Is a MacBook a Laptop? (2-minute Read!)

If you need a new laptop most surely you stumbled over Apple’s MacBook line and you can see that many stores will put them in a category of their own and this may let you wonder if they are laptops or something else. Don’t worry we will unravel this mystery in this article!

MacBook is Apple’s third laptop computer family, following the iBook and PowerBook. Apple is considering the MacBook to be a notebook which is another way of saying that it is an ultraportable laptop, in fact, the MacBook Air is one of the slimmest laptops in the market but will still offer incredible battery life.

Next, we will explore in more detail what exactly is a MacBook, the differences between a MacBook and a normal laptop and we will see why it is called a MacBook so keep reading!

Is MacBook a Tablet, a Notebook, or a Laptop?

MacBook on desk
Home Office with a MacBook

First of all, a MacBook is not a tablet, the iPad is Apple’s tablet line. You can’t consider the MacBook to be a tablet in any way possible because it doesn’t come with a touch screen, if you are a graphic designer and you need to drow then you need to buy an iPad and connect it to your MacBook, but if you want to know why the MacBook doesn’t come with a touch screen, you can read this article.

Now if we consider the fact that a laptop is a portable PC, yes we can definitely say that the MacBook is a laptop and a pretty good one indeed. It comes with a very qualitative display, speakers, and touchpad, practically you have everything you need to have a very good user experience watching movies, youtube videos, listening to music, surfing the internet, or completing work-related tasks.

Some laptops are called notebooks because they are designed to be ultraportable like a small notebook but they are still laptops. Yes, MacBooks are considered to be notebooks due to their small size and because they are lightweight, practically the most important feature of a MacBook is its portability.

Is the Apple Laptop and MacBook the Same?

Generally said, yes the apple laptop and MacBook will mean the same thing because MacBook is the product name of Apple’s laptops!

The first Apple laptop was called iBook then it was changed to PowerBook and now it is finally called MacBook.

Why Is It Called a MacBook?

If we look at the name progression, iBook -> PowerBook -> MacBook we can easily see a similarity between the names, they all contain the word book. This is the case because Apple revolutionized the laptop world with their ultra tin laptops and probably the first name needed to transmit the message that Apple’s laptops offer the same portability as a book.

Of course in our days, laptops are thinner than books but keep in mind that this wasn’t always the case.

So if we examine the name a little closer we can see that it has two components Mac + Book, practically the first part of the name comes from the operating system (macOS) and the second part is inherited from its earlier models that needed to state that they offer the same portability as a book.

What Is the Difference Between MacBook and a Laptop?

The main difference between a normal laptop and a MacBook is the operating system, while most laptops on the market come with Windows or Linux as an operating system, Apple designed their own operating system called macOS.

macOS is more stable and offers increased security and a smoother user experience than Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Maybe the most important benefit of macOS is that it is specially designed and optimized to work on Apple’s machines, this includes MacBooks. macOS is very hard to install on a normal laptop because it doesn’t have drivers for all the components other than a standard MacBook configuration.

With the introduction of Apple silicon (M1 chips), some of the hacks used to install macOS on a windows machine will become unusable, and practically if you want the macOS experience on a laptop you are forced to get a MacBook.

If your work revolves around a particular piece of software make sure that that software has a mac version that is optimized if you want to buy a MacBook. These days most big software companies are designing their software for both Windows and macOS but it never hurts to check.

Besides the operating system, there aren’t many noticeable differences besides the design and quality between a usual laptop and a MacBook but don’t compare a MacBook with a cheaper Windows machine because the quality difference is huge. MacBooks aren’t considered premium laptops for no reason!

Keep in mind that you can find premium laptops that run Windows as well!

Is MacBook Air a Laptop or a Notebook?

Due to the fact that a notebook is a smaller and thinner category of laptops we can easily say that a MacBook Air is both a laptop and a notebook.

The fact that it is a portable PC makes it a laptop and its smaller dimensions and lightweight put him in the notebook category.


In the end, we can easily conclude that a MacBook is a laptop but keep in mind that it is a premium one. It comes in a durable aluminum case and its attention to detail will blow you away.

MacBooks are very desirable by professionals because they are designed with productivity in mind, they will not force you to make updates and macOS is designed to be very stable so that nothing will prevent you to be productive at your work.

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I started building and fixing PCs in high school. After a couple of years of offering consultancy to a PC repair shop, I became the goto guy for all my acquaintances for PC/Laptop related buying advice or troubleshooting.