5 Best Netbooks of 2019

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Netbooks are compact and lightweight laptops with a modest processor and limited storage. They typically have a display smaller than 12 inches and weigh less than three pounds, which makes them easy to carry. Unlike ultraportable laptops like the Dell XPS 13 and the Apple MacBook Air, they are significantly cheaper and are only good for basic tasks such as internet surfing and word processing.

While their popularity has dipped in recent years, netbooks are still great options if you want a travel-friendly computer for work or school use. If you are in the market for the best netbooks on the market, this guide is for you. In this guide, you’ll find the top options on the market. All products listed here usually sell for less than $300, although some sellers put them up for a much higher price.

Budget
best-budget-netbook
HP Stream 11
4.0/5.0
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Memory: 4 GB
Long battery life and good connection options.
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Best Value
best-value-netbook
Samsung Chromebook 3
4.1/5.0
CPU: Intel Celeron N3060
Memory: 4 GB
Water-resistant keyboard and good performance.
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Top Pick
top-value-netbook
Asus VivoBook L203MA
4.2/5.0
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Memory: 4 GB
Solid performance and good build quality.
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Best Netbooks Comparison Table

Make and ModelRatingScreenCPUMemoryStorageDimensionsWeightPrice
Asus VivoBook L203MA4.211.6 in 1366 x 768Intel Celeron N40004 GB64 GB eMMC11.3 x 7.6 x 0.7 in2.2 lbCheck Price
HP Stream 114.011.6 in 1366 x 768Intel Celeron N40004 GB32 GB eMMC11.8 x 8.1 x 0.7 in2.6 lbCheck Price
Samsung Chromebook 34.111.6 in 1366 x 768Intel Celeron N30604 GB16 GB eMMC11.4 x 8 x 0.7 in2.5 lbCheck Price
Asus VivoBook E200HA3.911.6 in 1366 x 768Intel Atom x5-Z83504 GB32 GB eMMC11.3 x 7.6 x 0.7 in2.2 lbCheck Price
Lenovo IdeaPad 110S3.811.6 in 1366 x 768Intel Celeron N30602 GB32 GB eMMC11.5 x 8 x 0.7 in2.5 lbCheck Price

1. Best Pick: Asus VivoBook L203MA

Asus VivoBook L203MAView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

The Asus VivoBook L203MA is one of the best netbooks on the market, offering excellent value for the money. It’s a modern netbook, featuring a great keyboard, USB-C connectivity, and a 64 GB storage, with the latter making it stand out among the products included in this guide. You can get it for just around $250.

Design & Features

Featuring an 11.6-inch display with a 1366 x 768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio, this Asus netbook has a good design from top to bottom. It’s around 0.7 inches thin (which is right in line with most other netbooks) and weighs less than three pounds. It has a built-in camera in the top bezel and a well-built hinge that can extend up to 180 degrees, which is somewhat useful when showing the screen to a person sitting in front of you.

The keyboard is comfortable to use, with surprisingly good key travel and tactile feedback. There are no separate Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys; they are instead integrated into the half-sized arrow keys. The indicator lights are on the left side of the keyboard while the power button is in the top-right corner, separate from the keyboard. The touchpad, which features click areas at the bottom, is also well implemented.

For connectivity, the L203MA has one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one audio port, and one microSD card slot. That’s better than the connection options of some ultraportable laptops, which don’t even include a single USB-A port.

Performance

Equipped with a dual-core CPU, a 4 GB RAM, an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600 GPU, the L203MA offers good performance for a netbook. It’s great for office work and general use and can handle multitasking well, although it can get noticeably warm when under heavy load. The battery life is also good, lasting up to around 8-10 hours under practical conditions.

Like most other netbooks, the L203MA uses an embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) for storage, which has more limited capacity and is not as good as a solid-state drive (SSD). If you want more space for your images and videos, you’ll need to use a microSD card. You can’t upgrade the CPU and the RAM, though, but the good news is that both are good enough for basic computing.

Regarding picture quality, the L203MA is just what you’d expect from a $250 netbook. The brightness is decent enough for indoor use, but the color accuracy and viewing angles are unimpressive. The limited viewing angles means the display will not stay color-accurate when viewed from the side, which can be a problem when showing your work to a client or colleague sitting next to you.

Verdict

Overall, the L203MA is a great modern netbook, offering good connectivity options, a comfortable keyboard, and good battery life. It’s not going to win any performance contests, especially regarding read and write speeds, but it can get the job done. It’s a recommended netbook for both office work and school use.

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Tech Specs
Screen: 11.6 in 1366 x 768
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Memory: 4 GB
Storage: 64 GB eMMC
Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.6 x 0.7 in
Weight: 2.2 lb
The Pros
Solid performance
Good build quality
Comfortable keyboard
Good battery life
USB-C connectivity
The Cons
Limited viewing angles
Mediocre camera quality

2. Best Budget: HP Stream 11

HP Stream 11View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4/5

Selling for less than $200, the HP Stream 11 is an excellent budget netbook, featuring a long-lasting battery, a good keyboard, and surprisingly decent built-in speakers. The specific Stream 11 model listed here includes an Intel Celeron N4000 processor, a 4 GB memory, and a 32 GB storage. It comes with a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Design & Features

While not much of a head-turner, the Stream 11 has a decent build quality. It’s compact and lightweight, weighing just around 2.6 pounds, which makes it easy to carry in your backpack. It has an 11.6-inch display with thick bezels at all sides, with the built-in camera in the top bezel and the HP logo in the bottom. It comes with built-in speakers, which are decent enough for listening to music while working and watching video clips on the internet.

The keyboard is good, with well-spaced keys and good key travel. It’s comfortable to use and will please touch typists. It’s not backlit, though, which will disappoint those who usually work late at night with the lights turned off. The touchpad, on the other hand, is subpar. It feels cheap and requires a bit more force than usual when clicking on something. It’s much better to use a mouse.

Featuring a pair of USB-A ports, this HP netbook offers good connectivity options. On the left side, you’ll find one USB-A port and an audio port. On the other side, you’ll find one HDMI port, one USB-A port, and a microSD card slot for expanding the storage. The power connector is also located on the right side. The HDMI port can be used to connect the netbook to a TV or monitor if you want a larger screen for multitasking.

Performance

Loaded with Windows 10 in S Mode, the Stream 11 is a good laptop for general tasks such as internet surfing, editing spreadsheets, and creating presentations. You can use it as a basic laptop for travel, with its compact profile allowing it to easily fit on an airplane tray table. It has a good battery life, easily lasting around 8-10 hours when using Word and Excel. It gets sluggish and noticeably hot when multitasking with several apps or browser tabs open, though.

Considering it has a TN panel, this HP netbook is not that great regarding picture quality, with mediocre contrast and washed-out colors. The display – which has a 1366 x 768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio – has below-average brightness. Combine that with the subpar anti-glare screen coating and what you get is a laptop that doesn’t fare well outdoors, which is bad news for those who like to work at outdoor coffee shops.

Verdict

All in all, the Stream 11 is a great product that offers good value for the money. It’s good for basic office tools and web browsing and not much else. It’s unfair to ask for more than what it brings to the table, considering its hardware limitations. If you are in the market for a Windows netbook selling for less than $200, check out this HP product.

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Tech Specs
Screen: 11.6 in 1366 x 768
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000
Memory: 4 GB
Storage: 32 GB eMMC
Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.1 x 0.7 in
Weight: 2.6 lb
The Pros
Budget-friendly price
Good keyboard
Long battery life
Good connection options
Decent built-in speakers
The Cons
Below-average brightness
Subpar color accuracy

3. Best Value: Samsung Chromebook 3

Samsung Chromebook 3View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.1/5

While they are not marketed as netbooks, Chromebooks smaller than 12 inches are basically netbooks with a different operating system. They check all the boxes. They are compact and lightweight. They have limited storage, and they are only good for basic tasks such as internet surfing and typing.

If you are in the market for a compact Chromebook that offers excellent value for the money, check out the Samsung Chromebook 3. It’s basically the Chrome OS equivalent of the HP Stream 11, which uses Windows. There are different configurations for this Samsung Chromebook. The model listed here includes an Intel Celeron N3060 CPU, a 4 GB RAM, and a 16 GB eMMC storage.

Design & Features

Featuring an 11.6-inch display with a 1366 x 768 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is a well-designed unit. The build quality is good, with sturdy plastic construction and a strong hinge that allows the screen to tilt up to 180 degrees. The top bezel has an integrated front camera, which is decent enough for general use. There are built-in speakers on this laptop, but they are mediocre, with the HP Stream 11 featuring better speakers.

The water-resistant keyboard is well implemented, but it’s nowhere near as good as Lenovo ThinkPad keyboards. It has well-spaced keys with good travel that will please writers and journalists who are looking for a basic laptop for travel. The power button is also located in the keyboard deck, right above the backspace key. The touchpad is large and smooth, but you might find it too sensitive.

This Samsung product is similar to the HP Stream 11 regarding connection options. There is an HDMI port, a USB-A port, and a microSD card slot on the left side. And on the right side, there is an additional USB-A port and a combo audio port. The microSD card slot can be used for storage expansion while the audio port is for headsets or headphones.

Performance

The Samsung Chromebook 3 is a great machine for general use. It can handle multitasking with around nine or 10 browser tabs open at the same time. The underside can get noticeably warm when under heavy load, though, which is uncomfortable if you have it on your lap. The battery life is also great, with Samsung claiming up to 11 hours on a single charge, which is more than enough for all-day usage.

Since it uses Chrome OS, this compact laptop offers more storage space out of the box than Windows netbooks with the same 16 GB storage. While that’s the case, we still recommend investing in a microSD card for storage expansion, especially for futureproofing.

Compared to the HP Stream 11, the Samsung Chromebook 3 has better picture quality. It’s noticeably brighter, with Samsung listing 220 nits of max brightness. The colors are a bit more vibrant, but the viewing angles, as expected from a budget laptop, are limited. Considering its subpar coverage for the sRGB color space, this netbook is not recommended for color-critical work like photo editing, which can also be said for all other netbooks.

Verdict

If you prefer to use Chrome OS instead of Windows, the Samsung Chromebook 3 is one of the best options on the market. It has a good keyboard, a brighter-than-usual display, and a great battery. And the best part is that it sells for less than $200, with the 64 GB model selling for around $250.

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Tech Specs
Screen: 11.6 in 1366 x 768
CPU: Intel Celeron N3060
Memory: 4 GB
Storage: 16 GB eMMC
Dimensions: 11.4 x 8 x 0.7 in
Weight: 2.5 lb
The Pros
Good performance
Long-lasting battery
Above-average screen brightness
Water-resistant keyboard
Good connectivity options
The Cons
Mediocre built-in speakers
Poorly positioned power button

4. Asus VivoBook E200HA

Asus VivoBook E200HAView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 3.9/5

The Asus VivoBook E200HA is a great option if you care about aesthetics and want a netbook that looks like a premium laptop on the outside. It’s got a good keyboard, a good selection of ports, and an excellent battery life. There are different configurations and color choices for this netbook. The one listed here is the gold model with an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor, a 4 GB memory, and a 32 GB storage.

Design & Features

Although it’s made out of plastic, the gold E200HA appears to be made of metal, similar to high-end ultraportable laptops. The build quality is good, with a strong hinge and a well-secured display. The bezels around the display are thick, but they look nice. There is a built-in camera in the top bezel, similar to the other netbooks on this list. The camera is not that great, though, with a choppy and blurry output, which isn’t exactly surprising for a low-end laptop. The built-in speakers, which fire out from the bottom, are also mediocre, although they get loud enough.

The non-backlit keyboard is good, with well-spaced keys and good key travel. You might find it too cramped if you have large hands, though. Unlike with the Samsung Chromebook 3, the power button is in the top-right corner separate from the keyboard deck. The large touchpad is also well implemented, with a smooth and accurate surface. The click mechanism in the bottom area is a bit stiff, though, needing more force than usual.

While it lacks a USB-C port, the E200HA has good connectivity overall. On the left side, you’ll find one USB-A port, one mini HDMI port, and one microSD card slot for storage expansion. On the other side, you’ll find another USB-A port, along with an audio port. The mini HDMI port allows for easy connectivity with an external monitor, which is great if you want more screen space.

Performance

Equipped with a quad-core CPU, the E200HA offers solid performance for the price. It’s great for basic tasks such as internet surfing, e-mail, and word processing. It gets sluggish when multitasking with multiple apps and browser tabs open, though, and the read/write speeds are decent at best. On the bright side, the battery life is excellent. It can last around 10-12 hours, depending on the brightness, which is more than good enough for all-day use.

As expected from a netbook, the picture quality is not going to blow you away. The contrast is poor while the colors are dull. The viewing angles are also narrow due to the TN panel used in the display, which means the colors will shift when you view the screen from the side. On the plus side, the screen brightness is good for a netbook. It’s not as bright as external monitors and more expensive laptops, obviously, but it’s bright enough for indoor usage with a moderate amount of ambient light.

Verdict

Overall, the E200HA is one of the best netbooks on the market. The performance is good for the price while the battery life is excellent. It’s great for basic tasks, with the well-implemented keyboard making typing long documents more comfortable.

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Tech Specs
Screen: 11.6 in 1366 x 768
CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8350
Memory: 4 GB
Storage: 32 GB eMMC
Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.6 x 0.7 in
Weight: 2.2 lb
The Pros
Excellent battery life
Good keyboard design
Smooth and accurate touchpad
Good brightness
Mini HDMI for monitor connectivity
The Cons
Narrow viewing angles
Poor contrast

5. Lenovo IdeaPad 110S

Lenovo IdeaPad 110SView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 3.8/5

The Lenovo IdeaPad 110S is a solid option if you want a secondary laptop for work or an easy-to-carry laptop for school use. It’s available in different colors, including white and red. The product here is the white model and includes an Intel Celeron N3060 CPU, a 2 GB RAM, and a 32 GB eMMC.

Design & Features

In appearance, the white IdeaPad 110S is the complete opposite of the similarly priced Asus VivoBook E200HA. It’s made of plastic and has a very plain design that will not attract a lot of second looks. It has thick bezels around its 11.6-inch display, with the built-in camera in the top bezel. It has internal speakers, but they have poor sound quality, with very little bass and limited volume. The low-resolution camera is also mediocre.

The keyboard is responsive and comfortable to use, with good key travel. Unlike with some netbooks, the metallic power button is separate from the keyboard and is instead located in the top-left corner near the left hinge. The touchpad, which registers Windows 10 multi-finger gestures, has good size and doesn’t feel terribly cheap.

For connectivity, the IdeaPad 110S has one USB-A port, one full-sized HDMI port, and one microSD card slot on the left side. The HDMI is for monitor or TV output in case you want a larger screen while working at home. The microSD card slot is for expanding the storage, which is important since the default storage is limited. On the right side of the netbook, there are two more USB-A ports – which is notable considering most netbooks only include two USB-A ports in total – and one audio port.

Performance

Like the Asus VivoBook E200HA, this Lenovo netbook is best used for single tasks. It has a modest dual-core CPU and a limited 2 GB memory. It’s good for internet surfing, content writing, and editing spreadsheets, among other basic tasks. It’s not suitable for multitasking, with the netbook getting noticeably sluggish when there are five or six browser tabs open at the same time. The battery life is good, but it’s not as good as that of the other netbooks on this list, capping at around 7-8 hours.

You shouldn’t expect too much when it comes to picture quality. While the 1366 x 768 resolution looks good on the small 11.6-inch screen, the overall picture quality is unimpressive. The contrast ratio is poor while the color accuracy is subpar. The brightness is decent, however, but it’s not ideal for outdoor usage, most especially under the sun.

Verdict

While limited to single-task usage, the IdeaPad 110S is one of the best netbooks out there, offering good value for the money. It has a comfortable keyboard and a responsive touchpad and includes three USB-A ports, which is a big plus for some people. It’s not in the same league as more popular Lenovo business laptops, but it can get the job done.

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Tech Specs
Screen: 11.6 in 1366 x 768
CPU: Intel Celeron N3060
Memory: 2 GB
Storage: 32 GB eMMC
Dimensions: 11.5 x 8 x 0.7 in
Weight: 2.5 lb
The Pros
Good build quality
Well-designed keyboard
Smooth and accurate touchpad
Decent brightness
Good connection options
The Cons
Unimpressive picture quality
Mediocre speakers
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