Laptop and MacBook: 8 Differences

You can use either a regular laptop computer or a Macbook for your computing needs and both will serve your purpose, of course in different ways.

Therefore to ensure that you choose and use the most suitable machine for your specific computing needs, you will need to know the differences in the first place.


  • The laptop computers have a wider variety in design but the Macbooks are more robust and appealing.
  • Most laptop computers will allow playing some games on it while the Macbooks will disappoint you considerably in this aspect.
  • A Macbook may not allow you to add as many external devices as a laptop computer would due to the variance in the number of ports.
  • You will have limited customization and upgrading options using a Macbook but it will be fast, less vulnerable to hacks, and offer longer battery life than a laptop.

8 Differences Between Laptop and MacBook

Laptop vs 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.

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3. Gaming

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.

The laptops, on the other hand, come with a lot of diverse and specialized software such as Illustrator, Photoshop and more. These will help you a great deal in creative editing of all types.

If you choose a laptop that runs on Windows 10, the latest operating system, you will also get updates from Microsoft on a regular basis to keep your system up to date.

5. Connectivity

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.

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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.

For example, a laptop with an i3 processor may have longer battery life in comparison to one that comes with an i7 processor.

Which is Better – Laptop or MacBook?

Differences Between Laptop and 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:

  • Coding
  • Photo editing
  • Designing
  • Video editing
  • Sound editing.
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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.

About Puja Chatterjee

Puja ChatterjeePuja Chatterjee is a technical writer with extensive knowledge about computers. She graduated from BIMS. Her expertise includes technology writing and client relationship management gained through over 12 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin.