Have you noticed how most PC manufacturers categorise their mobile PCs as notebooks even though most people if you asked them would call a laptop a laptop?

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Google. There are almost double the amount of returns for laptop computer (96,700,000) as there are for notebook computer (57,300,000).

Look up notebook on Wikipedia and you’ll see that it is defined as a writing pad. There is even a nice illustration of a spiral-bound notebook with pen. Wikipedia refers you to its entry for laptop if you are looking for a definition of a mobile computer.

Despite the fact that laptop is the term every one has been using since the first time it was mentioned with the launch of the Gavilan SC in 1983, the term Notebook seems to have popped into usage.

Apple’s been sitting on the notebook side of the fence ever since it released the PowerBook in 1991. A look at the hardware page on Apple’s website will reveal that Apple divides up its product categories into desktops and notebooks. This notebook theme is carried over to its product names – MacBook Pro and MacBook (previously PowerBook and iBook).

So why have these companies decided to go with the lesser used product description in these days when getting the right keywords is key in directing traffic to your website? I’ve got a theory.

Apple doesn’t want to get sued by someone who says that the laptop was too hot to place in his or her lap. Being based in a country where a company can get sued for selling hot coffee this could be a real risk for Apple and other laptop manufacturers.

So it looks like we’re going to be hearing about notebook computers for the time being. At least until someone manages to get them to run cool enough to sit in your lap.