. However, for standard use, you will not need any other external connections, apart from the system itself.
Over the years, the design of the laptops has evolved. Today, you will find that most of the laptops, irrespective of their make, brand, and model, are thinner, lighter and more efficient.
With such evolution in design and use of the latest technology, today you will get smaller laptops such as tablets, Ultra-books, and other small factors.
The first portable computer was the IBM 5100. This was launched in September 1975. It had:
The weight of this laptop was 55 pounds.
However, it was considered that Osborne I was a true laptop and was released in April 1981. It was created by Adam Osborne.
It weighed 24.5-pounds, nearly half of the IBM 5100, and came with a 64 KB memory and a 5-inch display. It had a few other better features such as:
- A modem
- Two five-and-quarter inch floppy drives and
- A CP/M 2.2 operating system.
Then, in 1984, came the IBM portable. This was the result of the research of the PC division of IBM and weighed 30 pounds.
Later in the year 1986, IBM launched the first PC convertible or laptop computer that weighed only 12 pounds.
Finally, IBM released its ThinkPad 775CD in 1994. This was the first notebook that came with an integrated CD-ROM.
You will also get Apple laptops in the market. The first edition of Apple laptops was the Macintosh Portable and was released in September 1989. However, due to the size and cost of it, this laptop could not be popular.
Later on, Apple made some changes in the design and approach. They came up with their unique PowerBook line in October 1991. It came in different versions such as:
- PowerBook 100
- PowerBook 140 and
- PowerBook 170.
All these versions of Apple laptops did well in the computer market.
Ideally, different brands of laptops available today will have different features and specs. Some of the modern laptops will come with features that includes and are not limited to:
- USB Type-C ports
- Higher resolution screens
- Thunderbolt 3 ports
- NVIDIA Pascal graphics
- SSDs like PCIe x4 a Plus
- Intel Kaby Lake CPUs
- 8 GB or more of RAM
- OLED or AMOLED displays
- 802.11ac Wi-fi connectivity and
- Integrated webcam or infrared camera for Windows Hello.
However, this is not an exclusive or exhaustive list. Different brands of laptops may have different ports, RAMs, processors and other components just to beat others in performance as well as in market share.
For example, there are also some specific models of laptops that are rightfully termed as 2-in-1 computers.
This is because this new generation of computers will work as a laptop that you can fold flat to work on or you can even detach the screen to have an experience of using a slate. It will give you the best of both worlds.
The MacBook, however, is the product of Apple and belongs to the Macintosh category of laptop computer. This series consists of three specific types of devices such as:
Ideally, the MacBook is a product that evolved due to the integration of the iBook and PowerBook series. Apple used Intel in the place of PowerPC processors to make their product.
The unibody aluminum structure was first used in the MacBook Air version. This version also came with a black plastic keyboard. This was a lift from the sunken keyboard design of the original polycarbonate models of this series.
However, over time, and as it is usual with Apple, they made changes in their designs to make the systems even better in performance and appeal.
The keyboards are now more standardized with black keys on the aluminum body. This gives more congruity to the look of the systems. All the modern versions however, come with backlit keyboards.
There is a magnet and no mechanical latch to close the lids of a MacBook. This unique design element was first used in the polycarbonate model.
In the older version of this series the drives, memory, and batteries were easily accessible. However, the newer models are more compact and all these components are either glued or soldered firmly in its place.
The future of Mac laptops seems to be bright with the constant effort of Apple to improve its performance though it cannot make it any lighter. Modern versions come with:
These computers also include faster Kaby Lake 7th generation of Intel processors.
Differences between Laptop and MacBook
1. Price comparison
Any Apple technology is highly expensive, whether it is iPhones or Mac computers. Therefore, the price of a MacBook will be very high.
Though it is very difficult to summarize the price of a laptop since there are so many models available, you will get some cheapest models as well.
However, these laptops will perform some basic functions such as browsing the internet to visit websites and watching online videos.
2. Design comparison
Apple specifically focuses on the design of the MacBook line. These are more appealing, robust, and are of high quality. There is very little plastic in it and the keyboard has a more ergonomic and smoother feel.
There has been no significant change in the design in the past ten years because the design is so successful. It has only become more refined and slimmer.
There is a lot of variance in the laptop design because there are so many major brands and types.
There is a laptop to suit every taste from high-end, super slim, and softer keyboard variants to a simple and low-end laptop covered in plastic and clunky design along with unplanned placement of the trackpad.
If you are into gaming then a MacBook will disappoint you highly. This is because it is not designed for gaming and does not come with any game worth playing in its macOS. You should not expect it to change anytime soon either.
On the other hand, a few specific types of laptops are specifically designed to play newest and software intensive games.
These laptops come with graphics cards of highest standards and 32 GB or more of RAM. However, these gamer-friendly laptops come with a very high price tag.
4. Professional use
You can use a MacBook for professional use because it comes with better software. It will help you in photo and video editing as well as other creative jobs.
The capability of these systems is high to support graphics and visual arts. However, the text and spreadsheet editing software is not very powerful. You will either need to purchase a Microsoft package for your professional use or make-do with it.
You will not be able to use a lot of external devices and accessories when you use a MacBook. This is because it has been transitioned slowly from the traditional HDMI ports, headphones and other ports for USB drives.
This means that you will need to purchase splitters and converters to use your external gadgets.
Most laptops, on the other hand, will come with at least one of these ports. A few laptops may even have a DVD drive. The number of ports and its types in a laptop will however depend on the type.
6. Customization options
The hardware customization options in a MacBook is limited. This is because it is only Apple that can update the systems allowing little or no scope for any customization by the users.
Therefore, the specs of a MacBook can remain the same for several years before it is updated by Apple. This means that you may pay more for a technology that was the best several years ago.
Meanwhile, you can upgrade your laptop very easily. You can change the hard drive and the RAM apart from the broken parts, if any.
However, if you do not want that hassle and want to replace the entire system with one with higher specifications, you can buy one easily. There will be at least ten new options that will suit your needs.
7. Operating system and vulnerability
A MacBook uses macOS which is fast and efficient. It is easy to use, and the user interface is sleek and modern. With regular updates it is kept relevant.
This operating system is safe and secure because it is used in Apple devices only and therefore, has limited number of users.
The laptops usually use a Windows operating system that is extensively used. This makes it an easy target for the hackers.
Though the Windows Defender does a good job to keep it secure, malware, viruses, and ransomware do slip in through it. Moreover, laptops that come with pre-installed Windows 10 may also come with bloatware which is very hard to remove.
8. Battery life
The MacBook will have a longer battery life as does all Apple products. This means that it will perform for a long time in a single charge. This makes it more favorable.
Laptops may have varied battery life depending on the type of the laptop and several other things such as its hardware components.
Which is Better – Laptop or MacBook?
Both a MacBook and a laptop are good. However, with the differences in both, it may seem to you that the MacBook is better in security and design but then, if you choose it, you will have to sacrifice high-end computing and gaming. This can only be assured in a laptop.
Therefore, there can be no specific answer to your question. It all depends on your job and what you want to do with your computer. To choose the right device for you, it is therefore better that you consider the pros and cons and the features of each.
A MacBook will be a better choice if you are less of a gamer and want to use your computer for other specific and professional jobs such as:
- Photo editing
- Video editing
- Sound editing.
It is almost weightless, has a good and longer battery life, comes with better sound quality, is easily portable, has a spectacular display, and you can charge it using any one of the four ports.
Features like the touch bar are really comfortable to use and the touch ID is very fast and looks good in a MacBook.
Apart from these best features, it also comes with a robust keyboard with a longer key travel as compared to the laptops making it easy, fast and comfortable to type.
The trackpad is large in size. This however will not cause any issue during typing even if you rest your palm on it. This is because it has a palm rejection feature and therefore will not register it as a click.
The downsides of a MacBook are:
- It is highly expensive for a 15-inch display
- All the ports are USB Type C which means you will have to carry an adaptor always to connect other external devices
- You will need additional casing because it is very slippery and
- It will heat up a lot quickly.
Laptops, on the other hand, are good choice and worth buying because, depending on the specific model, it will come with:
- Intel core processors
- RAM of higher capacity
- 1080p display resolution and
- A minimum of 4 GB graphics.
These are just considering the mid-range laptops that are good enough for gaming as well as for professional jobs.
Higher-end laptops may come with more powerful NVIDIA GeForce graphics such as GTX 960M. This will allow you to play even the most software-intensive games.
Ultimately, your choice will depend on your budget. Therefore, balance your needs along with your budget to make the right choice.
Wrapping It up
In conclusion, it can be said that if you want a faster laptop with no-hassle performance and a better user experience, a MacBook is a good option. It will be robust and timeless making it a worthy investment.
Alternately, a laptop will be a better choice if you want to customize your system, better specs, a large selection of software, an open source, to play games, and have a low budget.