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What Is the Difference Between A MacBook and A Laptop?

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Laptop vs Macbook Which is better

MacBook vs Windows laptop is a long-going feud, with no clear winner. It is one thing to answer, “what is the difference between MacBook and laptop?” But picking the best from Apple’s Macbooks and Windows laptops is a hard choice. Each has its own benefits, not to mention the die-hard fan following.

The competition of MacBook vs laptop mimics the rivalry of Android vs iPhone. This is another dispute that involves long discussion divides users into two camps. The main contest here is also between two major operating systems: macOS vs Windows.

This article is for curious souls who want the truth without ambiguity. We have disclosed the differences between MacBooks and laptops in detail.

Table of Contents

We have evaluated the MacBooks and laptops based on hardware, software, and utility. But before jumping to the differences, it is good to clear out the basics. You must realize what is a laptop and what’s a MacBook?

What is a laptop?

A laptop is classified as a compact, small desktop PC. Unlike a computer, a laptop is a complete package that comes with a screen, keyboard, and trackpad. This is a device that you can take with you and place on your lap. Hence, the name laptop as you can fold it and carry it around.

what is MacBook?

A MacBook is also a portable laptop with all parts combined into one unit. The MacBook is a series of laptops by Apple that run on the macOS. The series launched in 2008 and comprises three different models. It includes the MacBook, the MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air.

Main Difference Between MacBook and Laptop

The main difference between MacBook and laptop is the choice of the operating system. A normal laptop either runs on the Windows, Linux, or Chrome operating system. Whereas a MacBook laptop features the Macintosh operating system by Apple.

MacBook vs Windows Laptop – What’s the Difference?

The MacBook vs Windows laptop argument arises from macOS vs Windows debate. A Windows laptop runs on a different operating system than a MacBook. Windows laptops are cheaper and support almost all popular programs. MacBooks are famed for smooth performance and a good option if you own other Apple devices.

Windows laptops also come with a variety of hardware and offer upgradability. It is easy to find a cheap Core i3 laptop or Core i5 laptop. There are more powerful laptops as well that comes with long battery life. You can also explore Core i7 laptops or Core i9 laptops for better productivity.

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10 Differences between a MacBook and a laptop

If you are exploring the difference between MacBook and laptop further, we have put up a list. These are the major differences that set both types of devices apart from each other.

Operating System (OS)

The most prominent difference between a MacBook and a laptop is the OS. A laptop may run on different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS. A MacBook, on the other hand, runs on Apple’s own macOS operating system. However, the major competition for the market is MacBook vs windows laptop.

Both Windows and macOS deliver smooth performance and are user-friendly. MacBooks are more suitable for users who are hooked on the Apple ecosystem. Apple laptops are easy to connect with iPhones and iPads. Windows laptops offer more range to users and let them teak options as per individual needs.

Price Factor

One of the main factors in MacBook vs laptop skirmish is the price element. This is a difference between a MacBook and a laptop that defines the user class. Apple is a premium brand and everything about its products is exuberant and pricey. Normally, a MacBook cost more than a powerful laptop with the same specs.

Simply put, a laptop offers a better price-to-value ratio than a MacBook. You can easily find cheap windows laptops or Chromebooks at half the price of Apple laptops.


This is a factor where a MacBook has an edge over a normal laptop. When it comes to exterior and outward appearance Windows laptops or no match for MacBooks. Steve Jobs, the pioneer of Apple, ensured that Apple products look no less than art pieces. However, this does not mean that Windows laptops are hideous.

There are business laptops that contend with MacBooks and are true examples of elegance. Moreover, regular laptops offer users more variety, in terms of design. You can grab smartly designed laptops or buy convertible laptops that are stylish and trendy.

Hardware Selection

Each MacBook comes armed with powerful, one-of-a-kind components. The superior hardware and superb build quality are at the forefront of MacBooks. Normal laptops, on the contrary, come with a diverse range of hardware. Their hardware selection varies depending on their budget from cheap laptops to high-end laptops.

However, a laptop is less expensive than a MacBook even if it has the same hardware. Then there is the choice of components, including Processor, RAM, Storage, and graphics cards. You can buy Intel laptops, AMD laptops, Nvidia laptops with varying RAM quantities. You can pick from cheap 4GB RAM and 8GB RAM laptops or powerful 16GB RAM, and 32GB RAM laptops.

Keyboard Functionality

The keyboard functionality of a MacBook and a laptop are very much the same. The layout of Apple laptops also resembles the standard Windows laptops. And both offer brilliant keyboard functionality and are easy to use. The only major difference is the “Windows key” and “Command key.”

On the left side of the spacebar, there is the alt key and Windows key on Windows laptops. The Chromebooks come with the dedicated “Google Assistant” keys. Whereas a MacBook features the “Command key” on both sides of the spacebar. Another notable difference is the availability of spare keyboards as keyboards for normal laptops are easy to find.

Touchscreen Display

Apple products (Macs, MacBooks, iPhone) feature a Retina display that offers crispy visuals. However, when it comes to alternate input choices, regular laptops are better options. There are plenty of touchscreen laptops as well as dual-screen laptops. Also, there are touchscreen laptops with pen (stylus) that you can buy.

There is no MacBook with a touchscreen display and neither there is a chance. The reasons why there no touchscreen MacBooks rely solely upon Apple’s decision. The same can be said about the stylus support on a MacBook.


This is one of the factors where a laptop has an edge over a MacBook. Windows laptops and Chromebooks are easy to upgrade and repair. Users can add more storage and RAM to their laptops by themselves. You can easily find components and breathe new life into older laptops.

Updating a MacBook is a totally different story, as you will need quality parts.

MacBooks have always been hard to upgrade and repair as most hardware is soldered. Only a few Apple laptops come with this capability, and that too on a minimum level. You can upgrade the processor (CPU) on your MacBook at the time of purchase. There is also a way to upgrade the RAM and storage on older MacBooks, but it is a risky step.

Office Suite

The biggest benefit of owning a Windows laptop is using Microsoft’s Office Suite. A MacBook can also run the Office Suite, but it works best when you are using a laptop. You get more features to explore whereas the Windows version is also more stable.

Utility Apps

The MacBook vs laptop clash becomes fierce when the debate comes to utility apps. Both come loaded with built-in apps that let you manage your tasks. These utility apps include Photo and video viewer, media editor, calendar, calculator, voice recorder, and more. These apps help users in accomplishing more in less time.

However, there are some apps that you only get either on a Windows laptop or a MacBook. Translator, Sticky Notes, and Game Mode are to name a few. A MacBook offers a superior video editor and better streaming music service. Overall, MacBook users get more utility than Windows laptop users.


This is an aspect where laptops hold higher ground than MacBooks. Apple devices are meant for business users and professionals as they emphasise more on software. Laptops, on the other hand, have hardware that suits competitive gaming. Especially, Windows laptops with dedicated graphics are hot favourites for hard-core gaming.

Which is better Windows laptop or MacBook?

It is hard to take a clear stand and tell which is better. A MacBook suits you the most if you already own an Apple device. You will have the Apple ecosystem around you while a Windows laptop fits budget users. They are cheaper, easy to upgrade, and ideal for serious gamers. Overall, both have earned a good name over the years and are productive devices.

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