HP's Stream 14 Is a $200 Windows-Powered Chromebook Competitor

Illustration for article titled HP's Stream 14 Is a $200 Windows-Powered Chromebook Competitor

In order to combat the continued sales growth of ultra-cheap Chromebooks, Microsoft and PC manufacturers are offering Windows machines at at comparable, $200 prices. We knew this was coming, but now a leak of the upcoming HP Stream 14 gives us our first look at what these laptops will actually be.

With full specs still live on HP's site, we have a pretty clear picture of how the Stream is spec'd out. The notebook offers a Chromebookish resolution of 1366x768, but its brain is not Intel or ARM but rather a low-power quad-core AMD A4 "Mullins" processor, and Radeon R3 graphics. To round it all out, HP also includes 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB flash storage, and an expandable SDXC slot. And naturally, the big differentiator is that it runs full Windows 8.1 and can handle any Windows program that its innards can deal with.

The 14 Stream will also work directly with Microsoft cloud storage services though still running Windows 8.1. You'll also get 2 years of 100GB OneDrive with your purchase. The Stream is due out by this holiday season, so we may here more details about it, and other Windows-based Chromebook competitors at the upcoming IFA conference in early September.

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So there you have it. Microsoft has officially (more or less) begun embracing the Chromebook "fad" in its own special way. On a totally unrelated note, I'm just going to leave this here.

[Gigaom]

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DISCUSSION

technomom1
technomom1

I think the fundamental problem that Microsoft faces is that there is a whole up and coming generation of users who has never, ever had a need for Microsoft products. They've been running just fine on iOS and Android and that is their first view of what a mobile computer looks like. So, they're using either iCloud and/or Google cloud already. It's only when they get to work that they might use Microsoft, and even there, more businesses than ever use Linux or Macs, so Microsoft is not a given in the workplace either.

Microsoft is in a world of hurt because they were screwing around with things like Kin and Windows 8 while Apple and Android were busy carving up the new world order.

It will be interesting to see if this takes off at all. Chromebook is now building up, moving into the >$200 world with the new Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, and Senkatel models coming out.