subnotebook

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, the following is from Subnotebook - Wikipedia.

A subnotebook (also called an ultraportable, superportable or mini notebook) is a class of laptop (or 'notebook') computers that are smaller and lighter than a typical notebook.

These computers are sometimes confused with the ultra-mobile PC category, which is the name of a platform of small form-factor tablet PCs. UMPCs are smaller than subnotebooks, however both generally run full desktop operating systems such as Windows or Linux, rather than specialized software such as Windows CE, Palm OS, or Internet Tablet OS. Subnotebooks are also sometimes confused with netbooks which are a different category of devices that branched off from mini notebooks in general.


So I searched Ngram Viewer for the four terms (in plural forms) and it only found subnotebooks and ultraportables. And neither term seems commonly used nowadays. Do you happen to know what term computer manufacturers, computer geeks, etc. currently use for "computers that are smaller and lighter than a typical notebook"?

Example Sentences (by me)
1. "Sales of subnotebooks are down about 20% from last year." (Article in a computer magazine)
2. "Excuse me, I'm thinking of buying a subnotebook. Do you have any recommendations?" (Question at an electronics store)
 
  • cubaMania

    Senior Member
    The world of computers is in a state of constant evolution. New forms take the place of old forms which become obsolete and disappear from the marketplace.
    If I had to guess, I would guess that the category "subnotebook" is either obsolete or close to obsolete, perhaps because of the introduction of more modern forms such as tablets, and even more importantly "netbooks".
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you all very much for the replies.

    There is also Ultrabook (Wikipedia), which is probably not a popular term either. (And it's Intel-only)

    So, would you ask "Excuse me, I'm thinking of buying a small notebook/laptop. Do you have any recommendations?" if you were the speaker in #2 above?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think the two main consumer categories of computers are still desktop and laptop. And, of course, tablet is there but I wouldn't call that a computer like the other two. It's its own category.

    Beyond that, I think it's mostly fluid. Different manufacturers have different names (often proprietary) to describe their products. People use different terms. I'd more likely use "small laptop" than notebook. "I want a small, thin laptop" makes it clear what you want. I want a notebook (computer) does not to me. I'm not generatinon x or y or z, though. Maybe they're different.

    What manufacturers use as category brands is another matter that I'm not greatly familiar with. Within desktops, though, they talk about form factors. Towers, mini-towers, small form factor, micro form factor (about the size of a book), etc.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I think the two main consumer categories of computers are still desktop and laptop. And, of course, tablet is there but I wouldn't call that a computer like the other two. It's its own category.

    Beyond that, I think it's mostly fluid. Different manufacturers have different names (often proprietary) to describe their products. People use different terms. I'd more likely use "small laptop" than notebook. "I want a small, thin laptop" makes it clear what you want. I want a notebook (computer) does not to me. I'm not generatinon x or y or z, though. Maybe they're different.

    What manufacturers use as category brands is another matter that I'm not greatly familiar with. Within desktops, though, they talk about form factors. Towers, mini-towers, small form factor, micro form factor (about the size of a book), etc.
    Tablets (and phones using the same chips) are becoming more powerful and once you add a keyboard/case, the categoies are merging - you can even use a TV as a monitor for the "desktop" experience:) This comment is only to reinforce the "fluidity" in the technology and imprecision in (and ephemeral nature of) the terminology. I know people who refer to their tablet as"their computer". The terms are introduced by the manufacturers but don't come with a "dictionary definition", so there is variability in understanding and usage, as terms come and go, and simple descriptive phrases are needed.
     
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