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Are Netbooks a sensible buy in 2019? Let’s take a look at one and figure out

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iBall CompBook Excelance review: Are Netbooks worth buying anymore?

Often it is that when talking about laptops, PCs or computers in general, we tend to associate them with a hefty price tag. Reality is, that might not always be the case.

Back in the late 2000s, when laptops were still emerging and for the most part were a heavy chunky slab of electronics packed inside plastic bodies, there came a miracle. A fully fledged computer that was no big than your average notebook — a netbook.

Netbooks were 10 or 11″ laptops powered by the Intel Atom series of processors and packed impressive power for their size. They topped out at about one or two GB of RAM and usually less storage relatively but pretty impressive for their size — say around 250GB.

Now, Netbooks weren’t the most powerful devices on the planet — to put it mildly, they were computers on the lowest end of the spectrum — but they were extremely portable. They offered good battery life in a form factor that everyone could carry around, with a price tag anyone could afford. And that’s exactly what made them so popular.

Fast forward to 2019, and Netbooks have practically disappeared. Sure we have laptops in smaller form factors, but they’re the exact opposite of a netbook. These modern machines perform amazingly but also cost a kidney.

However, there are still a few options available that you could call a Netbook in 2019. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the iBall CompBook, one of the cheapest Windows 10 running laptops that you can buy here in India.

Also read: How to access Windows 10 Sticky Notes online or on Android

The iBall CompBook

So what do you do when you need a laptop with Windows 10 on it and are low on cash? You buy this guy.

iBall CompBook Excelance review: Are Netbooks worth buying anymore?

The iBall CompBook Excelance

Now don’t go all on the flimsy blue toyish looking plastic chassis yet. This thing has a lot going on under the hood.


Brace yourselves, you can get this thing for as low as INR 10,000. Also, adjust your expectations accordingly. And if that isn’t enough, iBall has made even cheaper versions of this thing with Atom processors and less RAM.


The Compbook comes in with an Intel Celeron N3350 processor @1.1 GHz. You get 4GB of RAM and a whopping 32GB internal storage alongwith Intel HD 500 graphics.

The screen is 1080p FHD, about 14 inches and has a matt finish on it. A surprise considering the price point. You also get stereo speakers and about 5-6 hours of battery life

iBall CompBook Excelance review: Are Netbooks worth buying anymore?

Port selection on this thing is also amazing. You get the following

  • 3 USB-A Ports
  • 1 mini HDMI port
  • microSD card reader
  • Headphone jack
  • Barrel jack plug for power

Oh and there’s also an internal SATA slot to connect a 2.5″ HDD/SDD up to 1 TB. Pretty darn sweet for the price. And wait, the biggest surprise, you can charge this thing from your phone’s charger or even a power bank for that matter.


To begin with, throw a microSD card on this thing. Otherwise, you’re going to have storage issues before you even reach the desktop.

Moving on, you get the full Windows 10 experience. And I mean it.

iBall CompBook Excelance review: Are Netbooks worth buying anymore?

Apart from the storage, as long as you don’t throw anything too complex at it, it’ll run pretty fine. Daily tasks like web browsing, editing documents, watching movies and others go by just fine.

Anything other than that and the machine will struggle to keep up, period.

Are Netbooks a sensible buy in 2019?

So is the CompBook a sensible buy in 2019? Well, it might be.

The computer does very less and almost only very basic tasks. If that’s all you need and you are absolutely sure about it go ahead, its a great buy. The machine will struggle to multi-task with multiple programs running or even a higher number of Chrome tabs.

For every other use case, you’re better off buying a more powerful laptop. Yes, you’ll be shelling out a few extra bucks, but it’ll help you in the long run.

Also read: Samsung Gear Sport vs Huawei Watch GT Sport

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: