HP Stream wants to demonstrate that you don’t need an expensive and big laptop to surf on the internet or use it for video and music. This small and cheap Window laptop costs only 200 dollars and it is the direct rival for the Chromebook. Many buyers have turned their attention to Google’s Chrome OS devices because they didn’t want to pay an extra price for a laptop with Microsoft Windows 8 operating system just to have access to a web browser. For some people, all that they need is a PC from webmail, streaming music and video and social media.
This argument seems to have resonated and now Chromebooks are a huge part of the budget laptop market, and many models, such as Samsung Chromebook 2 and Toshiba Chromebook 2 are very good laptops. However, this success that the Chromebook is enjoying is eating into Microsoft’s laptop market share. This week Microsoft and HP are actively promoting a new HP line, named Stream. These low-cost laptops and tablets are meant for low-power online use, with the added utility of Windows 8. HP Stream includes 1TB f online storage trough Microsoft’s OneDrive service and a code for Microsoft Office 365, all of them for one year.
HP Stream comes with a non-touch 11.6-inch display, an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and a 32GB of solid state storage. It resembles a Cromebook and it is not ideal for local storage of large applications or big files. However, you can use the SD cart slot to add 16 or 32GB of space. Probably, you prefer the HP Stream instead of the Chromebook for its polished low-end experience and you can install Windows apps, for example Office, Photoshop and iTunes. In the Stream family, we can also find the 7-inch and 8-inch Stream tablets with an Intel Atom CPu’s starting at 100 dollars the 7-inch model and the 8-inch model available only in Australia for AU$229.
Even if it has very low expectations, HP Stream is a pleasant surprise. With its long battery life and a decent keyboard, this laptop will be a heavy product on the low-cost laptop market.