Is A Laptop A PC?

is a laptop a pc

Are you wondering is a laptop a PC? It can be a bit confusing to determine what definition to use. I will explain in this article.

Here is the short answer to save you time:

The term PC usually refers to desktop computers that run the Windows OS. Although a laptop is not a desktop computer, it is still considered to be a PC because it can run the Windows operating system.

Is a laptop considered a PC?

Laptops can be called PCs, however they usually are just called laptops or notebooks. PC usually refers to desktop computers which run the Windows operating system.

That’s why you hear all this talk about PC vs Mac, what they are really saying is Windows vs Mac.

Laptops can do everything a desktop PC can, however desktop computers can usually be more powerful because you are working with a full tower case instead of a small notebook chassis.

As long as the laptop has a Windows OS it can run the same programs and software that a desktop computer can and it can be considered a PC.

Is a laptop considered a Desktop?

No, a laptop is not considered a desktop because a desktop computer is separate to the monitor and usually comes in a tower case.

A desktop computer can be considered a PC as long as it runs the Windows OS.

There are computers which are inbetween laptops and desktops however because manufacturers have made desktop size computers which have a built in monitor.

These are usually referred to all in ones.

Differences between laptops and desktops

Desktop computers are built to be more powerful and customizable. Laptops cannot be upgraded as easily, so you get what you buy. However, desktop computers have interchangable components and come in a larger size.

Desktop computers also have a larger stand alone monitor which needs to be powered by a power outlet.

The components in a desktop computer are much larger than laptop components and have more features.

If you want to play video games, it’s recommended to get a desktop PC because you can get more bang for your buck.

Desktop PCs are able to be built yourself, meaning that you can buy all the components for cheaper than what they would cost in a pre-built laptop.

This is because you don’t need to pay for the branding or the labor fee.

Definition Of A PC

The definition of a PC is a personal computer. Large desktop sized computers which are separate to the monitor and run the Windows OS are usually referred to as a PC.

A large computer that runs the MacOS is called a Mac.

In some countries like Japan, you will hear people refer to both laptops and desktops as a PC. However, in more western society, we call them laptops or notebooks.

How is a laptop different from a desktop?

Laptops are much different to desktops in size, appearance and functionality.

Laptops are small and slim sized computers which have an all in one attached monitor and keyboard. These computers are used for work and portability.

Desktop computers are mainly used for home use and can be family computers.

Laptops are not usually customizable and come in a solid chassis which is branded by the manufacturer.

Desktop PCs are often built by the individual themselves because they are way more customizable and often cheaper for the same performance.

A lot of people build their own PCs to their liking, often to play high tier video games.

To build a PC you will need to assemble a motherboard, graphics card, CPU, power supply, ram and hard drive within a case.

If you want to know how much it costs to build or buy your own PC then read my article here.

Is a laptop a PC or Mac?

A laptop is usually a PC and not a Mac. Computers that run an AppleOS are called a MacBook or a Mac if it’s the desktop version. However, there are MacBooks which are laptops with the Apple OS.

Macbooks are quite good and I have many reviews on them, you can read one of the reviews here.

A laptop can be a personal computer as long as it is running the Windows OS and not linux or Apple OS.

MacBooks are popular among students or people who do things like video editing. They are powerful and good for many tasks, however not so good for video gaming. The Apple OS doesn’t support many games.

Macs are made by Apple and run the Apple operating system. They have completely different software and functionality than a PC.

Personal computers are more popular among gamers because of the variety of programs you can download and the ability to build your own computer and install the Windows OS.

There is just a lot more flexibility when you go with a Windows computer rather than a Mac. Macs are more targetted towards people who don’t know how to use technology or are specialists like 3d designers or artists.


A laptop is considered a PC in the right circumstances. If the laptop runs the Windows OS and is not a linux or a mac, then it can be called a PC. However, we usually just call them notebooks or laptops.

The term PC or personal computer is mainly reserved for large desktop sized computers which are separate to the monitor and have a Windows OS.

I have always called desktop computers a PC because it’s easier to say and I have not had a Mac desktop. If that was the case then I would have called it a Mac.

Let me know what you think in the comments, do you think a laptop is a pc or not?

With over 12 years of experience with laptops, Grayson Uppington has delved deep into the tech world, always learning and sharing. His top pick is the Lenovo Legion Slim 5, blending performance with style. Formerly a pro gamer in CS:GO, those tournaments sharpened his skills and heightened his appreciation for laptop potential.