Netbooks took off in 2007 only to be wiped off the market seven years later.
The cheap, tiny laptops with cramped keyboards, sluggish processors and stripped-down versions of Windows XP became so popular that Intel ( designed an entire line of processors for them. There was actually a time when )Apple ( was criticized for failing to release a netbook of its own. )
But then came the iPad, and the netbook became irrelevant.
Netbook sales peaked at just above 32 million in 2010, according to IHS iSuppli. Last year, fewer than 4 million were sold, and they are expected to be off the market next year.