hp stream

The 14-inch ‘HP Stream’ Windows laptop is gearing up for launch — but not at the ‘Chromebook killer’ price of $199 many had expected.

HP is listing the laptop on their website with a price tag ‘from $300’ — $100 above the price given by Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner during a July tech event.

Although comparable with HP’s own 14-inch Chromebooks, this does mean that the HP Stream won’t undercut the majority of Chromebooks.

Specifications Are Mixed, Too

If you’re disappointed by the price there is some solace to be found. HP say that other devices in the Stream family are planned, one of which is rumoured to be an 11-inch notebook. It’s possible that this will be the device to hit the much-hyped $200 sweet spot.

As for this model, it’s a slim, semi-light and stylish device made with design nods to both the first and second generations of HP Chromebook 14.

Specifications revealed last month show that the device, powered by a quad-core low-power AMD chip running at 1GHz, should just about keep pace with the performance of Haswell-based Intel Chromebooks. Whether the heavier, legacy-laden Windows 8.1 will run with the same buttery-smooth finesse as Chrome OS…well, that remains to be seen!

The 14-inch laptop pushes a resolution of 1366×768 pixels on a TN non-touch screen. There’s 2GB memory but just 32GB of storage on board.

hp stream side
Image: HP

While the amount of storage space is double that of most entry level Chromebooks, the OS will take up a fair chunk of it, leaving little room for the ‘desktop applications’ Chromebook critics say consumers prefer. A MicroSD card slot should help, but running applications off of external storage will come with a performance hit.

Ports include a single USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0’s, and a full-sized HDMI out, and battery life is estimated as a not-too-shabby 6 hours.

If you need a full Windows experience in a slim, fanless form factor this device could be a good deal — but only once pricing for larger SSD options are known. 32GB is just not enough room for Windows 8 or users to work comfortably.

Sadly for Microsoft, this device is more of a rival to other low-end Windows laptops than bait to lure Chromebook converts with. 

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