After the initial hype surrounding touch devices like tablets, many PC pundits rushed to write off traditional portable computing platforms. Big mistake. The laptop PC might reasonably say, like Mark Twain when he found his own obituary in a newspaper: “Rumours of my death are an exaggeration!”
iBall, the Indian maker of many tablet models, clearly agrees. The company just launched a compellingly priced Windows laptop, whose weight — a whisker over 1 kg for the 11.6 inch screen model — challenges the pricier Ultrabooks of a few years ago.
The iBall CompBook Excelance, comes with Windows 10 Home and the quadcore Intel Atom processor is okay for what one can do on this machine. Costs are kept down by eliminating things like DVD drives. It comes with 2 GB RAM and 32 GB of solid state storage expandable to 64 GB with microSD, audio and mini HDMI ports.
When on board storage is of this level, you can’t install any serious application software. Even an Office suite is a no go. One has to subscribe to a cloud-based version like Office 360. The typical user of this machine would be ‘always on’ with Internet and mostly work with cloud-based tools and apps. The built-in camera seems a bit under powered at 0.3 MP and one might have liked to see a Type C USB connector to future-proof the laptop —but the asking price of Rs 9,999 probably explains the Spartan specs. The 14-inch model, CompBook Exemplaire costs Rs 13,999 and weighs an extra half kg.